Filed under Culture, News on July 25th, 2011 by Michael L. Brown

The details of the tragic massacre in Norway are shocking beyond words. At least 76 fatalities. Scores of young people gunned down in cold blood. Others seriously injured or missing. Body parts still to be recovered in the bombed out buildings. A nation traumatized and in mourning.

Were these horrific acts the result of an outside terrorist attack? No. Was this the work of Muslim extremists living in Norway? No again. Rather, the bomber and shooter was a native-born Norwegian, a blue-eyed and blond haired vegetable farmer, Anders Breivik, with no prior history of violence. And he has been described as a “right-wing, fundamentalist Christian.” But of course! How long will it be before ominous new warnings are sounded throughout America reminding us of the dangers of “right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity”?

In 2007, a New Jersey school came under criticism after staging a mock hostage drill in which the intruders were not radical Muslims or other, known terrorist groups. Instead, they were Christian fundamentalists dubbed the “New Crusaders.” As noted by JihadWatch in April, 2007, the intruders were described as “members of a right-wing fundamentalist group . . .  who don’t believe in the separation of church and state.” And these fake gunmen were driven to attack the school because they were “seeking justice because the daughter of one [member] had been expelled for praying before class.”

Conservative Christians who learned of this drill were rightly outraged. Where, they asked, had any of their people committed such acts? Where were the 9/11-type massacres carried out by American, fundamentalist Christians? Where were the barbaric killings, carried out in our country in Jesus’ name, similar to the slaughter of school children in Beslan, Russia that had been carried out by Islamic, Chechnyan sympathizers? Obviously, they did not exist.

“But,” we were warned, “they could be coming soon. After all, these Christian groups use violent, warfare language, and they talk about a ‘Jesus revolution.’”

In other words, singing old hymns like “Onward Christian Soldiers” might lead to bloodshed, and those conservative Christians who feel their rights are being violated by the government might just put down their hymn books, pick up their rifles, and lay siege to the school building across the street. Right. Just like those who believe in the “war on poverty” also believe in killing poor people (or perhaps rich people?) and those who engage in the “culture wars” believe in slaughtering the people with whom they differ. Yet there are many who truly believe that conservative Christians will somehow turn violent in the name of the Lord.

In the summer of 2009, in my current home city of Charlotte, North Carolina, a local gay journalist warned about religious leaders (which included me) who were allegedly “preaching and teaching with violent and militant theology and rhetoric, painting the social conflict over LGBT equality as a ‘battle’ and a ‘war.’” He asked, “How thin of a line exists between violent word and thought, and violent action and deed? That’s a question answered plenty of times before, from Christian Crusades and Inquisitions of ages past to the modern day of radical Islamic terrorism. But, it is a question yet to be answered in Charlotte, N.C., where I believe there is a potentially dangerous and violent threat ramping up its efforts to counter the annual LGBT event, Pride Charlotte.”

And what was this “potentially dangerous and violent threat”? It was a group of 500 Christians who gathered to pray, worship, and share the gospel with attendees of the gay pride event, declaring that “God has a better way.” After the event (which I helped organize and which was as peaceful as could be imagined), a local lesbian activist told me that what we were doing was an act of “radical love.”

Yet the murderous acts of Anders Breivik in Norway will be seen as proof that conservative Christians in America might just turn violent too, as if the demented actions of an anti-Muslim, anti-multiculturalist Norwegian have anything to do with the spiritual, moral, and cultural aspirations of American Christ-followers who espouse the non-violent teachings and example of the Master himself.

Sadly, the atmosphere in our country has become so toxic that venerable ministries like Focus on the Family and the American Family Association have been branded as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, while People for the American Way sends out regular warnings about evangelical Christian leaders on its RightWingWatch website. And this will surely intensify in the days to come in the wake of the tragedy in Norway.

Let us, then, who call ourselves conservative Christians, redouble our efforts to expose the folly of these false charges, overcoming evil with good and hatred with love, thereby proving ourselves to be genuine followers of Jesus.

Michael L. Brown is host of the daily, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, and author of A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.

