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."
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.
[Wow, when the famous name that starts with a J and any variations of it are completely forbidden by the modbot HERE at THIS blog, the world really has gone nuts.]
"It would be different if most _C hr! st! ans were inno cent, loving, pure hearted, good intending people, but thats just not the case."
Sorry, but most of those qualities are absent from most adults of ALL r e l ! _g ! 0 n s.
"If you had any experience in any c hv rch, you would know how legitimate most c hv rch goers are."
If? You have mis interpreted my comment. I have a _r e l ! g ! 0 n and it isn't one that h@ tes _C hr! st! ans, ok. I agree that most of the pract itioners are trying to be more like __J _x _z _v _$. Of course, though the vast majority get it closer to right more times than not, ultimately, they, we fall short. Usually by being too busy passing judgment on each other's quality of
d3 v0 ti0n.
The problem is that these individuals feel there is no other option or hope. this guy refers incessantly to the right-wing, meaning he's just a gay liberal unconcerned imp himself.. aka, the Mainstream Media.. The MSM and their Gay Liberal anti-Right agenda is solely responsible for this action. He is the victim of the Liberal MSM's bombardment of anti-culture and anti-morals, whose sole purpose is to push, scratch, claw and defile any and everything and anyone in society in lieu of their own deviant agenda, simply to feed their own megalomania and narcissism, and society, culture, and heritage are their victims and prey.. Living on that tiny island, this man responded as any normal and rationally thinking person would when isolated from society and the only contact any of us had with society was the MSMedia.. the MSM is so far detached from reality and so concerned with their agendas, that if any of us had no other knowledge but what they force out in order to pry the people from their culture and traditions, it would be clear and obvious that the world and nation has failed, leaving one course of action for the patriot who believes he's the last of his kind, when in fact society and culture are well in tact, and its only the MSM who needs them destroyed for their own perverse and demented agenda and pleasures. ., the media calling this man demented is the pot calling the kettle black, its hilarious coming from the deviant and demented nose-bleed psychosis which is the MSM.. Obviously he thought the MSM was the entire nation, hence his plan to attack it and anyone deviant enough to be apart of it... He was obviously unable to tell the difference between a rational, intelligent, and caring government from the lunatic fringe which IS the Main Stream Media.. So, he just went out and bombed the government building, when in fact, and in reality, his enemy was sitting in the news room, and he should have bombed the media companies... Pity. if only he could have discerned between the two, he would have succeeded in his mission of making the world a better place and saving his culture and traditional values. a pity in deed.
"Right-Wing Fundamentalist" or "Chr!stian Fundamentalist" are usually synonymous, and are terms used to attack and destroy the conservative values, traditional virtues, and classical morals of a society and culture...
"Nobody is claiming that all C hr! st! ans are cra zy, or ev il, or whatever."
Nobody? You didn't see what I saw at the F0x site. And the ha ters are calling them far worse than cra zy and ev il. Far.
Replying to |Conky2012|, July 25, 2011, 11:48pm:
Hey, CNN modbot, what the b100dy h311?!
So what are you saying his being;
-A Christian Crusader...?
-A Zionists Crusader...?
-A Nazist Crusader....?
-A Atheist Crusader....?
Well he has to be some thing out of those if not all in one....!!?
Is there a character limit on comments?
CNN has an automoderator which flags posts containing no-no words e.g. t-it, ni-pple, c-um, etc. It also flags posts which contain these words within other words, e.g. doc-ument, const-itution, etc. Chances are your post contains one of these flagged words. Though I've neglected to save it myself, a couple of regular posters will occasionally post the list of offending words for the benefit of newer posters. If you browse around the threads you should find the list....
Sigh. If comments aren't pre-screened, and it isn't over the non-existent character limit, and I've altered any possibly objectionable word (though I get no "moderation" notice), then why won't my reply comment appear? It just disappears. So frustrating. At least at the Fox boards, you get a notice if your comment has a word Disqus doesn't like or there's some other problem. Here, you get zip.
