The Bible & Society
Religion in Politics
Religion in Education
Albert Gore's book, "Earth in the Balance
- Ecology and the Human Spirit" (Houghton Mifflin, NY: 1992) is so filled with religious terminology, one wonders how the government could possibly implement his plan without an outcry that it is an intrusion of the state into religion. Terms like: "mission," "save," "heretical," "moral," "spirit," "sacred," "spiritual sense of our place in nature," "precinct of the disembodied intellect," "earth goddess," "this belief system," etc. are sprinkled throughout the text.
Gore presumptuously assumes for himself the authority to instruct on matters clearly outside his realm of expertise. He pretends to have training in theology, philosophy, science and history. Yet he errs. So when he offers environmental answers to economic and sociological problems, one cannot help but question his conclusions. When the foundation is cracked, the edifice falls.
Gore arrogantly criticizes ministers for their noninvolvement in environmental affairs. (pp. 245-248) Yet he quotes "the great universalist religions" of the East (pp. 21): "We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment ... Man is organic with the world" (from the Baha'i religion).
Blaming Christianity for the elimination of belief in the "goddess religion" that gave us a "spiritual sense of our place in nature" (p. 260), Gore speaks admiringly of Native American religions' belief that "the earth is our mother ... the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected ..." He calls such quotes "beautiful expressions of our essential connection to the earth." (p. 259) Those who believe otherwise, he says, are "heretical" (p. 258).
Even when Gore refers to Scripture, it is out of context. He mistakenly attributes the words of a prophet to the psalmist David. (p. 257) He says God didn't know what he was doing when he gave humans dominion over the earth. (p. 238)
Gore plans to infiltrate the entire educational system with his beliefs. He wants schools to take even more time away from reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic (but not Reproduction 001; that's an essential), to require classes to "monitor the entire earth." He even wants "an annual tree census" taken! (p. 357)
Gore writes of a new Trinity: God, man and nature (p. 255) "... each object and living thing ... (has) a unique spiritual force ... imbued with mysterious meaning and motivated by unknown powers," he says. (p. 255) He points to "an ethereal realm from which the detached human intellect could observe the movement of matter everywhere ... floating somewhere above it all, this new disembodied mind ..." (p. 251-252)
While claiming to be Baptist (p. 244), Gore abandons every fundamental of Christianity. For example, he writes that humankind and earth are one. (p. 248, etc.) How does the Genesis Scripture fit into this -- that everything was made "after its own kind"?
Gore's "mission" (he uses that term; this is truly a religion) is to "save" the earth from man. (pp. 349, 150) Saving souls is old-fashioned, I guess; mankind needs to recognize his identity or oneness with the earth! (Is this New Age, or what?! Apparently "church-state" separation applies only to Judeo-Christian religions.)
Gore's "Global Marshall Plan" will require companies emitting carbon dioxide to pay into a "trust fund" from which money may be drawn for the purchase of long-life light bulbs and environmentally happy products .(pp. 349-350)
In pushing the recycling message (the earth will be "saved" by works), Gore forgets that recycling of some products takes more energy than producing new material.
Requiring auto makers to build only cars averaging 45 mpg is another of his brilliant ideas. Why 45? Wouldn't 44 be better? or 34? Why, it would be better if no one ever drove again! We could go back to the Garden!
That's where all these problems began, right? With sin.
Funny. I didn't find that word anywhere in his 408-page "solution."
1992 Diane S. Dew