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. Floyd

    Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His name is Jesus the Christ and all non-Christians are the ones talked about here whom will be punished and everyone knows whom they are.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • i wonder

      If you can't see that this (Revelation) was written by someone seriously under the influence of psychoactive drugs or who was insane, I really worry about what you might do.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  2. Brian

    In other words, a Christian fundamentalist is not a Christian fundamentalist. This little essay reminds me of the Catholic "experts" and "theologians" who feel obligated to apologize for the "anti popes" of the middle ages.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Kevin B.

      So please tell me...exactly what was fundamentally christian about his actions?

      July 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  3. christopher

    "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."

    That is just plain stupid. Christians who plant bombs in abortion clinics and shoot OB-GYN doctors in the back are doing EXACTLY that. Get a clue. Get a brain.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
  4. being real

    I'm starting my own religion. Like the gospel of inclusion, anyone can join. You just need to practice these core values. Don't steal, murder, lie, or attack anyone who doesn't think like you. Love your family, friends, and neighbors. Help those who need help, and don't be affraid to ask yourself. Admit when your wrong and be humble. Do unto others as you would want done unto you. Live to love and love to live. Your all invited to join and if you don't you won't be subject to eternal hell fire. All this sounds weird I know. I'm such a misguided soul aren't I.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  5. BeFaithful

    Quran (2:191-193) – "And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]...and fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah."

    As for those of you that think the Bible is "just as bad" as the Qur'an when it comes to condoning murder, you are wrong. Every mention of killing in the OT is time and place specific (and confined to a time that God was establishing the Holy Land). You won't find any such parallels in the New Testament. Contrast this with the writings of Islam's "prophet". It's apples and oranges.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • being real

      Bring on the attacks people, I can feel it coming.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Muslim

      Qur'an 2:190 (you might want to include the previous verse for context...): "Fight in the cause of God those that fight you, but do not transgress limits, for God loves not transgressors" Also, why can some Muslims who are extreme be so freely labeled as "Fundamentalists" but not Christians of the same level of ignorance?

      July 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Muslim

      And you forgot 2:192 where you claim to include it by stating 2:191 – 193: "But if they cease, God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" and 193 continues: "But if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression." As with any holy scripture, CONTEXT IS IMPORTANT. Please ensure that your brain is functioning before posting so as to not spread lies and half-truths and for your own benefit.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  6. JoeC

    Is this about evil or just a discussion of who has the biggest ego/knowledge of religions. Good luck finding an answer. Who can tell a man's heart from other. Bologny.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • David

      I think you mean baloney. Or bologna.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  7. Edwin

    If he sees himself as a Christian crusader, then he IS a Christian extremist. Whether he knows religious theology or not, he is Christian and was motivated by his faith to attack and kill. Al Qaeda and the Taliban do not know much about Islam (they pervert its teachings), yet they are called muslims. Why should an idiot who thinks of himself as Christian be considered otherwise?

    I would not presume that other Christians follow his crazed beliefs, just as I do not presume other Muslims follow the terrorist ways of al Qaeda.

    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 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Joe Williams

      Nice try. Tens of thousands of Muslims hate Americans. The Norwegian killer is one person who hates Muslims. There is a difference, but you would rather turn a blind eye...the Muslim religion breeds thousands for killers against non Muslims...a fact. Try as you may, you cannot rationalize the Norwegian killer as a Christian extremest who represents thousands of haters like Muslims hate non-Muslims. An old Liberal trick!

      July 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Edwin

      Christians also plan mass murder. A year ago, a branch of the Hutaree were arrested in the United States for planning to blow up a bomb at a funeral - they wanted to kill the wife and children of a federal agent. Very christian...

      The reality is this: terrorists are very poor indicators of a religion. The Irish Republican Army blew up car bombs in an effort to make Northern Ireland a Catholic region. Those Christians were okay with killing innocent children, even christian ones. That was less than 20 years ago. Maybe you are just too young to remember the killing that christians do, but I do not.

      Terrorists are evil. The Taliban and al Qaeda use terror and destruction as weapons, and they are evil. So is this guy. NEITHER represent any religion whatsoever.

      You think christians are mostly good, decent folk precisely because you personally know some who are. You probably don't know any muslims, so your only information comes from sensationalist media about crazed attacks. Likewise, the Pakistani muslims know nothing of peaceful christians - they only know of muslims who try to live lives of peace. Their vision of the United States is filled with hateful media images, just like you only see hateful images of them.

