Al Gore vs. Christianity
Netlore Archive: Circulating via email, alleged quote from a book by Al Gore derides Christians as 'a blight on the environment.
Description: Email rumor
Circulating since: Nov. 2000
Email example contributed by T. Jones, Dec. 5, 2000:
Subject: AL Gore re: Christianity
THE NOTORIOUS QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Refusing to accept the earth as our sacred mother, these Christians have become a dangerous threat to the survival of humanity. They are the blight on the environment and to believe in Bible prophecy is unforgivable."
EARTH IN BALANCE, p.342
Analysis: The only real justification for this describing this quotation as "notorious" is that it was fabricated. The words aren't Al Gore's, nor, so far as I can tell, do they express his sentiments. There's no such passage to be found in Gore's book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (Houghton Mifflin, 1992).
A more grammatically-challenged variant is also circulating:
|For Gore and other environmentalists, the Judeo-Christain faith is the source of ecological evil, from oil spills to global warming. He said, "Ignorant Christians who are afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief by refusing to accept that the earth is our sacred mother, Christians have become a dangerous threat to the survival of humanity...blights on the environment."|
Again, there's no evidence in the pages of Earth in the Balance or any other public documents that Al Gore actually said or wrote those words. It's political disinformation.
Additional comments by reader Karen Eiler: Since I'm never one to just "gasp and forward" without checking the facts for myself, I went to the library this morning and checked out a copy of Earth in the Balance. While I certainly could not find anything even close to the above, I did find a passage which could be twisted into something close... maybe, if you worked hard at it. Anyway, here's what Al Gore really did say:
For some Christians, the prophetic vision of the apocalypse is used - in my view, unforgivably as an excuse for abdicating their responsibility to be good stewards of God's creation. Secretary of the Interior James Watt, who deserved his reputation as an anti-environmentalist, was once quoted as belittling concerns about environmental protection in part because it would all be destroyed by God in the apocalypse. Not only is this idea heretical in terms of Christian teachings, it is an appallingly self-fulfilling prophesy of doom. (Earth in the Balance, p. 263)
From this and other passages, it's clear that Gore considers himself a Christian and defends Christianity's stance on the environment. Throughout his book I find examples of flawed theology and reasoning, but I agree with his overall premise that we are to be stewards of the earth and its resources.