“…the lovers, the dreamers, and me.”

What follows is a clip from a 2014 benefit screening of Muppets Most Wanted at the White House for military families.  Kermit speaks eloquently to the children of military personnel about the challenges they face:

You know, I’ve watched a lot of interviews with Kermit, and Steve as well, and one question that comes up a lot is who are their favorite celebrities that they’ve met and worked with.  And, speaking strictly for myself, any or all of the Obamas would be near the top of the list.  But I imagine that getting to do things to help kids–like this, or like the Labor Day telethon, or Make-A-Wish visits–would be the most rewarding part of being a Muppet performer.  I imagine that that stuff would stick with you longer than the bits with the celebrities, although those bits would be fun too.

My point of view on the military is ever-evolving.  When I was young, I could never understand why anyone would want to join the military with the express purpose of hurting and killing other human beings.  I was exposed to a lot of M*A*S*H in my formative years, and maybe that accounts for my rather narrow-minded attitude.  Eventually, however, I came to realize that most of the people who join the military don’t do so out of a bloodthirsty desire to inflict harm on other people, but out of a wish to protect their loved ones and their home.  There’s a Bible verse that has always been a guiding principle in my life:  “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13), and eventually I came to realize that that’s all that most people in the military are trying to do, and I’ve come to respect that.

A few years ago, Sesame Street was doing an outreach initiative for military families, and I realized how much is demanded of those families, particularly the children.  A person can choose whether or not to go into the military; a prospective spouse can choose whether or not to marry that person, but the kids don’t get a say in the matter.  Once they’re born into that situation, they’re in it whether they like it or not.  Of course, none of us can choose the situation that we’re born into, and we all have to accept our lot in life at baseline, but still…it’s a lot to ask.

When I look around at what’s happening in the world, and/or when I listen to the “The Rainbow Connection” in my head, I can’t help but think of another group of kids who weren’t given a choice.  I’m talking about the DREAM-ers, the children of illegal immigrants who were brought here to the United States as children by their parents, and whose status in this country is now imperiled.  Those kids weren’t given a choice either; they didn’t get a say in the matter of where their family lived, and now they’re being asked to pay a steep penalty for a decision that somebody else made for them.

I have another blog where I talk about politics, and I kind of wanted to keep this blog separate from all that stuff.  But this isn’t merely politics; this is a severe injustice that threatens to rip apart families and ruin the lives of many innocent people.  I can’t right all wrongs in the world single-handedly, but surely the least I can do is to take a moment to take a stand and say that this should not happen: not here, not now, not ever.

Instead, let’s let love open our eyes and see the DREAM-ers as brothers (and sisters) in our world:


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