There’s a brief description on how the Christian religion has evolved. Ok, so what? Our government, our society acts in the same way. It all started with the Puritans. The Puritans left England because they were being persecuted for their religious beliefs, and wanted to form their own society where they could practice freely. Great, good for the Puritans. They started the movement to colonize America, yet they also managed to begin a trend that has perpetuated throughout our culture since its inception, when the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock. They were intolerant of the Native Americans. They called them savages, and looked down upon them because they did not believe in God. They were different, God forbid. As time went on the overall ideology of the Colonies had changed drastically. They abhorred the institution of the English Monarchy and that the Church of England was intertwined with the government. First, the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, stating that all men were created equal and had equal rights, handed down by God. After the war, they drafted our Constitution. They made sure to include a provision mandating the separation of church and state, so that the government could not use the fear-of-god tactic to extort money from those who believed in him. They believed in freedom, but freedom came with a responsibility, the responsibility to contribute to society and make it a better place for others. The most notable movements throughout history include the abolition of slavery, the women’s rights movement and the black civil rights movement. As mentioned earlier, the gay rights movement has been a current shift in equality that is encouraging. If it can gain momentum, a movement for mental health patients may also be starting, though I doubt it.

There are plenty of discouraging events in recent history that concern me in our quest for equality. Occupy Wall Street? Are you kidding me? I was born with a lot of advantages that most people were not. House in the suburbs, good parents, good upbringing, I had it all. People like my parents are looked down upon sometimes, it seems. Because they have good jobs? Because we have money? My parents were both first generation college graduates for their respective families. My father’s parents were working class; he had nothing handed to him on a silver platter. My mother’s parents were Ukrainian immigrants with no formal education; their family worked their way up from absolutely nothing. They got to where they were from hard work—they never took advantage of anyone. Neither of them have ever been convicted of a crime and I have never seen them break a law. They pay their taxes on time and contribute a lot to society, including two children with the same values they have. They did their part, the rest of us need to do ours.

For those that were born with less, do not be discouraged. This is still America and there are plenty of ways to advance yourself and improve the society we live in. There are people that want to help you, and there are others who want to drag you down. Learn to discern between the two. Our class system, our financial institutions, and our government are all obstacles toward achieving equality. It is not going to change in a day; it is not going to change through legislation. Our President is preaching “Change.” Laws will always be broken as long as they are in place. I think the hippies had a good concept of communal living, to a certain extent. I do not think sitting around smoking weed all day without bathing is the correct way to live. But the idea that we could all live as one, interdependent society where there are no written laws is an incredible concept, though highly unrealistic.