I remember years ago seeing Al Gore on television promoting his book, Earth in the Balance - Ecology and the Human Spirit, and Tipper talking about her concern of the effects rock and roll music was having on teenagers. Back then, before he was Vice President, they talked about themselves as being born again Southern Baptist Christians. However, after reading Al Gore's comments in this week's New Yorker magazine about George W. Bush's faith, it appears things have changed.
As reported by David Remnick in the New Yorker article, "And yet the Bush ideology is tinged with religious belief, I said. Not everything comes with a price tag attached. Gore’s mouth tightened...he clearly had disdain for Bush’s public kind of faith. 'It’s a particular kind of religiosity,' he said. 'It’s the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in Kashmir...'" Read more of Remnick's article.
Remnick goes on in his article, "We passed the Southern Baptist Convention building... I asked him which church in Nashville he and Tipper attended now. There was a pause in the front seat. 'We’re ecumenical now,' Gore said, finally. Tipper said with a laugh, 'I think I follow Baba Ram Dass.' 'The influx of fundamentalist preachers have pretty much chased us out with their right-wing politics,' Gore added."
But I wonder, was it right-wing politics, or his own politics.
In his book, Earth in the Balance - Ecology and the Human Spirit written in l992, he said, "The spiritual sense of our place in nature predates Native American cultures; increasingly it can be traced to the origins of human civilization. A growing number of anthropologists and archaeologists, such as Marija Gimbutas and Riane Eisler, argue that the prevailing ideology of belief in prehistoric Europe and much of the world was based on the worship of a single Earth Goddess, (Gaia) who was assumed to be the fount of all life and who radiated harmony among all living things. Much of the evidence for the existence of this primitive religion comes from the many thousands of artifacts uncovered in ceremonial sites. These sites are so widespread that they seem to confirm the notion that a goddess religion was ubiquitous throughout much of the world until the antecedents of today's religions - most of which have a distinctly masculine orientation - swept out of India and the Near East, almost obliterating belief in the Goddess. The last vestige of organized Goddess worship was eliminated by Christianity." (chapter 13, page 260)
Today, people who believe in Gaia , the "earth goddess", also believe in order to protect Gaia the industrialized countries have to be prohibited from too much use of the world's natural resources, often referred to as "sustainable development." This blend of religion and nature found a welcome place in Washington DC through an organization Senators Al Gore, Timothy Wirth and James Jeffords were instrumental in creating - the NRPE ( National Religious Partnership for the Environment). They arranged congressional breakfasts with NRPE leaders and helped with funding.
Probably the NRPE activity most of us would be familiar with is the anti-SUV "What would Jesus Drive?" campaign that provided bumper stickers and other materials to over 100,000 congregations in America encouraging the clergy to denounce SUVs as sinful to their members. However, few of these churches know that the NRPE is the child of extreme ecologists who think the Bible is obsolete, that the earth (Gaia) is the giver of life, and that the United Nations is the vehicle to solve the world's problems. Interestingly one of the major groups listed with the UN is the Gaia/Sierra Club Project.
A concise explanation of the pagan roots of environmentalism can be found at The American Policy Center 's website.
On Earth Day 2000 Al Gore said, "I remember the fierce criticism I got eight years ago, when I wrote 'Earth in the Balance.' I expected that criticism then, and I wear it as a badge of honor today."
It appears that liberals once again are only liberal (tolerant) with themselves.
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