Q, thanks for the info. I'll try altering more of the words then. Sigh.
You used to receive an "awaiting moderator" notice (which actually meant the post was rejected and would never post), but I haven't seen this lately. Like you say they just disappear. It's a source of constant frustration and CNN doesn't appear to care enough to address this issue.
P.S. Good luck!
Q, thanks. I think I'm gonna' need your well wishes. Crossing my fingers and toes =D
The man did not follow the teachings of Christ and is not a Christian according to the words of Jesus Christ. Jesus said if you do not follow his teachings you are not his. Period. In my opinion anyone who calls the man a Christian is either ignorant of the Bible or a willful liar.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Jesus taught us to love everyone, even our enemies. Not to kill them. The Bible says anyone who claims to know God but who hates or murders is a liar.
Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
1Jn 4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
1Jn 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
Mr article writer, according to the Bible the man who killed all those kids did not know God. He is a liar in calling himself a Christian. He hates people and he murders and he does not live according to the core teachings of Christianity.
Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The New Testament never calls for violence against unbelievers or anyone else. That can't be said of the Qur'an.
(Apparently there isn't a character limit on comments. So why won't my long comment post?)
yeah, he may not ACTUALLY be Christian, but it seems very clear that he did these things in the name of the religion.... which is essentially the same as your more "traditional" islamic terrorists who aren't REALLY following the doctrine, but just their own crude interpretation of it...... so regardless of what you call him, what's the difference exactly?
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who teaches my hands to wage war, and my fingers to do battle.–The Bible, Psalms 144:1
"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones." (Psalms 137:9, KJV)
"The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked."
"For I have done your bidding, I have slain myne enemies in your name. I have put women and children to death in your honor; I have caused great pain among them, for your glory"
Another Timothy McVeigh !!! Hopefully this "nut job" meets the same fate. The sooner the better!!! If Norway does not have a death penalty, then there is always the justified "oops" accident. "While transporting Breivik to his post-trial prison via an aircraft, the cabin door suddenly opened and he fell 30,000 ft. He did not survive the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. "
This guy wasn't pushed to these actions by Islam, the religion. He was influenced by the very real threat of radical Islam, which is not religion....it's a political ideology. All the far left types who are so afraid to label someone like the Fort Hood shooter as a jihadist need to be very afraid if Sharia law ever becomes prevalent. How do you think those influenced by radical Islam would treat gays, or unmarried couples who live together, or anyone who doesn't profess to believe in Allah? You think Christians are a problem? Just look at how gays, etc are treated in Muslim countries.
Why do people continue to teach the old lie that you have radical conservatives (Fascists) on the far right, and radical liberals (Communists) on the far left? Isn't it more honest and accurate to say that on one end of the spectrum you have rigid control freaks (be they Fascists or Communists) and on the other end complete anarchists that are totally without organization or order?
He's not a Christian. The minute you start shooting children, I think you pretty much turned in your "I believe in Jesus" card. If you actually go back and look at the beginnings of Christianity, the reason the Romans were so freaked out was that they were peaceful, pacifists, and shared everything they had with each other so that no one went hungry, no one went homeless, and all were loved. I think he's a right wing nutcase who if he'd been born in Saudi or Afghanistan would have been in the Taliban.
In case you haven't noticed, most Christians bear no resemblance to what Christianity was back in the Roman days. Look at everything that motivates a Christian. They are always trying to destroy the lives of other people. It doesn't surprise me at all that this guy is a Christian. He's even a typical Christian that has acted on his impulses.
Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.'"
