Equality is an intrinsic American value
A recent letter writer suggests that many Americans share moral values dating back to our country’s founding. I agree. The Declaration of Independence proclaims that all men are created equal and over two hundred years later Americans are increasingly embracing this ideal.
Yet, throughout history people have framed moral values in varied and self serving ways. Human bondage in our country was embraced by people who believed God was on their side. Efforts to preserve the immoral institution of slavery resulted in the deaths of thousands of patriotic United States/Union soldiers. The Confederate monuments dedicated to those who committed treason dishonor the principles of patriotism and equality.
Whether equal rights for people of color, the right of women to vote, or the right to marry the person you love, the shackle of tradition and status quo designed to preserve inequality can be difficult to break. Despite our country’s birth by revolution, the vast majority of Americans prefer peaceful change. That change will come when we are honest about our past.