Religion has come up time and time again during this year's campaign. Beliefnet has pulled together a compendium of quotations and speeches on the topic by both major candidates. Here, you'll find things that Democratic candidate Al Gore has said about religion, organized by topic.Index:
  • Personal Faith
  • Religion and the Election
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Education and Family Values

    Personal Faith:    
    On graduate school:
    "[I went to divinity school] to intensively explore the questions I had which seemed then and seem now to be the most important questions about what's the purpose of life, what's our relationship to the Creator, what's our spiritual obligation to one another. I didn't find all the answers that I thought I might, but I found better questions, and I found a process for living out better answers."
    From The New York Times, May 29, 1999

    On the purpose of life:
    "I think the purpose of life is to glorify God. I turn to my faith as the bedrock of my approach to any important questions in my life."
    From The New York Times, May 29, 1999

    On his faith:
    "I want people to see my [religious] experience as what it is, the most important thing in my life."
    From The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2000

    "Faith is the center of my life. I don't wear it on my sleeve, but I'm happy to respond to your question by affirming my faith."
    From The New York Times, May 29, 1999

    On the Bible:
    "Everything in the Bible makes sense to me. I interpret it my own way, and that's what my tradition teaches me to do. There are poetic passages that speak eloquently to me with meanings that transcend the literal words. In Genesis, for example, God creates this, that and the other in one day, two days, and that represents an order in creation that's perfectly evident to my heart."
    From The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2000

    On evangelical services:
    Q:One thing that I've noticed-well, lots of people have noticed this-I've seen video of you talking to African American churches, and it seems like there is a familiarity with the cadence that you adapt into almost uncannily. Have you-

    Gore: I guess that comes from my childhood and going to a lot of evangelical services. In Tennessee, our church is the New Missionary Baptist Church, which is an evangelical church. The months of each year that I spent in Tennessee were punctuated each Sunday by immersion in that kind of service. And I also attended revivals regularly as a child in the summers. And sometimes revivals would go night after night.
    From US News Online, "Al Gore: Running on His Faith"

    Religion and the Election    (back to index)
    On the issue of religion being a private matter during elections
    Q: Mr. Gore, you consider yourself a born-again Christian. You recently told The Washington Post that when faced with important problems you ask yourself what would Jesus do. Your opponent, Mr. Bradley, has said that personal faith is a private matter, not a matter to be discussed with the public. Should your religion be a private matter, and do you concede that all the talk about Jesus and Christianity on the campaign trail may be alienating to millions of non-Christians?

    Gore: Yes, I understand that, and I strongly support the separation of church and state. I strongly support the First Amendment, the establishment clause. I oppose, for example, the teaching of creationism in the public schools. I think that violates that provision of our Constitution, and I think that any public official who discusses his or her deepest beliefs and principles and faiths has an obligation to couple that expression, if he or she chooses to make it, with an affirmation of tolerance and respect and protection for those who have some other faith, especially for those who have a minority faith.

    I didn't volunteer any of the comments you mentioned, but do you think that a public official who is asked whether or not he is a believer has an obligation to dodge the question and not answer the question? I think we should be free and open about what our beliefs are, but that's my decision. I respect Senator Bradley's decision to handle the question differently.
    Democratic Debate, University of New Hampshire, January 5, 2000

    On whether religion is a personal matter:
    "It's a personal subject, and most people are reluctant to talk about their personal faith. I do not often volunteer it or wear it on my sleeve. I was raised in a tradition that honors the establishment clause, and I think that puts an extra obligation on those who serve in public office, especially in a constitutional position, to refrain from implying some special guidance by virtue of their relationship to God or religious tradition. And I try never to inadvertently communicate something like that. But at the same time, I think that we have gone too far in conveying the impression that those in public life are obligated to refrain from ever acknowledging that they have a spiritual life and that they have a set of core beliefs. And I refuse to abide by that mis-what I regard as a misguided set of expectations. I freely acknowledge the role of faith in my life and the centrality of faith in my values system."
    From US News Online, "Al Gore: Running On His Faith"

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