At the beginning of the 21st century we are inundated with a flood of modern marvels and massive strides in social tolerance. Radical advances in fields like genetics and biology promise vast expansions in both the length and quality of life. Scientists are peering beyond our solar system and finding literally dozens of earth-like planets scattered around the galaxy, some of them less than 50 light years from us. Green technology, born from the understanding that coal and crude oil are limited and flawed sources of energy, is beginning to flourish. Landmark rulings across the United States have recognized the rights of the gay and lesbian couples to marry. The right to abortion has been protected from the despotic ravages of Christian conservatism. Right now, the Episcopalians are about to elevate an openly-lesbian priest to the bishopric of Los Angeles.
Where does all this come from? The driving need to question, to constantly expand the boundaries of human knowledge and tolerance, is the product of free minds. Any society that devotes itself to personal freedom will give rise to the most flexible and creative minds known to humankind.
Devotion to progress and freedom is commendable, considering the most of the world is still mired in Dark Ages philosophies and sickening religious intolerance. When the iron bars of indisputable religious truth slam shut, you can be sure that a country’s path to success is blockaded.