Al Gore:  “Baptist of the Year”

Orginally published on Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 8:46 AM
by Todd Rhoades

Al Gore is EthicsDaily.com's pick as Baptist of the Year for 2007. According to EthicsDaily.com, he "has pressed for the global good with a compelling message about the danger of climate change and a clear call for moral responsibility, knitting together science and faith, reason and passion. He has refused to be distracted by the character-assassins, the fear-mongers, the science-deniers and the merchants of short-term gain. He has remained faithful to his mission of protecting the earth and its inhabitants..."

EthicsDaily continues…

In the opening paragraphs of his Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Gore said, “I have a purpose here today. It is a purpose I have tried to serve for many years. I have prayed that God would show me a way to accomplish it.”

With an acknowledgment of Providence, Gore tethered his speech to his moral vision. He quoted the Bible, refused to make God responsible for human inaction, called squarely for an ethic of love for neighbor, confessed human failure and placed moral authority at the tip of the needed plan for planetary redemption. His address was profoundly Christian without being offensively so.

“The earth has a fever. And the fever is rising. The experts have told us it is not a passing affliction that will heal by itself. We asked for a second opinion. And a third. And a fourth. And the consistent conclusion, restated with increasing alarm, is that something basic is wrong,” he said. “We are what is wrong, and we must make it right.”

Gore appraised realistically one of the major obstacles to making things right—the deficit of leadership. Quoting from Winston Churchill about those who ignored the threat of Adolf Hitler, Gore spoke about the character of too many world leaders: “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.”

Gore has challenged that leadership deficit with a decisive doggedness that surely comes from the depths of the prophetic vision. 

Regrettably no Baptist has received less applause from Baptists than Gore, a shameful but not unexpected reality from a people snarled in religious fear, suspicious of science and stuck in the rut of spiritualized reading of the Bible. 

“No prophet is accepted in his own country” (Luke 4:24, KJV), remarked Jesus after he issued his moral mission statement in his hometown synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19), which concluded with a pro-environmental vision. That vision proclaimed “the year of the Lord’s favor,” a time that protected the land, its livestock and laborers from exhaustion.

You can read more here at EthicsDaily.com...

FOR DISCUSSION:  Any thoughts on Al Gore being names the “Baptist of the year”?

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  There are 34 Comments:

  • Posted by Keith

    So Gore quotes the bible? Satan does, too. It’s no indication one way or another of a person’s character, integrity, or accuracy of message.

    So Gore “has refused to be distracted by the character-assassins, the fear-mongers, the science-deniers and the merchants of short-term gain?” Is he not engaged in fear-mongering himself? Does he not deny science when he ignores data that refutes his claims, when he dismisses offhandedly scientists who disagree with his conclusions? Is he not making short-term gain by the millions upon millions of dollars he’s made in promoting the man-made global warming theory? It’s pretty easy to shrug all this off and ‘remain faithful to his mission” when it makes you filthy rich.

    Of course, I am a Christian of Baptist background, so EthicsDaily.com would probably engage in character assassination by including me in their above quoted slur. Even though I do have earned degrees in physics, math, and chemistry.

  • Posted by

    I read the BCE Baptist of the Year award and have been giving it considerable thought. I am a Tennesseean and have kept up with the career of Al Gore, and Albert Gore Sr. over the years.

    I agree that we need to work on the issues of global warming. Not sure if it is true but it is not worth the risk of being wrong.

    As for Al, my observations on him are that he has no core values on which he stands, he has become another political opportunist who will do what is necessary to look good, and that includes being Baptist. I believe that is why he didn’t carry his own state in the election. In the early days of his career I thought he had great promise, but he caved to the whims of the pollsters and other political hacks.

    Regarding the Peace Prize it has also become a tool of the political hacksters, what has his position on Global Warming got to do with the Peace Prize?

    Just my thoughts.

  • Posted by

    Ethics Daily?  In my opinion Al Gore is an oxymoron to ethics daily.  Quack science for political gain.  Al gore is an angry elitists who is setting himself above the very things he expects people to do with conserving power and changing lifestyle while living the opposite.


  • Posted by

    I just have a real problem with someone who preaches to reduce your carbon footprint while traveling around the world on private jets. He recently did add several green features (solar panels, etc) to his “primary” house. However, it is still much larger and energy consuming than most people’s homes. He denies the real opposition to the human effect on global warming and exaggerates its effects in his movie. He is part owner of a company that sells energy offsets (and what in the wide, wide world of sports are they?).

