From The Friendly Atheist blog (via The Nashville Scene) comes this story, which piqued my interest because it’s from my neck of the woods, so to speak. Oak Hill, TN, a snug, wealthy satellite city in Metropolitan Nashville, TN, held an election for city commissioner recently, and one of the candidates was a lady named Heidi Campbell. The main issue she ran on was stopping commercial development in the “wooded hills” of her environs. Apparently, this was a rather controversial issue, because some dirty tricks were used to try to defame her, in the form of anonymous fliers sent out to area residents. Steven Cavendish of the Nashville Scene posted pictures of these fliers, and they would be funny if they weren’t so pathetic. On one flier, we are informed that Mrs. Campbell “liked” a secular humanist group on Facebook. Horrible! But as if they weren’t enough, we flip to the other side and see that Secular Humanists want to drive all the churches out of Oak Hill! Say it ain’t so!
Well, these tactics were for naught, because she ended up getting a seat on the commission when the election was held a few weeks later. The drama is not over, however, because Mrs. Campbell has vowed to find out who was responsible for smearing her (you know, because it’s horrible to be a secular humanist!), and has filed a John Doe defamation suit to find out the culprit.
Now, I think it’s worth mentioning that she un-“liked” the Secular Humanist group on Facebook, but she still likes a “Free Thinkers” group. Aside from any of that, though, is the fact that it is fucking ridiculous that this is even an issue. It’s not like she said she was a raging Atheist, and that she masturbates to Richard Dawkins photos every night. She simply liked a Facebook page! I guess it just goes to show, even in a relatively blue county like Metropolitan Nashville – Davidson, this type of stereotyping and loathing of anything that even has a whiff of free thought is dismissed summarily.