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July 26th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

My Take: Christians should denounce Norway's Christian terrorist

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Ideas matter; thoughts have force. This is an obvious truth. It is why pastors preach, why professors profess, and why pundits do whatever they do.

Yet whenever ideas do things we do not want them to do, as they did in Oslo , Norway on Friday, we try to pretend that ideas are powerless.

For the last two decades, Christian students have told me that Christianity had nothing to do with the Holocaust. After 9/11, many Muslims said that the men who flew those planes into those buildings had nothing to do with Islam. When Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot, we were told that the crime had nothing to do with our current climate of political hatred.

Unpacking the 'Christian fundamentalist' label for Norway terror suspect?

Now in the wake of the Oslo massacre bloggers and pundits are reassuring us that the crimes of the alleged perpetrator Anders Behring Breivik can be understood simply as the product of a deranged mind. They had nothing to do with his Christian faith or his anti-Islamic ideology. This is wishful thinking of the most dangerous sort.

According to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, "Breivik is not a Christian." According Ross Douthat, the conservative Catholic columnist at the New York Times, “it’s fair to call Breivik a right-winger” but not a Christian  fundamentalist.

Meanwhile, Andrew Brown at the Guardian is reassuring his readers that “Anders Breivik is not Christian but anti-Islam.”

My Take: Norway attacks show why you can't #blamethemuslims

Brown goes on to describe the various anti-Islam bloggers Breivik read and apparently quoted in a manifesto, only to conclude, “Obviously these people cannot be held responsible for the use to which their ideas were put.”

I don’t find that obvious at all.

I think all of us who place ideas into books or blogs or lectures or sermons should be acutely aware of the use to which our ideas might be put. What is obvious is that those who read or listen to us will take our ideas in directions different from what we intended. But that fact does not absolve us of responsibility when they do.

If you devote your life to spewing anti-Islamic hatred, you should not be surprised if someone comes along and kills in the name of that hatred. In fact, you should expect it.  If you insist as a matter of revelation or dogma that the Jews killed Christ then you should not be surprised if Christians come along and kills Jews in the name of Christ. In fact, you should be surprised if that does not happen.

We live in an age of anger. That anger is fueled by ideas. And the most incendiary ideas are those that call down the force of God or nation (or both) in the service of denouncing those who follow other gods or belong to other nations.

Anders Breivik was obviously politically motivated. The 1,500-page manifesto that has been attributed to him draws on contemporary European and American conservatism in its attacks on Marxism, multiculturalism, secularism, academia and feminism.

But Breivik's motivations were equally, and obviously, religious. His manifesto cites the Atlas Shrugs blog of Pamela Geller, who has made a name for herself in the United States by opposing the Islamic community center near Ground Zero. According to the New York Times this manifesto also quotes Robert Spencer of another anti-Islamic web site, Jihad Watch, 64 times.

But Breivik does not just deny Islam. He affirms Christianity. He describes himself as "100% Christian" in his apparent manifesto. That work says he's a member of the “Knights Templar," which the document refers to as “a Christian ‘culturalist’ military order.”

The manifesto refers repeatedly to martyrdom, calls Breivik the "savior . . . of European Christendom," discusses Quranic views of Jesus and quotes extensively from the Bible.

In fact, in an extended section justifying violence in the name of self-defense (plagiarized, like much in the manifesto, from other websites), it quotes from Exodus, Samuel, Judges, Psalms, Luke, Matthew, Isaiah, Daniel, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians and other biblical books. "God will anoint you with his power to go into battle," the manifesto reads. "God can be a Man of War if He wants to be."

Finally, key dates in the manifesto, including the date for the rampage itself (July 22), are linked to key dates in the history of the Christian crusades. "Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution," a video attributed to Breivik reads, "for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Osama bin Laden was a Muslim terrorist. Yes, he twisted the Quran and the Islamic tradition in directions most Muslims would not countenance. But he rooted his hate and his terrorism in that text and that tradition. So Muslims, as I have long argued, have a responsibility to speak out forcefully against Bin Laden and to look hard at the resources in their tradition that work to promote such evil.

If he did what he has alleged to have done, Anders Breivik is a Christian terrorist.

Yes, he twisted the Christian tradition in directions most Christians would not countenance. But he rooted his hate and his terrorism in Christian thought and Christian history, particularly the history of the medieval Crusades against Muslims, and current efforts to renew that clash.

