North Carolina Senator-elect Kay Hagan is dropping her defamation suit against opponent Elizabeth Dole — Dole had claimed that Hagan was linked to an atheist organization:
“It’s clear that the people of North Carolina have rejected personal attacks aimed at dividing people of this state instead of bringing them together to solve the problems at hand,” said Colleen Flanagan, communications director for Hagan’s campaign.
“This lawsuit would just continue the focus on a very personal and negative attack against Kay, instead of focusing on the people of North Carolina.”
It’s a sore point for many atheists since we don’t think it’s defamation to be called an atheist… and Hagan didn’t handle her response well. Still, the ad was an obvious lie since Hagan is a Christian and Dole lost the election partly as a result of that. The point has been made without the need for a court.
One other interesting piece of information for anyone who intends to use atheism in a future smear campaign:
Turns out, Sen.-elect Kay Hagan got 3,600 contributions within 48 hours of Dole airing of the controversial ad, which centered on Hagan’s attendance at a fund-raiser at the Boston home of someone active in the atheist community.
The 3,600 donations came from a cross-section of society.
“We got responses from people who identify themselves as atheists and every religion under the sun who found that ad offensive,” said Hagan spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan, who said the campaign hadn’t yet calculated the dollar figure raised as a result.
A new question: Which politician will atheists flock to next?