State Rep. Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie, recently forwarded an e-mail essay titled "Can a good Muslim be a good American?" to about 40 of his e-mail contacts, including people in government and business.
The essay concluded:
"Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans. Call it what you wish it's still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future."
Seiwert's defense just makes it worse:
When it was pointed out that Muslims live in Reno County, Seiwert replied, "Sure, there's murderers, there's tax evasion people, there's all kinds of people live in my district.
"There are people who make negative comments about farmers all the time. I don't get upset about that," said Seiwert, a farmer.
To be fair, people rarely equate farming with murder -- PETA excepted, perhaps -- or suggest that farming in antithetical to being American. How sad.