Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When is Terrorism a Christian "Right"?

Last Friday in an area of crowded downtown capital city of Oslo, Norway, a Christofascist terrorist (indeed, a Dominionist!) by the name of Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb that unleashed a swath of damage and ended seven lives!  He may have intended the bomb to assassinate the Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, whose office was located in the government building that sustained the greatest damage.  Since this atrocious event it has been discovered that Breivik, according to Norwegian police, is a right-wing Christian fundamentalist (according to his FaceBook and Twitter accounts) with anti-multiculturalist beliefs who is also responsible for more than 84 deaths (mostly teenagers) at a shooting spree that targeted a Youth Camp on Utoya Island -- a kid-friendly event that was sponsored by the left-leaning Labor Party of Norway.  It appears as though Breivik was deeply opposed to multiculturalism and Islam (according to his various Blog posts); and, he even belonged to a Norwegian chauvinistic anti-immigration political party!  The local authorities have since charged him under a local terrorism law.  Here is an example of Breivik's Euro-centric chauvinism, taken from his 1500 page manifesto:
As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things; That you believe in and want to protect Europe's Christian cultural heritage. The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority). It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way.
This, of course, gave me pause for concern; after all, if Breivik had been Muslim, the American media would have engaged in a veritable fire-storm of coverage intended to psycho-analyze the crime in their xenophobic zeal, as they did with the assailant during the Fort Hood, Texas shooting - involving a Psychologist who just happened to be Muslim by the name of Nidal Malik Hasan.  In fact, even before the Norwegian police knew the identity of their suspect, the American media was shamefully jumping to the conclusion that is must be an act of Muslim terrorist:

Moreover, the largest cultural issues surrounding this heinous behavior made me wonder why the media, in general, seems to be redolent about not emphasizing the fact that he was an extremist, right-wing Christian beholden to an unequivocally Dominionist ideology?  How have the followers of this rather large religion been able to insist upon a facade that they are utterly harmless to individuals, property, or civil liberties?  I well remember, just last year, a story that received extensive coverage televised on CNN about a Michigan-based Christian militia who was stock-piling weapons in order to murder law enforcement officers in an attempt to incite an anti-government up-rising (a group that was monitored by the Southern Poverty Law Center).  However, even though this had been in the news, I found it almost impossible to convince my own family that it was Christians who were doing this - they simply didn't, and couldn't bring themselves to believe me.  Why?  There are many cases on record of abortion clinics being bombed, as well as physicians being assassinated and so-called "Christians" bombing black Churches in the racist south.  When did terrorism become any sort of a "Christian right"?  How have members of this faith group allowed themselves to resist the connotations of terrorism over the years considering the published record of their members' behavior?

I also find it more than ironic that, given the events of this weekend, Maggie Gallagher of the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) would schedule air-time on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) declaring that the battle in New York state - she's keen on using war as a metaphor - to sustain legal anti-Gay marriage discrimination is "gonna' be a bloody mess", considering her own history as an intolerant Christian deeply opposed to public accommodations for multiculturalism as a threat to Christian parents' religious freedoms with more than her own fair share of racist sentiments worth bragging about, insisting how "embarrassed" she is to admit "that most African Americans are Christian".  It would seem, then, that she bears fr more in common with our Norwegian assailant than she would like to admit.

At the very least, it seems like an utterly gauche remark to make on public television, especially from the Talking Head of a particularly group insisting that American Christians' "religious liberties" are under assault unless they act to impede society's social progression when one takes into account Christianity's recent and ever-growing terrorist proclivities!  It could be said that Gallagher and her organization, whilst certainly not pulling the trigger, are acting as a sort of cover to allow society to behave badly.  According to Psychologists, anti-Gay ballot initiatives and ad campaigns have the effect of not only imposing onto Gay people Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but that society at large feels far more free to act out and punish Gay people for refusing to fit into what these social conservatives view as "abnormal" by contrast (see Voted Out: The Psychological Consequences of Anti-Gay Politics [New York University Press], by Glenda Russell).

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