There’s an Anti-Atheist Smear Campaign Going On Against a Candidate for Oak Hill (TN) Commissioner May 30, 2014

There’s an Anti-Atheist Smear Campaign Going On Against a Candidate for Oak Hill (TN) Commissioner

With atheist candidates running for office in Texas and Arizona, I had no idea the first anti-atheist smear campaign would take place in Oak Hill, Tennessee.

That’s where Heidi Campbell (Pflaum) is running to become a city commissioner.

Campbell has been fighting against commercial development in the area because she says the tax revenue it would bring in wouldn’t balance out the amount in maintenance the city would have to pay for upkeep. And this is apparently a *very* controversial position.

Instead of criticizing her argument, though, anonymous opponents recently sent a mailer to residents in Oak Hill warning them that Campbell is (*gasp*) a Secular Humanist:

Mailer
(Mailer image via Nashville Scene)

A couple quick things: Liking a group about Secularism Humanism is hardly the same thing as being a “self-described Secular Humanist.” Also, what’s with the scare quotes around her last name?

Steve Cavendish of the Nashville Scene has an image of the back of the mailer, which says that, because Campbell doesn’t believe in God, she wants to “eliminate faith-based churches and schools.”

It’s not just untrue; it’s completely unbelievable.

Campbell has since removed the Secular Humanist group’s mention from her page (though another link to a “Free-Thinkers” group remains), and now her opponents are trying to use that change against her.

Campbell isn’t taking the bait. Instead of talking about religion, she’s simply trying to reiterate her position on the issue that matters, releasing a video about her stance on commercial development and casually dismissing the mailers by saying, “If it’s anonymous, you can’t trust it”:

I would love to see Campbell say that she is a Secular Humanist and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I understand her desire to not let that become a distraction. (Unless she really isn’t a Humanist, in which case I could understand her annoyance.)

The elections are in two weeks. I doubt this is the last we’ll hear from Campbell’s critics.

(via Nashville Scene. Thanks to Ann for the link)

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