The election has been good for the godless
There were a few races I was focusing on as to the gains Atheists are making in the public discourse on elections. First there was the Presidential race. Obama had been attacked for his religious views. First he was a Muslim, another was that his mom was an Atheist, and that he went to a Christian church that was considered too radical because the preacher is Black and gives firey sermons. On the other hand, his opponent rarely went to church but his Christian credential weren't questioned and he allied with a radical fundy who espouses creationism and mocks scientific research. The end result was that people didn't care about Obama's religious affiliation even with high numbers still believing Obama is a Muslim.
The second race was the Senate race in North Carolina between Kay Hagen and Liz Dole. Dole had attacked Hagen for attending a "godless" fundraiser (eventhough it was a coalition fundraiser and Hagen never received any money from a godless PAC). Dole went as far as to claim Hagen is godless and tainted with "godless" money and played ads making is seem like Hagen said there is no god. The ad backfired and Hagen gained in the polls and went on to win.
The third election is one that didn't make much headlines. It was the first re-election for Rep. Pete Stark since he came out as an Atheist. He went ahead and won with 76% of the vote, clearly being an Atheist hasn't hurt his chances.
Still I don't think it's safe for Atheist politicians to campaign on the notion that they aren't enslaved by religious dogma but it does show a weakening on the part of the Religious Reich to instantly disqualify a candidate for not towing the Jesus line. I might as well mention the first openly Muslim candidate, Keith Ellison, went on to win re-election with 71% of the vote.
While the non-Jesus candidates are still regulated to the more progressive areas of the country with more and more of them attaining higher office they may eventually spill over into the more moderate sections of the country as religious affiliation no longer becomes a single issue for voters. Hopefully in a couple more decades the voting public will become enlightened enough to avoid the more superficial aspects of a candidate such as skin color, middle names and religious affiliation. In 2012 the Republicans will probably run Romney again and if they stick to their religious bigotry and oust him for being a Mormon and stick with the loonies like Palin then the party will die unless they adapt and become more of an open tent party like the Democratic, Green or Libertarian party.