New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is coming under fire for his decision to lower American flags at government buildings to half-staff Saturday to honor singer Whitney Houston on the day of her funeral.
The practice, normally reserved to honor national memorial holidays, fallen soldiers or deceased heads-of-state, is seen as one of honor and respect. The New Jersey Governor says Houston deserves the honor.
â??For those people who say, â??I donâ??t think she deserves it,â?? I say to them, 'I understand that you donâ??t think that. I do, and itâ??s my executive order,' " Christie said this week as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
â??Iâ??ve seen these messages and emails that have come to me disparaging her for her troubles with substance abuse,â?? Christie said. â??What Iâ??d say to everybody is: There but for the grace of God go I.â??
Fox News Channel host, Bill O'Reilly, who has been highly critical of Houston's admitted drug abuse, said Thursday on NBC's Today Show it was right to lower the flags and also urged society to deal more forcefully with drug abuse.
â??I think we should respect the life and talent of Whitney Houston. I said a prayer when I heard she died. This isn't a personal thing. This is a preventive thing. I want society and media to tell the truth about drug and alcohol addiction,â?? Oâ??Reilly said. â??Let's stop exploiting it and start explaining it.â??
Christie also ordered flags lowered last year for Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
Do you agree with Governor Christie's decision to lower state flags to half-staff in honor of Whitney Houston? Or should half-staff honors be reserved for more solemn occasions like the death of a president, a fallen soldier, or for holidays like Memorial Day and Pearl Harbor Day?