Readers write: May 11

Religion no excuse for violent reaction

Jay Bookman’s AJC column, “Extremists at either end have a goal in common” (Opinion, May 6), suggests that, in many ways, Pamela Geller and the terrorists who attacked the anti-Muhammad cartoon “art show” in Garland, Texas, are simply opposite sides of the same coin. I disagree.

While Geller and the terrorists are all obviously offensive extremists, there is a huge, huge distinction between them. The terrorists crossed a clear line when they resorted to violence. Non-violent offensive speech is a cherished basic American right. Violence against others, based on religious beliefs no matter how sincerely held, is despicable and should be branded as such. It is un-American, illegal and a proper subject for scorn.

As Bookman points out, not all Muslims are violent. But when a Muslim or any other person becomes violent, that person’s religion is no excuse.


Artist sees weird, others see success

I enjoy AJC cartoonist Mike Luckovich’s cartoons. I wonder, though, if he understood the irony of having the “Star Wars” cantina patron call Dr. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee “weirdos” (Opinion, May 6). They just might be the most exceptional candidates in the presidential race: a poor African-American child who grew up to be the world’s best pediatric brain surgeon, a girl who grew up to become the first female CEO of a leading computer and technology Fortune 500 company, and a poor white boy who became an evangelical pastor and a very popular non-partisan governor of Arkansas.

I guess, in the mind of a Democrat, people who achieve like this are the weirdos.


Fair tax unfair to low-income earners

U.S. Sen. David Perdue has written a column in the AJC (“Consider the Fair Tax now,” Opinion, May 6) advocating a flat tax system to replace our present progressive income tax system. Flat taxes are regressive — that is, they place a greater burden on low incomes than on higher incomes. Their only advantage is in ease of collection; stores do the collecting, and only a small IRS is needed.

As low-income earners spend a greater portion of their income on taxable items than the wealthy, the rich, are taxed at a lower rate. This is undemocratic. No voter who understands taxation would vote for such a system. Perdue does a good job of covering up the negatives of a flat tax system. He simply does not mention them. If you want the rich to be taxed at a lower rate than the poor, support Perdue.