All over the world and throughout time, people seem to be unable to live in peace with diversity. Even a minor difference can incite hatred that can last millenia. For example, although both Mohammad and Jesus preached peace and tolerance: Sunnis and Shi’ites have been killing each other over a political difference – who should lead the people and safeguard Islam after Mohammad’s death; and Catholics and Protestants still kill each other over whatever strikes their fancy at the time.
Nowhere on earth is there a country made up of such a diverse population as that of the United States. That diversity has led to much anguish in many of our citizens. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because our genetic makeup includes an I’m better than you gene. But, to our credit, Americans strive against what seems to be our baser instincts. By struggling through our differences, we have created a better society and a better people. Currently, we are in the midst of one of those struggles concerning the LGBT community. There’s no argument; the United States of America is a work in progress.
Our country has not always been a place where we struggled against our baser instincts. Until the Civil War, even with all of our inspiring founding documents, we were still a nation adhering to European biases, as we aggrandized the White race. But on September 22, 1862, President Lincoln changed it all by issuing a proclamation stating:
“That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free….”
January 1, 1863, was the day of the birth of the great experiment we call the United States of America. Happy 150th birthday!