While we watched the unexpected victory of Mike Hucabee in the Iowa caucuses, I couldn't help remembering an article I wrote a couple of years ago about seeing Al Gore a decade or more before that on television promoting his book, "Earth in the Balance - Ecology and the Human Spirit," and Tipper Gore talking about her concern of the effects rock and roll music was having on teenagers:
Back then, before Al Gore was Vice President, he and his wife talked about themselves as being born again Southern Baptists Christians. But, after reading Al Gore's comments in the New Yorker magazine about George W. Bush's faith, it appears things have changed.
As David Remnick wrote in the 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 went on in his article to say, "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 if it was the right-wing politics, or his own politics. Because in his book, Earth in the Balance - Ecology and the Human Spirit, again written when he claimed the Christian faith, he wrote this: "Our religious heritage is based on a single earth goddess (Mother Gaia) who is assumed to be the fountain of all life...All men have a god within. Each man has a god within because creation is god. Nature in its fullness is god."
For some Americans the concern is that some candidates talk too much about their faith. And for others the concern is knowing what the candidates mean when they say, 'God.' Nothing can be taken for granted these days.
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