None of the states is attempting to secede

Re: "America faces tough challenges to unity," From Readers, Nov. 26

Bill Petruzel is welcome to exercise his democratic right as a U.S. citizen and voice his opinion that our country needs prayers. But I must object to his statement that "almost 50 states have now expressed a desire to secede since Nov. 6th."This is not true. Mr. Petruzel is either repeating bad information or expressing a blatant falsehood.

The online petitions have no legal power whatsoever. Moreover, not one of the individuals who've signed them has the legal right or authority to speak for any U.S. state, the least populous of which has 500,000 people. Anyone who examines the state petitions can see thatmany signatures come from outside those states, and some names appear on multiple petitions. These signees are a fraction of the population of each state.

As was decided at the Appomattox Courthouse in 1865, secession is not considered a viable option, and no states areattempting it right now. To say so is to provide conservative citizens with the same misinformation that led them to believe that the Nov. 6 election would be an electoral and popular-vote landslide for the GOP, when in fact the exact opposite was true.

Continuously repeatingdivisiveuntruthsdoes more damage to our unity than anything else.

Steve Howard


Freedom of religion becoming freedom from religion

Re: "Republicans must part with the religious right," From Readers, Nov. 19; "Republican Party needs new centrist leadership," From Readers, Nov. 23

Two recent letters, both urging Republicans to jettison their principles to become Democrats-Lite, betray unspoken assumptions behind what masquerades as political thought these days. Both insist that freedom of religion has now become freedom from religion.

Doug Delmont's argument is: "Since we're never going to agree, let's compromise by doing things my way." Sam Osborne's message: "Everybody agrees with me if we don't count the people who disagree with me, and they don't count." The fact that this "freedom from religion" is now creeping toward government telling churches what they're entitled to believe presumably bothers them not a jot.

According to them, religious people have nothing to say on the great moral issues of our time. I wonder how they feel about those churches and people of faith that argued for an end to slavery, and for equal rights for all regardless of race or color. These were moral as well as political issues, and many churches and people of faith stood up for what was right.

When political controversies stem from issues of morality, and involve fundamental questions of right and wrong, the Church has not just a right, but a duty before God to speak out clearly and definitively.

Stephen Kosciesza

Silver Spring

Land value tax is better than "Fair Tax"

Re: "Income tax should be replaced with Fair Tax," From Readers, Nov. 23

I largely agree with David Boone about what's wrong with theincome tax, but I do not share his advocacy of a national sales tax, often misnamed as the "Fair Tax".

For example, Boone objects that working people have up to 25 percentof their income confiscated before they even get their paychecks.Yes, but would it be better to confiscate a big chunk of their incomeafterwards when they want to use the money they earned to buy something?

I suggest taxing land value as a genuinely fairer alternative.People do not work to produce their land, and taxing land valueswould enable us to cut taxes on improvements, wages andproductive business.

Nicholas D. Rosen