      No wonder you have no idea what muslims are really like.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • David

      John: your "us against them" argument reinforces my ever-stronger feelings against all religions. Thanks, you're helping to ruin religion for all of us. My earlier post:

      This is another example of why religious people of all faiths are ruining religion for all of us (by chance of birth, I'm a Christian). My religion is better than yours! No it's not – mine is! Not it's not – mine is! It's all so stupid. Christians kill Christians – as perfectly demonstrated by this genius and far-seeing Norwegian – Muslims kill Muslims, and we all eventually wander into each others realms. More and more I long for that island where its inhabitants know nothing of God or gods or any other supposedly wiser being and its instruction or inspiration or whatever you want to call this knowledge that we inevitably pervert.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  8. Hunter

    If he walked into a muslim neighborhood and blew away 80 or 90 muslims would we of cared? Muslims wish for christian destruction so what's wrong with us wishing for theirs? I for one certainly do.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Edwin

      If you wish for the deaths of muslims, you are evil. There is NOTHING remotely christian about wishing for the destruction of those who have not harmed you. And don't delude yourself - the vast majority of muslims have not committed harm and have never aspired to commit harm. Just because you don't like them is not enough reason to hate.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • S.L. Barry

      It is wrong for Christians because the bible say so. Turn the other cheek. Forgive if you want to be forgiven.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • meemee

      I think the issue you raise begs the question, or projects the vision; Is it possible for a white, Christian, European to even walk down the street in an Islamic country? Maybe a few, like Turkey, but not very many. The fact is that while Europe via the EU policies predict a Muslim majority in a few decades and "good people" in the West are calling on everyone to be tolerant, open minded, etc., the same is not practiced anywhere else in the world. In fact, in some African and Arabian/Islamic countries whites are being murdered and otherwise expelled. Not in your news? Read up! While I DO NOT condone his methods and condemn any act of terrorism such as this, I understand the problem and suggest that letters, debate, factual debate, even demonstrations by indigenous Europeans are all withing the law and they have a right to demand to have their land and exclusive rights to it.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
    • Thomas Korn

      Kevin B.

      all that bad stuff is about .0000001%, but if you want to blame things other than yourself...keep going bud.

      Kevin; you clearly did not comprehend His post. He has every right to blame all the anger and destrction that is hurled towards [insert scapegoat of the day here] Its a near impossible task with you twisted sick perverted souls throwing your self proclaimed ideals of life that no one can, or can – live up to. If you stopped reading that silly fictional book and take responsibility for your own actions towards your fellow man, we can actually have a world with love, compassion and understanding. Christianity, like most other organized religions rely upon externalizing fears towards one another (i.e. "you are going to hell unless. you.. .fill in cheap fear here)

      show a little humility for once in your life. .genuine humility.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:15 am |
  9. David

    This is another example of why religious people of all faiths are ruining religion for all of us (by chance of birth, I'm a Christian). My religion is better than yours! No it's not - mine is! Not it's not - mine is! It's all so stupid. Christians kill Christians - as perfectly demonstrated by this genius and far-seeing Norwegian - Muslims kill Muslims, and we all eventually wander into each others realms. More and more I long for that island where its inhabitants know nothing of God or gods or any other supposedly wiser being and its instruction or inspiration or whatever you want to call this knowledge that we inevitably pervert.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Eric

      There is no such thing as 'Christian by birth'. There is only 'Christian by confession'.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
    • Matt

      See: Stalin, Joseph

      July 26, 2011 at 6:55 am |
    • Matt

      By the way, my comment was in response to the "island" comment above; not the "Christian by confession" one.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  10. Susie Bennett

    The most important thing that must be said here, is that regardless of what anyone claims, THIS ACT HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH TRUE CHRISTIANITY. Anyone who commits hateful acts, from picketing funerals to committing mass murder, IS NOT REPRESENTING JESUS CHRIST in these acts! Jesus would NEVER condone any of these things – far from it! Note that the Bible is very clear that just because somebody says they're a Christian – and perhaps even thinks they're a Christian – doesn't necessarily mean that they are (Matt 7:15-23).

    July 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • interesting....

      So who really is 'doing the will' of the father? Lott people out there claiming to be Christian ....

      July 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • snow

      Very specific definition of what to do with the non-believers as well..
      "They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 2 Chronicles 15:12"

      Good God!! (pun)

      July 25, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Edwin

      Christianity has done some horrible things in the past - some in the recent past - mass murder included. Do not pretend it represents pure goodness just because you aspire to that goal.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • EdNv

      spare me == he IS just as christian as any of the teapartyers and republicans GWB, DC ....and the people who vote for them..

      Accept him into your ranks, you are him!

      July 26, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • Matt

      snow, I think you'd have a hard time making the case that this verse means the Bible teaches that all non-believers are to be killed. That's the trouble with throwing out a random verse and not actually knowing the source you quote from. Why not quote the verse: "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you" Luke 6:27. That verse is actually meant to be applied broadly to the way Christians interact with the world.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:03 am |
  11. Bryan

    Christianity can stand for itself. Christianity doesn't need a mass murderer to represent what it is. What this man did was un-christian.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Edwin

      He is as Christian as the 9/11 bombers were Muslim.

