Religious intolerance arose with presumptions of certainty: the sureness that my sect possesses certified knowledge means that I cannot endure your sect's evident error. If it had always been accepted that belief does not rise to the level of knowledge, religious intolerance might not have marred our histories.
Thousands of years ago, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, in a vast and fertile stretch of land called "Mesopotamia," there lived a flourishing society in a city-state called "Babel." The city was bustling with life and action. It was the trade center of what we now call, "the cradle of civilization."
New York State has long been a leader in advancing women's equality, stretching back to the Seneca Falls Convention 166 years ago this weekend. Sadly, as we mark this important anniversary, hard-won victories by the women's rights movement are being threatened by a radical right wing that seeks to roll back the progress we've made.
What follows is a modern-day parable. I think it's important to point that out up front, in order not to cause any undue offense. The scene: the near future, when Arizona (or any other state, for that matter) becomes a bastion of religious freedom by passing laws shielding businesses from penalty for discrimination on the basis of religious belief.