So Christians have a responsibility to speak out forcefully against him, and to look hard at the resources in the Christian tradition that can be used to such murderous ends.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Crime • Europe • Politics • Violence

soundoff (619 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Just occurred to me that this whole man show about Islam & Muslims was simply executed as a Sign of the Rejection of "Turkey" from joining the European League...am sure he does not mind Islam but not that of "Turkey" as a Race and Religion.... Seems some big one's mind the joining of "Turkey" and that is why all this pressure applied to make Muslims life more difficult in Europe with so many regulations... Some are taking into consideration the balance of powers and religions...
    Why can't Europe say no to America if do not want the joining of "Turkey" to League...why buy time prolonging with excuses and conditions while from inside they fight any thing called Islamic from appearance to rituals...?!

    July 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Muneef

      Islam-phobia is;
       
      Europe's Muslim Capital
      No European capital was more cosmopolitan than Constantinople. Its geographical position across the main route between Europe and Asia, its port ‘the finest and most secure I have ever seen’, in the words of the Sieur de Combes in 1688, made it the natural capital of Anatolia, the Balkans and beyond. In its last centuries as capital of the Byzantine Empire, it was not only the holy city of the Orthodox world, dedicated to the Mother of God, but also a cosmopolitan trading centre, with Venetian, Genoese, Muslim, Jewish, Slav and Avar inhabitants.
      http://www.historytoday.com/philip-mansel/europes-muslim-capital
      ----

      Why Europe can not say openly no to Joining the European Unity nor can let go;
      --
      Turkey has dominated European politics for centuries. Turkey was a superpower previously when the Ottoman’s managed to unite many of the lands around Western Turkey. They removed the Byzantine Empire as the world’s superpower and menaced Europe for centuries. In 1453 the Ottoman’s concluded the conquest of Constantinople, the Byzantine capital. This brought to an end all remnants of Roman rule, who had been the world’s superpower for nearly four centuries. 
      http://www.international-issues.org/wp/?p=416

      July 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      To be or not to be?

      Arguments for and against Turkey joining the EU

      In or Out? The red-hot Turkey issue
      The argument has raged for 45 years over whether Turkey should become part of Europe, ever since it signed an Association Agreement in 1963 as a first step toward membership. European opinion remains as divided as ever, and we briefly summarize here the main pros and cons.

      THE ARGUMENTS
      FOR Turkey joinig the EU
      AGAINST Turkey joinig the EU
      http://www.europesworld.org/NewEnglish/Home_old/Article/tabid/191/ArticleType/ArticleView/ArticleID/21291/language/en-US/Default.aspx

      July 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Normon

      Sorry, I don't follow why Turkey's entrance into the EU, or lack thereof, has anything to do with this.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Muneef

      Didn't he say he does not want Muslims or Islam in the country which is one of the EU then that includes Turkey being a Muslim Country...!

      July 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  2. Reality

    Listen up as the following condemnation is echoing across the globe from all good and gracious agnnostics, atheists, secularists, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Pagans:

    Another Timothy McVeigh !!! Hopefully this "nut job" meets the same fate. The sooner the better!!! If Norway does not have a death penalty, then there is always the justified "oops" accident. "While transporting Breivik to prison via an aircraft, the cabin door suddenly opened and he fell 30,000 ft. He did not survive the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. "

    Next topic !!!!!

    July 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  3. william wallace

    Religion does have its funnier moments
    its not all just KORAN & BIBLE burnings.

    There being many religious jokes which
    brings much laughter to the dinner table.

    Most common jMiddle East / as European
    joke at present / is directed at americans.

    Why's It So Easy To Clone An American ?
    ANSWER "One Need Not Add The Brain".

    Such joke sends "Europeans as Muslims"
    into fits of laughter / finding it very funny.

    A common test by the police in finding
    if an individual be a religious extremist.

    On arrest they are told /religious jokes.

    If the response to the jokes is laughter
    the police do not regard them /a threat
    their bomb returned / they are set free.

    July 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Thomas Mc

    I'm still waiting for Christian leaders to apologize for this horrendous terrorist attack.

    After all, that's what they demanded from Muslim leaders, after 9/11.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • AvdBerg

      For a better understanding I invite you to visit our website http://www.gaychristian101.com

      July 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Jimbob

      Did you not read where this *terrorist* said he was non religous? Remember, just because your in a barn doesnt mean ur a horse just like being in a garage doesnt mean your a car.....this man could of called himself a christian or a blue billygoat...doesnt make him one tho 🙂

      July 27, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • ....