      Terrorists represent NO religion.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
  12. shawn

    all this funny talk about if or isnt he a christian cause oh they dont do this kind of stuff, bs. Im gay and in america they have been terrorist against my existance on earth for as long as i can remember but hid behind a religion that is tax exempt and cherry pick bible versus, they bomb clinics, kill doctors, bomb gay bars kill gays beat gays harrass gays vote on them, hunt them for sport when young, they bombed the olympic area in altanta, okc bombing, the countless assaults on muslims, the shooting of the amish school, the shooting a few years back of unitarian church, if one gay did this any of it you would all blame them all, so i do the same. from your sick halloween hell houses to your blaming 911 on gays i have never in my life experienced one kind thing out of the christian community nor have i seen them here in oklahoma do anything without strings attacked, so build your mutimillion dollar churchs, use fear to get more fundraising money, and recruit more, use your power to gain more advantage in government while you stockpile your guns and talk about all the evils in someone else's lives, while all this time raising your empire with tax money grants and exemptions from the same government you claim to no be apart of. To me just me the terrorist in my life are these folks maybe instead of spending so much time on everyone else's lives or flaws or the ways they live maybe they should spend just a bit of that money and effort on their own lives and families maybe then the divorce rate wouldnt be so high and people wouldnt be talking a bout killing government people, or judges and such, for such "loving" religion they sure look the other way on their own faults.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Bryan

      If he was gay, I would not blame him because of that. Period. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt if you give us the benefit of the doubt. There are a lot of great gays out there as well as Christians.

      All churches are built for the imperfect, not the perfected.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Susie Bennett

      Shawn, As a Christian, let me say, I am so sorry. God loves you. Don't let anybody else tell you any different. Susie

      July 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Robert Pfeifer

      Jesus loves you and willingly paid the price for your sin. That's Christianity.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • ace man

      Wow Shawn, you have a lot of hatred and hurt there dude. Hope it doesn't eat you up inside too much. I'm black and can talk about the evils of racism and slavery, you name it. I can give examples that are quite similar to yours. Why bother.....anger only makes you feel good for a certain period of time, then it eats at you. Not healthy. Good luck!

      July 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Kevin B.

      all that bad stuff is about .0000001%, but if you want to blame things other than yourself...keep going bud.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • john

      Shawn. If opinions are what they are, and beliefs are what they are, then you have yours and I have mine. I, nor any of my friends(gay,straight, christian, jew, muslim, hindu. etc, etc), have ever thought of, or would ever blow up, or chain up, or drag behind a truck, etc, etc, ugly history!!! (Wow, I guess I should spout about the christians who were subjected to....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Please be "open minded" of other beliefs, we don't all believe the same!! Also, realize that maybe there are some truths in the world...you pick yours, I pick mine. It doesn't make me evil or wrong if I want the fetus to come out breathing life no matter the ailment, or if I think a women should only be wed to a man. I'm still your freind bro!

      July 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  13. John316

    Chryd, if you read carefullly, Jesus did not say he came to enforce the law, he came to fulfill it. Try reading the Bible for once...

    July 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  14. Kevin B.

    If this guy is a fundamentalist christian then that guy from Germany about 70 years ago was a fundamentalist atheist.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • shawn

      hitler was not only a christian he held several meetings and agreements with the catholic church

      July 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • Jerome

      I suggest Kevin that you need to do your research first before embarrassing yourself. In fact, Hitler viewed atheism as an association with communism (read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_religious_views )

      July 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Kevin B.

      Wow, sorry didn't mean to go "intellectual" on you guys. The point being that one represents neither. Thanks though, feel free to delete your posts if you are too embarrassed to go forward.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Kevin B.

      Also, sure Adolf was a Christian just like Saddam was a Muslim. Machiavellian in nature (not realy a believer)......so, as much as you want to believe he was, sorry not really a Christian.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • john

      You hit it on the head!! so true!

      July 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Free

      Anybody bothering to check all of Hitler's recorded quotes would find that he never once veered from his identifying himself as a Christian, and that he hated atheists. So what you are claiming is, in fact, completely untrue according to the facts.

