Albuquerque, New Mexico has a City Councilor named Don Harris who is doing everything in his power to pull an Elizabeth Dole and lose an election by attacking his challenger’s ties to atheism.
This is part of a mailer Harris sent out last week regarding opponent David Barbour:
That box at the top reads:
David Barbour, recently moved here from San Francisco. He is a donor to Atheist organizations and speaker at Atheist events and attends radical political protests even in foreign countries.
Note the emphasis and capitalization of the word “atheist.”
You can see a PDF of the mailing here.
This is offensive beyond belief. (I mean, look at that poor grammar.)
Actually, Barbour never spoke at any major atheist convention or anything even close. What has he done? Harris explains:
Harris responded to our post with information indicating that Barbour was a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation, who gave a talk on atheism and donated money to a scholarship in honor of Charles Darwin.
So, the money he gave was in support of science education, not atheism alone.
And here’s a description of that terrible, horrible, no good, why-would-you-ever-want-to-vote-for-him? talk that he gave:
On July 2nd, 2003 Katherine Hepburn passed away. The world lost a fine person, an excellent actress and a confirmed atheist. This service explores Ms. Hepburnís life, the positive aspects of atheism and the reasons why a Unitarian congregation is better off with some atheists and humanists. Along the way we find out about some atheist resources and what is happening locally in the atheist community.
Barbour, you monster…
The goal of all this is to paint Barbour as some revolutionary radical liberal… notice the Che Guevara-like image in the mailing.
I don’t know either man’s politics, but this is just very poor strategy. It’s not like Barbour was a major threat to begin with. Even the local alternative newspaper supported Harris.
The local election is today. It may be too late to mount any significant defense.
But it’s not too late to let Harris know you disapprove of his derogatory mailing and offensive methods of campaigning. I’m sure he’ll enjoy getting your emails on election day.
(Thanks to Brian for the link!)