I checked the news right away this morning because I had heard about the Norway atrocity and had been following it somewhat. Lo and behold, we are told that the gunman, Anders Breivik, is a ‘Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections.’ I thought that was pretty interesting, because when we had our Fort Hood shooting in Texas by Nidal Hasan, it took the media several days to report the fact that he was a Muslim and the president of the United States himself came out of the woodwork to caution us all against leaping to conclusions connecting the man’s faith with his actions.
Apparently, the government in Norway is made of sterner stuff and doesn’t fall in with such political correct rubbish…
An alternative theory is that no one is afraid of real ‘Christian fundamentalists’ so its ok to single them out right away, while everyone is terrified of what Muslims will do if you press their buttons.
If the headlines were reversed- “The Fort Hood shooter was a Muslim” there would be universal calls for tolerance and extra helpings of niceness handed off to the Muslims in the community. But I think instead, given how bad, bad, bad, Christians are, we’ll see calls that its time to crack down on Christian fundamentalists. The best part: they are unlikely to put up a fight.
I have been perusing the blogs and twitter and, quite predictably, you can almost see that sentiment forming. I even sense what seems to be a bit of glee out there at the news this shooter was a ‘Christian.’ It makes sense, really. These kinds of folks have been talking about how bad and dangerous Christians are for as long as I’ve been debating the merits of Christianity.
Unfortunately, they have been left to suck examples for the dangers of Christian believers from the Islamists, performing the operation by lumping both groups as religionists, ascribing the atrocities to the higher category so that they can then send it back down and hang it on the ‘Christian fundamentalists.’ My favorite examples of this come from Richard Dawkins who recounted the horrors of Christian fundamentalism by citing the 9-11 attacks and the Dover Intelligent Design trial, and Christopher Hitchens who compared the viciousness of the Taliban with examples of a similar kind among Christians… outlawing booze in Prohibition and winning the Scopes Monkey Trial. Oooooo, those evil, evil, Christians. (I talk about both in this old post here).
So, some people are going to be really happy to add to their previous number of examples of evil Christians to bring the total to a whopping 2. (the other example being this one). Do they now have enough to call for the general regulation and rigorous monitoring of ‘Christian fundamentalists’? Time will tell.
The headlines, tweets, and blogs are all out there now- “the Norway shooter was a ‘Christian!'”
Let me propose that in this case, it really is reasonable not to jump to conclusions. We know next to nothing about this man except that he apparently had a facebook page describing himself as a Christian and conservative and a quote from an official that he was a ‘Christian fundamentalist’ linked to ‘right wing’ groups.
My money is that we’ll find out the guy is a Malthusian at heart.