      Only the gullible who love what the claim implies about atheists enough to accept it at face value would never bother (or dare) to check if it was actually true. A great many of you, I suspect, actually do know better. If you do, do you really imagine your God appreciating your lying for him?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  15. Scott

    No, a true follower of Christ expresses love for those who oppose them. They do not pull out guns and randomly kill people.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • DaVuVuZeLa

      yeah, whatever. They're just as tribalistic as any muslim and want to chiristianize the place just like al queda aims to islamize th place. I think we should be scrutinizing all nationalistic europeans.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • meemee

      You and your True Followers of Christ today were preceded by centuries of murdering, torturing, oppressive Christians. This is not even to mention the hundreds of years of wars between Catholics and Protestants. There is a reason that Europe is more secular today. You really ought to read up on European history.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Free

      So far, it seems that this person was not just 'randomly' killing people. He had a well thought out plan, and seems to have had at least some specific targets in mind, like Timothy McVeigh.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  16. Joseph

    To think that Europeans are christians is not true, specially in Norway who is one of the most atheist countries in the world. The real point is you prefer/like call him "christian", but the only reality it is not true. He is a crazy man, simple. The extra new is your invent

    July 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Free

      Perhaps all terrorists are just 'crazy' individuals, and not a reflection of whatever religion, or ideology they claim to be striking in the name of, eh?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:13 am |
  17. steve19

    This man is not a Christian fundementalist. The actions he carried out are the opposite of Christianity. I am a conservtive, fundementalist, evangelical Christian and I know thousands of others. Some are judgemental and angry, some are poorly informed in their faith. The vast majority are good, honest, generous, loving, hard-working people. But not one of them would even consider mass-murdering people. Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn't mean that they are. I can say that I'm a movie star, but it doesn't make it so. Any sane Christian, Pastor, or church condemns this action and anyone who does not realize that is very poorly informed.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Edwin

      Yet he committed acts in the name of Christianity. He is as Christian as the 9/11 bombers were Muslim.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Free

      Interesting how so many Christians refuse to accept Muslim disavowing of terrorists claiming to be acting within that faith and go so far as to claim that the whole of Islam is violent, but when the terrorist shoe is on the other foot ...

      July 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • meemee

      History and most of the commentary I am aware of coming from Christian Fundamentalists (who started with Luther, Calvin, Puritans, Methodism, Baptists, etc.), is traditionally pretty harsh and downright mean. They also usually hate Jews as an automatic reflex or at best, use the name as a pejorative often. They seem always to be against generosity or even basic social programs, and forever the dupes of big business who manipulate them by their beliefs. Calvinism is particularly of interest because it espoused an elite type of Christian, better than the rest of them. The religious wars of Europe were bitter and pitted Christian against Christian. And who still provokes the memories? Why, its the protestants in Northern Ireland that must parade every year and rub their Catholic neighbors nose in a 17th century battle they won against them.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
    • Free

      Ever read Martin Luther's book 'On the Jews and Their Lies'? Hitler loved it so much he displayed it at the Nuremberg rallies.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  18. chyrd

    I find it strange that people are arguing about whether he was a christian or not. Do you not all realize there are 38,000 different sects of christianity? Who are you to say he isn't a christian? Just because he didn't follow what you believe to be the correct interpretation of how YOU were taught? Jesus said he came to change not one jot of the old law, but to enforce it. Point being, you can condone any action with the big book of multiple choice! Don't believe me... read the book!

    July 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • being real

      Good point.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Bryan

      Well, not to enforce, but rather fulfill....still good point

      July 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Tired

      Okay then. So, which of these Christianity sects would the term "fundamental" be applied to?

      Call him a "Christian Fundamental" all you want, just don't label him as such because he's a mass murderer.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Free

      Like the article about the movie "The Ledge", there seems to be a reluctance amongst Christian Fundamentalists to admit that their fellows are capable of being evil, or even of being misguided. Are they seriously trying to claim that Christians stop being humans capable of acting selfishly, what they call 'sinners', as soon as they become 'saved'?

      July 25, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • meemee

      I think that there are as many sects of Christianity as there are Christians, or nearly so. Christianity seems to be a religion where it is acceptable to select from the table what you wish to ingest, and ignore the rest. And if you DO ingest it all, you'll have an awful stomach ache!

      July 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • Free

      Blame Luther for that. He got told people to ignore the central authority, the Pope, and told everyone to interpret the rulebook, the Bible, for themselves.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  19. Howard

    He's not a true Scotsman, because a true Scotsman would never "blah blah blah".

    This is the same argument over and over again. We have to ask what it means to be a Christian. Is it just believing in Christ? Is it also following all of His commandments? If it's both than I dare say that anyone is a "true Christian". If it's just believing in Christ and accepting him as your savior then I would say he is a Christian. Now the fundamentalist part. This word usually get's attached to "Christian" so "normal" Christians have away of dissociating from the "crazy" Christians.

    Really though it seems more of a political motivation. However his political beliefs stem from his religious beliefs. There is no reasoning with someone who thinks their right and use good as their reason.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • being real

      Another good point. I like reading these opinions. It helps me better form my own.

      July 25, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  20. Wonder Werido

    And I thought that the US had a monopoly on religious idiocy.

    July 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Jim

      That's missionary work in action, I suppose?

      July 25, 2011 at 11:14 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.