In the past week or so (I’m not really sure when it started), I have been noticing about 8,000 of my Facebook friends posting this:
I guess everyone is mad that the nation did not recognize Chris Kyle’s death the way they did Whitney Houston.
I have a few things to say about this national trend/expression of outrage. It seems that ever since Whitney Houston died, every time a service member is killed and someone wants to demand more recognition for their sacrifice, they bring up Whitney Houston and what a total loser/waste of space/worthless human being she was to illustrate the unfairness of her getting attention while this real, worthwhile, decent human being didn’t get the same.
Before I go any further, let me tell you what I’m not here to argue: whether or not flags should be raised or lowered for any particular person. I don’t know the rules on that, and I’m not here to say whether they should be or shouldn’t be. I’m also not here to argue whether or not this person or that person has done more for the country than others, or to talk about anyone’s accomplishments or contributions to society. I’ll leave that to people that have more energy than I do right now.
I just want to ask a question: if your sister died of cancer and I made a poster mocking cancer patients and calling them worthless, that would be pretty mean, wouldn’t it? Now, I know that people will say it’s different because drug addicts make choices that lead to their illnesses, and I’ll concede that that’s true. Although I think that it might be wise to thank God for helping you avoid the circumstances that lead to drug use, rather then pass such harsh judgement on people you don’t even know.
I can use another illustration, though. What if your sister died of a heart attack because she ate unhealthy food and never exercised? Would it then be ok with you to see a slew of posters online mocking heart attack victims with unflattering pictures of them shoving cheeseburgers into their mouths and labeling them worthless zeros? They did it to themselves, right?
You know what I think would really be nice? If people in this world could figure out how to have compassion for each other. Just because something is true doesn’t mean that you should figure out the meanest, harshest way to say shove it in everyone else’s face. That’s not called being honest, it’s called being a jerk.
Here’s a thought: Maybe Chris Kyle did heroic things which we can talk about without having to insult and degrade anybody else.
Wouldn’t that be a novel idea?