Guess what? Religious tolerance is hard.

thomas_jefferson_on_religious_tolerance_bumper_sticker-p128998325021674241en8y3_400And it always has been. Even in a polytheistic world where people were used to dealing with a variety of religious expressions.

For instance, Greek comic playwrights often made fun of the religious practices of Egyptians, usually focusing on their reverence for animals as manifestations of the Divine. This 4th-century-BCE bit by Anaxandrides of Rhodes, who won many awards for his work, is an example. He writes as Demos (“the people”) to Egypt:

I couldn’t have myself allied with you. Our ways and customs differing as they do. I sacrifice to Gods; to bulls you kneel. Your greatest God’s our greatest treat: the eel. You don’t eat pork; it’s quite my favorite meat. You worship your dog, mine I always beat when he’s caught stealing. Priests stay whole with us; with you they’re gelded eunuchs. If poor puss appears in pain, you weep; I…

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