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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)
  1. us1776

    This guy and his anti-multi-culturalism manifesto is just another way of saying he's a racist in a politically correct manner.

    And his claim that he is a nationalist. That is one of the hallmarks of Nazism. Ultra-nationalism is one of the pillars of Nazism.

    I have little doubt that this guy is a Neo-Nazi. He has showed all the hatred, violent and repressive thinking that is so indicative of Neo-Nazism.

    And his rantings about the Muslims? Don't forget that the Nazis persecuted all sorts of minorities during WWII, not just Jews.

    So to me it's pretty clear that this person was a Neo-Nazi.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      That he is a Christian is another parallel with the Nazis.
      Hitler made certain that the Catholic faith stayed alive and well during the Third Reich.
      "We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out".
      The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, Oxford University Press, 1942

      July 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Big Bob

      What race is Islam again?

      July 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • jonathan

      I disagree the guy is panicked after 9/11...He has watched what has happened in Europe and in 9 years of planning decided to make a statement..he has inspired others to follow after him ...Norway is paying the price of their form of presumptive Christianity which has eliminated a more true form of Christianity which allows for the new birth ( a Christian must ) without which one cannot be a real Christian... These people even fined Smith Wigglesworth for practicing medicine without a liscense when he was there more than 70 years ago praying for the sick in the name of Jesus... LOL

      July 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BigBob: A good deal of anti-Islam sentiment is in fact racism in disguise. Ask an American what a muslim looks like and they will describe a person of middle eastern or east asian descent. They will not consider that a person of chinese heritage or an eastern european or even african-american is also muslim despite there being prominent populations of muslims in those demographics. To think that the two are not inter-connected is to be a little short-sighted.

      July 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • grey, atlanta

      If you want to disguise the problem, then be my guest! However, if one is on a quest to understand the problem in order to be able to preclude this from occurring in the future, one should not assign easy lables to this phenomenon. The guy is not a Nazi. His support for Israel and his concern for the spread of Islam in Europe clearly indicates that he is not a Nazi. If you study history, Nazism was very friendly with Islam and was virulantly anti-Semitic. That is unless you believe that Zionism is the same thing as Nazism, in which case it is easy to understand why you would label this guy a Nazi. He actually proclaimed himself a supporter of Israel and a Christian Zionist. In my book, all those are true virtues of a person – not Christianity per se, but support for Israel. However, something has gone awfully wrong with the conclusions that he drew out of his convictions. Neither Judaism nor Zionism teaches mass murder or intolerance. Zionism is a Socialist movement advocating the immigration into historical Jewish lands by European Jewry as a mean of escaping persecution in Europe. That's all that Zionism is. Everything else attributed to Zionism is a bunch of lies. Zionists are European socialists of the late 19th and early 20th century that are culturally Jewish but religiosly atheist. So, this guys' support for Israel and Zionism is commendable, but his actions of mass murder are at best misguided and at worst acts of a deranged individual.

      July 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  2. KingOfErehwon

    Even as an atheist, I can see that this is really nothing to do with Christianity. This is just a case of a mentally-disturbed person who perverted a commonly-held belief system to justify his own inner-torments. Nothing more. Leave religion out of it.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • BHASKY

      inner torments ? How can you say he wasnt tormented as a result of his religion ? His deceleration thesis, contradict what you are saying.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • KingOfErehwon

      He wasn't tormented BECAUSE of his religion. He had mental problems he couldn't deal with and latched onto Christianity to deal with his problems and got it all twisted in his already twisted mind. He could have latched onto any belief system with the same outcome.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Omar Sadiq

      Yes, leave religion out when acts like these are carried out by Non-Muslim individuals or groups.
      Hypocrites!!! When a muslim does something similar, the whole Islam religion gets blamed for it but when a christian or a jew or a hindu does something similar, its always, "oh, he's mentally unstable."
      This guy was a CHRISTIAN....period!!!! So, this makes Christian also a "terrorist" religion, right?????