    It’s kind of like a thrice divorced minister preaching about marriage and divorce. There’s really a question of credibility.

    God did appoint us as stewards over the earth and we haven’t acted very wisely, but I’m not going to listen to a snake oil salesman peddle his product and grow rich(er) off it.

    Who are the people at EthicsDaily.com? Based on some things I see at their website and their choice of Al Gore as “Baptist of the Year” (was Jimmy Carter a close second?), may I assume they are in the liberal wing of the Baptist Church?

    Well, I can’t be a good Baptist if I have a beer and I can’t be a good Baptist if I don’t drive a hybrid. Where in the world can I go?

  • Posted by

    I would think that the headline that identifies Al with the Baptist tradition would cause many Baptists to shudder with embarrassment.

  • Posted by Eric Joppa

    Since when is Al gore a baptist? Aren’t there some actual spiritual criteria to being a “Baptist”? I guess I am a fear monger if I don’t believe in “Global Warming” is that an inconvenient truth?

  • Posted by Tyler

    Traditionally baptists have been strongly associated with the Republican party so it is almost ironic that Gore would be named baptist of the year by baptists who probably didn’t vote for him in the election. I have no problem with him being the baptist of the year, I’m just surprised that he was named so. I’m willing to bet that most people who read this and comment will not be happy with the decision though.

  • Posted by j henry waugh

    Wow, lots of vitriol in these comments… …agree or disagree with Gore (and a consensus of scientists — not one peer reviewed journal disputes the gist of his message, and all the science journals of the day, American Scientist, Scientific American, New Scientist, National Geographic, etc.… are all in agreement on the matter. And you don’t have to be a scientist to confirm it — just take observation of the facts that are unfolding — polar ice caps melting even faster than computer models predicted, etc…), he’s a true believer of his mission and believes it the central issue of our time…

    And the bit about him doing this while flying around in jets is absurd — notifying people of a problem doesn’t mean we go back to the stone age — it means we need to make it priority to get moving on solutions.

    To do otherwise is to a poor steward of our God given bounty and resources…

  • Posted by

    J Henry, there have been several peer-reviewed research projects disputing global warming - Nature, Geophysical Review Letters and Science, and the Hudson Review, to name a few. Please note the difference between those who believe mankind is behind it and those who believe that man has little or nothing to do with it.

    “Anthropogenic [man-made] global warming bites the dust.” - astronomer Ian Wilson

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    In a day and age when people are trying to figure out how to make money opening up the northwest passage (which is apparently going to be potentially available because of our planet’s climate change), it is refreshing to see someone who wants to do something about it celebrated.

    imho, those who are denying that there is climate change happening or stating that it isn’t because of our greenhouse emissions are not looking carefully at the facts.

  • Posted by

    peter dont be afraid of the warming, if it is a warming. god will take care of you. as for al gore being the baptist of the year , i’m sure there are others that deserved it more than he did, maybe some baptist that got a lot of souls won to christ, now peter dont chistise me for saying it.

  • Posted by Peter Hamm


    FIrst, yes, I’m sure that there are some great baptists doing great evangelical efforts. They should be celebrated.

    Then, you write… [peter dont be afraid of the warming, if it is a warming. god will take care of you]

    With all due respect, we are supposed to be stewards of this planet, not destroyers of it. Think about your comment for just a bit. Is it possibly just a little like saying “Well, if I drive 20mph over the speed limit at unsafe speeds, it’s okay, God will look after me”?

    The God of the Bible doesn’t, in my experience, operate in that fashion.

  • So there’s the question of ‘global climate change’ and the question of Al Gore being a baptist.
    The latter surprises me. Has Gore self-identified as a Baptist? What kind?

  • Posted by

    According to the bio info on line he is Baptist (former Southern Baptist). He is scheduled at a meeting in Atlanta that includes Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The group is suppose to include Baptists from all prospectives. Not sure who that includes, but not likely Southern Baptists.

  • Posted by Camey

    IMO.... There should be no such thing as a Baptist of the Year… or that of any other denomination. No matter who the person in question is…

  • Posted by

    This makes no sense.  It’s common knowledge that Baptists are simply another arm of the Republican party.  (See the preceding comments for proof.)

  • Posted by

    I didn’t even know that Gore self identified as Baptist.  That’s a bit of a surprise, in truth.

    But in any event, if his environmental activities had anything to do with his religious convictions, I think that he would have mentioned it.  He hasn’t.  In fact, while my children were in elementary school and Gore was vice president, he was endorsing and sponsoring some decidedly heathen activities such as a earth day activities involving constructing altars to “mother earth.”

