Liddy Dole's Un-American Ad
By SALLY QUINN, ON FAITH
Added: Wed, 05 Nov 2008 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Connie for the link.
I knew Liddy Dole when she was an amazing resume. Now she has crumpled up that resume and tossed it in the garbage. How sad. All those years (she's now 72) of being a high achiever and what she has left now is a soiled reputation that she will never be able to redeem, even if she wins her Senate seat again.
Sen. Dole was so desperate to be reelected to what has been a drab and undistinguished Senatorial career that she threw away all of her scruples with a despicable ad against her distinguished opponent Kay Hagan in the North Carolina Senate race.
She accused Kay Hagan, a Sunday School teacher, loyal member of her Presbyterian Church, and a devout Christian of taking "godless money" at a "secret" fundraiser hosted by a man who belonged to a secular organization. At the end of the commercial was a picture of Hagan, a question from the announcer saying, "What did Hagan promise in return?" and a voice in the background saying "There is no God."
Naturally Hagan went ballistic. She shot back with an extremely effective ad asserting her faith and her Christian bona fides: "Well, I believe in God. My faith guides my life and Sen. Dole knows it." Then she talks about "bearing false witness against fellow Christians."
There are several points to be made here.
First, what's wrong with Hagan going to a Democratic fundraiser in Boston along with several other prominent Democrats like Sen. John Kerry?
Second, how was she to know that one of the hosts was on a secular board called "Godless Americans PAC." (I have to say that this group could use a little PR advice. Whoever thought up that name surely should be in another line of work.)
Third, isn't it pathetic that in this day and age, in this country founded on the idea of religious liberty, whose settlers came here to avoid religious persecution, that one could be criticized for one's religious beliefs or lack of beliefs? For Kay Hagan to have to defend herself by claiming that she does in fact believe in God is against everything this country stands for. It is un-American.
The really awful truth is that Kay Hagan had no choice. She had to proclaim her faith in God. Nobody in this country can get elected for high office today by acknowledging the fact that they are an atheist, an agnostic or even a secular humanist. You would have a better chance getting of elected if you were gay.
This is not a Christian country any more than it is a Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist country, but you certainly wouldn't know it by the rhetoric in this campaign, hitting an all-time low with Liddy Dole's commercial.
It seems that a lot of people have forgotten about the idea of separation of Church and state.
Last week, Colin Powell struck a blow for the Constitution when he scolded those who question Barack Obama's faith. Imagine if Powell or another high-profile public figure used similar words to scold Dole and defend Hagan. What would it sound like if -- using Powell's words -- we replaced "Muslim" with "atheist."
"Well, the correct answer is that she is not an atheist, she's a Christian. She's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if she is? Is there something wrong with being an atheist in this country? The answer's no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old atheist-American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, 'She's an atheist and might be associated with other pagans, for instance.' This is not the way we should be doing it in America."
That conversation may seem a long way off, but then so did the idea of an African-American president.
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