Al Gore was born and raised in Washington D.C., though he spent the summers of his youth in Carthage, Tennessee.
Gore is a devout Baptist. Very succinctly, he said:
I am a Christian. I am a Protestant. I am a Baptist.
Gore and his wife, Tipper, were formerly members of the Southern Baptist Convention, though they decided to leave that organization because they noticed a shift toward ultra right-wing conservatism.
However, Gore is no less devoted to his faith, and he has made that clear in many interviews:
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.
Despite his devotion to one particular brand of Christianity, Gore has stated that he supports religious tolerance, the First Amendment (freedom of religion, expression, etc) and the strict separation of church and state. However, it seems that one religious view he doesn't want to hear is that of the non-religious. Referring to atheists, Gore said they are "arrogant" and "intimidating:
[Atheists can make] people who do believe in God feel like they're being put down and I don't like that. I've never liked that.
And when he was asked if an atheist might ever be elected, he said:
We are a very spiritual, religious people–one of the most in the world. That would have a big influence.
He did add, however, that with a black man winning the presidency, it would be unwise to think that any type of person could never be president.
A Gore-y Truth
Gore is a Democrat.
Al Gore has been in politics since 1976, when he became a representative of Tennessee in the U.S. Congress, where he spent 16 years. He was a two-term Vice-President under Bill Clinton and unsuccessfully ran against George W. Bush for the presidency in 2000. His political positions cover the spectrum. Check his Wikipedia page or his profile at On The Issues for more information.
We will focus on two major issues.
First, Gore has claimed to have created the Internet, saying:
I took the initiative in creating the Internet.
This has become somewhat of a pop culture joke, as if to say: "One cannot simply create something as revolutionary as the Internet." And while he is not a telecommunications specialist, or a computer programmer, or anyone who could have possibly created the technology to bring about the Internet, he was certainly instrumental in promoting it and bringing it to the rest of the world.
Firstly, Gore encouraged government agencies to communicate via computer networks as early as the 1980s, and in 1991, he spearheaded the passage of a law that funded research and development into high-speed communication technology in an initiative called the National Research and Education Network (NREN). Once the idea was conceived and the implications realized, Gore toured the world promoting computer network communication in what he called the Global Information Infrastructure.
To this day, Gore defends the autonomy of the Internet from private and government antagonists. After two Internet censorship bills (SOPA and PIPA) failed in U.S. Congress after widespread public outrage, Gore went on the popular forum Reddit.com and said, warning of future hurdles:
Thanks, btw, to the Reddit community for fighting off Sopa and PIPA. Keep your powder dry; more big struggles ahead.
The second issue is–drum role please–environmentalism! Gore is perhaps the most rabid environmentalist in history. His documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, has become environmentalist scripture. And if you read his Twitter feed, it's literally 95% (if not more) environmental tweets. Gore is a man who thinks in terms of the entire world, and the future of humankind. We'll close with this quote:
As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization. Every bit of that has to change.
That's a lot of pressure, man.