      July 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • KingOfErehwon

      Omar, you are right that Muslims as a whole are unjustly accused of similar things. And this is also wrong. Both sides need to stand back and look at the root causes of violent actions in the name of any religion. I object to the basic tenants of any religion, but I know that most people aren't crazy enough to carry out actions like that in the name of their religion. There are deeper things involved.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • Dana

      I disagree that this is a case of a "mentally disturbed" person. Mental illness reduces coherence and capacity, and is associated with hallucinations and delusions. Jared Loughner is an example. Breivik is articulate and coherent - in fact his rhetoric closely resembles a lot of currently popular right wing rhetoric. He reasoned his way to this outcome by taking the right wing philosophy to its extreme. Do not insult people with true mental illness by attributing what Breivik did to something that does not apply to him.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
    • BHASKY

      Ur argument did not convince me. If he killed as many people and told the cops he did so because he was jobless and depressed, I would have bought that argument. I wud like to think this guy cud have been an intellectual gone terribly wrong. Or how else wud he see no problem in killing fellow christians? A muslim would first kill the infidels, bring on a caliphet and only then start killing his own.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • KingOfErehwon

      No, Dana, a person can be quite mentally disturbed and still be quite coherent.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Wow

      Omar, All Christians don't stand behind this person. I am sure almost all don't. Instead, I can tell you he wasn't a Christian. He thought he was, but wasn't. Christians don't go out and cut down innocent children and blow up buildings. This guy was a total nut job. Christians may have done horrific things in the past, but they weren't following the Word of God. Generally, they would take certain scriptures and disect them and take things out of context to uphold their actions. The last thing a Christian should do is start taking things from the OT and saying that makes killing OK. I haven't read the 1500 pages of this maniac, and probably won't. I can assure you that he wasn't a Christian. Also, I don't blame all Muslims for attacks that Muslims have perpetrated. There are right wing factions of every faith. We. as peaceful people of faith, need to help identify people who are not on the right path.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • BHASKY

      people often point to pol pot or stalin and say they were atheist killers. Which is wrong, because they did not kill to spread *atheistic views*, that is no conversion involved, no incantations or ceremonies. This man could have no racist/nationalist/christian view and it would have been ok to call him demented, but that is not the case. He killed to have a Utopian world of *right* christians. I wud be surprised if this guy is not already praised quietly among the christian luny of this country.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Wow

      If a Christian is praising what was done in Norway, he or she needs to reassess their faith and start reading the Gospels. This was a horrible event. Unfortunately, I am sure that there are Christian factions that would quietly agree with what was done. These are not true Christians.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Dana

      I have a degree and many years experience with people with severe mental illness. Regardless of whatever BS you assert, there has been NO evidence presented about this suspect that indicates psychosis.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • ummm

      lol...spoken like a "true" atheist.....NOT!-we can see your disguise for what it really is....anyone who starts off saying..."I am..." should be scrutinized for being a troll with ulterior motives...good try though

      July 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • grey, atlanta

      @WOW: "Christians don't go out and cut down innocent children and blow up buildings."

      Do you even KNOW what you are saying? Christians have done exactly THAT for two thousand years now. Have you even STUDIED the Crusades? Or do you think that Billy Graham invented the Crusades, and the Crusades are the stadiums packed with people holding hands, singing contemporary Christian music, and professing their love in Jesus?

      July 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • suzique

      Thank you for your response.

      July 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Mike

      @Omar

      I didn't see christian nations burning Norwegian flags and chanting death to Norway after this happened, so keep up the apples and oranges comparison, ok bud?

      July 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • john

      Thanks for a common sense response.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  3. GodPot

    "It is true that he sees himself as a crusader and some sort of Templar knight," said Marcus Buck "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,"

    So you have to have "insight" into "Christian theology" to be classified as a christian terrorist? I don't remember anyone saying anything about that when it came to Muslims. Were they not Islamic extremists regardless of how well they did in their religious study's? This seems to me to be another attempt by Christians to distance themselves from another ultra-crazy member who takes a few sermons a wee to litteraly.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  4. Will

    I hope external links are allowed here because Verum Serum has done a nice, concise summary of how the Norway murderer himself acknowledges he is not a Christian in any religious sense.

    Link is here: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=27607

    July 25, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Will: Thanks for the article. It was interesting. But I have to disagree with the distinctions the article makes. Saying that he is not particularly religious, but also would pray in times of trouble, and supports the "moral platform" of Christianity, simply makes him what we would call a "moderate" Christian. But a Christian nonetheless. If you believe in the cultural, social, moral ident!ty (and benefit) of Christianity to the degree that you call yourself one, that makes you a Christian. And he does not ever deny that he is a Christian. In fact he chose that word to define himself. True that might not make him a "fundamentalist" as we in the States would know it, but it certainly does not make him NOT a Christian since that is what he calls himself.

