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. sharon

    Seems like most Christian Fundamentalists I have encountered or heard about. Narrow minded, egocentric with singular beliefs. The only difference is this man acted on his hatred.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:21 am |
  2. Jesus

    Religion is a nice hobby. That is all. It is similar to stamp collecting – a nice hobby. Sure wish religionists could get honest.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep, you know, I dislike Tennis. I think from this day forward anyone that takes Mixed Martial Arts seriously I will shame or belittle them and not call it a sport ...

      ....it will be a hobby. Now I will sit back and watch them get upset..... it will amuse me greatly. 😀

      July 26, 2011 at 2:43 am |
  3. Debbie

    A Christian Fundamentalist wouldn't do the Un-Godly acts this gentleman did. What this gentleman did was plain evil and not Godly.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:20 am |
    • Str8alkeris Xpressivus

      Referring to him as a "gentleman" gives him an honor he doesn't deserve.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:51 am |
  4. CEC

    Just like for the Muslim, I was waiting for the Christian apologists to jump on this. It doesn't matter that the perpetrators say they are acting on behalf of one or another religion (even pointing to direct scriptural warrant) – the religious, and many liberal intellectuals, line up to deny any possible correlation.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • LookUp

      CEC, WHAT THIS MAN DID WAS WRONG, WAS A SIN IN most ANY RELIGION. I AM A CHRISTIAN, AND IT MOST DEFINITELY IS A SIN FROM ANY MAINLINE CHRISTIAN VIEWPOINT. IS THIS PLAIN ENOUGH FOR YOU? See Jesus clearly points that out, if you chose to read the Bible instead of condemn it, you would be armed with that knowledge, even if you do not believe it.

      What he did was twist a bunch of thoughts from partial passages taken out of context, in both the Old and New Testaments, mix in some of his own crazy thoughts, and WaLa, you have what the liberal left news and worldview seeking populace can call and blame a Fundamental Christian. Please beware, every time the Liberal Worldview crowd get on their soap box and become more evangelical than the true Evangelical Christian you are trying to accuse, then all crimes against humanity fall on your shoulders. When the average joe, walks into a liquor store to steal food to feed his children, and someone gets hurt or killed, without any religious motive, you are guilty, because you did not fund the government or borrow enough to give every person his or her need. If you really believe that a world without religion, would be better, then you and all the other very nice and well meaning Non-Religious liberals, must step up and take the blame. Step out and go to jail, for this poor soul and do the time, because your position precludes you from blaming me as a Christian for that.

      Please do not be so closed minded, that your position, will allow me to blame you for all the deaths that happened or will happen under any form of law that suppresses the freedom of religion, while supporting any form of a Secular Humanistic and/or an Atheistic religion as a pretense of freedom of thought, and there by be Free Men/Women. You can not throw stones and say you are better than any other religion, you must own up to your shortcomings just as you demand me to do.

      I will continue to look Up for my position, if you have the liberty of living in the USA, then you have the choice to look where ever you want for your position, and I will do everything in my power to defend it as long as it does not preclude my position, that is true freedom and will allow the USA to be the country that has people fighting to get into instead of having to fight to get out. But as with all things in life, the places you look have consequence's in the end, whether up, down or all around you.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  5. EB

    I think it's fair to call him a Christian Fundamentalist on the grounds that his manifesto continually refers to a specific group defined by their religious affiliation, although I do believe to be labeled as such historically there has to be a strong doctrinal influence and conviction, absent in this case...for now. Just as Islamic terrorist groups are labeled by their religion, people educated in the Islamic religion would know that Islamic doctrine does not condone such extreme acts of violence like 9/11 or suicide bombings, yet we label them as such, because the people doing them claim to be doing in the name of such religion. It is also would be obvious to people educated in Christianity that Jesus Christ would never condone such acts as the massacre discussed at present, yet he claims to be doing it in name of a few things one of which is Christianity. He imagines a battle between theses 2 faiths and will defend his religion to the death. I think it's fair, yet not scholastically accurate, label.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • james