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  1. Certain questions remain.
    If contemplating such mass murder and antigovernment violence for nine years, as the man has claimed, why act then, not prior, or not at all? The man was no more a vegtable farmer than I, who cultivated/es nonesuch, and had little knowledge of the subject. Another farm community member nearby his rented farm actually cultivated his farm, noticing his fields as neglected and asked to cut them, not then a “farmer” at all. He primarily worked on and completed his torturous Manifesto from the farm rented for a couple of years, and from his Olso apartment. In it he mentions his deceptions of supposedly becoming such a farmer, and a preoccupied decent law and order sort, recently come to a rural location (as was maintained to secretly complete his writings, gather resources, and carry forth his planned intentions). This was to apparently be so while his neighbors continued to perceive him as a “nice guy”, as intended, so to focus on his scheme; through occasional contact and conversation in passing , neighbors of two years realized he was not a farmer, or a person with such know how. Norwegains by nature mind their own business. Perhaps a rich young man then, with a rural interest to discover?
    Like the bomber in the USA who blew away a govenment building and day care center with a fertilizer mix, he first conceived his facist based philosophy of one in his isolation, then gathered the particulars, then acted. He feared some of his fusing material, as chemicals ordered from Poland, would be noticed by the import duty officials, where taxation is always proper for imports. It was not. I’ve landed by plane in Olso a half dozen times, prior to the current international airport security measures went in place, and never once were my bags searched. I was always politely waved on through customs. Norwegans are gentle and kind sorts, always polite and keeping to themselves by nature. Americans, caucasions, and other western Europeans could pass based on was perception alone.
    His philosophy, a fantasy, without an objective correlative in the real world, presents the question of how it came to be internally believed and sociaopathically reinforced. This then must be examined to understand this particular kind of deceiver, and murderer. First and foremost he deceived himself, believing his philosophy, plans, and actions would become in the future unifying of others for an alike sorting out of pure racial roots identity assumptions, cutural norms, and related assertions. Conducted by alike violence, those hating multicultualism in Europe’s future, by his words, would rise up in a similar manner (according to his twisted logic), and next war against their own racially lax governments; he then did not view his ongoing deception and actions as scattering of a projected following, but as providing the needed insight to gather other Europeans to an alike future action. His manifesto borrowed words from the USA Unibomber, another rural isolationist living only for the cause of creating an alike culture of death, as were placed as a template over the culture in which he grew up. To understand this man we look at his past, and what he loved.
    The parallels to the Columbine killers are obvious, setting up, equipping, and envisioning a reality apart from other living souls. Ideology based on lies, guns, bombs and power captured his own acquisitions of armaments, and claimed stashes at undeclared locations constructed as such for future use. Training in cold hearted gun action by computer game stimulations. He claimed to have an assoication with two other “cells”, yet cells speak of more than one person, where in fact evidence says he was a loner, quite alone. He went to the same private grade school as the present Norsk Crown Prince. He was raised in an affluent suburb of Oslo. His parents divorced when he was one. His father disowned him when he was 16, and did not directly parent him. His brothers are half brothers. His father was a Norwegain embassy employee in a few locations over his lifetime (and now lives retired in So. France where his home was raided and searched by French police and is now guarded by them for his protection.). The killer lived a rich child’s fantasy life, and as how financed into his 30s is unclear. But, an adult living alone has no need involved of the time, stress, and care of family life, as he did most of his adult life. He was a weight lifter, gun collector, target shooter, violent computer games player, uniforms collector of identities not his own, except a past conscript of normal Nowegain army service obligation. He became a visitor to this facist club, this political group abroad, and that one. He was a Freemason, and attended occasional political conferences in the UK and other parts of Europe. He claimed to be a Knights Templar, with the dream of protecting Chrisendom. This was perhaps his self view, which it is unclear if it was founded in any real association, as such.
    He communicated with blogs which had racist and absolutist ideals. His own posted social site pages claimed a need for action rather than contemplation in order to change what he perceived as destructive of an illusive purly cultured nation. His photo albums have he with varied personal weapons. He hated Islam and multiculturism in a nation which has less than 2% Muslims, and known for the Nobel Peace Prize and tolerance.
    He stated he is prepared to be in jail the rest of his life. Norwegain law indeed has a maximum sentence of 21 years, however those deemed a threat to society, after 20 years of prision, are reassessed for future five year span prison sentences. Perhaps a sentence for each one slain, rather than the mass action. The judge has placed him in a month’s isolated confinement (except for seeing his lawyer), until initial trial. He has refused him opportunity to wear a uniform in court, or to use his trial as a platform to market his manifesto, as he stated his killing sprees were staged to accomplish. In short, here is a soul who not only does not know Christ, but is ego-delusional about who he is, what he has done, and his own future. Like Ted Bundy over time he may receive the Word of Christ as his own.
    It is not so much that his fundamentalist racial views may become confused with Christian endeavors which alarms, but the social isolation which even in polite modern Norway can ignore of some of its own citizens maintaining personal signals of difficulty. There is both a Bible belt and strong Christian community in Norway (I am married to such a Norwegian); yet too in recent years the government has moved to sever the state church from association with its own structure and royal family. Yearly state support for it is brought in question in Norway’s representative body. Some of these local churches indeed are alive with faith, in addition to other protestant churches existing.
    Its government has held a special relationship and advocacy for the PA authority, of ‘Palestine’, and has received a full ambassador since 2006 from Palestine, now with full diplomatic rights. Since the Oslo accords secular Norway has become one of the most antisemetic nations of Europe, and supports the wholeheartedly the presently forming UN General Assembly September vote effort to establish a side by side to Israel Palestinian State, with a divided Jerusalem. Officially its Foreign Relations Ministry blames Israel for the Palestinian situation as it stands, and the failure of the Oslo accords to this day. The Crown Prince and Princess hold New Age Views, while the aging King and Queen still are Lutherans. The elected government has gone, like here, from Conservative to very Liberal.
    These are the signs of the times in most western nations, severing their roots and traditions slowly for so-called liberated views, standing side by side with what has been. Homosexual marriage has been established in Norway and Scandinavia now for some years. A liberal armchair view of the people of the Middle East is held by the general population, with they being seen increasingly as the victims of colonialism and an “aparthed” Zionist Israel. We must pray for Norway, as like here, its people of faith in Jesus do not have these views, but support Israel and its Messiah as their own. Like here, energy and food costs have risen to begin to oppress the common citizen (a gallon of gasolene is presently 12 to 13 dollars; the national energy corporation, once set up to give citizens inexpensive hydroelectric power for electric heat in houses and apartments as a right of citizenship, has for many years now used its capital to explore in other lands, been moved to gain prophet through stock exchanges, and forgotten its original purpose for being). The question becomes, as here, can any godly standards which remain be strengthened so that those of faith will not become marginalized by the socialist and equality ideals of government?
    Similar to the death of Princess Diana, after senseless death, large parts of Oslo were carpeted with flowers placed by most who now mourn there for those recently departed. Yet where is the publication of a National Prayer, of seeking the Lord in the matter at hand, and calling on Jesus Christ by the Nation?
    The killer’s manifesto clarifies that his life was about deceit. He, like the Columbine killers, played computer games to “train” for calculated killing. Like those fellows, he finished off the dying with shotgun blasts to their heads, and used his power and uniform worn to betray the trust of the young.

