July 25th, 2011
11:13 AM ET

Is 'Christian fundamentalist' label correct for Norway terror suspect?

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Given initial suspicions that Friday's bombing and mass shooting in Norway were carried out by Islamic militants linked to al Qaeda, the way police ended up describing the suspect behind the attacks came as a big surprise even to many security experts: The alleged attacker was called a "Christian fundamentalist."

But experts on European politics and religion say that the Christian fundamentalist label could overstate the extent to which the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik - who has told authorities that he carried out the attacks - was motivated by religion, and the extent to which he is tied to a broader religious movement.

"It is true that he sees himself as a crusader and some sort of Templar knight," said Marcus Buck, a political science professor at Norway's University of Tromso, referring to an online manifesto that Breivik appears to have authored and which draws inspiration from medieval Christian crusaders.

My Take: Norway attacks shows terrorism isn't just Islamic

"But he doesn't seem to have any insight into Christian theology or any ideas of how the Christian faith should play any role in Norwegian or European society," Buck wrote in an email message. "His links to Christianity are much more based on being against Islam and what he perceives of as 'cultural Marxism.'"

From what the 1,500-page manifesto says, Breivik appears to have been motivated more by an extreme loathing of European multiculturalism that has accompanied rapid immigration from the developing world, and of the European Union's growing powers, than by Christianity.

"My impression is that Christianity is used more as a vehicle to unjustly assign some religious moral weight," to his political views, said Anders Romarheim, a fellow at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies. "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," Romarheim said in reference to what appear to be Breivik's views.

The manifesto is religion-obsessed in that it rants for long stretches against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe.

Who is Anders Behring Breivik?

It calls for a European civil war to overthrow governments, end multiculturalism and execute "cultural Marxists." The manifesto includes a link to a video asserting that the majority of Europe's population will be Muslim by 2050 "unless we manage to defeat the ruling Multiculturalist Alliance."

The author of the document identifies himself as Breivik, but CNN could not independently verify that he wrote the document, and Norwegian authorities would not confirm that the man in their custody wrote the manifesto, saying it was part of their investigation

Opposition to booming Muslim immigration to Europe, exacerbated by high birth rates in the Muslim community, has become a mainstay of Europe's burgeoning far-right, helping right-wing parties gain seats in parliaments across the continent.

But those right-wing movements are mostly secular. Europe's hard right does not have deep ties to Christianity in the way that the United States' conservative movement is entwined with evangelical Christianity and other theologically conservative religious movements.

A far-right comeback in Europe

Recently adopted European laws aimed at curbing Islam's public visibility, including France's new burqa ban and Switzerland ban on minarets - towers that a part of mosques - were secular causes, not ones championed by Christian interests. Many Christian groups oppose such bans.

"The bulk of the anti-Muslim sentiment is not against Muslims as such, but is a secular rejection of how some Muslims allegedly want to place Islam at the center of society," Buck said. "It is more anti-religious than anti-Muslim."

Breivik's apparent manifesto, by contrast, cites biblical verses to justify violence for political ends.

"Clearly, this is not a pacifist God we serve," it says. "It's God who teaches our hands to war and our fingers to fight. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, His people are commanded to fight with the best weapons available to them at that time."

"The biggest threat to Europe is the cultural Marxist/multiculturalist political doctrine of 'extreme egalitarian emotionalism,'" the manifesto goes on. "This type of political stance involves destroying Christendom, the Church, our European cultures and identities and opening up our borders to Islamic colonization."

The video that's linked to in the manifesto also includes some religious language: "Celebrate us, the martyrs of the conservative revolution, for we will soon dine in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Experts on religion in Europe said those faith-infused views are likely peculiar to the suspected gunman and do not appear reflect wider religious movements, even as they echoes grievances of Europe's right-wing political groups.

"He was a flaky extremist who might as well have claimed to be fighting for the honor of Hogwarts as for the cause of Christ," said Philip Jenkins, a Pennsylvania State University professor who studies global religion and politics, describing the suspected Norway attacker. "He did not represent a religious movement. ... People should not follow that Christian fundamentalist red herring."

At the same time, Breivik told investigators during interviews that he belongs to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unnamed sources.

He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said. He also told investigators he had been in contact with like-minded individuals and said he counts himself as a representative of this order, it said.

For many in Norway, the potential implications of the suspected killer's religion are still settling in.

"This is the first time we've heard of Christianity/religion as a driving force behind right-wing extremism," Buck said. "The mainstream right-wing movements in the Nordic countries (very small and disorganized groups in Norway) would generally point to the Old Norse beliefs, if anything."

