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More tolerant society may be in our future

Three apparently unrelated items in the March 30 News struck me as indications that we may indeed be moving toward a more tolerant society.

First, the willingness of Pope Francis to defy Catholic law by including women (one a Muslim) in his Holy Thursday feet-washing ritual. As an adviser to the Vatican’s high court observed, Francis had merely “disregarded” the law – not violated it.

Second, Adam Zyglis’ editorial cartoon portraying the Supreme Court’s reluctance to make an immediate decision on the legalization of gay marriage. Published comments by Supreme Court justices indicate a willingness to allow more public debate before rendering a decision.

Third, the ruling of a federal judge rejecting attempts of a national atheists group to prevent a cross-shaped steel beam from the World Trade Center carnage to be displayed at the National September 11 Memorial Museum. The judge claimed the inclusion of the steel beam cross in the museum “did not advance religion impermissibly” or “create excessive entanglement between the state and religion.”

The common message in these three items? Perhaps we can indeed accept differences and ambiguities and not cling to absolutes that may no longer be relevant or practical. We can only hope this is so.

Rick Kollins

Buffalo