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Breivik is an anti-Islam extremist, not a “Christian” or “right-wing” extremist.
Is 32-year-old Norwegian murder suspect Aders Behring Breivik a “Christian extremist”? The New York Times thinks so. “As Horrors Emerge, Norway Charges Christian Extremist,” declared the Times in its Sunday print edition.
The online version of the Times, likewise, asserted (on Saturday), “Christian Extremist Is Charged in Norway.”
The Times has since changed its online headline to read: “Right-Wing Extremist Is Charged in Norway.” That’s better, but still not quite right.
The problem is this: There is no “Christian extremist” movement in the way that there is an Islamist or “Islamic extremist” movement. There are bad Christians, to be sure; but they have no modern-day intellectual and political movement that supports and sustains them — modern-day Islamists, or Islamic extremists, do.
Osama bin Laden, after all, founded al-Qaeda for the express purpose of waging war against the West — and not only the West: As we learned in Iraq, al-Qaeda militants also target and kill other Muslims who dare to dissent from its extreme and intolerant views.
Hamas and Hezbollah perform a similar role in Gaza and Lebanon, respectively. And a deep-seated hostility toward Christians and Jews is inculcated in many Islamic Madrasahs worldwide.
There is today no Christian counterpart to al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah. Despite whatever historical failings you might attribute to Christianity, there is no active “Christian extremist” movement that preaches violence against non-Christians.
In fact, quite the opposite: Christians worldwide are taught to love their (non-Christian) neighbors and to hate the sin, but love the sinner.
For example, in his 1965 “Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions” (Nostra Aetate), Pope Paul VI declared:
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these [other] religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim, Christ “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.
The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.
Moreover, there is no reason to think that Breivik acted out of religious conviction or deep theological belief. What church did he belong to? Insofar as I can tell, we don’t even know if he belonged to a church, let alone that he attended church. “A Facebook page and Twitter account,” reports the Times,
were set up under his name days before the rampage, suggesting a conscious effort to construct a public persona and leave a legacy for others. The Facebook page cites philosophers like Machiavelli, Kant and John Stuart Mill.
His lone Twitter post, while not calling for violence, paraphrased Mill and suggested what he saw as his will to act: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online