UPDATE: Democratic challenger Kay Hagan defeated Libby Dole. Thankfully, the residents of North Carolina saw through the BS and recognized Dole’s ad for what it was: unfounded, bigoted tripe.
George H.W. Bush’s now-infamous quote regarding the patriotism of atheists is old news for most. At a 1987 campaign stop in Chicago, Bush 41 made a disgusting statement that should be offensive not only to atheists, but to theists as well. The shocking amount of judgment that he passed on an entire group of people should have been a career-ending soundbyte. Unfortunately, Americans were more disgusted by Michael Dukakis with a goofy helmet in a tank than this bigoted quote by the (then) Vice President of the United States. Here is the text of the statement:
Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?
Bush: I guess I’m pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.
Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?
Bush: No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.
Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?
Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I’m just not very high on atheists.
It’s no secret that atheists are the most reviled minority in the United States. It’s no surprise that there are very few atheist elected officials in this country. So it certainly comes as no surprise when Senator Elizabeth Dole runs an attack ad attempting to draw a connection between her opponent, Kay Hagan, and… dun dun dun… ATHEISTS!! Never mind that the ad is completely false. It is attempting to create guilt by association and make viewers question the judgment of the opposing candidate simply because she may have known some atheists. I thought it was bad that most other attack ads focusing on guilt by association had to do with terrorists; I never thought I would be a member of a group referenced in one.
Check out the ad below before the cease and desist order goes through. While I don’t think that attempting to tie someone to atheists should be considered a defamation of character, insinuating that a candidate makes the quote at the end of the video when she did not, is a misrepresentation of the truth (a.k.a. LIE). If the video is taken down, I’m sure it will pop up somewhere else on YouTube. I’ll fix the link if and when that happens.