Precious Children Locked Up
Children, minors under age 18, are the most precious resource available to our own culture and to all the world. They represent all the hope and all the future possibilities available to everyone, everywhere. This hopeful preciousness is agnostic to their national origin, their parents’ status in social strata, their health or physical status, their religious background, or their race or ethnicity. Dependent on the adults “in the room,” their lives are precious, and they must hold special status in every aspect of society, and everywhere in the world. In the United States we have a long history of protecting children (at least trying to), and our laws attempt to provide access to health and education and assure quality of life to the fullest extent possible. When we consider violence or other inhumane acts against children we are outraged.
Recall the media coverage, the marches and protests that occurred, in response to recent school shootings in Texas and Florida. Think of Newtown and the humanitarian and noble response of Americans to that disaster, where many precious six-year-old lives were lost. Our collective conscience must never allow us to disregard the principled value we hold for children. It is in our DNA as Americans and shared by all civilized people of the world.
Juxtapose this view against your own experience as a child, parent, or grandparent. All of us connect in some way to that innate childhood connection with adults critical to our safety, protection, and love. For me, I think of my two sons (now grown up) and my three grandsons, ages 6, 4, and (almost) 2. My connection with all of them is profound. I can’t disconnect or dishonor that relationship in any way. They are all precious. When I see the sweetness and vulnerability of my grandsons I am awed. When I see their joyousness, their robust life- changing personalities, and their need for connection with their parents I am humbled. Some say that when they see the face of a young child, they see the face of God. Regardless of one’s religious bent, isn’t it fair to say that in such faces one sees the reality of goodness?
And now, I can’t think of those faces, connections, and smiles without comparing them with the hundreds of children who have been ripped out of their parents’ arms by my government. I can’t justify this for any political, legal, or moral reason. When I hear others try to legitimize this on religious grounds, I am sickened at the hypocrisy and hatefulness of their argument. I can only see my little grandsons, being taken from their parents, moved to a fenced in “shelter”, and being held against their will. I can only feel the amazing heartbreak, outrage, and shock this would cause their parents. I am deeply aware of the wounds, the pain, and the anger that would persist over generations and lifetimes. I identify with these feelings viscerally.
I hope that many speak out and act against this. While I know that our political leaders on both sides are failing us here, I hope that churches, communities, and other organizations find ways to fight these horrific actions, against children and families, by our government. This must stop.