Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Al Gore & Climate Change Panel Win Nobel Peace Prize

Fmr.  U. S. Vice President R. Albert Gore, Jr. (better known as “Al Gore”), already having won an Oscar for his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and an Emmy for his work with Current TV, will now receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  He will share the prize with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the scientists who have carefully documented the consensus views on global warming, their human-based causes, and their most likely effects.  In announcing the shared award, which will be presented in December, the Nobel Committee cited the connections between global warming and wars over resources, a process it believes is already happening in Africa.  Gore’s initial response to the announcement was:

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

Thank you,

Al Gore

Robert Parham of the Baptist Center for Ethics, which runs EthicsDaily.com, has a fine article on Gore as the Third Baptist from the U.S. South to win the Nobel Peace Prize (the others were Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 and Jimmy Carter in 2002).  It stresses the role of the Bible and Sunday School in shaping these peacemakers–and the way the largest body of Baptists, the Southern Baptist Convention, has treated all three with contempt. (Some SBC leaders will now speak respectfully of MLK, Jr., and a few mavericks–derided at the time as “liberals”–honored King during his life. But the vast majority of the SBC leadership derided King as a “liberal, communist race-mixer” during his life, sneered at his Nobel Prize, and met his assassination with either silence or open cheering. ) As Parham rightly notes, these Baptist prophets have been honored everywhere except by white Southern Baptists.


October 12, 2007 Posted by | ecology, global warming, peacemaking | 11 Comments

Upcoming Blog Series: The Decisions

Okay, Gentle Readers, I asked your views and you gave them.  Between comments on the blog and emails, it appears that of the topics I suggested for upcoming series, the greatest interest was for:

Baptism, Eucharist, & Ministry,  an exposition of the World Council of Churches document of that name with commentary (including some dissent) from a committed baptistic/Believers’ Church perspective.

Creation, Evolution, and “Intelligent Design” came in second. 

So, those will be the two series I tackle in the near future–considering that I am in the middle of moving, probably at the end of this month. 

Instead of a series, I will make my planned comments on ecological virtues into a single blog post.  It didn’t get many votes, but I consider it an important topic for our age.

I still have things I think are important to say about the relation of ethics and theology, but given readers’ interest-level, I will postpone that until the new year. 

And, yes, Bob Cornwall, I will take the question of Baptist identity closer to 2009, when this movement to which I belong turns 400.

I like profiling champions of nonviolence so much that I will do so–but will space them out much more than I had envisioned if that choice came in close to the top (it didn’t). I’ll postpone the first such profile until the beginning of Advent thanks to less reader interest than expected.

Since the question of Christians and education received not a single vote, I will simply bow to readers’ lack of interest and not write on that at all.  I find the subject fascinating, but apparently no one else does.  

Maybe we’ll do this again sometime.  Thanks for playing, friends.

October 12, 2007 Posted by | blogs | 5 Comments