Perhaps the only thing worse than Al Gore’s tedious 90-minute slide presentation on global warming is the same presentation interspersed with slides quoting from Scripture. But that’s just what the audience of 2,500 at the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant paid $35 a head to see on Jan. 31.
Mr. Gore, a featured speaker at the gathering here, was introduced as a “prophet.” Like all prophets, he “is not welcome in his hometown,” at least according to Robert Parham, executive director of the Baptist Center of Ethics in Nashville. Mr. Parham noted with disappointment that the people of that city failed to “recognize” Mr. Gore’s recent Nobel Prize victory. Talk about a cross to bear.
Mr. Gore’s presentation was officially closed to the media, because, according to a Covenant spokesman, the former vice president didn’t want the slides of those Bible passages “getting out on the Internet.” What would his friends in the secular blogosphere think about the fact that he said “In the beginning, God created Heaven and earth” as a picture of our planet from space was displayed? Or that he used the story of Noah to explain why we should work to save more endangered species?
But in Atlanta, Mr. Gore was preaching to the converted. Welcome to what might have been the largest gathering yet of the so-called religious left. A self-described “informal alliance of more than 30 racially, geographically, and theologically diverse Baptist organizations,” the three-day celebration demonstrated how difficult it will be for religious liberals to unite, let alone get under the same tent with secular liberals and become a political force.