      July 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  5. Mark

    Same old story of christians refusing to see the truth and not being able to grasp the fact that one of their own could do some thing like this.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Wow

      Not true, there are Christians that have a scewed view as there are people from all religions and political view points that have scewed views. All that is being said is that this person didn't act as a true Christian should. There is no true biblical justification for what he did. What he did is horrific.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
    • ummm

      WOW.....exactly...now try putting that logic to the Crazy fanatics of other faith and cultures...Most people like to lump people together...unless it is one of their own.

      July 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • john

      Every 15 years or so, a radical white guy goes crazy and kills many people (and they don't hop on table tops while shooting everyone yelling "Jesus Christ all power to him"!!) Wow!, everyone always forgets that muslims kill THEIR OWN and others everyday around the world as they loudly say "Allah is the Greatest". They hide behind baby carriages, mosques, school buses, etc, EVERYDAY!!!. Truly, where is the outcry from muslims at the everyday murders around the world from there own! (Sorry, the USA can only be blamed so long for your troubles). I believe, as a christian, that anyone who kills an innocent person/child should be hunted down and brought to trial... hang Breivik now! (oops, sorry... noose mob on the loose). We christians would hunt the streets looking for such a low life! ...whether so called christian or muslim or jew. Not so with the muslim community.
      A Chinese man goes into a kindergarten school (in China) and kills most of them with a knife (sorry you libs, they have great gun control in China, so they use knives instead). The point is...its a human nature thing!!!!, and right now the radical islam terrorists are the biggest problem! Get over it!
      Islamic fundamentalist = expect others in your own faith to not stand up and hunt down the evil doers in your religion, followed with blaming all problems on USA instead of Fascist, Dictator, Socialist leaders! Cower in fear instead of standing up to what is right. Almost all in Islamic fundamentalist yell " allahu akbar!" when killing little children on buses.
      Christian fundamentalist = ALWAYS hunt down those who kill in the name of Christianity. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, has any so called "Christian" yelled "Christ is Great!!" in killing others.
      Common sense... it is long gone in media and general humanity.
      Ideologs always come in all forms...we are always surprised everyday when something new happens. To compare the atrocities around the world everyday to one incident is childish and not very common sensed. You picked one "christian" compared to many muslim/Islam "radicals" (political correct)whom almost EVERYDAY blow children and innocent people during weddings and funerals, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, and yell "allahu akbar" in almost all attacks. I tell you what, let me know when the ratio of Islamic killings, while they yell "Allahu Akbar"!!!!,even comes close to a 1 in 100,000 ratio of christians yelling "Christ is all Mighty!" when they kill.......

      July 26, 2011 at 2:46 am |
  6. iHateStupid

    It doesn't matter to the left-wing hacks, as you can see by the level of vigor in the comments within this thread. They want to spew more fear, hatred and prejudice. I remember when the Oklahoma City bombing happened. Within the first fifteen minutes of it being reported, the were speculating that it was a middle-eastern individual (this is pre-9/11 mind you). Now with this trajedy, you have this blanketly placed on the shoulders of Christianity.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • BHASKY

      and how stupid is it to ignore the fact that he had extreme *Christian* views ? This is a christian terrorism. Ur analogy of tim is the same here too. people thought, including myself, it was AQ or some such Muslim fanatic. and it turned out to be a CHRISTIAN fanatic!

      July 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Jenna NYC

      He is no Christian. Jesus taught love of fellow man. He also taught not to judge other people, and not to be a hypocrit.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • BHASKY

      Jenna NYC:
      Jesus also had popular *magic shows*, was the David Blaine of his days (if such a character ever lived that is). And his mom was a virgin ? Pls dont bring jesus in here. Christianity is a religion started by people not the jesus dude. Just like Bhuddha. Inspite of saying he did not agree with his worship, dumb people dis. Christianity is absolutely corrupt.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Dana

      If the right wing weren't making a hobby of spreading anti-Muslim sentiment and conflating Islam with terrorism, we would not even be discussing Breivik's religion. That said, two wrongs don't make a right. Muslims do not commit terrorism due to Islam any more than Breivik committed terrorism due to Christianity.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • BHASKY

      Dana:
      people wud feel offended, but let me still say this. The *good thing* abt 9/11 is that this dumb nation came to know of countries outside. but this dumb nation still things unilateralism is the way forward! Yes we wudnt be talking of his religion alright, infact if 9/11 didnt happen most people wudnt care if there was a Norway!

