(CNN) - The already-contentious North Carolina Senate race took a brutal turn Wednesday after incumbent Sen. Elizabeth Dole released a television ad suggesting challenger Kay Hagan is "Godless."
“A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser for Kay Hagan,” the 30-second ad says before showing clips from members of the group declaring God and Jesus do not exist.
“Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras. Took godless money,” the ad's narrator also says. “What did Kay Hagan promise in return?”
Watch: Dole hits airwaves with 'Godless' ad
The ad ends with an unidentified female voice declaring, "There is no God."
The Dole campaign says it's basing its charge on Hagan's attendance at a fundraiser that was in the home of an advisor to the Godless Americans’ political action committee, a group that promotes rights for atheists.
In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Hagan said she has never heard of the Godless PAC "before Lydie Dole sent out a press release on this," and said the fundraiser in question had more than 40 hosts, including Sen. John Kerry. She also said she has contacted her lawyers to issue a cease-and-desist order on the commercial.
"I am absolutely appalled at Elizabeth Dole's vile tactics," Hagan said. “This is politics of the worst kind, and I know it has been rejected by North Carolinians at every level. It is so unbecoming of a woman like Elizabeth Dole. This is a fabricated, pathetic ad."
Hagan went on to strongly defend her faith: "I am a Sunday school teacher, I am an elder at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, my family has been going to this church for over 100 years, I have raised my children there. I have been involved in youth missions."
A National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman defended the ad.
"Kay Hagan recently attended a fundraiser held in the home of a founding member of the Godless Americans PAC," Online Communications Director John Randall said. "Now Hagan believes it is unfair to associate her with the group even though the soiree raised her thousands of dollars in campaign cash. I guess money is more important to Hagan than principles."
Recent polls suggest Hagan - a Democratic state senator from Greensboro who began the race at a major money disadvantage to Dole - is now leading the incumbent slightly with only days remaining before Election Day.
This is exactly the type of divisive politics that have driven me from my once-proud Republican party.
i hope elizabeth dole lose's the race big time. she is horrible just like BUSH.
we need a new senator in north carolina.
go dem's go.
vote democractic 2008 nov 4 th.
The Republicans will go to any extent to win. Seriously, who is buying this stuff?
America is showing that they aren't as dumb as the Republicans think we are.
...BURN them at the stake! No wait, thats for witches... BURN them too! Burn everyone who doesn't thing the way I do.
VOTE EARLY TO AVOID REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION ON ELECTION DAY!!!
This is despicable but predictable. The right wing will show it's contempt for the constitution any chance it gets but especially when it gets behind in an election.
What in the world does ones faith or lack of faith have to do with anything?
If this is sways voters, then we as a nation are indeed in serious trouble.
I was raised in a Christian home. I was "born again" when I was 8 years old, went to church every Sunday and lived for Jesus every day of my life. People like Elizabeth Dole, Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin are the reason I am now an agnostic, and will never return to any kind of organized religion.
What kind of god would allow these shameless, hateful, selfish liars to speak for him? Elizabeth Dole is the very reason why so many have turned from her god. If there is a god, I hope he is not Elizabeth Dole's god. I want no part of that.
Elizabeth, if people burn in hell because of your hate and lies, their blood is on your hands.
Well in 2000 Bush did the ultra-negative ad thing to McCain and in this election McCain is doing like Bush with the ultra-negative ads towards Obama and now another one that rode with Bush, Senator Dole is doing it to State Senator Kay Hagan.
When you run out of ideas all that is left for them to do is get down and dirty and nasty. It is shameful. I have come to understand now why our country is in such bad shape. Our own politicians have not realized that the voters are turned off by these Super Nasty Ads. It is fine to attack your opponent on the issues but we are tired of the nasty stuff and it is costing the politicians that run them. Making ugly accusations about ones opponent also is costing the candidates too. They do not understand that when they make nasty accusations about their opponent that they tend to drive voters to their opponent who in turn did not respond with another nasty accusation or Ad.
Our politicians need to go back to school and learn again how to run a campaign.
Even if she *had* attended the PAC meeting – so what? Are only people who believe in god allowed to have representatives in government??? Extreme narrow-mindedness and persecution on the basis of religion should be enough reason to denunciate any official running for office!
When will people learn to keep Religion and State seperate?
All Demonrats are GODLESS! they produce movies,books,politicians,depicting their heathen ways! They abort the completely innocent and, want murderers in prison to serve a couple of years ,and then vote B.Hussein Nobama! Look quite ACCURATE to me!
who give a darn if someone is an atheist, or a muslim, or whatever other people group the republicans decide to use as a dirty word in this election? So what if she were an atheist?
I'm and Atheist and an American and I get to vote.
Maybe if Lizzie had spent more than 33 days in the state last year she wouldn't have to run this disgusting ad. SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, PLEASE...............................................
To begin with it isn't a political matter if Hagen were an atheist. But anyone who would use such a tactic is the godless one. Dole obviously is worshiping nothing but her chance of winning a race she should lose by a wide margin. I hope North Carolina is better than that; perhaps Dole is possessed by the hell-bound spirit of Jesse Helms.
Elizabeth Dole, You SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOUR SELF.
This was pathetic, people are not stupid!
True or not, this is just cruel. First, I feel that being an atheist doesn't correlate to being a bad person. Second, I HAD some respect for Elizabeth Dole. Shame on her for using these slimeball tactics. Bye bye Liz Dole.
Godless? Who really knows, but we are soon to be GOPLESS with Palin /Mcain losing and the Democrats taking over the congress.
This is unacceptable and I certainly thought Elizabeth Dole had more integrity than that. Are we returning to the days of Joe McCarthy? People that think this is acceptable are all wrong and don't deserve to represent this country. These are not American values. SHAME ON YOU ELIZABETH DOLE! SHAME ON THE REPUBLICANS! You deserve to be voted out of office.
Sure, God loves only Republicans! THAT's in the Bible! Personally, I'm sick of Christian zealots claiming they speak for God.
What a diminishment of his glory that politicians think they speak with His voice.
The founders were right - separation of Church and State.
I thought it was just McCain and Palin that would stoop so low to do the dirty campaigning, I guess it runs through all Republicans, when you can't win on Your Own Merit's, then trash your opponet and hope the lies stick..............That's their Motto......
well, there's one more seat to get to 60! Thanks Mrs. Bob!
How to lose respect of the people in one easy step. Regardless of which candidate you support, this is just common sense obnoxious.
What's wrong with not believing in God? Why does someone need to be superstitious to run for political office? Get real.