      AvdBerg is part of a cult and troll on this site, don't bother with their garbage, click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.

      July 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  5. AreYouaBeliever

    You will know them by their fruit. This guys fruit was rotten to the core.

    Can't denouce an anti-Christ. No matter how much anyone wants to connect him to Christianity.

    Our prayers go out to the families of the victims. And, especially to this person who committed such deeds. He needs help that only the LORD can give him.

    July 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  6. Chris K

    I hope no one uses this article as justification for violent acts. Perhaps those who have no thoughts or opinions will use this article to take revenge on those who unapologetically express their views. Remember, ideas are powerful, make sure the safety is on before handling them.

    I think I understand what the guy is TRYING to say... be a bit more responsible with how you express your opinions. So perhaps I can take from it and say... Ok, maybe it isn't so bad to think first and THEN speak (as 90% of the comments on this site and others illustrate for us... but not mine, haha). But the way this whole article comes across to me, it sounds like the guy is saying, don't have an opinion, and if you do, don't be passionate about it. Honestly, it sounds like this guy is an Extreme Moderate. Or is it Moderate Extremist?

    I have opinions and biases, but for this article I have to object to it on a purely logical basis. As a writer, it is important to know your audience... but this goes too far. It would be impossible account for every possible way your words will be interpretted by every person who reads it. You would end up backtracking and clarifying your point so much; attempting to account for every possible logical path, that your point would be lost and the article would seem more like a legal contract than an opinion piece. This is the same argument that movies, TV, and games are creating violence. Basically millions hear these songs, shows and play the games...and then ONE looney kills himslef or others... and apparently it was the song/show/movie or games fault. I'm sorry that is not logical. What is more logical, is that an individual has an issue/condition and it is only a matter of time before SOMETHING pushes them over the edge and then it ends in violence. Perhaps after the fact we may even be able to disect that person's history and show how peices of the puzzle converged to push this person over the edge. But THEN what? Ban anything associated with this persons downward spiral? Was it the REALLY these things that caused it? Or was it going to happen eventually and these things merely determined when and how? Was the person attracted to these things BECAUSE of his own tendencies? Or did these things truly foster violence? The answer is likely in between, but I am not sure that helps show us how to move forward.

    Obviously we need to diagnose and treat these people BEFORE they act. At this point that is an unlikely, if not, impossible task. But still, I'd say it is a LOT more likely and a heck of a lot more attractive than supressing ideas.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  7. Eric

    @pfeffernusse, you err in referencing historical atrocities done by religious hypocrites. The only true standard of Christian conduct is Jesus Christ Himself.

    Jesus Christ's life is what makes it so easy to spot the hypocrites and outright religious phonies throughout the centuries. There's no ambiguity there. Jesus and His disciples didn't go around torturing, persecuting and killing people.

    Any person can claim to be a follower of Christ. It's very easy to see if that person's lifestyle measures up.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      @Eric, if you think Jesus is the Son of God, sent to Earth to repent for all of mankind’s sins, and that he walked this Earth preaching, teaching, praying and healing, then you are a Christian. That is the very definition of a Christian. It’s not what you do, it’s what you believe that determines your faith.

      I could argue that the terrorists that attacked the US weren’t really Muslims, but they were. They are EXTREMISTS. Extremists of any religion are dangerous. A vast majority of Muslims on this planet are peaceable, compassionate people. But because a few nutbars perverted the faith to justify their barbarism, everyone wants to paint all Muslims as violent terrorists.

      It is important to acknowledge faith, especially when it is misplaced. That keeps us vigilant and watchful for anyone who starts to skate too close to the edge.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Normon

      @Eric,
      Are you saying that either one measures up to Christ's example or they aren't Christian?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  8. Onad

    Oh. I see. Someone who claims to be a Christian really must be a Christian. Gosh, all these years I had the mistaken belief that Jesus would reveal who really belongs to Him ! Boy, have I been mistaken in my belief ....

    July 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      @Onad, the definition of Christian is someone who believes that Jesus was the son of God, sent to Earth to deliver us from sin. That he taught and performed miracles. Yes, that makes someone a Christian.