"Norwegian, Nordic and European society," he said, "were totally unprepared for a violent attack from someone who calls himself Christian."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Islam • Norway • Terrorism

soundoff (1,640 Responses)

    Religous fundamentalists and zealots are all wacks and extremists, whether christian or muslim or anything, they take their slanted viewpoints to the extreme, the problem is some act on it.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • The ONE true GOD

      until you die and find out you were completely oblivious to the truth and have no excuse for why you completely ignored the word of God and mocked His people. Then reality sets in and your looking for anybody to step in at your defense but unfortunately that person's name was Jesus Christ and you completely mocked and ridiculed Him pretty much your entire life....and another 1 bites the dust...

      July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

      the ONE true DOG

      You are really brainwashed into believing bunk, go on living in your fairy world.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  2. cyberCMDR

    The reason why so many assume that religion was a motivator is because of man's long history of justifying horrific acts by saying God wanted them to do it. Religion is a moral wild card; if you believe you are doing God's will (however you divined that fact), then any action to fulfill that will is not only justifiable but mandatory. Because there is no objective method of divining God's will (most selectively interpret passages from their Holy book of choice), God's will can be anything that aligns with their issues. Religion can therefore be used to provide that "magic pixie dust" that makes the unacceptable to be acceptable (in the perpetrator's eyes). Sure they are nut cases, but religion is socially acceptable illogic, and lowers the threshold for doing some illogical things.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Joe N

    I grew up as a Christian, but eventually realized the myth. Please, please think about it....the Christian God exists because the Bible says it's so. The Bible exists because this is God's word....See the circular logic? There is a reason we were taught to take things "on faith". There is a reason we are taught as small children to believe in a God. It is because there is no God and you must be trained to believe it in spite of the evidence to the contrary. So over and over you are told to believe and not question things. "Faith" is believing things that aren't true.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • The ONE true GOD

      until you die and find out you were completely oblivious to the truth and have no excuse for why you completely ignored the word of God and mocked His people. Then reality sets in and your looking for anybody to step in at your defense but unfortunately that person's name was Jesus Christ and you completely mocked and ridiculed Him pretty much your entire life....and another 1 bites the dust..

      July 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |

      the ONE true DOG

      You are so brainwashed, I almost feel sorry for you.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban

      The ONE true GOD

      until you die and find out you were completely oblivious to the truth and have no excuse for why you completely ignored the word of God and mocked His people. Then reality sets in and your looking for anybody to step in at your defense but unfortunately that person's name was Jesus Christ and you completely mocked and ridiculed Him pretty much your entire life....and another 1 bites the dust..

      I am assuming you have died and verified this? Or are you relying on what dead men of past have claimed to be the truth? Jesus was delusional and most likely suffered from schizophrenia. His mother obviously slept around and used the whole God got me pregnant story to explain the bas tard son.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • The ONE true GOD

      Dear Anti-Christ and Non- Truth Taliban

      I love you too and God bless...have a nice day!

      July 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  4. CHC

    My sincere condolences & prayers to the victims/families. Labels in this case are worthless. This man's mind was corrupted by some sort of evil, as was McVeigh & others. Could there have been possible drug use?

    July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Kate

    Listen to what the man said. He considers himself Christian and is justified in his actions to protect his culture. The Christian fundamentalist community needs to not just brush this off as a wacko, but look at what within their religious culture encourages this. There is a long history of using Christianity to justify violence: "just war", persecution of Jews and Muslins, burning independent women as witches in the Middle Ages, religious persecution of Christians by other Christians, the idiot who burned the Koran knowing it would start violence, the list goes on. It seems to me that the shooter is just another of a long line of enforcers who depend on the silence of fundamentalist Christians to enforce the significant prejudices in the religion. When Hitler came to power before WWII, most of the Christian people either ignored or cheered the brown shirts who broken into business and homes of Jews and other groups. World War II and the camps were the results. Wake up Christians!

    July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  6. kerry

    to do that he is a sick deranged mind

    July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  7. Misha Gastonai

    Why isn't the "Belief Blog" filled with stories showcasing different aspects of various religions and provide the 'why' behind some of what they do and who they are.

