Whenever a celebrity dies, there are those who cannot wait to pontificate and announce their condemnation of said celebrity to eternal damnation as a warning to all. I am far from certain that Whitney Houston walking through the pearly gates right now, but I do not see the need to pile on more dirt on the woman’s grave.
Of the dirt-slinging pontifications mentioned above has been the criticism of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Governor Christie decided to lower the flags of his state to half-mast recognizing the death of the New jersey-born singer. Immediately on facebook photos of flag draped coffins appeared claiming that to honor Houston was to dishonor the troops. Really? While I abhor the cult of celebrity that plagues our country, I just can’t see one state honoring a woman (albeit a troubled woman) who entertained millions with her music as a huge slap in the face to our soldiers. (For the record, I am not a fan of this music)
Anyway, among these pictures I also noticed a friend’s facebook status that I thought was dead-on. My friend John Cobbett-Walden wrote this status after talking about this subject with his wife Cathy -
I really can’t stand the updates which essentially said “if your sad about whitney Houston’s death then you hate the troops”, but it wasn’t until last night that Cathy helped me realize why. First, it’s sad when people die, and early death from addiction is all the more tragic. Add to that the pivotal role that music plays memory and emotion and you realize it would be weird if people weren’t upset. Secondly, these so called troop supporters aren’t being genuine. They weren’t posting “how can anyone care about the Super Bowl when troops are dying” and yet far more people invested far more time, money, and status updates on the Super Bowl. (Used with permission)
Again, I’m not for the cult of celebrity obsession that over-emphasizes the importance of certain people (and I’m convinced this cult is one of the factors in Houston’s death), but I’m also not in favor of hypocritical arrogance. We should be praying for this woman’s family, learning from her mistakes (yes, we can call it what is – sin), and mourning the loss of a talented life. Gloating is just not a Christian virtue.
Well, this was just one of the many thoughts I have about this situation, but the only one I’ll share here for now. Trying to learn that not every thought I have is worth plastering all over the internet…
Let’s Have More Worship Wars – What if the young singles complained that the drums are too loud, that they’re distracting the senior adults? What if the elderly people complained that the church wasn’t paying attention to the new movements in songwriting or musical style? – Russell Moore