The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Theological Question

Posted on | July 21, 2012 | 15 Comments

by Smitty

In a 2010 NYT editorial “We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change“, Al Gore said:

From the standpoint of governance, what is at stake is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.

The Apostle Paul:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;–Romans 3:23


Through what mechanism do individual sinners, forming a government, achieve that which they cannot accomplish individually?

Related: The Parable of the Misguided Tea Partier


15 Responses to “Theological Question”

  1. jwallin
    July 21st, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    By people being sacrificed on the altar of hope and change otherwise known as the big lie and crony capitalism perpetrated by their self proclaimed betters; the liberal establishment and it’s minions.

    It doesn’t matter if lives are destroyed and dreams dashed. What matters is that liberals feel good about themselves and wreak vengeance on the right for telling the truth and exposing the liberals’ hypocrisy.

  2. scarymatt
    July 21st, 2012 @ 8:09 am

    Clearly Gore isn’t interested in his own redemption. It’s everyone else’s redemption that he can’t accomplish without the power of the state.

  3. Beto_Ochoa
    July 21st, 2012 @ 8:37 am

    Our current, but eroding, rule of law is based on Biblical Law and came from the western church. Our founders instituted an environment where our supreme law was a simple set of rules to keep the government from trespassing on our rights and the canons of law that emanated from that document were the written rules where we were restrained from trespassing on each others  rights.
    They did this because none of us can be trusted with unfettered power over our neighbor.
    This created an environment of freedom that spurred people to continuous civil acts and action to make a better place for each subsequent generation.
    And that’s how you do it.

  4. jackafter6
    July 21st, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    After wading through the source of the Al Gore quote, I would have to say that the way it’s being used here is taking it somewhat out of context. Keep in mind that before he used that phrase, he’d already written some 1700 words or so. He was in his muse and waxing poetic. I can imagine that a feeling of messianic triumph swelled within him, infusing his very being with the same sensation that has been felt by every demagogue who ever successfully incited a riot. As he wrote that redemption phrase, he didn’t think of it in the traditional sense: [all have sinned]  He was thinking that our very success in and of itself is the sin. Therefore our “redemption” would come by undoing all of that success.

    No doubt as he penned his final few paragraphs he imagined himself standing on some mountain-top while the adoring crowd screamed their adoration while chanting his name. I can picture him dotting the final period and then quietly muttering what for twelve years has been his Tourette syndrome-like mantra: “Stupid Bush.” 

  5. JohnInMA
    July 21st, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    A progressive bringing redemption into the debate isn’t the least bit credible.  After all, one of the few principles they find and agree to within the founding concepts is the idea of separation of church and state.  And who exactly grants the redemption in his eyes?  Gore himself?  The elected class as a whole (Caesar)?

    I doubt he was remotely serious, rather just grasping at alternative emotions to capitalize upon and salvage his atrophying campaign.  After all redemption, in the biblical sense, most often is a lifelong endeavor and achieved only when full atonement (all sins) is reached.  Surely even Gore would never admit that all the collective/government rules and laws were worthy, were he seriously contemplating a Christian view of redemption.  I won’t even mention the “A” word….

  6. W. J. J. Hoge
    July 21st, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    Law that people flout are laws that encourage lawlessness and seduce us to greater evil.

  7. scarymatt
    July 21st, 2012 @ 9:48 am

    No, Progressives are quite serious about redemption, but not in the Biblical sense. They don’t want to separate Church and State, but replace the Church with State.

  8. smitty
    July 21st, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    So, you’re saying he ‘got carried away’?
    I’d have bought ‘instrument of human improvement’, but redemption, like marriage, retains a clearly defined meaning, despite the efforts of various liars to make an invariant into a variable.

  9. JohnInMA
    July 21st, 2012 @ 11:55 am

    Perhaps.  But in your context progressives are neither following a religious nor a Webster definition of redemption.  The only concept I see that could be used as a replacement (from a progressive viewpoint) is conformity.  In other words, through progressive conformity comes ideological purity, which leads to a secular version of salvation.  Not exactly redemption.  But, again, I find the use…….no, I mean the “leveraging” of the term redemption by Gore or any hard core progressive to be out of place.  Incongruous with every other aspect of progressive ideology.  I’m not implying they are by definition godless, rather they by definition want anything associated with God and religion to be isolated and on the margin.  Certainly progressives want God in any context fully removed from not only government but also from the public.  Or is the collective a better word in place of public??

  10. scarymatt
    July 21st, 2012 @ 12:32 pm

    I think they’re full of it, too, but this is really how they think. Don’t immanentize my eschaton, man.

  11. Tennwriter
    July 21st, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

    Dude, they believe in god-kings.  They don’t believe in Separation of Church and State.  They believe in Separation of the Christ and the State/People/Nation/Person.

  12. Tennwriter
    July 21st, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    This is not to say you can’t be a Christian and a Lefty, but the basic thrust of Leftism is anti-Christian, I suspect. 

  13. scarymatt
    July 21st, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    They’re anti-anything that conflicts with the totalitarian state. Religion, liberty, logic.

  14. Bob Belvedere
    July 21st, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    Ahh…so you too can see the fnords!

  15. DaveO
    July 21st, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    If one’s theology is based upon the Abrahamic religions, then no, nothing man does individually or collectively redeems the evil and its consequences within man.

    If one’s theology is based upon the conceit of being too intelligent to believe in the supernatural, then logically man has no need of redemption. There is no evil or good as these are perceptions. Actions therefore take on a teflon coating that easily sheds the perceptions of good and evil. Essentially: anything goes because there are no eternal consequences, only the tragedy of living.

    If one’s theology is based upon the conceit of each person’s soul being capable of attaining godlike power, knowledge, and station- with this corporeal body being a chrysalis-crucible, then evil and good are not perceptions, but defined by each god-fetus. By defining evil and good, the god-fetus will self-justify all its actions as “good” and those actions with which it disagrees as “evil.”

    Those who follow the second path always follow those who follow the third path in order to deny themselves the possibility of openess to the first path. The second path lacks the intelligence to consider the first path, and are in awe of the ability of the third path to define evil and good  away from the chains of Abrahamic ethics.