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Is the Norway Shooter a “Christian Terrorist”?

Is the Norway Shooter a “Christian Terrorist”?
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When the first reports of devastating attacks in Norway began to circulate, news commentators immediately jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrator(s) must be Muslim extremists. This turned out to be far from the truth.  The suspected attacker, a lone man named Anders Behring Breivik, identifies as a Christian.  The horrific bombing in Oslo’s city center, followed by a brutal shooting spree at a youth camp on the island of Utoya, were motivated by anti-Muslim zeal.  Breivik articulated his desire to protect white Christians from the encroaching on the rights of “indigenous European peoples” in a 1500-page manifesto, which, to some, is ample cause to label him a “Christian terrorist.”

Other experts, however, questioned Breivik’s knowledge of Christian theology, and speculated that his desire for violence was not grounded in Christian faith, but rather a kind of white nationalism linked to Christianity.

“My impression is that Christianity is used more as a vehicle to unjustly assign some religious moral weight,” to his political views,” Anders Romarheim, a fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies explained in an article for CNN. “It is a signifier of Western culture and values, which is what they pretend to defend.  I would say they are more anti-Islam than pro-Christian.”

Many commentators are drawing connections between Breivik and Timothy McVeigh, the architect of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombings.  In a piece for Religion Dispatches, Mark Juergensmeyer uses the comparison to argue that if Osama bin Laden is a “Muslim terrorist,” then both men qualified as “Christian terrorists.”  He writes,

“Both were good-looking young Caucasians, self-enlisted soldiers in an imagined cosmic war to save Christendom. Both thought their acts of mass destruction would trigger a great battle to rescue society from the liberal forces of multiculturalism that allowed non-Christians and non-Whites positions of acceptability.”

The fact that Breivik was not a theologian does not matter to Juergensmeyer.  He argues, quite convincingly, that regardless of whether Breivik’s views were rooted in a theological reality, they were religiously based fantasies, intent upon preserving cultural European Christianity.  Regardless of whether Christians would accept Breivik (and Christians are, of course, not a monolithic entity), he justified his actions using the rhetoric of Christian political dominance, making him a “Christian terrorist.”

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Photo from Guttorm Flataboe via flickr.

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11:35AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

Of course he is a Christian terrorist. McVeigh too. If Christians want to whine and say "but we're not like that!!!" then they can have some sympathy for all the normal, mainstream Muslims saying the same exact thing.

6:39PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

All terrorists are extremists, and clearly, by definition of what each religion actually spouts: "Love one another" they are not upholding the tenets of the faiths they may or may not profess but to which others attach them.

It sucks to think one of "your own" can do such heinous acts. Yeah. Stop judging others by their faiths, but rather, see their lack of understanding, and help change the world for the better by starting with YOURSELF. How good are YOU, really?? Remember the one finger pointing out has 3 pointing back at you....

6:33PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

He is a Christian terrorist, yes.

6:16AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Christians have a history of xenophobic terrorism why should this surprise anyone? Wake up people, religion is destruction.

7:33AM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

"Please post the page numbers in his manifesto where he claimed this"

Page 1361 Anders refers to myself as a "Cultural Christian":
"As a cultural Christian, I believe Christendom is essential for cultural reasons. After all,
Christianity is the ONLY cultural platform that can unite all Europeans, which will be
needed in the coming period during the third expulsion of the Muslims."

Page: 1403
"Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious
man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a
monocultural Christian Europe."

Page 1307:
"If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious
Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship
with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social,
identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian."

So apparently he considers himself a non-religious Christian, but he does refer to himself as Christian.

7:18AM PDT on Aug 1, 2011

"Please post the page numbers in his manifesto where he claimed this. I have twice posted page numbers where he said he was NOT RELIGIOUS."

Monica, on pages 676 and 681 he is quoting a blogger he likes called "fjordman", that's why that section starts with "By Fjordman." Those are not Anders Behring Breivik's own words.

12:36PM PDT on Jul 30, 2011

Norwegian Shooting Suspect's 'Manifesto' Inspired By American Right-Wing Thinkers

6:59AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

Thank you Espen J. I joined the chain, and I urge you all to do the same to show support for the people of Norway.

5:53AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

And here`s the link i forgot to post..

5:52AM PDT on Jul 29, 2011

I urge everybody to take a moment clicking the link to the biggest newspaperwebsite in Norway.
Far over 1.000.000 has already done it, maybe you will do it too, to honor all the killed,injured and affected people..
A big THANK YOU from me with love..

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