      Not really. He's clearly not a Christian Fundamentalist. Do you know what that is? He's a stated 'cultural Christian', like most Europeans – that's it. Remember that individual Nazis were Christian, but Nazism had nothing to do with Christianity.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • 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 2:27 am |
  6. Ismael.718


    July 26, 2011 at 1:55 am |
  7. Steve

    All religions are screwed up. All religions claim a god but in all likelihood, they're all wrong. The sooner we, as a species come to grips with that, the better off we'll be.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      sounds like someone thinks he's too cool for school. Guess what. Jesus was anti-religious. And he seemed pretty right on everything he said.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:13 am |
  8. MrR

    I was related by marriage to a Christian fundamentalist. He probably thinks this dude is a hero, although he might not state it in public. During one conversation with this loon, I asked him how he could reconcile violence against other humans with Christ's overarching pacifism. He spewed forth with some partial quote from the bible to rationalize his stands and his hatred and fear of Muslims. He said, "The bible says, 'Take up the sword...' ", as if this gave him spiritual cover for his violent thoughts. I threw the "BS flag" on it, but wasn't well versed in the bible to refute it on site. So, when I got home and looked in a copy of the bible, I found that there was such a quote, however he left out the most important part that established context. The quote went something like, "Take up the sword, the sword of the spirit." Oh, I guess he missed that "..sword of the spirit" part. Typical distortion to justify their various lunacies. That this Norwegian nut-job was a Christian fundy is certainly no surprise to me. I pretty much had that figured.
    Isn't it always the right-wingers doing this stuff? They consistently teach hatred and intolerance, then they act surprised when it's natural precipitate comes about in outbursts like in Norway.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Moe NY

      I agree with your post. The right wing nut jobs will kill us all...unless we agree with their sick beliefs. America should be on its guard as the wing nuts are going into politics, and will bring our country down...they are doing so already under the guise of taking our government back...very disturbing.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:52 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      **Whispers** don't worry Moe... they are hoping that your kind does not get in control of politics either.

      Its called the circle of hate....

      July 26, 2011 at 2:45 am |
    • Fred1

      "And He said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it along, likewise also a bag, and let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one."
      –(Luke 22:36)

      July 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  9. joshua

    @Frank Cardenas
    Jesus rejected religions because of there claims. The only true way to heaven is thru Jesus Christ. He never denied himself.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:35 am |
  10. Maxx

    Christian fundamentalist?

    A Christian fundamentalist is one who takes the NT of the Bible seriously. Jesus made it clear that His followers were not to engage in a campaign of violence. Jesus is where Gandhi and Dr. King took their cues for the whole non-violence philosophy. Must one be a Christian fundamentalist to resist the fastest growing most enforced religious and political philosophy in the world today? Or a free-man? Time will tell.

    That depends on how you feel about oppression, human rights, etc...

    This appears to be more of an issue of fundamental nationalism, not Christian fundamentalism. Resistance to perceived oppression in the making should appeal to all free-men. But what this man has done? This is an abomination and Jesus would never have sanctioned it. My question? How many Muslims were killed in these attacks? I would bet – 0. This is not the way to solve the odious problems of multiculturalism.

    Good evening.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • Moe NY

      How about totally taking religion out of politics and sending all religions back to the church, temple, pulpit, etc. where it belongs. Religion has no place in the political field, nor should it...separation of church and state...anyone remember that one? If religions insist on going into politics, then TAX THEM ALL..no more free ride.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      Moe. You sound like hitler, or stalin, or mao. Because guess what. People do politics. And religion makes some people who they are. Next thing you know, you're going to say that someone who believes in God should not be allowed to have free speech. You must be pretty naive my good young moe.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:15 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Yep....the Norway killer wanted Muslims to go back to where they came from and for people who believe in Multiculturalism to not have a place in government.