      July 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Wow

      Once again, do you see a Christian group taking blame for this? No. When there is a terrorist attack and a large Islamic group takes blame, what are you supposed to say?

      July 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • grey, atlanta

      To Jenna: I wonder if the Catholic Church from the beginning of Christianity till the end of WWII is Christian. According to your definition of Christianity, one cannot call the Catholic Church Christian. They committed so many acts of mass murder from the persecution of Jews in the Roman Empire, to crusades, to the Inquisition, to the pogroms in every European country, to the Holocaust. You sound like a Protestant Christian. Protestantism was founded by Martin Luther, who was a virulent anti-Semite calling for the destruction of Jewish homes and synagogues and the expulsion of Jews. Was the founder of your branch of Christianity a true Christian? Are you a true Christian?

      July 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  7. BHASKY

    Welcome to the Post 2000, Christian Terrorism to Rock the *CIVILIZED* world lol

    July 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  8. Gerry Daley

    He would fit right into the God/Guns/Hate Gays mantra of many fundie Christians in the US. If God is on your side, then virtually anything you do to further "the cause" is permitted.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Wow

      A question coming from a Christian. How do you know if God is on your side?

      July 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • john

      Ideologs always come in all forms...we are always surprised everyday when something new happens. To compare the atrocities around the world everyday to one incident is childish and not very common sensed. You picked one "christian" compared to many muslim/Islam "radicals" (political correct)whom almost EVERYDAY blow children and innocent people during weddings and funerals, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, and yell "allahu akbar" in almost all attacks. I tell you what, let me know when the ratio of Islamic killings, while they yell "Allahu Akbar"!!!!,even comes close to a 1 in 100,000 ratio of christians yelling "Christ is all Mighty!" when they kill.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:02 am |
    • Frogist

      @john: I often wonder at people who dismiss the acts of declared Christians in the form of Breivik with the argument that there are lots more muslims who do bad things. You seem to be saying the same old story that muslims are evil and christians are good. That kind of black and white view is what is getting people killed. It's an idea that is not only badly simplistic but it is dangerous. Breivik shared that view himself. Look where that got us.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  9. JEFFERY FLOYD

    There are many such cases of this in the world,its only when one side to strong to opposes is there peace,the bible says as much as is with in you live at peace with all men,paraphrased that scripture,but that begs the guestion,will there a be a point that we can't have peace in this world? The answer is yes,sadly it will be so till end.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • GodPot

      "will there a be a point that we can't have peace in this world?"

      There will if religion continues to pit one man against another, continues to claim it's superiority over all and it's members attempt to force the rest of the world into obedience. If all religion was to disapear tomorrow think about how many conflicts would simply vanish.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  10. BHASKY

    A Christian Idealist who has right wing views most of the times will harbor a desire for an Utopian world with only Christians. Same goes with all religion. Religion is basically divisive and preach contradictory doctrines. The liberals unawares, dont see this commonality and obviously its not nice to speak the truth.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • Scott

      The difference is that Christians konw they are going to always be at odds with the world. If Christians could create their own utopia, then there would be no need for Jesus to return. This man is a loony, plain and simple. There is NOTHING in Christianity that teaches you to gun down innocents in cold blod. Before you make your comments about believing in a fairy tale, let me leave you with this: If Jesus let himself be killed on a cross, then someone who kills in his name spits in his face.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  11. Chris

    So a fundamentalist Christian's acts of violence are excused as 'not being tied to Christianity at all' - but if this man had been Muslim, we'd be hearing the denunciations of Islam as a "violent religion".

