Breivik’s worldview, if we can call it that, is not easily characterized. Some have branded him a “Christian terrorist.” He does write that he hopes the “Church gains more or less [a] monopoly on religion in Europe,” but also that “it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings.” In keeping with this latter view, he lauds the work of Princeton University molecular biologist Lee M. Silver, who is an advocate of stem cell research and human cloning. So Breivik can’t easily be described as a religious fundamentalist.
Breivik also wants a big cut in aid to developing countries in the hopes that this will reduce world population by 4.5 billion — an exercise in population control I don’t think the pope, much less Scandinavia’s Lutheran Church, would favor. Without pause, he voices admiration for the United States’ Tea Party, while calling for more regulation of capitalism and a “Scandinavian light model” of redistribution, including “giving women more incentives to have children in the form of various welfare incentives.”
One could call him a fascist, and he does subscribe to Arian racial theory. But Breivik also makes fulsome denunciations of Hitler and belittles today’s neo-Nazis as fools. He is certainly hostile to Islam and quotes many right-wing authors and bloggers who obsess about the coming of “Eurabia.” But his rants against feminism, Marxism, and Western sexual mores are little different from those made by Osama bin Laden. He doesn’t call for Western women to be put behind the veil. But he estimates that 50 percent have slept with more than 20 men and are thus “sluts,” thinks society should “discourage” all women from having full-time careers, and blames “current destructive matriarchal policies” for most of what he sees as wrong with Europe.
As I said: this guy is NO Christian… and has an important problem of ideological coherence.
- Norway attacks: Was Breivik a Christian terrorist? – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com) To be sure, among those who identify Christianity with the teachings, behavior, codes, and life of the early church, sometimes called “primitive Christianity,” the acts of Breivik have less than nothing to do with the Acts of the Gospels. His logic is seen as a deep distortion, of, say, the spirit of the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the meek … blessed are the peacemakers … blessed are the poor in spirit…”… “Are we capable of seeing the distinction between a dude acting alone with, at this point, no following and a large global movement with many leaders and supporters?” Mollie asks finally. ”Supporters of Islamic extremism are a minority in most Muslim countries. But there’s a dramatic difference between the level of support a killer such as Osama bin Laden had and the level of support a killer such as Breivik has. Media coverage should not ignore that distinction when pushing the moral equivalency meme.”
- Why Islamist terror dwarfs Breivik’s brand: Almost nobody supports “Christianist” violence (nydailynews.com):Breivik’s ideology does not represent the same sort of threat that Islamism does because it is not shared by nearly as many people, governments or institutions. Aside from a handful of anonymous Internet postings, there have been no avowals of support for Breivik’s mass murder. No influential Christian preachers have praised what he did. There were no celebrations in the streets, nor has any government applauded his attempt to “save” Europe from “Islamization.” The only organizational backing for Breivik’s massacre appears to have come from a 12th century crusader outfit called the “Knights Templar,” which, as far as we know, exists nowhere but in his own deranged head.
Contrast that condemnatory response with Saddam Hussein‘s remarks after 9/11 – an attack carried out by a transnational terrorist organization sheltered by the then-government of a sovereign state. Saddam said that “the American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity.” Crowds of Palestinians, meanwhile, took to the streets and handed out candy.
While these reactions were certainly the exception among most Muslims, smaller-scale terrorist attacks committed against coalition soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on civilians in places ranging from London to Madrid to Peshawar, Pakistan, are regularly legitimized by Islamic clerics who claim huge followings.