1 Sam 15:3
Frank Schaeffer whose father was a an influential Christian radical who called for the violent overthrow of the US government was once a Christian extremist until he got "religion." He knows Christian extremism very well having been on both sides of it. He wrote, "Anders Behring Breivik longed for a "pure" and ultra conservative religion. He was a man of religious conviction...My family was part of the far right/violent right's rise in the 1970s and 80s when we helped create the "pro-life" movement come into existence that in the end spawned the killers of abortion providers. These killers were literally doing what we'd called for...the terror now unleashed by the Tea Party through Congress as it holds our economy hostage to extremist "economic" theories that want to destroy our ability to function... From far right congress people, to far right gun-toting terror in Norway and here at home, our own Western version of the Taliban is on the rise."
The Christian Taliban (evangelicals) is quite real. They are holding the GOP hostage and you can trace its path back to the early 50's. The fall and decline is due to the turmoil, fear and seperation this group has and is causing.
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AvdBerg is a troll on this site trying to sell their bogus book and cult religion. Click the report abuse link to get rid of this troll.
There's a VAST difference between doing something BECAUSE its what your religion teaches (ahem Islam) and doing the same thing IN SPITE of what your religion teaches (Christianity). And if you don't believe me, go on youtube and start watching all the ex-Moslems who converted to Christianity talk about what their ex-religion REALLY teaches - it'll make your blood run cold. They're putting their lives on the line to make these videos, too, unlike ex-Christians who've become Moslems.
And the fact is, many of those ex-Christians would convert back, or turn to Atheism or Buddhism or whatever floats their boat - but they CAN'T unless they want to be executed (read: murdered). Once you've become a Moslem, you CANNOT leave that religion. YOU CAN NOT SAY THAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY. Go ahead and try. Oh, and for you atheists out there who are so liberal minded and "tolerant", here's a grand piece of info for you:
A Christian or Jew who ends up enslaved under Sharia law has two choices (sometimes three): Convert, become a slave (or sometimes die). Atheists and those of any other faith have NO choice to convert; you WILL be executed. Don't believe me, talk to an ex-Moslem; he'll tell you I'm right (current Moslems will not tell the truth about these things; their "faith" teaches them to lie to the infidel, whereas Christians are sinning when they lie!) Christianity looking any better to you now? Huh? Nah - no matter what, your hatred of Christ will outweigh all other considerations, even your own life.
Now THAT is a typical Christian comment. Condemning everyone to suffering and death. That is what Christianity is all about. Make up whatever fantasy you want to justify your hatred. You are exactly like this guy from Norway. I'm sure he was acting exactly the way his Christian beliefs told him was right. He's just doing God's work isn't he? If God is going to punish and kill these people, then he's just being helpful and showing his devotion.
Compare the Olso act to the personal life of Christ and the lives of the first generation of disciples. Does it fit? Of course not! Compare the Islamic salafists to the personal life of Mohammed and the first generation of his followers. Do they fit. Perfectly!
this guys terrorist attack has nothing to do with Christianity. However, just about every muslim extremist attack is about that religion. this nut didn't say he was doing it in the name of his God like the way muslim jihadists do
Yes it does. Christian Fundamentalist are just as crazy as the most bearded Taleban whack job.
Kneel down and chat with a plaster statue and act on the voices a person hears and we nod and say, " Oh well, that is his religion."
Take away the plaster statue and he gets locked up as delusional.
You will find the same violence in our Bible as well as in others. Islam you will find out was deliberatly stirred up to create the same hatred towards them as once was to the Jews. The Zionist of Israel have a lot of power over the United States and the Fundamentalist Christians, and it is the Zionist who wish the Arabs land. 9// was our Reichstag to blame another.
Compare the act to the personal life of Christ and the lives of the first generation of disciples and we find if the Olso killer fits the frame. Of course he doesn't. If a wack job claims he is doing something for God that is completely against what his Book says, that should tell you something. I'm reminded of reprobate Senators using God's name in vain by declaring "God bless America" when so many of their personal live are a perversion of the Biblical injunctions.
Its just as valid to call this man a "christian fundamentalist" as it is for us to call islamic terrorists "islamic fundamentalists". He was prompted to action by religious hatred. Do his beliefs reflect directly on all Christians? Of course not. But neither do the actions of isolated sects of Islam reflect upon all Muslims.