    Fundamentalists of any religion should either be blamed on that religion, period, or unilaterally denounced as whackjobs.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Hubba

      Come on, man! Read the article for meaning and stop that inverted logic baloney.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  12. Paulo

    White supremacy caused by deep feelings of inadequacy is the issue. Nazis and Far Right Christians seem to feel they really can't compete on a level playing field.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Big Bob

      They resent it when the playing field is artificially leveled and they have no voice, no vote, no nothing.
      Expect more of this from the indiginous. The Native Americans eventually did this too and today they are all the rage.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  13. Pope on a Rope

    When a muslim nut attacks innocent civilians, he represents all Muslims. When a Christian nut attacks innocent civilians, he's just a nut who pretends to be Christian. Is that about the gist of it?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Voice1

      What else can you expect from a CNN Religion Editor?

      July 25, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
    • Lawrence

      Pope on a Rope ??? Kinda suggests maybe, just maybe, you may also have an axe to grind Just sayin. Maybe.....

      July 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Sam

      Judging by your name you are referring to Catholics by 'Fundamentalist Christians'.....If you had done a little bit of reading before coming up with that name you would know that Fundamentalism in Christianity represents Protestant Christianity in every sense of the word....You should name urself 'Nut with his head up his but*'

      July 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Scott

      Um, many attacks committed by muslim terrorists with little condemnation from other muslims doesn't compare with the isolated deranged acts of a sociopath in the name of a religeon that he doesn't practice.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • john

      .Every 15 years or so, a radical white guy goes crazy and kills many people (and they don't hop on table tops while shooting everyone yelling "Jesus Christ all power to him"!!) Wow!, everyone always forgets that muslims kill THEIR OWN and others everyday around the world as they loudly say "Allah is the Greatest". They hide behind baby carriages, mosques, school buses, etc, EVERYDAY!!!. Truly, where is the outcry from muslims at the everyday murders around the world from there own! (Sorry, the USA can only be blamed so long for your troubles). I believe, as a christian, that anyone who kills an innocent person/child should be hunted down and brought to trial... hang Breivik now! (oops, sorry... noose mob on the loose). We christians would hunt the streets looking for such a low life! ...whether so called christian or muslim or jew. Not so with the muslim community.
      A Chinese man goes into a kindergarten school (in China) and kills most of them with a knife (sorry you libs, they have great gun control in China, so they use knives instead). The point is...its a human nature thing!!!!, and right now the radical islam terrorists are the biggest problem! Get over it!
      Islamic fundamentalist = expect others in your own faith to not stand up and hunt down the evil doers in your religion, followed with blaming all problems on USA instead of Fascist, Dictator, Socialist leaders! Cower in fear instead of standing up to what is right. Almost all in Islamic fundamentalist yell " allahu akbar!" when killing little children on buses.
      Christian fundamentalist = ALWAYS hunt down those who kill in the name of Christianity. NEVER, I repeat NEVER, has any so called "Christian" yelled "Christ is Great!!" in killing others.
      Common sense... it is long gone in media and general humanity.
      Ideologs always come in all forms...we are always surprised everyday when something new happens. To compare the atrocities around the world everyday to one incident is childish and not very common sensed. You picked one "christian" compared to many muslim/Islam "radicals" (political correct)whom almost EVERYDAY blow children and innocent people during weddings and funerals, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, and yell "allahu akbar" in almost all attacks. I tell you what, let me know when the ratio of Islamic killings, while they yell "Allahu Akbar"!!!!,even comes close to a 1 in 100,000 ratio of christians yelling "Christ is all Mighty!" when they kill.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • Frogist

      @Scott: Can we put that lie away for good? Muslims have and are still condemning the acts of those who would kill them and others. They don't just sit back and say oh thank you for killing our families and friends. The recent revolutions in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt are proof that what you say is absolutely incorrect. What they won't do is what the right-wing Christian hardliners want them to do. They won't condemn their entire religion because of the acts of the few. Much like we are wont to do with Breivik.
      I would love if they acknowledged the violence in their religious texts that have the capacity to inspire killing as well. But since even Christians refuse to acknowledge that in their own Bible, I'm not holding my breath.

      July 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  14. Truth

    He is a Darwinian, not a Christian. Why is CNN always behind on story facts?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      And what exactly are the official tenets of a "Darwinian"?
      I've never heard of that religion.
      I see that when I drop something, it falls to the ground.
      Does that make me a "Newtonian"?

