Yes, it is desperate and ridiculous. But I'm not embarrassed for my state, my nation, or our mainstream political parties. I'm embarrassed by them! But not surprised.
I mean Obama hasn't sued anyone for slander yet, but he hasn't been very vocal in defending Muslims either. And now Hagan is "outraged" by this "personal slander" (libel actually) - a false statement that harms your reputation or standing in the community.
How sad. We are apparently so intolerant in this country that suggesting you are an atheist or Muslim is considered slander or libel. Are Jews and Catholics acceptable yet? What about Buddhists or Hindus?
To paraphrase Colin Powell: What if she is? Is there something wrong with being an atheist in this country?" The answer's "No, that's not America." Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old atheist American kid* believing that he or she could be President? This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
*Like Dawkins, I flinch when someone says "Muslim child" or "Christian child" so I'd certainly never refer to a seven-year-old as an "atheist kid" but that's a separate discussion....
UPDATE I. See here for some more opinions on this.
UPDATE II. Hagan's defamation and libel complaint is that this "maligns her character and reputation," "subjects her to contempt," and "injures her good name and reputation in the community." Despicable! Archie Bunker would be proud of them both!
UPDATE III. More discussion on this at Pharyngula's pox on them all.
UPDATE IV. Hagan staff responds privately to the Friendly Atheist.