    The award by an organization with “ethics” in the title is ironic as well, to say the least about it, considering Gore’s considerable financial interest in a carbon credit trading scam for which he stands to profit.

    Good stewardship over the environment is a good thing.  But it’s not a “christian” activity unless Christ is at least mentioned or given some glory as Creator of the earth.

  • Posted by

    I know the thread is about Gore being named “Baptist of the Year” but it has already strayed into the global warming debate, so in response to J Henry Waugh, I thought I’d post this link to a new US Senate report, which lists over 400 prominent scientists who dispute the “consensus.” Interesting stuff.  Didn’t seem to get much play in the mainstream media.  I wonder why…



  • Posted by j henry waugh

    All you have to do is look at the names and some of the creative accounting used to bulk up the list. For example, they’ve added pretty much all of the names of Lomborg’s “Copenhagen consensus,” even though most arent’ scientists. Then, there’s the trick of including, say, all the co-authors of the Courtillot article, even though some of them (like Fluteau) certainly would not describe themselves as skeptics. There is Avery, with his “unstoppable global warming” nonsense (and no peer-reviewed scientific publications). There are a few real scientists, like Allegre and Courtillot (’nuff said about that), plus a lot of nonentities whose lack of credentials you can spot just by running their names through Web of Science. If this is the best 400 names that Inhofe can scrape together, then the denialist crowd is really in bad shape.

    Some of these are the same names that were on a fraudulent list that went around a few years back that was discredited, and NSF came out and even made a statement of how it did not reflect their views.

    Like the tobacco companies for many years that cast doubt, so today, is the debate on climate change — and the mainstream media participates by giving the .01% of dissenters near equal footing…

  • Posted by


    I understand your statement about Baptist’s being an arm of the Republican Party. This predominately refers to the Southern Baptist Convention. The bio on Al Gore specifically said Baptist (formerly Southern Baptist). There are as many kinds of Baptists as flavors of Baskin Robbins ice cream. The group he is meeting with in Atlanta is definately to the left of Southern Baptists and the organization Baptist Center for Ethics that bestowed the title on him is definitely to the left of Southern Baptists too.

  • Posted by

    I do remember waay back (showing my age here) that Tipper and Al Gore wrote a Christian book together (the 70’s?)

    At that time I think they were a bit more conservative then they are now, at least theologically and I read it and agreed with what they said at the time.

    Can’t say that I agree with much they say now.

    And living in an area where politicians and the “stars” routinely fly in and out in their private jets, I’m not too impressed with how Gore and others live out their stated environmental beliefs. 

    It’s difficult to take these spokespersons for change seriously when they zip into town in their private jets, and are greeted by ther Hummers, which they drive to their 30,000 square feet vacation home, which is kept heated and ready in case they decide to make a visit, which may only occur once or twice a year.  Many of them have their own lakes, water parks, and more in a state struggling with drought.  I could go on and on! 

    I have a lot more respect for someone who lives what they say they believe.

    And I guess that’s a good lesson for Christ followers too!

  • Posted by Dennis

    Algore a Baptist?  Well, Judas was a disciple so I guess he can be a baaaaahhptist.  Goats among the sheep, I’d say.  From a right-wing SBC conspirator. smile

  • Posted by

    You have to be kidding!

    Al Gore is a liar and his message is totally inconsistant with his actions. 

    He travels around the world leaving carbon footprints while crying out against this kind of evil.  For any Christian to honor him for his lies is simply misguided.  We should be saving the world with a message of Jesus not being distracted with some populist idea that man creates global warming.  It is not proven and some have bought into the idea somehow if we waste valuable dollars trying to correct a phantom cause then we are doing well. 

    Al Gore does not deserve anything from Christian organizations.

  • Posted by

    Global warming caused by man is like evolution...nothing but theory, full of holes and can’t be proven. But what I am amazed at is how naive so many are & how quick they are to believe something that is not even proven. What is worse is many Christians who have join the band-wagon & not use any discernment. or show that their trust is in God Almighty who controls the climate. People freaked out in the 70’s also, with so called “facts” from the scientist but time proved them all wrong. People don’t learn, trust in Jesus.

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    Pastor Joseph,

    With all due respect, I think you need to check your facts, objectively, from more sources. Should our trust in God Almighty to “control” the weather, as you say it, obviate our responsibility to care for our planet?

    Evolution can’t be observed, Climate change can be and is being observed.

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