This does not change the fact that both are extreme examples of those religious traditions and it is perfectly accurate to describe them as such.
no, it's not the same. when a muslim commits a terrorist act, he is doing in the name of his religion. when this guy did it, he did not mention Christianity as his driving force
NOT THE SAME! His family isn't paid a reward, he isn't called a hero at Sunday services, and money wasn't collected in the local churches to fund the attack.
Why don't you condemn Islam openly the same way you do Christianity?
If I say that there are Muslims who take a demented view of their religion and commit violent acts based on that view would you also accept that there are Christians who do the same?
Free, yes, but few and far between. they are not organized like muslims and they do not get help from countries like Syria and Iran give to muslims. it's completely different, no comparison at all
Free: NOT THE SAME! His family isn't paid a reward, he isn't called a hero at Sunday services, and money wasn't collected in the local churches to fund the attack.
CNN is very quick to throw something negative towards Christianity!!! This guy is not a following the Jesus Christ I know or is written about in scripture. Jesus Christ is the God of life, not death, so your quick twisting of truth and making a false and negative connection with Christianity is exposed once again. CNN, you will pay for your open and blatent persecution of Jesus Christ and His followers!!!
I agree, Carlton! You can not read CNN"s articles and not see the bias and anti-Christian sentiment! It's written all over them!
Some believe that people who actually resort to violence aren't 'real Christians' but, then again, some folks view those who wish their countries to remain strictly pacifist as not being 'real Christians' as well. Some feel that wealthy people can never be real Christians, while others do not. Some feel that God loves people too much to exclude anyone from salvation, while others appear to reject any heaven that would allow everyone in. Everyone, it seems, has an opinion of what a 'real Christian' is, so why should we trust that yours is the actual correct one?
I found it rather pathetic that people will deny, or even support this criminal as a terrorist. "Oh, hes just a gunman" Oh, he doesn't represent Christainty!" Oh, he wasn't killing for religion and politics."
Heres the truth, you deny the fact that Terrorism isn't about a group of cavemen blowing themselves up for the name of god/allah. Anyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology is capable of doing what this miserable man did. I bet some, or all of you wished he was a muslim. But in shock and horror, and with no empathy of the victims, you couldn't believe that the culprit murderer was a white, blond hair blue eyes, Christain that attacked young adults, i.e. children. Where is your christain values for the people he killed? Are you in denial that the worst enemy is the one who believe the same faith as yours?
It shows just how much humanity you have in youselves. Tsk Tsk.
I know many Muslims feel the same way as you about the terrorist. All extremists are based on the same principles. Regardless of origin. Take the commandment thou shalt not kill. The wording could not be simpler but how many atrocities and deaths in our own history to date are attributed to god and nation? There is no difference. The Christian religion of today and for many centuries as a whole Is a twisted and vastly misinterpretated version of what it was. Used for crusades and various power plays for a very long time now and to deny that is to follow it and repeat those mistakes which we as humanity tend to do even to our detriment.
Thats right CNN is attacking the poor christians. Poor me, my zombie christ was wrongfully killed, poor me I am a victim. Everybody is against me. You know there are better ways to get attention.
Interesting threat...Why not call out the fake Christians in the GOP right now? You know, the ones who pretend Jesus hated the poor, wanted to destroy the minorities and the powerless, and preached the virtues of materialism and greed?
Hello? Beuller? Beuller?
Also, I have been persecuting Jesus' followers relentlessly since birth, as He commanded. He warned me when I was young that if I ever tolerated anyone who claimed to speak for Him and then asked for money, He would smite me.
And every time I spit in a Christian zealot's face, an angel gets its wings, He has assured me.
What do you think about that, Guy-who-is-lower-on-Jesus's-favored-list-than-me?
Actually your Christ is a god of death, your entire claim is that you have to accept the hogwash and die to get to a better place than you're at now. No thanks.