  2. It remains difficult to compose and proof read expressions of length in the comment box. Once up all errors loom, typos, tense errors, words missing and the like. I have not yet achieved a method for composing on a word processor then pasting in, for it loses formatting in the process. Any clues?

  3. Michael: Here’s some more info to use in the battle to get the truth out about this Norwegian shooter:

  4. Today the killer’s “exMom”, acting as his partial mother and his father’s wife until he was 14, remarked that he was a normal child, and had recently mentioned to her in their rare contact that he had been writing a book for some years. On inquiry about it, he was evasive and vague. She exited his life essentially at 14, his father at 16–as to bearing any influence. It seems to parallel the Columbine killers’ story of forming their own world view of how their world would be based on presumptive actions of violence and reinforcements of self empowerment to achieve their culture of death template over their real world. It shows too how parental influence cannot be overextended when not overbearing.

  5. Robyn,

    Thanks for the postings, the second one was very good indeed for coming to understand the man. It is interesting to see his own photos, as were shared on the net, largely in uniform, with guns pointed, or with
    some kind of regal posturing dress, as in the first article you shared. My wife’s family, long employed by the Royal Family and Palace, share no such views as those egotistical views the second article summarizes well from his manifesto. His book’s basis is a literal self aggrandizement, which includes his misunderstanding of himself, and his Norwegian culture really. My wife has been my teacher in many ways, the decades we have spent together: regarding gentleness, kindness, and Christ centered service to all. She, not he, is representative of Norway’s finest heart.

  6. If you look all over the news and read the articles, the media (CNN and ABC at least) has portrayed the guy as a fundamentalist right wing Christian (which would be odd in Norway) but the reality is he was definitely a secularist, most likely agnostic.