      Is he a good Christian? I think we can agree that answer is no. Lots of Christian people are not good Christians. It can be something as benign as passing judgment, not loving their enemies, etc. It can also be as horrid as shooting doctors in their churches or teenagers at a summer camp.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Actually, yes, Onad. If a person claims to be christian I have no choice but to believe them, as there is no way to measure or even prove any influence by a supernatural being.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  9. The Grizz

    Stephen Prothero, Anders Behring Breivik and Knights Templar obviously are not christian fundamentalist or do they understand what it means to be a follower of Christ, by what they say and the deeds they do. Osama bin Laden was a Muslim terrorist, But he did not twist the Quran he followed what it told him to do. Please read it b/4 you assume. If you study their teachings (Christian/Muslims)from the begining you would not have a hard time understanding who went wrong, where. Like Alex Haley, STUDY their "roots" and the arguments between them will fall away. Just like a real "fundamentalist would do.

    July 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  10. John Luke

    The difference between western terrorists who claim to be christian and arab terrorists who claim to be muslim is that the western terrorist does not pray go to church or seek after God he just uses it as a label; the arab terrorist prays five times a day and gathers with his accomplices to go to mosque so to speak. I am not saying all muslims are evil terrorists but I am just stating what I have noticed.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      You are stating stereotypes and misinformation. “I am not saying all muslims are evil terrorists”? That is exactly what you are doing.

      July 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  11. Jesus Son

    Jesus Christ, this poor guy is going to jail for you people, for your sins, to preserve, to save our Christian values, to clean the world of these Islamoids, to reject all other rot morals from the liberal pest (see the new NY f..g law), and still there are so called Christians that renounce to him? This is unbelivable! You'll pay in a very hot place for this.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
  12. william wallace

    It should be reminded that spiritual development did not start with christianity
    or with islam, or those whom still insist //planet Earth is flat // if one ventures
    too far from christiany /islam (result) they will fall over the edge of the planet.

    Religions are as crutches (spiritual aids) the atheist whom having no time for
    religions (claiming not religious) be at a more advanced spiritual stage than of
    christians / muslims etc (such not a direspect to muslims christians) but rather
    bringing some clarity to situation /as justice to the atheist / whom much villified.

    Meditation taught by all true spiritual teachers CHRIST MUHAMMAD BUDDHA
    GURU NANAK as endless others // unto the present day where humanity but
    blessed with PREM RAWAT whom teaches that via meditation one KNOWING
    GOD. / Not ideas beliefs / of a heaven beyond the clouds // but ones practical
    spiritual experience knowing god / in a clarity of understanding knowing truth.

    Only via meditation turning the senses inwards / will there be true knowledge
    of god // when one looks inwards // one see's knowing the power of creation.

    On pc search put (words of peace ) on the site a large selection of videos / in
    which Prem Rawat talks of meditation / bringing a unfolding of the spiritual self
    via very practical spiritual experience / experiences in answering all questions.

    By all means praise past teachers / but in your spiritual development / turn unto
    the living teacher. Prem Rawat in (Spiritual terms) be the teacher of all teachers
    thus he a blessing upon all humanity // if seeking support in spiritual development
    he is available / there being no cost/ there should be no cost in one knowing god.

    As to the atheist your being at such the advanced stage in spiritual development
    you are ripe in time for turning the senses inward / thus knowing one's true self
    I can only repeat your at further state in your spiritual development you believing
    meditation the next port of call upon your human journey leading to enlightenment.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  13. look at you

    listen to yourselves, you sound like a bunch of twittering fools. hiding snide comments behind "politeness", you sicken me. all of you.
    religion is about as worthwhile as the dodo.

    July 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  14. Rainer Braendlein

    Is anybody aware that the Norway-monster killed people, which were at least nominal Christians?

    The mass media report, as if the monster had killed Muslim people.

    That is peculiar: A man hates Muslims, but murders Christians. Odd!

    July 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  15. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    While not discounting the lack of cohesion between RESTRICTIVE ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES with Norway's TOLERANT PROGRESSIVE CULTURE, it may be time to take an UN-BIASED, REALISTIC LOOK at the benefits of allowing large number of these UNADAPTABLE, WELFARE MIGRANTS into Norway.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Amit-Atlanta-USA

      WHILE WE SEE THIS NORWEGIAN MONSTER GONE BERSEK WITH HIS ANTI-MUSLIM IMMIGRANT MESSAGE, WE ALSO SEE THE MAIN STREAM MEDIA INCL. CNN, Time, NYT, LA Times, etc. BEING EQUALLY GUILTY OF RELIGIOUS PANDERING THROUGH A SPATE OF BIASED/MISLEADING/BLATANTLY FALSE ARTICLES BY KNOWN/DUBIUOS ISLAMIC SYMPATHIZERS WHO HAVE A CLEAR ANTI-AMERICAN/ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS!!!

