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

Al Gore: Baptist of the Year

algore.pngThe Baptist Center for Ethics has chosen fmr. U.S. Vice President R. Albert Gore, Jr. (Al Gore) as “Baptist of the Year.”  I try to take a global view of my Baptist family and so I wondered whether or not this was a U.S.-centered choice. [Update: This is the first year BCE has chosen a Baptist from North America. They began this award in 2004, selecting several people from around the globe. In 2005, they chose Paul Montacute, a British Baptist and head of Baptist World Aid, for his quick humanitarian responses to the tsunami and to the earthquake in Pakistan. In 2006, BCE chose collectively the Baptists in Lebanon for their grace and courage during the war which put them literally in the line of fire between Hezbollah and Israel. So, this wasn’t as U.S.-centered as I wondered.]  But in a year in which the former Vice President (who, at the most charitable reading of the Supreme Court’s 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, at least won the popular vote for U.S. President in 2000), won an Academy Award for the film version of An Inconvenient Truth and, together with the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his attempts to end the carbon-based war on the planet, this decision by BCE seems perfectly justified.  I am not sure that we have enough time or the political will, even now, to take effective action against global warming before major and irreversible damage is done all across the globe. It may well be too late to do more than limit the damage and save what we can and whom we can.  But if we do have enough time and political will, even here in the United States, then Al Gore will deserve much of the credit as a modern day Paul Revere warning “The HEAT is Coming!”

Congratulations, Mr. Gore. I only hope your efforts have paid off in time.  Keep up the good work.

Update: I have not always been impressed with Mr. Gore’s skills in political oratory. But a major exception is his Nobel Prize Lecture.  It is well worth reading.  Unless you are in delusional denial about climate change (like Fred Thompson or Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) ), you should find it very inspiring.  I know I did.

December 28, 2007 Posted by | Baptists, ecology, global warming, heroes | 36 Comments