The only problem is that Hagan is an elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC, has taught Sunday School and accompanied youth mission trips. In a similar move, the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee recently sent out homophobic mailers targeting Hagan claiming she seeks to advance a “radical homosexual agenda” and wants to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. The Hagan campaign is seeking a cease-and-desist order against Dole for her latest ad.But so what if she was an atheist. This is not a theocracy, despite however much Senator Dole might like it to be. Those who attempt to gain office by encouraging prejudice and intolerance, by demonizing a minority (not to mention slandering an opponent with lies) do not deserve to get elected.
I'm struggling to see the difference between this sort of rhetoric (atheists are "the most vile liberals in America" according to the campaign) and racists in late 19th century Germany who believed that Jews by definition were not good Germans.
Update: On second viewing, I don't believe the ad explicitly says that Hagan is Godless, so much as it engages in the McCarthyst tactic of attacking Hagan for associating with atheists. In this regard, it's not an outright lie, although the ad will clearly create the impression in the target audience that Hagan is Godless. Especially since the ad ends with a woman saying "There is no God" and a good number of people who hear that are going to assume Hagan said it (she did not.)
While I think it important that Hagan defend herself as a Christian - as I find the Religious Right's habit of characterizing anyone who does not share in it's rigid fundamentalism as "atheists" sickening - it would have been nice if Hagan had also pointed out the bigotry of attacking atheists in the first place, who are guaranteed by the first amendent the same rights as everyone else.