Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is Anders Breivik a Christian Terrorist Or Not?

7/28/2011—A lot of ink—electronic or otherwise—is being spilled over the question whether the violence perpetrated by Anders Breivik justifies labeling him a Christian terrorist in the same way that violence from within the Islamic world is often labeled Islamic terrorism, even though the links to Islam are thin or even nonexistent. If Breivik is a Christian terrorist then the critique of Islam as inherently violent is weakened and the claim that religion in general is violent is strengthened.

Some of this analysis, like that of Mark Juergensmeyer in Huffington Post, argues not that Breivik is such, but that he is as close to Christianity as some terrorists are to Islam.

One of the thorough examinations of 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik’s statement of the culture clash that threatens Western civilization, was published yesterday by Sarah Posner in Religion Dispatches: How Breivik’s “Cultural Analysis” is Drawn from the “Christian Worldview”.

While I am loath to spend my time on nut cases, it was suggested to me that I have to say something about Breivik, because if he is a religious or specifically Christian nut, it challenges my common ground approach.

Fair enough. But I am using Posner to avoid having to read Breivik. According to Posner, Breivik’s major idea is that cultural Marxists and political correctness are underming the values of Western civilization. To Posner this is a “cohesive ideology known as the ‘Christian worldview,’ which in turn is the product of Christian anti-communist activism from the Cold War era.”

Well ok. But what does it have to do with Jesus? Or even religion? Any rich capitalist might say most of this. It sounds mostly economic with a basic anti-post modernist relativism combined with a fear of Muslims.

It does not sound like a Christian terrorist or a religious one. Actually Breivik still sounds like a nut whose example shows not very much about anything.

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