Monday, July 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

No more semantics. Let's call him what he is: He is a Christian terrorist.

We Christians, to be at all authentic, need to own that sad reality. The views that he espoused can easily be found in the philosophies of nearly every fundamentalist, evangelical Christian group in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world. Dismissing him as "crazy" is too simplistic. It's too easy. It is an attempt to deny the painful reality of what we witnessed: an act of Christian terrorism. In centuries past this would have not been surprising. However, now some Christians see themselves smugly as "above" that sort of thing, denying that it ever happened, and pinning atrocities on Muslims alone.

To speak with integrity, we must roundly condemn not only this depraved act in which nearly 100 people lost their lives, but we must also stay alert and watch for signs that someone else could do precisely the same thing. Acts of Christian terror, even within my lifetime, are not unknown. The Oklahoma City federal building bombing. The bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta. Yes, even the bombing of abortion clinics.

We must own this, and we must say, "Never again."

– Thom Curnutte
Faith in the 21st Century
July 24, 2011

Reports the Associated Press:

. . . [Anders Behring Breivik] said he staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as "marketing" for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims.

"The operation was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labor Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass importing Muslims then they must assume responsibility for this treason," according to the English translation of [Judge Kim] Heger's ruling that was read out after the hearing.

Breivik alluded to two other "cells" of his network — which he imagines as a new Knights Templar, the medieval cabal of crusaders who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. At one point, his manifesto briefly referred to an intention to contact two other cells, but no details were given.

European security officials said they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to the Knights Templar group and were investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002.

Recommended Off-site Links:
The Greater Threat: Christian Extremism from Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik – Pierre Tristam (, July 25, 2011).
White Christian Fundamentist Terrorism in Norway – Juan Cole (WammToday, July 24, 2011).
Norway Attacks: We Can No Longer Ignore the Far-Right Threat – Matthew Goodwin (The Guardian via, July 24, 2011).
Norway Suspect: Sebia Bombing "Tipped the Scales" – Ian MacDougall and Karl Ritter (The Associated Press, July 25, 2011).


brian gerard said...

Great post, Michael. This needs to be said.

Faith and Fatherland said...

Would you people describe Richard Dawkins as a Christian? Or Saddam Hussein as a Muslim?