    Exhibit A


    Exhibit B

    Here are some quotes from his biography/manifesto:

    “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie. I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.”

    “Religion is a crutch for many weak people and many embrace religion for self serving reasons as a source for drawing mental strength (to feed their weak emotional state for example during illness, death, poverty etc.). Since I am not a hypocrite, I’ll say directly that this is my agenda as well.”

    “If praying will act as an additional mental boost/soothing it is the pragmatical thing to do. I guess I will find out… If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past. I am pursuing religion for this very reason and everyone else should as well, providing it will give you a mental boost.”

    “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.”

    He went to great lengths to separate himself from Christians. In this quote, he gives a simplistic definition of a Christian (a person who has a relationship with Jesus), he continues by saying, “I’m not that.” Then he redefines Christianity and says, “Under this new, definition I just created that nobody would recognize, This makes us Christian”. The second definition is not the same as the first. A person can’t equivocate the two definitions, especially when he himself is making a distinction.

    The man says secularism in his influence, and that he’s not religious. He says religion is a crutch, and doesn’t know if there is a God but that he will pray…just in case. That’s agnostic, not Christian, but whatever he was, the guy was a nut.

  7. I will try to unravel a bit the ball of string gathered as my comment #1, cut it down, and stretch it tight between the open can of this response and any reader of my comment offered here and now. I stated that questions remained in then rolling up of all I said; most were recently answered by a published article appearing on the net among the many now appearing on the perpetrator of the cited mass murder (as was written in the Norsk Bokmal language). My primary question was why didn’t the man act sooner if he felt the way he must have to do what he did? Why essentially brood for nine years, while developing his outlook and philosophy, as he claimed of that time span, and then compel all at once the sudden hateful anarchy and predatory intention of ending the lives of many others viewed as of a political party influencing Norway? What was the point at this time of conducting this unthinkable action? In effect, why not publish one’s ideal ideas, and wait out the reception to see how his world view came across, and perhaps gain a following to change what it supposedly takes to task over time?

    I raised the matter of how he was financed remaining a curiosity, which indeed seems to be at the core of the then unanswered mystery of both his political motivation and sociopathic venturing toward the dark side. If one has a world view as is described as being his by the second URL article which Robyn gave us, how did he achieve the luxury of time to intricately develop it on into his single thirties, over and above normal to life preoccupations and obligations? After all, though peaceable and pristine, Norway is a very expensive place in which to live. And it is known as the peaceable Kingdom.

    Apparently it was a matter of money, where his shift to the reported scenario violence was, in his view, a fall back means to accomplish his desired end of publication of his manifesto and waiting out its reception for a supposed acclaim. Violence became a fall back means of impactfully positioning his philosophy for all of a supposed past racially and regionally pure historical Europe to embrace. This was envisioned to become so by the publicity achieved by his actions’ notoriety bringing his philosophy to a sudden forefront regard for citizens of Norway and Europe. This, he imagined, would advance his philosophy’s publication, widespread acceptance, recognition, and call to action. His pressure cooking end was to publish his manifesto, which he saw as genius, and–as has quickly proven the case–all others now view as crazymaking nonreality, because of the means of achieving its and his notoriety.

    His first means of achieving a following, or Plan A, was to finish his document and get it published, advertised, read, and acclaimed: so as to gain a following to change Europe’s trend toward multiculturalism. His call was to reassert what he thought would become a clear momentum for a ‘pure’ European Christendom historical roots racially based cultural renaissance. Well, sort of. His analysis of the problem did not really present a carefully orchestrated scenario over time to achieve such change civilized mechanism process for going back to the future. His notion of the best of all possible worlds then was based on the myth of a sinless and nobly pure European past racial-historical-cultural civilized world (which has not really ever existed, as such, but was believed to be the case).

    He saw his puritanical myth being destroyed by European political liberal parties achieved multiculturalism and the infiltration of an Islamic population. Like elected politicians in some other European countries (notably Holland), though not personally religious, he viewed the best of European achievement and civilization as historically associated with western civilization’s claims and traceable historiography of what was once called “Christendom”. This myth he wanted reinstated at all costs, much like the Crusades attempted in the Holy Land. His personal photos and pursuits show him regally dressed in the costume of European noble Knighthood, or in uniformed warrior regalia. Not empowered by election, he self empowers through legally acquired weaponry which a single individual of lawful conformity could acquire.

