When the horrific events of Oslo were unfolding on our TV screens, pundits across the spectrum began jumping to the conclusion that it had to be the work of “Islamic Terrorists”. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, Andrew Breitbart, and numerous conservative voices howled in unison that this was a symptom of Europe’s “Islamization” blowing up in their face. Red State’s Erick Erickson even tweeted out the following:
“Terrorist bombing in Oslo. I bet you it was not Lutherans who did it.”
Yet, when it turned out that, in fact, it was a blue eyed, blond haired Norwegian with far-right Christian Extremist beliefs, these same pundits, along with Christian blogs across the spectrum, immediately played their “No True Scotsman” card.
This Norwegian terrorist was not a Christian or a conservative. He acted contrary to the teachings of the Bible and conservatives from Burke to Madison. He was instead a jihadist, blinded by an ideology who resorted to violence rather than engaging in a public debate of ideas. He was a coward who planted bombs and killed innocent people. For him, violence was the only answer. He claimed to be fighting jihadists…but he actually became one. He didn’t kill one islamist [sic] terrorist with his actions-only innocent Norwegians. Change the location, and he acted like so many jihadists in the Middle East. He became one of them.
Erickson posted the following:
…you can expect lots more gloating that the guy in Norway described himself as a conservative Christian. Never mind that a conservative Christian would not do what the guy did.
Breivik, although claiming to stand up for Europe’s “Christian culture,” in no way links that ideal to true Christian faith.
He writes on page 1307 of his online manifesto:
“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.”
….as if “a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ” is the true measure of who is a “true Christian” and who isn’t.
Fact is, he was. He identified himself as a traditional Protestant. His views and words on Islam, multiculturalism, and even Climate Change are identical to those that can be heard at any local Tea Party gathering in the US.
“Obama is a marxist.”
“Muslims are trying to take over the world.”
“Society is becoming ‘feminized’.”
“Climate change is ‘eco-communism’.”
Breivik idolized the Tea Party and rabid Islamophobes such as Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. His manifesto contains numerous quotes from their websites (Atlas Shrugs and Jihadwatch if you’re curious – I refuse to link to garbage like that) and even stated in his 1500 page manifesto:
We, the European Revolutionary Conservatives know very well that it will take many years, even decades before we successfully manage to consolidate to a degree where we can seize political and military power in the first Western European country. In the US, the Tea party movement is one of the first physical, political manifestations which indicate that there is a great storm coming. The creation of similar conservative organizations, even the creation of revolutionary conservative movements … is about to materialize. The cultural Marxists are losing their momentum to our advantage.
He compared the kids he slaughtered at the Youth Camp to “Hitler youth”…. just as Glenn Beck did.
Breivik is a Christian. He is a Conservative. People who hold beliefs like him can be found at any Tea Party gathering in the US.
Part of ensuring things like this don’t happen again is the willingness to confront the ugliness borne of an ideology, no matter the political spectrum, and not simply turn a blind eye to it.
Unfortunately, though, it appears that the figures and the voices Breivik admired are unwilling to do so.
- Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik refuses to accept guilt (telegraph.co.uk)
- Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik in his own words (telegraph.co.uk)
- Photos: Anders Behring Breivik, the Extremist Behind Norway’s Tragedy (newsfeed.time.com)
- Does Anders Breivik Have Ties to American Fundamentalists? (anamericanlion.posterous.com)
- Anders Breivik: Norway Attacks ‘Price of Their Treason’ (abcnews.go.com)
- Christian exceptionalism and religious terrorism (blakehuggins.com)