She head-fakes towards defending American atheists, but then pulls it back:
At their core, Americans aren't Democrat or Republican, red or blue – they're Americans, plain and simple. We ALL love our country, and we all value the role of faith in American life.
Shame on anyone who says differently.
No, Senator Hagan, not all of us "value the role of faith in American life." Some of us value the role of reason, of compassion, of a million other things. But one does not have to be a theist to be a good American or a good politician.
The Atheist Ethicist worries that politicians are going to be extra-careful in the future to avoid appearing anywhere with atheists.
Does this whole episode imply that groups like Godless Americans do more harm than good? Maybe, but maybe not. You've got to be out of the closet before people start accepting you. At least we're discussing the issue.
This is reminiscent of John McCain "defending" Obama when one of his supporters referred to him as an Arab: "No, ma'am. He's a decent, family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements wiamth." Um, Arabs can be decent "family men" as well, and even citizens of our great country. So can atheists. And even people without families can be decent, while we're at it! At least McCain can argue (although he hasn't) that he didn't intend to imply otherwise -- he was speaking live and everyone makes unfortunate statements by accident. Kay Hagan's non-defense of Godless Americans came in prepared remarks, and her statement that "we all value the role of faith in American life" was explicitly anti-atheist.