Al Gore Speaks Out On "An American Heresy"
DonByrd printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:19:37 PM EST
Following big-name national politics in search of an accurate, honest and helpful discussion about religious liberty is a little like listening to the Shangri-Las in hopes of enlightenment about Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata": not very fruitful. But I try. Read on for the results...
There is always, of course, the negative example. I could tell you about Sam Brownback's decision to hitch his presidential star to serial deceiver David Barton - whose re-tellings of church-state history have been thoroughly debunked by TTA's Chris Rodda as well as the BJC's Brent Walker. I could discuss Gov. Huckabee's decision to - as Bruce Prescott pointed out earlier here - back out of the New Baptist Covenant meeting under pressure from the religious right (what the Right Wing Watch Blog has referred to as a preacher deciding to "politicize the effort to depoliticize the church.") I could point to Newt Gingrich's Liberty University commencement speech which harkened back to Jerry Falwell's perfected rhetoric of Christian paranoia (The radical secularists are coming! The radical secularists are coming!). We could discuss the strange ideological couple that is Richard Land and Fred Thompson.

But I'd prefer to head into this week's end with something a bit more positively inspirational - to me anyway. On Larry King Live Tuesday, former Vice President Al Gore was asked, with respect to Governor Romney: "Is Mormonism a fair issue or not a fair issue?" His answer - which I thought elicited one of his most impassioned statements of the hour is below (my emph.).

GORE: I do not -- I don't think it's a fair issue. I really don't. I would like to think we are past that. People say, well, this is a special case. I don't think it's a special case. I think that he's entitled to his own beliefs. And incidentally, Larry, in "The Assault on Reason" there is a very long hard-hitting section on this that goes back to our founding fathers, goes back to the debates that we had more than 200 years ago about why religion should be kept out of the way in which our decisions are made.

Except to the extent that individuals, of course, who are motivated by their religious faith, as I am, as so many people are, are going to make that a part of their decisions. But here's the critical distinction. When America was founded, they -- our founders said, OK look, we are not going to pretend that whoever is elected to office has been ordained by the almighty to be the decision maker. The person who is elected is elected by us, the people of this country. And the divine right of kings was rejected by the founders of the United States.

And what replaced that, the divine right of individuals in this sense, we believe that we are all created equal. And that we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. So the relationship that our founders believed was appropriate for -- between America and God was their belief that every individual has certain rights and has dignity because that person is a child of God.

Now, for those who don't believe in God, I'm not proselytizing. I'm just telling you what I believe and what our founders believed. But what -- but this has been twisted around in recent times by some people who want to convey the impression that God belongs, if not to a particular political party, that God has a particular political ideology and that those who disagree with a right-wing approach to this or that are against God.

That is an anti-American view. That is completely contrary to the spirit of America. It is an American heresy and people in both parties ought to reject that and fight against it.


Amen, Al. Maybe we can get the former VP to take Gov. Huckabee's place at the New Baptist Covenant, if he's not already on the speaker list.

[Cross-Posted in part from the blog of the Baptist Joint Committee]




Display:
but Al Gore will be on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tonight.

by DonByrd on Thu May 24, 2007 at 03:24:43 PM EST

I'm glad Gore is speaking out in this way.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:50:49 PM EST

He actually said that saying that God had a particular ideology, or favored one political party, is blasphemy. He was clearly passionate about it. Al is a religious man himself, but he can't stand the religious (far) right.
An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
Konrad Adenauer
by AppleCider on Mon May 28, 2007 at 09:11:22 PM EST


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