Opponents of a Nashville mayoral candidate are going on the offensive by insinuating she is secretly an atheist and they have witnessed her omit the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, the Tennessean reports.
Megan Barry, who is currently a member of the Metro Council overseeing Nashville and Davidson County, is being accused of quietly refusing to say the words "under God" during the Pledge of Allegiance, which she denies and audio recordings from the Tennessean contradict.
A campaign ad supporting Barry’s rival David Fox, created by fellow Metro Council member Duane Dominy, says menacingly, "It is important that you know what I have witnessed before you vote...Right after being sworn in, it was pointed out to me that during the Pledge of Allegiance Megan Barry skips the words, 'under God.'"
Another Fox supporter, Councilman Michael Craddock, corroborates Dominy's claim.
"I never in four years heard her say the words, 'under God,' when we would recite the pledge," Craddock said.
Fox denied that his campaign had anything to do with the ad. But it's not the first time Barry has been accused of being an atheist.
Last week, Fox began running ads targeting Nashville's African-American population, which accused her of being "too secular" to run the city and bashed her Vanderbilt professor husband, Bruce Barry for criticizing the "Jesus Industrial Complex."
"They’re opposing the National Day of Prayer, opposing prayer before high school football games, fighting with Christian faith-based organizations that he called, and I quote, ‘part of the Jesus Industrial Complex.’ Can you believe that?" the woman in the ad says.
Barry accused Dominy of being "unhinged" because there's no way he can hear or see what she's saying in the chambers from his seat, which is three rows behind hers.
"Duane Dominy has either come totally unhinged or he's suddenly clairvoyant, because he sits three rows behind me in the council chamber," she said in a statement provided to the Tennessean. "But for the record — I say the pledge of allegiance as written — including the phrase 'under God.' Duane and David may like this junior high game, but the adults would like to talk about issues that matter to Nashvillians."
Another fellow Metro Councilman who is supporter of Barry and also sits next to her in the council chamber wondered if Dominy has super powers.
"I am embarrassed to tell you that we're in an environment where I have to say this out loud, but yes, Megan Barry says the entire Pledge of Allegiance, including the word 'God,'" Ronnie Steine told the paper. "I'm perhaps the only person who could hear her every single time for four years. Unless, (Dominy) is Superman with super hearing, the claim is absolutely beyond ludicrous."