      I guess Moe has his role model. 🙁

      July 26, 2011 at 2:48 am |
    • LookUp

      To BOTH MAXX and a NY MOEY, What you profess is the religion of Atheism! I do not know anything about what is going on in Norway, other that a Nut kill a bunch of children and adults, nothing in the teaching of Jesus could be used to cover that sin. I have no trouble calling it "WRONG" and can completely separate it from what is right, because of the teachings of Jesus. The Ironic parts of your statements are that your own religion can not do that. On what basis do you claim the right to label right and wrong? As for separation of church and state, USA has more to fear from the Atheist religion than from the teaching of Christ. And no I do not believe that USA is or should be considered a Christian Country. So please do not raise that red herring. But from your point of view a court room with a Bible is a Christian Court Room, and if it had a Buddha, it would be a Buddhist Court Room, when you come around and state that all non-Atheist beliefs must be cleansed, then the religion of Atheism must also be cleansed to protect us. And yes even the court has labeled Atheism a religion. So beware of what you accuse others of from your holy high place.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • LookUp

      MAXX, I mis-read your position, I am sorry!!!
      Still Looking Up for my answers, you can choose up or down as to where you get your answers. If it aint up, it it's gotta be down from where I am looking. Choose for your self.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  11. DB

    This guy was a terrorist, plain and simple. In fact, we should go so far as calling him a Christian extremist, or Christian terrorist. White Christian males should be searched at airports. There should be a ban on crosses placed on Christian churches, for the same reasons why Minarets were banned. White people are terrorists. We need to wage war against Norway to root out the Christian extremists.

    Sound silly?

    Indeed, I am being silly, because the white Christians who dominate this discussion have already exerted their racism and xenophobia – against Muslims. So instead of a fair sense of equality and applying the same negative labeling across all Terrorists, irrespective of religion or race, no.. we are satisfied using more sanitized terms like Christian Fundamentalist for this Anders guy. This society is lost because its people have no capacity to understand fairness.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:21 am |
    • joshua

      Why do people in general attack christians. I am a christian and I am not perfect. Muslims kill people, christians(so called)kill people to. The love for Christ and accepting him as Lord and Savior is what defines a true christian. Christians aren't perfect people, the ten commandments prove that everyday.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • Maxx


      Do you mean the 8 year old boy who was just hung by your Taliban brothers in Afghanistan because his father was trying to abide by the law? Or maybe you are referring to the fairness of Saudi Arabian women who are denied the right to drive an automobile? Or perhaps, things like, "honor killings" and "jihad" in which your brothers feel free to abrogate your own sacred texts in the interests of furthering "The Cause?"

      Every day the news brings us news of another incident of death brought about by your own. OK, the Norway deal was their 911. Let's tally the numbers shall we: Islamic extremists attacks = 100's, Norway = 1. It appears the numbers are against you there Mohamed. But your blog is predictable. There are others on the NET. Expected you and yours to respond a little faster on this angle.

      Good evening.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Al

      Visit Afghanistan, or just about any other Islamic society and tell which society you think is has a better capacity to understand fairlness...

      July 26, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  12. Davey

    "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,"
    The same can be said about alot of American Christians. Many spew hate towards anyone who does not agree with them while forgetting the basic tenants of the religion they claim to be a part of.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  13. Bullet

    If one believes in the supernatural, that women were made from a man's rib, and that a holy man parted the red sea to allow his followers to escape their pursuers, not to mention that a man built a boat large enough to put two of every living thing in it to sail around for whatever time it took for God to kill everybody on earth, then I guess they could be followers of a person named Jesus that was born to a married woman and that her husband was not his daddy. This sounds like a lot of hocus pocus to me, because it violates a large part of the belief that the Christian church espouses. Why doesn't someone rewrite the bible so that folks living in the twenty first century can connect with it, and maybe then educated folks will accept it.However I doubt it will ever be done.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:14 am |
    • joshua

      Well for one you can't rewrite the bible. The facts are the facts they don't change. If God can create the world, parting the red sea wouldn't be a problem.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:22 am |
    • Q

      However, the examples listed by Bullet are certainly not facts and are contradicted by every available shred of known evidence. Still, the question of why haven't we received an updated version stands and represents a base argument (severely flawed as it is) for the validity of subsequent faiths purporting to represent newer divinely revealed testaments (e.g. Islam, Mormonism, etc). Perhaps all literature is a Rorschach test, but the diversity of interpretations and reasons for rejection doesn't speak well of a divine source intending to deliver a clear immutable message upon which one's understanding and acceptance will dictate their eternal fortunes. Similarly, the capricious and intermittent choice of when, where and to whom to "reveal" these edicts doesn't speak to a just delivery for a message upon which one's capacity for faith alone determines their post-mortem fate. Why faith for some and direct knowledge for others? Doesn't really seem that fair to those predisposed for critical thought and skepticism...

