A local New Jersey official accidentally omitted the words "Under God" while opening for Hillary Clinton, and right-wing media are now hailing the flub as an example of Hillary's offensive lack of religious devotion.
Camden County, New Jersey official Susan Shin Angulo said she was elated to be invited to open for Hillary Clinton on her campaign stop in Angulo's town.
She was so overwhelmed with excitement, she accidentally butchered and then omitted one small line: "Under God."
The daughter of a refugee from North Korea, Angulo is the first Korean American woman to hold statewide office in New Jersey and a mother of two. Now, she is the subject of a handful of right wing over analyses replaying that flub, and HIllary's reaction (which was to laugh it off) is hailed as a clear correlation between godlessness and a lack of moralities.
She apologized immediately to New Jersey 101.5: "Anyone who has seen me speak knows I proudly say 'God Bless America' in all my speeches. My apologies if anyone thought it was intentional."
Through her body language and her statement, it was clear Angulo didn't omit "Under God" with the intention to make a point about its contradictory existence.
But nevertheless she is receiving backlash from all over the country, and subject to social media shaming along the theme that someone who doesn't admit we're "Under God" isn't worthy of trust.
Instead of embracing the moment as one that was inclusive of all beliefs, Angulo had to reject the idea that omitting "Under God" was intentional. So afraid of offending the religious, she offended the irreligious. When asked about whether or not he was Muslim, Obama was hesitant to respond until he could elaborate that to reject being Muslim would be an offense. Recently on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Hasan Minhaj, who is Muslim, asked Waris Ahluwalia, who is Sikh, why the Sikh community doesn't reply to misguided anti-Muslim discrimination with the claim that they are not Muslim. "It's just not an option for us to throw another community under the bus." We need to be better than that as Americans."
Atheists don't have the luxury of public allies like these. This kind of reaction to nonbelief is common: in Gallup's polls of the public's willingness to vote for certain categorizations--gay, black, atheist, Muslim--atheists have consistently been found the least electable for the last 58 years.
The constitution "explicitly bars a religious test for public office, but you wouldn't know that looking at the media and what the public expects," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"That we, as a nation, are imposing a religious test on our politicians is really appalling because we have a godless and secular constitution. [Politicians] have to parade around wearing religion on your sleeve, and [being nonreligious] is now considered the kiss of death for a public official," she says.