Cheer Dole’s defeat, praise right-to-die victory in Washington, take heart in Obama’s humanist upbringing
November 5, 2008
Among a flurry of causes for optimism in reviewing Tuesday’s election results, the American Humanist Association today cheered the resounding failure of Elizabeth Dole’s concluding attacks on opponent Kay Hagan. The Republican incumbent lost her Senate seat to Hagan in the highly-publicized U.S. Senate race in North Carolina by a nine point margin in a region that almost always votes GOP.
“There’s a moral lesson here,” said Fred Edwords, director of communications for the American Humanist Association. “Elizabeth Dole had to learn the hard way that it isn’t fashionable anymore to demonize people who don’t believe in a god. Nor should it have ever been. People know better than to attack Catholic or Jewish Americans for their religious beliefs–now they’re learning how wrong it is to visit similar bigotry on nontheistic Americans.”
American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt added:
“Although we’re pleased that Dole’s despicable tactics proved not just unsuccessful but counterproductive to her aim of winning votes, it would have been terrific if Hagan had stood up for nontheistic Americans when she denounced the attacks. Nonetheless, we now have another elected official who has become sensitized to the discrimination and bigotry that nontheists face.”
Humanists had a number of other causes to celebrate. These include the resounding reelection of U.S. Representative Pete Stark, the first openly nontheistic member of Congress; the nearly 60-40 passage of Initiative 1000 in Washington State, allowing physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to terminally-ill patients; and the near-landslide victory of presidential candidate Barack Obama, a man raised as a humanist who is now
at the liberal end of the Christian spectrum.
“The tide is turning. Americans proved yesterday that progress can come not only in incremental steps but also by leaps and bounds,” Speckhardt said further. “We humanists are optimistic about the change that will be brought to Washington and the change that is already evident in the nation. We will work in the months and years ahead to consolidate those gains.”
# # #
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.