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Since Steve Hagerman (“War on Terror not a clash between Islam and Christianity” Jan. 25) doesn’t seem to know any “secular liberals” or at least talk to them much, I must reassure him most of us don’t see the war on terror as a struggle between fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity. That view is, I think, much more common among fundamentalist Muslims and fundamentalist Christians. As a secular liberal, I see the struggle as one between those who espouse the values of the enlightenment (personal, religious, economic and intellectual freedom) and those who would drag us back into the Dark Ages.

You remember the Dark Ages, right? When some man in a position of clerical authority was empowered to tell you what you could think, what you could own, whom you could marry, and what (or even whether) you could read. When reason was persecuted, and science prosecuted. Most modern people think this was a bad arrangement. That is the choice I believe we face.

It is Mr. Hagerman who seems to perceive the choice as one between Christianity and Islam, suggesting they offer parallel moral opposition to what he sees as secular immorality. He proposes we adopt a repressive Christian culture so the repressive Muslims will find us worthy, and presumably leave us be.



But our moral fitness should be judged on how we treat our fellow humans, not how strictly we adhere to ancient texts. And if the Islamic world hates us for our freedoms, that does not mean we should give up our freedoms. I’ll not swear fealty to one tyrant to appease another.

The answer to tyranny is more freedom, not more tyranny. Ultimately, the struggle is between those who want the human spirit to live free, and those who would enslave it to ancient superstitions. The particular brand of superstition is irrelevant.



Keleigh Hardie

Glenwood Springs

I wish the liquor stores in Colorado would get over themselves. It is completely ridiculous for them to throw a fit over the possibility of expanded beer sales at grocery and convenience stores. I spent the better portion of my life in Michigan, where it is legal for both convenience stores and grocery stores to sell not only beer, but also wine and liquor. You know what? There are still liquor stores around every corner.

Healthy competition is a fact of life in business. That is why a good business learns to evolve, and realizes the bottom-line price is not why many people give them their business. Customer service, the ability to special order items for people, and the personal touch offered by small businesses are what draw in many customers.

I won’t mention which liquor store I frequent, but I can tell you it is not because they have the greatest deals in the valley. It is because when I come in, they are friendly and take the time to get to know me. They tracked down an obscure item I was looking for and followed up with me promptly. It is exactly this type of thing that will keep me shopping there, even if grocery stores are allowed to expand their beer sales.

And for the argument it would be bad for the economy, isn’t offering competitive prices and an opportunity for stores to compete for business exactly what our economy is built around?

All I have to say to liquor store owners is, stop living in the past, get with times, start thinking outside the box, and give customers a reason beyond your price tags to shop with you.

Matt Oates

Carbondale

Commissioner John Martin has introduced a resolution to stifle minority opinions differing from his own by board members in other forums.

I have to ask this question of him, “John, had Steve Carter been elected Commissioner from District 3, would you now be offering this resolution?”

Better be careful, John. Mike Samson is not Larry McCown.

Dana Barker

Parachute


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