President Obama gave a remarkably inclusive speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington last Thursday. He specifically mentioned the fact that secular people are part of this country, and included humanists among those who follow The Golden Rule, the basic moral precept of all religions and societies.
This small comment is a significant step forward for American political and religious life. After eight years of control by a Christian conservative president who refused to acknowledge for most of his presidency that secular people live in America or should be included among "people of good will", this is a refreshing change.
I was also pleased to see the Seattle Times running an article by Barbara Dority, president of Humanists of Washington, in its Faith and Values column today. The article discusses why humanists embrace evolution and how the understanding that life is finite actually makes life more meaningful.
Such small steps move us all a little closer to mutual understanding and tolerance.