      GOD SAVE AMERICA!

      Amit-Atlanta-USA

      July 27, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • LetoAtreides

      What is the point of this article? Humans can be subject to evil impulses based on just about anything, including philosophy, religion, or their own philosophical concoctions. Yes, in the name of God and Christ and many other religions, maniacs have waged their horrors upon the world. Also note that in the name of atheism, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung also murdered millions. I think the conclusion of this article should be more about whether or not people are turning to the only true hope for the world rather than turning to their own (or someone else's) twisted perspectives. If someone has lost touch with reality, as in the case of this terrorist in Norway, I guess all bets are off.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  16. Jack

    Having Christian parents and friends who are Christians, I do not think that all Christians are terrorists. Christianity is certainly has a history of blood soaked oppression and unthinkable vile acts against humanity, but there are Christians that do try to find something of value in this ancient ritualistic tradition. They should stand up and try to show a positive face and try to curtail the profiling that goes on regarding individuals who look and talk like Christians. They are not child killing terrorists!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  17. diago

    Abu Umar

    Is Allah God ?

    1) Chapter 51, verse 56
    I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me alone.

    Double standards?

    2) 2:144
    "We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah (direction) that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction."

    Muslims WORSHIP by Facing, Bowing and Prostrating to Kaaba. 5times a day, Everyday & THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFETIME.

    3)
    But, what has Allah revealed to mankind? and how Allah reveals not withstanding the facts that the chapters in quran are named as animals, things, ETC. Chapters in Quran name after COW, CATTLE, ELEPHANT, ANTS, PEN, CAVE, STAR, MOON, JINNS, IRON, ETC. ETC.

    This is from Allah if at all he is God.

    Mohammad even sweared to the Pagans by swearing the name of Stars, Moon and even in the name of Allah, as evident from Quran.

    4)

    Who was it that revealed to mohammad?? so much so that he wanted to commit suicide SEVERAL time by jumping from the top of mountains as attested by his own wife Aisha.

    Further, I have Read Hadits
    HADIT SAHIH BUKHARI, BOOK 87, # 111 Narated By 'Aisha :
    (About the angel, it begins by saying

    The angel (Which Angel??) came to him in it and asked him to read…………

    (it doesn’t say Angel Gabriel because he NEVER knew who it was)

    Further,

    WARAQA said, "This is the same Namus (i.e., Gabriel, the Angel who keeps the secrets).

    (Angel Gabriel did NOT say…but WARAQA told him)

    Mohammad NEVER knew it was Angel Gabriel, did he?

    It was Waraqa who put it into his mind that it was an Angel.
    SO WHAT IS IT SO GHASTLY A THING THAT APPEARED TO MOHAMMAD, WHO WAS IT?

    5)
    Allah has forgotten that he asks angels to prostrate to a Man a human whom allah himself made him from clay? as in 2:34, 7:11-12, 15:30-33, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116, 38:71-76 tell us?

    7:11-12

    “We said to the Angels, ‘PROSTRATE yourselves before ADAM.’

    They ALL prostrated themselves except Satan, who refused to prostrate himself.

    ‘Why did you not prostrate yourself when I commanded you?’

    He asked. ‘I am nobler than he,’ he replied. ‘You created me of fire, but you created him of clay.’

    Besides that Allah has told

    6) Quran also confirms that the WORD OF GOD became MAN and the name given to the Word of God is Jesus Christ.

    Sura Al Imran :
    44 This is part of the tidings of things UNSEEN, which We REVEAL unto you by inspiration: you were not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam; nor were you with them when they disputed (the point).
    45 Behold! The angels said, “O Maryam! Allah gives you GLAD TIDINGS of A WORD from Him: HIS NAME (WHOSE NAME ? – THE WORD OF GOD'S NAME) shall be ISA MASIH(Messiah), the son of Maryam, held in HONOR in THIS world and also in the HEREAFTER and of the righteous.
    47: Allah decreed a Plan.

    Further, quran confirms that God ransomed the child of Abrham with a momentous sacrifice for GENERATIONS to come in Later times. NO WHERE IN THE QURAN DOES ALLAH SAY IT WAS ISHMAEL.