    This reestablishment of the myth was his overarching desire; as was believed so important and nonnegotiable indeed, when his “Plan A” was frustrated by running out of funds by finally using credit card debt to keep on keeping on toward his Manifesto’s publication, he experienced inner pressure build up pushing on the house of cards he was erecting to get his message out. He saw his publication possibility slipping away first by his past personal savings consumption, and the real world fiasco of completing the manifesto’s publication and its positioning being stymied by his recent years personal defaults. Though he was convinced he was the European messiah, and anointed visionary, he saw no way out of the collapse of his house built of cards.

    He assumed his political favor to be gained over a considerable time of expectancy for such success after its publication as being a paradise lost, so he added ever-increasing personal consumer debt to keep his end justifies his means writing proclamation life endeavor momentum going. When the handwriting was flexing on his house of cards walls, so to speak, he moved to enact Plan B, which he was also all along preparing for. It became a die cast when he bought bomb materials and carried them to his rented farm.
    As a military admirer, target shooter, virtual blow them away computer gamer, and cold hearted philosopher he neglected to see what was at the heart of Christendom, and substituted his own indulgent heart as that of a false messiah. He had hoped to be exalted to princely status before going on to such a desperate means. However, as time was running out, and pressure was building both in and outside the man of cards, he was compelled to do acting on the eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil found among the trees of his paradise. He became deceived about the relationship of the end and the means, where the age old means of getting the armies built up and running to conquer, was compelled by the kingpin myth the ages have shown to be of selfish and brutal swine.

  8. Michael,

    Actually the guy was associated with a group belonging to the freemasons. Although freemasonry is popular the presbyterian church, at the core it is satan worship. Therefore the whole theory of right winged fundamental is wrong.

  9. “Where were the 9/11-type massacres carried out by American, fundamentalist Christians?”

    Iraq and Afghanistan are two obvious examples. In fact, the US military did much worse to them then what the Saudis and the Egyptians did on 9/11.

    “Where were the barbaric killings, carried out in our country in Jesus’ name, similar to the slaughter of school children in Beslan, Russia that had been carried out by Islamic, Chechnyan sympathizers? Obviously, they did not exist.”

    The 1968 My Lai and My Khe massacres in Vietnam are two examples.

    Timothy McVeigh, one man who was convicted of the Oklahama City bombing in 1995, was a Christian Fundamentalist and his Christian faith was one of several motives he had for doing so. Of course, there have been Christians who kill doctors who perform abortions. One such murder was done right inside a church. If you truly believe that Christians have been innocent of all wrongdoing or never commit terrorist acts in Jesus’ name, you are quite mistaken.

  10. Jason,

    Thanks so much for your post. Would you kindly explain to me what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the massacres in Vietnam have to do with Jesus and the Christian faith?

  11. No worries doctor — although I do believe I have responded adequately to the questions you posed in my previous post and how those questions tie into those who call themselves Christians and indeed one of many interpretations of the Christianity religion adopted by some people.

    I will clarify: The examples I mentioned illustrates that certain individuals’ belief in their chosen interpretation of Christianity was indeed used as justification for aforementioned incidences. If you disagree, this is fine with me. You asked questions, and I answered them based on my own personal opinion.

  12. Jason, thanks for your response, and I have no desire to get into an argument with you about your views. I simply don’t follow what “interpretation of Christianity” was used, say, to carry out the My Lai massacre? Of course, I categorically reject your idea that Timothy McVeigh was a fundamentalist Christian — based on his very own words — but again, I’m simply trying to understand how you can associate Christianity with the massacre of Vietnamese civilians.

  13. Entrapment is not Christian behavior, nor flying false colors (a police uniform of protection), nor laughing outloud, as did the Columbine killers, while targeting and killing, nor breeding a world-view based on hatred, murder, or resisting authority and peaceful order by bombing, maming, and breaking common sense barriers and known laws.

    Martin Luther King Jr. passively resisted what he found to be anti-Christain and paid with his life, in time. This deceiver made secret plans, deceived, accused and resisted evil with evil. He broke basic commandments of the decalogue. Christians are told not to resist one who is evil, nor to resist evil with evil, but with good (by Jesus, and Paul). “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love,” so spoke Paul to those of other cultures than his own Jewish frame of reference. By definition then, this killer did not identify with the Biblical tenets of our faith.

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