Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway's Killer, 'Christian Fundamentalism,' and the Media

The phrase "Christian fundamentalist" is all over the news. Anders Behring Breivik (the Norwegian mass murderer) appears to be one, according to many news sources, but particularly The Atlantic. Fair enough-- he very well may identify himself that way, but I'd like to know why that term has now been so readily embraced.

Before getting to that, let me say that this is a tragedy of enormous proportion. A nation is grieving. My discussion of labeling and terminology should not distract us from that. Please pray with me for the families of the victims.

Yet, there are concerns here-- and I think they point to a growing perception among the media and elsewhere that "Christian fundamentalists" are a looming threat. Many are beginning to notice and comment on the "fundamentalist" connection.

The Atlantic headline shouts, "The Christian Extremist Suspect in Norway's Massacre" and later gives he reason why under this heading:

Religious views: According to the BBC, Breivik has a Facebook and Twitter account that he set up a mere few days ago on July 17, where he identifies himself as a Christian and a conservative. There are several reports of his anti-Muslim views. In a post in Norwegian in an online forum on December 2009, a user named Anders Behring Breivik claims there is not one country where Muslims have peacefully lived with non-Muslims, stating that instead it has had "catastrophic consequences" for non-Muslims.

The folks at GetReligion have a helpful critique of this article, which would relate to many other such stories. And, they also point out the URL tells the story:

To read more, click here.

No comments: