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ALBERT ARNOLD GORE, JR.
45th Vice President (1993-2001)
Education: Harvard University, Vanderbilt University School of Religion & School of Law
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Baptist
Summary of Religious Views:
Gore attended divinity school, but did not complete his studies, and was never ordained a minister.
Views on Religion & Politics:
Gore supports religious tolerance, and favors separation of church and state.
". . . much of our success in rescuing the global ecological system will depend upon whether we can find a new reverence for the environment as a whole -- not just its parts." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, pp. 204-205
"The richness and diversity of our religious tradition throughout history is a spiritual resource long ignored by people of faith, who are often afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief. But the emergence of a civilization in which knowledge moves freely and almost instantaneously throughout the world has led to an intense new interest in the different perspectives on life in other cultures and has spurred a renewed investigation of the wisdom distilled by all faiths. This panreligious perspective may prove especially important where our global civilization's responsibility for the earth is concerned." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, pp. 258-259
"For some Christians, the prophetic vision of the apocalypse is used -- in my view, unforgivably -- as an excuse for abdicating their responsibility to be good stewards of God's creation.
". . .
"The religious ethic of stewardship is indeed harder to accept if one believes the world is in danger of being destroyed -- by either God or humankind." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, p. 263
"It is my own belief that the image of God can be seen in every corner of creation, even in us, but only faintly. By gathering in the mind's eye all of creation, one can perceive the image of the Creator vividly. . . .
". . . I believe that the image of the Creator, which sometimes seems so faint in the tiny corner of creation each of us beholds, is nonetheless present in its entirety -- and present in us as well." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, p. 265
"I have for several years now been engaged in and intensive search for truths about myself and my life; many other people I know are doing the same. More people than ever are asking , 'Who are we? What is our purpose?' The resurgence of fundamentalism in every world religion, from Islam to Judaism to Hinduism to Christianity; the proliferation of mew spiritual movements, ideologies, and cults of all shapes and descriptions; the popularity of New Age doctrines and the current fascination with exploratory myths and stories from cultures the world over -- all serve as evidence for the conclusion that there is indeed a spiritual crisis in modern civilization that seems to be based on an emptiness at its center and the absence of a larger spiritual purpose." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, p. 367
"Of course, faith is just a word unless it is invested with personal meaning; my own faith is rooted in the unshakeable belief in God as creator and sustainer, a deeply personal interpretation of and relationship with Christ, and an awareness of a constant and holy spiritual presence in all people, all live, and all things." -- Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, 1992, pp. 368
"Americans are human beings, subject to the same temptations and the same pride and the same fears that afflict people of all nations. Puritans in Boston hanged Quakers in a grim public ceremony on the limbs of the Great Elm on Boston Commons. Baptists under Roger Williams had to flee Massachusetts. . . . Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Mormons, was murdered by a mob. . . Anti-Semitism is a stain on our history. . . .
"Even as we celebrate our religious liberty today, killing in the name of religion goes on all around the world. . . Throughout history, religious wars have always been the most brutal and cruel and merciless." -- Religious Freedom Day speech, Richmond, Virginia, 14 January 1994
"I strongly believe in the separation of church and state. But freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion, there is a better way." -- speech at a Salvation Army drug rehabilitation center in Atlanta, Georgia, May 1999
"I was raised in a tradition that honors the establishment clause, and I think that puts an extra obligation on those who serve in public office, especially in a constitutional position, to refrain from implying some special guidance by virtue of their relationship to God or religious tradition. And I try never to inadvertently communicate something like that. But at the same time, I think that we have gone too far in conveying the impression that those in public life are obligated to refrain from ever acknowledging that they have a spiritual life and that they have a set of core beliefs." -- interview with U.S. News, 2000
"In America, faith finds its expression through many different religious traditions. Indeed, tolerance of religious diversity has been strong and growing in America since our country's inception. We take pride as a nation in being a home for all religions and in respecting the rights of those who choose not to believe in God. And the large majority of us believe in the importance of maintaining a clear separation between government and religion." -- Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, p. 39
"A shared commitment to faith has always been a central element in the life of our own family. Our deeply held beliefs form the very core of the values we hold in common, and the rituals of our faith tradition have always provided a reassuring and stabilizing rhythm to family life." -- Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, p. 40
". . . we have often felt the presence of God and the power of prayer, so although we have grown up in the church, we are believers not by habit but by decision." -- Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, p. 40
"Organized religions seem to carry the same vulnerability to abuse and excess that can flourish in any group that inspires passion and confers a distinctive identity. But luckily for America's families, that lesson was fresh in the minds of our founders after all the religious wars and persecution that swept Europe before and during the time of our colonization . . ." -- Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, p. 41
"Interestingly, the high level of religious activity in America compared to most other nations has been attributed by many experts to the high degree of separation between church and state, and the consistent emphasis on religious freedom."-- Joined at the Heart: The Transformation of the American Family, 2002, p. 41-42
"My favorite Bible verse is John 16:3." (rather than John 3:16) -- Reported, in various versions, on many websites since at least 1999. Al Gore never made any such statement. The quote appears to have have been taken from a book by Cal Thomas, Blinded by Might: Can the Religious Right Save America, but according to the book, and a subsequent statement by Thomas, the gaffe was made in 1990 by George Bush, not by Al Gore. See the discussion at Urban Legends Reference Pages.
Works by Al Gore
"Infrastructure for the global village: computers, networks and public policy," Scientific American Special Issue on Communications, Computers, and Networks, Vol. 265, No. 3, September 1991
"The Climate for Change," New York Times, 9 November 2008
Tony Carnes, "The Transcendental Al Gore," Christianity Today, 23 October 2000
James Fallows, "An Acquired Taste," The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 286, No. 1, July 2000, pp. 33-53 part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4
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