    Surah 37:
    106. For this was a clear trial-
    107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
    108. And We left for him among GENERATIONS (to come) in LATER times

    The is non other than Jesus Christ , The word of God and the Spirit of God.

    All double standards are found in quran, just like in one place it says people of book are friends, but in another place it says do not trust christians and jews. In one place it says alcohol is okay and in another place it says not okay.

    Further more the revelations came according to his own whims and fancies so much so that Allah told him it is okay to marry his adopted son's wife, that majority of women go to hell, that muslims must marry 4wives but he can marry 14+ odd wives and slaves and the first fruits of war was to be handed over to him, women should be taken to bed and beaten, etc. etc.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  18. Enoch2000

    Mr. Prothero, do you have a sense of "apology", yourself? Have you ever apologized to millions of men and women for destroying their souls with your anti-Christ rhetoric? Well, this is your media, it's your time, for now.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  19. william wallace

    When soldiers having committed the same slaughter in the middle east
    as elswhere many places worldwide. // Such portrayed on a western
    24 / 7 propaganda brainwashing media as hero's / praised & awarded
    medals / or appalling acts of brutality that portrayed by western media
    as heroic acts / in defence of freedom / that in defence of democracy.

    Breivik's far from being insane / indeed a highly intelligent human being
    that being said // there's no doubt at such time he is VERY ill of mind...

    Whom to blame ?? One can say all are to blame // politicians whom in
    having taken extreme right wing views / resulting in milliions of deaths.

    The most powerful nations whom having abandoned international law
    whom behave as they please // a law unto themselves. In main of late
    a decade of republicans in govt // having a extreme right wing agenda
    spurned on by their halfbaked crackpot religious ideas / beliefs /having
    brought upon humanity a river of blood a river of tears / great suffering.

    Even more sad republicans did not win the election putting them in govt
    such election win gained came via massive voting fraud / coupled with
    the corrupt ruling of an supreme court decision / awarding them victory.

    This does not make only the USA guilty of great wrongs done / there's
    many nations ruled by tyrants / psychopaths // those blinded by greed
    the great injustice by Israel against palestinians but sums up the horror
    that nations being capable of committing / heartless acts of inhumanity
    of cruelity // based on halfbaked ideas / beliefs /religious brainwashing.

    Thus the solution is for all nations in making a better world / more so the
    more advanced nations in aiding poorer nations / giving humane support.

    Let it be the act of Breivik / awakening the human spirit / opens the heart
    unto a world of great injustice bringing some light /some human kindness.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  20. Rainer Braendlein

    The above article of Prothero is one of the worst articles, I have ever read!

    Passage of the above article:

    "Osama bin Laden was a Muslim terrorist. Yes, he twisted the Quran and the Islamic tradition in directions most Muslims would not countenance. But he rooted his hate and his terrorism in that text and that tradition. So Muslims, as I have long argued, have a responsibility to speak out forcefully against Bin Laden and to look hard at the resources in their tradition that work to promote such evil."

    Twisted the Koran????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    No, no, no! Osama bin Laden acted according to the very doctrine of the Koran. He did not have to twist it at all!!!

    Mercifully, today the most Muslims are secularized, and thus don't know the evil mysteries of the wicked Koran. Would Muslims know better the Koran, they could behave very outlandish (like bin Laden).

    Read the Koran and notice, it was really written for the purpose to unite the Arabs for a war against the disbelievers (in Muhammad's eyes Jews and Christians are disbelievers).

    It is fully correct to name Osama bin Laden a Muslim terrorist, whereby he had not to twist the Koran in any way. Osama just was, what the Koran meant him and every other Muslim to be.

    By the Holy Bible at least the pagans, which have converted to Christianity (we), cannot reason any aggressive war. For us (the people of the Western World) the Bible is a book of love: In his love God sent his eternal Son Jesus Christ to deliver us. As delivered people, we are able to love our neighbours (also the Muslims). So, God's love flows through us.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:13 am |
    • Perplexed

      The Old Testqment is rife with stories of slaughter and incest against non-believers. It is also full of God's love for humanity. Same with Koran. binLaden took only the hate as did the guy in Norway. He may call himself a Christian, but, as a Christian, I denounce his views and so should all Christians. IF you believe in the 10 commandants then you should denounce anyone who kills. If you believe in a God of love, then you should never approve of the random killing of anyone for any reason.

      July 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.