    Pretty much every single story is a negative/political piece that doesn't help educate anyone.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Shirean Williams

    Please do not insult us by putting "Christian" in the by line of this murderer in Norway. Be more responsible in your reporting.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • sxt173

      wow, when all the closed minded people who make comments like "every Muslim is a terrorist and it is a religion of violence" (sic) are all of a sudden forced to put sense to a terrorist from another religion, they try to make excuses about what he actually 'meant' when he says he has religious motivations. Get real! He is a fundamentalist Christian terrorist the same way Osama was a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist.
      They are both sick, disgusting filth that use the perversion of religion as a tool for political gain.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  9. RD

    No, he sounds more like Hitler and the Nazis to me. Hitler claimed to be a Christian but he was not. It was a ploy to try to make him look better until he could gain control, then it all went out the window. The KKK also claims to be Christian, but they aren't. It's like Bin Laden co-opting the Muslim religion into his own insanity. There is a lot of hate toward Christians right now, but it is because they hate some very unChristian like behavior by some of those who claim to believe. Makes me sad. These types create God in their own image rather than the other way around. They actually worship themselves.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  10. Corey

    I've always said the far right has more in common with al-qaeda then they care to admit. Hate is hate no matter what fake believe guy you talk to.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  11. Ellson

    I do agree with what many have written here as to why Breivik who is shown with a freemason apron is not laballed en extremist freemason.The symbols he uses and all the rhetoric is an indication that he has knowledge of the Masonic agenda."Ordo ab chaos" = if you want to bring about change,you need to create such a state of fear and disorder (chaos) like what he did.Take a look at revolutions in history: so many innocents were killed by those monsters hidden behind those secret societies.It is time to understand that the secret societies are to blame here,and not christendom.A real Christian (not the Catholic type of christians that killed so many during the inquisition) won't kill innocent people as christianity is all about love: love God above all and your neighbor as yourself.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • sonas76

      What about all the Irish Catholics that were killed by the English Protestants during the rein of Cromwell, or don't they count?

      July 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • sxt173

      And the Crusades were just make believe love spreading missions and the civil war in Bosnia Herzegovina were the Christians way of showing brotherly love... Please don't be naive. Religion is used by these madmen as a political tool and changed over centuries to meet their current needs. This applies to ALL religions.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • sonas76

      My own former church (Lutheran) issued an apology a few years back for all the Lutheran's that WILLINGLY took part in the mass-murder that was WWII. They admitted to great wrong-doing instead of saying, "Well, these people weren't REAL Christians and Lutheran's.", which they easily could have done. To say that REAL Christians are incapable of evil is nothing but a lie.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  12. sonas76

    What scares me is this man will be lionized by certain individuals like Timothy McVeigh and Joe Stack. Terrorism is terrorism, no matter what banner you fly it under.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • sxt173

      Here here! I 100% fully agree!

      July 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  13. dtrix

    Just because someone acts violently and tries to legitimize it by claiming adherence to a particular religion does not make that religion a violent religion. One could engage in terrorism, and claim to be Amish, but that does not make the Amish a violent religion. In other words, one can act violently in spite of what a religion teaches even if the perpetrator is a member. The key is to watch how members of the religious community respond. Does the religious community with which he/she associates condemn or condone the violence. That's the key. If that community does not come out and denounce the violence, then they tacitly condone it. Notice how some religious communities do not condemn the violent terrorist acts of the radicals from their midst. Hmmm . . . now that makes you wonder if they are secretly encouraged by the community.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  14. Carol

    The Amish are Christian fundamentalists.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  15. mary jane jones

    Yes, Christain Fundamentalist is a perfect name for him. He is a right wing radical Christain fundamentalist. You guys demonized the faith of islam over the actions of a few and should be willing to do the same to the christians over this. Other wise you are just plain full of you know what.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Cindy

      I am a Christian and I totally agree with what you said. What's good for the goose.....

      July 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • sharky

      Ok has this guy said or done anything explicitly in the name of Christ? Islamic terrorists purposely invoke Allah when committing their acts thus showing to be Islamic religious fanatics. Can you show anywhere where this guy did this acts in the name of God or Christ or say long live Christians etc etc etc?

      If you cannot see the difference then do not comment and what you do not understand.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • David Stone

      Demonized muslims over the actions of "a few"? You mean a FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND don't you? What is the world-wide number of people associated with the islamic terror groups like Al Queda, the Taliban, Gammas, Hezbollah? For sure in the tens of thousands. How many millions or even billions have changed hands funding their camps, training and exploits?

      From all that has been shown, this was ONE LONE NUT, acting on his own, claiming to be part of a faith from which no organization has claimed him, no support has come that can be shown. As a matter of fact, can you even name anything like an Al Queda from the Christian ranks? Can you name a global Christian terror organization and tell me where they have blown things up, where their training camps are?

