Perhaps the newspaper needs to revisit the guidelines for letters to the editor.
"Letters may be edited for length, style, grammar, taste and libel," you say.
A letter published Oct. 3 on Islamic extremism violated the guidelines on several levels.
According to the frequent letter writer, "some" have suggested that President Barack Obama is either a closet Muslim or a Muslim sympathizer. He goes on to push all the right-wing buttons with a Glenn Beck-style conspiracy theory that our country is being infiltrated by radical Islamists disguised as "refugees" at taxpayer expense. He finishes up with a real barnburner: "With Islam, when you hold out your hand in friendship, you frequently pull back a bloody stump."
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Not only was I offended by this letter, but I see no useful purpose to give voice to this deliberately inflammatory, baseless rant. Unfortunately, there is an angry audience who are all too ready to latch on to this storyline as if it is real and factual. It will be repeated within our community, feeding fear in some and anger in others.
What good can possibly come from publishing letters like this one? I suggest the editor raise the literary bar considerably. Our community is divided enough already at a time in history when civil and rational thinking are sorely needed.