      July 25, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  15. MichaelK

    Of course, once the determination is made that this terrorist is a fundamentalist Chrustian, we see all sorts of considered, 'rational' analysis and hairsplitting among those who normally would have no problem painting all with the same brush. Problem is the bristles are hitting them now.
    Too bad. Now you can be part of an unfairly persecuted minority: Tend to the 2×4 in your own eye first.

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  16. Ben

    CNN, what's wrong with you? "But he doesn't seem to have any insight into Christian theology." If that's your criterion for eschewing the christian fundamentalist label, then you better apply that to the Islamic fundamentalist label as well. Why don't you ask all the mainstream Islamic scholars what they think about Jihadism then?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  17. chris

    What's the difference between a christian terrorist and a muslim terrorist?

    July 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • McBAain

      Bacon.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Wow

      Thanks for the humor! LOL

      July 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • John

      The difference? One is typically a loner with mental problems and the other is typically part of a group with mental problems. The group members appear to substantially outnumber the loners. The group members also like blowing themselves up and even talk their children into doing it sometimes. How am I doing?

      July 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  18. JEFFERY FLOYD

    It is not,that Christianity is violent,an they say Islam is not,but I speak for Christianity,it just they cannot live in peace together because they denie each others God.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • jonathan

      Jesus said think not that I have come to bring peace but a sword..Now he put only the sword of the spirit in our hands; but the worldly has the sword made with hands.. after the Martyrs of Jesus were initially fulfilled then came those who employ the sword mad e with hands in Revelation 6: 9-11 and then 14-17 ..there is a distinct difference between those who were like lambs and those who are like goats.....we still have a choice today who we are going to be like... 🙂

      July 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • cleareye1

      The post by Jonathon above is evidence that no "believer' can be trusted with weapons. They all suffer a form of mental illness that prevents them from understanding how preposterous their beliefs are. Can anyone that believes in a virgin birth, men walking on water, turning sticks into snakes, etc is sane? And that's just the new stories, get a load of the Old Testament ones for a real hoot. Smarter people today say these are only metaphors for what the latest snake oil hustler say they are.
      All believers in the supernatural fantasies are dangerous, especially with weapons.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban

      Cleareye, I agree schizophrenics should not have weapons

      July 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  19. ash

    same argument could be made from the Islamic perspective – this article is one-sided bs.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  20. Slumberjack

    The wider Christian community is no more responsible for this atrocity than the wider Muslim community was for 9/11. Christian churches and communities are under no special obligation to offer up statements distancing themselves from this madman, just as Muslims are not obligated to demonstrate their difference from a group of airplane hijackers. Certainly though, for many who find themselves swept up in the Rethuglician idiots crusade, while they would likely object to having us paint all Christians with the same brush as a result of this madman's actions, they almost universally remain untroubled when right wing voices hold hands with zionist special interests, with the aim of demonizing all who practice Islam for a wider political purpose. The strategy is largely sucessful, because the religious mindset, and this is true of every religion, already starts out from a position of having to work from fatal flaws in logic, reasoning and comprehension, the unfortunate result of a much lower ingrained and programmed capacity to correctly understand their own surroundings and that of the world. Therefore, they are already well accustomed to readily absorbing as truth an astonishing assortment of lies, propaganda and fear. Theirs is a ripe field for the planting of every crank idea that comes along.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • McBAain

      Nice post!

      July 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • chris

      Excellent post.

      July 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • BG

      Sure. Great post – for a paranoid antisemitic elitist. Good job there. What position did you play in school? Left Tackle?

      Blue 32, hut, hut !!

      No, I don't approve of what happened. But I do fear there's more on the way from both sides on an international scope. Factions of the right will act out of fear of marginalization as their liberal governments ignore nationalistic interests, and the left is just generally nuts enough to keep pushing for a "global multicultural mix, " so there's more shít coming our way.

      Slumberjack here is pretty quick to allege that conservative ignorance (with a special dash of cognitive deficit grounded in religious belief) is to blame.

      Well, we'll all be forced to choose sides sooner or later I guess.

      July 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Frogist

      "Factions of the right will act out of fear of marginalization as their liberal governments ignore nationalistic interests, and the left is just generally nuts enough to keep pushing for a "global multicultural mix, " so there's more shít coming our way."
      Sounds like something Breivik would say..

      July 26, 2011 at 10:23 am |
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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.