      July 26, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Q

      Still, for the record, Jefferson did edit the Bible (i.e. The Jefferson Bible) in his attempt to distill out the moral principles espoused by Jesus. He removed all the supernatural claims and focused on those passages which he felt most logically reflected the views of Jesus himself. In Jefferson's own words: "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors."

      July 26, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      The ribs are actually part of the chromosomal makeup as the genome advanced out of the garden of eden (animal kingdom) through evolution (God's plan, and evidence of intel design = evolution) especially when you consider that in the hebrew of the time genesis was written, adam really means man kind. And they did not use solar days to designate the time of creation, they actually used phases of complete periods which strongly correlate to our modern findings in science today. It helps to have an education, it takes ignorance out of your system.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Q

      @CrownRoyal – Your passage about ribs is quite absurd. We know very well from the fossil record that ribs existed long before humans came on the scene. As for ID, well, explain the recurrent laryngeal nerve, the appendix, male ni-pples, etc, etc. I would suggest you seek an education, one not limited to AIG/ICR and bible-study...

      July 26, 2011 at 2:24 am |
    • Q

      @CrownRoyal – Apologies. Upon rereading I see you are a "Day-Age" creationist. Nonetheless, no evidence for special creation or intelligent design...

      July 26, 2011 at 2:29 am |
  14. Eli

    So this guy was more anti-muslim than pro christian, very well, why don't we hear the same about alqaeda being anti-christian more than pro-muslim? One could argue alqaeda has killed more muslims than non-muslims.

    What's going on here?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:53 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Folks hate those closer to them....ones that share in some parts their views. Ones that if they would just change 2% of who they are then they would be just like the original person. Those are the ones that many extremist hate more than those that are 100% different.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:07 am |
    • Freddy

      Very well said. Now we will hear arguments about how this guy has no link to Christian teachings but we never hear that those 9 hijackers who hijacked Islam also had no link to true teachings of Islam

      July 26, 2011 at 1:18 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      Because al-qaida is on a specific mission to make a world dominated by muslim law. This man simply identified as a christian, but did not particularly profess his christian doctrine as motive for these killings. Alqaida does do that.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:19 am |
  15. CrownRoyal

    For this debate to be answered. You must answer this. – What do you consider "Christian" ? – Someone with radical religious ideas. Or someone who embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are many different defenitions of Christian, a lot of them wrong and still prominent. Does this man embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ? No, it would be impossible for him to embrace it after what he did. Does he have radical views, religion included? It would appear so.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      “You must answer this. – What do you consider "Christian" ? – Someone with radical religious ideas. Or someone who embraces the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

      The problem with any answer you may get is that for many groups, what they might consider the full embrace of the gospel for them might not be what you consider as the gospel of Christ. What you just did was base their answers on your standards.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:11 am |
    • Michael

      That exact same argument has been made by Muslims time and time again. Basically, you are saying that not all Christians can be painted with the same broad brush, since those who would do such acts claiming to be Christian aren't Christian at all. How is this any different from Muslims who say that adherents of radical Islamic beliefs don't practice true Islam? Why is that argument acceptable for decent Christians to make, but not acceptable for decent Muslims to make?

      I know, I know...."the Qur'an teaches Muslims to engage in violence against those who don't share Islamic beliefs." B*llsh**!

