I'm surprised that people so emotionally influenced by "Les MisÃ©rables" don't apply it to today's issues ("Les Biz: Why are Utahns so in love with this epic musical?" (Tribune, Aug. 19).
Consider: The play's protagonist, Jean Valjean, is an illegal resident with forged identities, always running from the law. Yet he was also a loving, contributing, child-rearing human. No one thinks he should be sent back to prison for breaking parole. Yet Utahns want to break up families and deport "illegal" parents for the lesser crime of being undocumented.
We praise Valjean for raising an orphan, but we won't educate children of undocumented aliens due to other's decisions.
We prase Valjean a single man, living a warped, secretive, fugitive life for "raising in love" a girl nobody wanted, but we forbid stable, employed gay couples from adopting children in foster care.
Utahns can't get enough of Saint Jean, but with undocumented immigrants and gays, they're rule-bound Inspector Javerts, willing to break up loving families, denying children aid and refusing children adoption all to defend an "ideal."
"The perfect is the enemy of the good," wrote Voltaire. More Utahns need to take to heart that moral from the musical.
Salt Lake City