When Vice-President Al Gore cast the tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate last month for a plan to require background checks on people making purchases at gun shows, it was hailed as a major triumph for gun control. The lobbying power of the National Rifle Association was ebbing, we were told, following the school shootings in Colorado and Georgia.
Vice-President Al Gore chose a safe venue—a Salvation Army gathering in Atlanta—to start talking about religion. But he knew he had to go beyond such comfortable surroundings if he was to make a serious case that "without values of conscience, our political life degenerates."
In an essay in the New York Times, written prior to the presidential election and its tension-filled aftermath, author Alan Ehrenhalt argues that the dominant fact of our political life during the late 1960s to the early 1990s, or what he calls the Republican era, was a cultural backlash “against rising rates of crime, illegitimate birth and drug addiction, and a defense of relig
Media, religion and politics have a way of smashing into one another in rich and sometimes perverse ways. This story about one of those encounters involves three men: Harvard professor Richard Marius, New Republic editor/publisher Martin Peretz and Vice President Al Gore. It deals with the ugly subject of anti-Semitism, or more accurately, a false charge of anti-Semitism.
The four front-runners for the presidency are following what has become a political pattern: candor when there are no votes to be lost, extreme caution when votes are at risk. This pattern of choosing expediency over courage is in plain view in the current debate over a Confederate flag and a Cuban child. The two issues have an obvious solution—send them back where they belong.
From the time that George W. Bush declared Jesus his favorite political philosopher to the day Joseph Lieberman joined the Democratic ticket quoting the Book of Chronicles, religion was in the limelight during the 2000 presidential campaign. And when it was all over, Bush entered office amidst a flurry of worship services, clerical blessings and religious consultations.
Christians who speak out for environmentalism can combat skepticism and end America’s addiction to carbon fuels, Al Gore told 2,000 Baptists who gathered to hear him during a three-day celebration of denominational unity.
As I write these words, the season’s first named storm—Alberto—is developing in the Caribbean. We’re now in what everyone refers to as hurricane season, which is joining winter, spring, summer, autumn, Christmas and football as a fixture on the calendar. (It probably has a brighter future than winter.)A few years ago, words like these would have been scoffed at by most mainstream Americans, treated as the unlikely emanations of radical greens. (Trust me on that.) But within the past year or so the tide has turned. Katrina had something to do with that. So did Al Gore.
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