By Richard Wade:
I thought this was important enough to post separately rather than just as a response to my recent comment on Hemant’s post about the latest Senator Dole smear.
I have been getting email appeals for contributions from Kay Hagan’s campaign ever since I donated to her campaign. So you can understand the context, re-posted here is what I emailed to them earlier today, followed by a surprisingly prompt and personal reply I received just a few hours ago:
I was pleased and impressed when I learned that Kay, despite her strong devotion to her faith, was willing to attend the fundraiser that included the Godless Americans PAC, and so I contributed $200 even though I don’t live in North Carolina. Just finding any candidate or official who is even willing to listen to the concerns of secular Americans is extremely rare, and that needs to be encouraged.
Senator Dole’s vile response is not surprising to me, trying to smear Kay with “godlessness” by association, and Kay’s response is strong, clear and well considered. She should not tolerate such slander.
HOWEVER, I am disappointed by Kay’s failure to make even a single statement about how using “godless” as an unquestioned dirty word is also inappropriate, that she has not made an assertive statement that all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs deserve fair representation and should not be scapegoated. When Kay attended the fundraiser in Boston, I thought and hoped that she was taking a stand to represent all her constituency, including those upstanding Americans who do not believe in any gods.
I understand that in her response to Dole she wants to focus on defending herself against the attack, but by not denouncing the very tactic of using religious bigotry itself, Kay has tacitly agreed that “godless” people are the evil and dangerous degenerates that Dole implies they are. If Kay had also taken that single, simple and fair stance against bigotry, I would be donating more money to her campaign. She did not, so I am not.
I know that she is busy, but please pass these thoughts on to Kay. I wish Kay good luck in the election and I hope she wins.
Sincerely, Richard Wade
Here is the response I got back just a while ago:
Thank you for writing to us and thank you for your contribution. Kay’s response sought to do two things:
1) Correct Sen. Dole’s false claim about Kay and
2) Return the discussion about this race to what we consider to be far more important issues: the economy, foreclosures, jobs, and any other number of things impacting the citizens of North Carolina and the rest of the country. People who lose their jobs lose their jobs irrespective of their religious beliefs. When someone loses their home, it doesn’t matter what they do or don’t believe in-they have still lost their home.
Please understand that Kay’s remarks in the ad should not be taken, in any way, as an implicit approval of Sen. Dole’s suggestion that atheists or people of any other religion are bad people. Additionally, Kay stating that she is a Christian is intended to be factual, not judgmental or suggestive that any other religious system is inferior. Kay is strongly opposed to discrimination of any kind and also feels that someone’s religious perspectives should have no bearing on whether they are fit to run for or hold public office.
To be clear, this event was not, as Sen. Dole’s ad states, hosted by the Godless Americans PAC. Mr. Kaplan, the host in question, is affiliated with this group, but the event itself was not about a discussion of their agenda points. That said, had we been aware of Mr. Kaplan’s association prior to the event, this would not have mattered. It is not the policy of this campaign to vet our supporters and donors on the basis of their religious beliefs, and Kay is fully aware that if she is elected Senator, she will be responsible for representing people with any number of different views. It seems evident in her ad that Sen. Dole only finds her Christian constituents as worthy of assistance. Rest assured that Kay would NEVER assert this kind of litmus test on her constituency when it comes to helping them out. It is positively unfair and frankly, just not Democratic.
Thank you again for your past support and for taking the time to write in. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions.
Hagan Senate Campaign
What do you think?