      July 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • dtrix

      As a Christian, I think what he did was heinous and worthy of death penalty. I don't care how he tries to justify it. Call him what you like, his acts had nothing to do with Christianity and cannot be justified, validated, or accepted on the grounds of true Christian teachings.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Off Base

      Is this really any different than the nutjob who killed people at the resort in Tasmania several years ago? This is just on a larger scale. Look up the history of that shooter.

      Guns have been around for a long time, when did these school, workplace, etc. mass shootings really start to become more common? It coincides with the large scale poisoning of the human brain by the pharmaceuticals, side affects be damned.

      But you don't have to believe me, look up the time-line yourself and see, and also notice that the shootings accelerate the last 25 years with the mass use of these drugs, starting at earlier and earlier ages, even young children. The drug companies are creating Frankensteins and aren't there to stop the monsters from roaming the streets. These are real life horror movies being created before your eyes. Stop this madness, and hold the drug companies accountable!

      July 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Louisiana Man

      He plunders and scourges under the sacrilegious cloak of Christianity. The word god nor christ need be mentioned to underline his hatred and judgement for the non christian-in this case, Muslim.
      Has a familiar ring, doesn't it?

      July 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @David Stone
      There are not hundreds of thousands of Al Qaeda members.
      According to The Council For Foreign Relations, it is nigh impossible to accurately estimate the size of Al Qaeda due to it's decentralized nature – but international intelligence estimates give membership numbers of a few hundred to a few thousand.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Wacky Jabber

      That nut was not following the commandments in the Bible. Islamic terrorists, however, are merely doing what the Koran tells them. Breivik is a Mason–a group fundamentalist Christians would never join.

      July 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @David Stone
      Seems that he wasn't acting alone!
      Buddy claims that there are other cells in his terrorist network.
      Your lone-nut theory is in serious jeopardy...

      July 26, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  16. The ONE true GOD

    15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15

    July 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban

      The ONE true GOD

      15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15
      Confused, is this guy claiming to be a prophet of god??????????????? I thought he was nust another christian fundi behaving badly???

      July 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  17. Chris K

    So is the goal to find a label to place on this killer? And how will that help? As a Christian can I flash my Christian Card at a crazy person who identifies as a Christian and avoid death? Did this guy ask each of his victims whether they are Christian, Hate muslims and have Right Wing political leanings before shooting them? I doubt it.

    What purpose will this label serve? Is it just a random fun fact about the killer? Maybe he liked Disney movies? Maybe ALL Disney lovers are murderers too? Perhaps this somehow justifies your hatred of Religion? Because of this guy... all Christians... and maybe even ALL religions are filled with murderers? Are we saying an Atheist or Agnostic is incpapable of this kind of thing? Are we using is to justify stereotypes and bigotry?

    I mentioned in a previous post that I don't typically add any qualfiers to the word terrorist. If we add the term muslim to terrorist, it suggests that there is something inherent in Islam that incites mass murder. I don't believe this to be the case. In the same way, I fail to see how the Christian lable here will help things.

    Why were many OK with adding a Muslim lable to terrorists, but then question why this guy is associated with Christianity? My guess would be that the peopl on this board have more experience with Christians than Muslims. They may have read more of the Bible than the Quaran and are more certain that random violence is not a Christian concept. But with Islam, they are not sure so they don't make a fuss about the muslim terrorist lable.

    Jared Lougher went on a killing spree earlier this year. He was said to have antireligios views. Does that say something about people who dislike religion in general? Or does it simply tell us that this guy who was crazy and murdered people just happened to hate religion?

    July 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • timothyn

      I agree. Christians have murdered more people than all religions combined. Hitler was a christian (who actually used his christian upbringing & bible as a guide). Popes (religious leaders!) throughout medieval times used their post to murder/kill & lived lives of lust. The cruasders murdered and pillaged million in middle east. The british & various other christian nations occupied and murdered millions over asia, africa, and the new land & continue to do so through unfair economic policies & wars.Timothy McWay was a christian. However, the terrorist label can never be applied to Christians?

      July 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Wacky Jabber

      @timothyn You misunderstood the post above. Otherwise, you would not have agreed.
      Hitler was a Catholic and not a fundamental Christian (the phrase is usually associated with Evangelical Christians). The Crusaders and Knights Templar were Catholics. Breivik is not a fundamental Christian as he claims to be.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • sonas76

      How many non-Catholic Christians follwed Hitler with zeal? A lot. Many during that time here in the U.S. thought he was a great guy with some great ideas. If the Jews got wiped out, all the better.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • john

