One of the reasons for the hate from the Christians and the Christian right is Elizabeth Edwards Deistic beliefs. Like the former leading proponent of Atheism who became a Deist, Antony Flew, Elizabeth Edwards held Deistic beliefs similar to those of Thomas Jefferson.
Elizabeth Edwards did not buy into the Christian claim of eternal salvation for believing (though Christianity itself is not clear on just what is required for eternal salvation or to be "saved") in the unnatural and unreasonable Jesus story. She also did not buy into the false Bible promise of faith-healing. She said, "I have, I think, somewhat of an odd version of God. I do not have an intervening God. I don't think I can pray to him -- or her -- to cure me of cancer." This is a very Deistic way of looking at God. Deists believe when we apply our reason to the laws of Nature we are directed to, as described in the Declaration of Independence, Nature's God. Deism only teaches that God exists. It does not have a dogma which describes God and does not pretend to know the mind of God. Edwards' statement "him -- or her" is very offensive to many Christians and other "revealed" religionists. However, to Deists it is not offensive at all since we realize the fact that nobody KNOWS these descriptions of God, they only believe them. Also, the only reason someone would be offended by referring to God as "her" is due to their lack of appreciation and respect for women. This unnatural disrespect for women is found throughout the Bible, Torah and Koran and is based on ignorance. Regarding an intervening God, since there is no dogma in Deism, individual Deists are free to believe whatever makes the most sense to them. For example many Deists do not believe God intervenes in human affairs, but the Deist George Washington believed in God's intervention through Providence but stated that Providence is "inscrutable."
With the passing of Elizabeth Edwards the world is short one honest, true, sincere and courageous person. We would do well to follow her example of such open truthfulness.