EDITOR: A term that emerges from our American history is “predestination.” The Puritans who came to our shores many years ago believed that they were predestined. These days we use the term for people with special talents — Mozart, as a child prodigy, was predestined for greatness. However, the Puritans used the term as a point of privilege. They were predestined to go to heaven one day. Everybody else would have to chance it.
Eventually the term was also used by others in privileged ways. Slave-holders believed that Black people were predestined by God to be servants to white people. Claiming “manifest destiny,” others believed it to be obvious that whites should settle American from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Native Americans would just have to get out of the way. In today’s world, some believe that homosexuals are predestined to roast in hell. Others believe that women are predestined to be mothers, raise children and be homemakers — nothing else.