      That is correct! Most non-religious people are in fact killers!! Fundamentalist atheists!! Cant be trusted!!, and often referred to as "atheist freaks", they want only to shove their way down our throat. They, of course, only elect those individuals who believe like they do!! how absurd!! and in-tolerant!!. And get this, they think we should only adhere to there teachings, or we are called names, or much worse!(all above is satire!.sarcasm!..replace atheist with christian, get the point?) Why is it ok for atheists to have their believes and christians not theirs? Oh, that's right, the ever-flowing truth blob of secularism/atheism says so!!, so it must be right! Oh, just you wait, I will soon be reminded of Christian atrocities around the world, while the atheist hide behind there fatherless past, as if only religious people committed crimes. Let's all get over ourselves and admit everyone is human, ALL humans commit crimes, and concentrate on reality of what is happening now.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  18. Buddy R

    Jesus said that not everyone who claims to follow him (to be a Christian) actually follows him. That seems to be an obvious fact but some anti-theists have a hard time grasping it.

    The man did not follow the teachings of Christ and is not a Christian according to the words of Jesus Christ. Jesus said if you do not follow his teachings you are not his. Period. In my opinion anyone who calls the man a Christian is either ignorant of the Bible or a willful liar.

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    Jesus taught us to love everyone, even our enemies. Not to kill them. The Bible says anyone who claims to know God but who hates or murders is a liar.

    Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

    1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

    Mr article writer, according to the Bible the man who killed all those kids did not know God. He is a liar in calling himself a Christian. He hates people and he murders and he does not live according to the core teachings of Christianity.

    Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
    Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
    Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
    Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • timothyn

      I understand your point of view. Muslims say the exact same thing - that the "terrorists" are not following Islam. Yet, the term "fundamentalist" (going to the fundamentals of a religion?) or "extremist" automatically implies something bad and is used immediately with nearly any muslim who doesn't appear to share western views - However, the same terms are not used when christian individuals and nations comits mass murder. So, obviously a double standard.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  19. MB

    No one here, including reporters, seems to understand what a Christian fundamentalist is. So, they say Christian fundamentalist and Islamic fundamentalist and religious wacko all in one breath.
    All being a Christian fundamentalist is a belief in the following precepts: 1) that the Bible is literary true and accurate book containing God's word (typically the sticking points among Christians are creation, the flood and other similar events which some believers see as strictly allegories for deeper truths) 2) the Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary 3)that Jesus died as the ultimate sacrifice and penalty for our sin 4) that Jesus literary rose again 5) that we can have eternal life through Jesus Christ and 6) that Jesus will come again to complete prophecy and judge the world.
    All these other things about Muslims, other political issues etc., are personal interpretations and truthfully can vary from person to person depending on their background, mental stability and how they internalize their faith. For the most part, Christians teach peace. They would never commit murder because that would be to violate one of the Ten Commandments.

    July 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • timothyn

      So, let me get this straight? A Christian Fundamentalist is OK but an Islamic Fundamentalist is not OK? "for the most part, christians teach peace" - implying that for the most part muslims teach violence?? If christianity teaches peace, then why do christians in the past (and now) killing so many people? Have you ever even been inside a masjid? attended a class by a muslim scholar? Don't get me wrong... i agree with you (that religion at its pure form is probably not the root cause of the violence) - but not when the religion gets hijacked by people with other motives (as is very much true with Christianity for a long long time).

      July 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • MB

      I'm not making a judgment about Islamic fundamentalism in my statements. Only that they are labeled (mostly due to numerous planned out terrorism activities by groups and statements from leaders regarding intentions to kill us) as dangerous by the media and that the media then turns and labels Christian fundamentalism the same way even though there haven't been similar events (in that a group planned and carried out attacks). The event that have happened in this category have been individuals who really didn't have a particularly church or affiliation at all. I disagree that Christians now are killing people (I am speaking of terror related activities. I am aware of fighting among citizens of varying faiths still exists). I can tell you that evangelical Christians are the leading group of those doing charity work both in the United States and abroad. Specifically, the Southern Baptist have more mission outreaches than any other denomination in the world...so I would say that Christians are doing more to help people than hurt them. I know about the past and those were in hindsight more politically motivated than faith motivated and weren't in accordance with Christian teachings at all..so yes the faith was hijacked as you say. Yes, I have studied Islam and have attended classes with a Muslim scholar so I know quite a bit about the faith as well as many other faiths. The problem I have that I am trying to correct is that Christian fundamentalism is some mysterious thing where its members must agree on political subjects. Not true. The faith is as individualistic as every person makes it. We all believe basic principals but beyond that not always. Even church members disagree on details of things like creation or the second coming..even though they agree with the overall concepts.

      July 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  20. Allen

    Why no investigation into Breivik being a Mason?

    July 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
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About this blog

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.