      If we are going to make the argument that violence done in the name of Christianity is not a true reflection of Christianity, then the same needs to be accepted of Islam. If that can't be done, then that argument can not be made with any kind of validity.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:15 am |
    • CrownRoyal

      Mark, i never said i even had standards. I'm just pointing out there are in fact various standards for the deffinition of the word 'christian'. Ever since the inception of the roman church in 356 AD there has been. The roman church killed you for having a bible. And Michael, i sympathise with muslims, i have many muslim friends and love them to death. But there is a difference here. Yes, the muslim religion is exploited. And yes lies are told about it. But NO, this norway shooter did not say he was doing this terror specifically to establish a christian state, or that it was because of his christian beliefs at all. He did it because he A- hates socialists, and B – hates muslims. -- Taliban or alqaida say they kill because they want to establish a world muslim state. There is a difference. And that does NOT make islam bad. It just observes the case at hand.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:23 am |
  16. Mishka

    Many "Christians" will go to hell for only saying the "Sinner's Prayer". True Christianity is more than just a prayer... it is a true lifestyle. More Christians do harm to the faith than a drunk in the gutter. This "terrorist" is nothing more than a murderous narcissist who decided that killing innocent children "justified" his beliefs. Any TRUE Christian would know that his/her actions MUST glorify God. Since murder is against one of the 10 Commandments *note... Not 10 SUGGESTIONS", this lunatic is clearly about his own agenda and not God's. Thank you for reading my comment and those who have sacrificed to protect my freedom of speech.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  17. Bill

    This guy is a "Christian" in the same way as the dolts in northern Ireland are "Christians"... NOT!

    July 26, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • jammmmz

      and the way jihadists are muslims. . .

      July 26, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Ben

      "Jihadists" ARE muslim – it means muslim holy warriors, you dolt!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:12 am |
    • Michael

      More to Ben the "dolt-doler:"

      A "jihadist" is a Muslim who is involved in a jihad.

      A "crusader" is a Christian who is involved in a crusade.

      Both a crusade and a jihad are holy wars.

      Your bias is showing, dolt.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • Ben

      Your liberal lunacy may prevent you from grasping this, but go back and review the earlier comments. The IRA were not inspired by Christianity. "Jihadist" implies Islamic inspiration by its very definition. It is a poor analogy, and a logical fail. NO comment was made of "crusaders" except by YOU, and had nothing to do with the discussion thread. But somehow, by your liberal, twisted logic, one is a "dolt" and "biased" for not acknowleding something YOU interjected afterwards, which, by the way, is itself a doltish, biased thing to do.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Moe NY

      Christians...Muslims, etc...what the he–ll is the difference? Religion not only causes wars, but also hatred, intolerence for fellow beings, if you should not belong to the cult. I think people should start thinking for themselves, and stop believeing everything religions brainwash you with...give it a try, you might like it, find it refreshing.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:06 am |
    • deployedmarine

      @Moe NY. I believe it is people who cause wars not religion. People manipulate a religion to suit their greed for land and/or wealth in order to wage war. Religious texts inspire peace whether be the Quran, Bible, Torah, Rig-Veda and Tripitaka to just name a few. Again people cause wars and use religion, ideology and/or patriotism to get the masses to follow along. All wars are over resources and land.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:39 am |
  18. Helene

    There are VERY FEW true christians left today its all money driven, fear mongering self righteousness. My way is the true way bullshyt... Every inequality picks and chooses what parts apply to them conveniently disregarding what they want. If it weren't we would not have homeless in our streets or people going hungry that "Christian " business person would not pass by the homeless beggar and tell the to get a job! they would take them home offer a chance to clean up feed them and help them find work or the help they need as an example. And before any smart azz retorts come rolling in i am pagan and barely scraping by I've done this for others NUMEROUS times. I was raised by a true christian. Take a good look at yourselves before you claim something you cannot even commit to.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Mishka

      As a Christian, it is my duty to give this homeless person either food or money to buy it. What he/she does with the gift is between him/her and God. Thanks for putting yourself out there.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  19. G bOOTHE

    my father had a degree in Theoligy. He would never talk to me about religion?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:39 am |
  20. Mikey

    What does blowing up public property and killing kids have to do with Jesus?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Free

      Meanwhile, most Muslims wonder what the same has to do with Allah, right?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:40 am |
    • G bOOTHE

      Which SUV would the next Jesus drive?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Frank Cardenas

      What does Christianity have to do with Jesus? He rejected religion over and over again. Most Christian theology is dogma that Jesus would reject. Whatever this man called himself is his own identification, keep in mind that he is probably mentally ill.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:01 am |
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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.