The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Oklahoma, features a song that allows for a rollicking dance sequence even if it doesn’t do much for the plot. The Farmer and the Cowman Should Be Friends is a social commentary on the tension between ranchers and farmers in the early 1900s in Oklahoma Territory. The closing lines (after Aunt Eller stops the fighting by brandishing her gun), are:
“I don’t say I’m no better than anybody else,
But I’ll be danged if I ain’t just as good!”
I think it safe to say that well-known atheist Sam Harris and I (Rebbetzin means Rabbi’s wife) disagree on whether traditional Judeo-Christian morals and values are good for society or not. I think we agree, however, on allowing those with whom we disagree to present their case and the need to recognize that holding an opposing opinion does not automatically make one evil. In fact, having rational and respectful conversation is a wonderful way to refine one’s arguments, recognize flaws in one’s logic and potentially sway opinions. If you believe that your ideas have merit, there is no reason to fear such an exchange.