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The Greater Threat: Christian Extremism From Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik

| July 24, 2011

Christian jihadists: Timothy McVeigh and Anders Behring Breivik.

Timothy McVeigh, meet Anders Behring Breivik.

Those two jihadists—two right-wing reactionaries, two terrorists, two anti-government white supremacists, two Christians—have a lot in common, down to the way the massacres they carried out were first mistaken for the work of Islamists by an American press rich in zealotry of its own. And they have a lot more in common with the fundamentalist politicians and ideologues among us who pretend to have nothing to do with the demons they inspire.

After the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, speculation flew on television news stations about Arab terrorists seen in the vicinity of the federal building. The thought that a home-grown, Midwestern Army veteran of the first Gulf war could possibly murder 168 people, including 19 children at a day care center, seemed as foreign as those Islamic lands that were then inspiring so much of bigotry’s latest American mutant. McVeigh turned out to be as all-American as he could possibly be, with extras. His paradoxical worship of the Second Amendment was the faith that fueled his hatred of a government he felt had betrayed American ideals by enabling what he called “Socialist wannabe slaves.” His idealism of a golden-age white America was the Christian translation of al-Qaeda’s idealized caliphate.

It became quickly evident that the bombing in Oslo and the massacre on Utoya Island on Friday had been carried out by Anders Breivik, who surrendered to police 40 minutes after beginning his killing spree on the island. Yet the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on Saturday putting the blame for the attack on Islamist extremists, because “in jihadist eyes,” the paper said, “it will forever remain guilty of being what it is: a liberal nation committed to freedom of speech and conscience, equality between the sexes, representative democracy and every other freedom that still defines the West.”


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The paper subsequently amended its editorial to concede that Breivik “was an ethnic Norwegian with no previously known ties to Islamist groups.” But the rest of the piece still framed the attack in the context of Islamist terrorism. It’s a common tactic at the Journal and Fox News—co-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s scandal-riddled News Corp.—where facts are incidental to ideology. It is enough for the Journal to insinuate a connection for its Foxified audience to catch the drift and run with it. Breivik may be Norwegian. But he wouldn’t be doing what he did if it weren’t for the pollution of white, Christian European blood by Muslims and multiculturalists, by leftists, by Socialist wannabe slaves.

McVeigh and Breivik are bloody reminders that Western culture’s original sin—the presumption of supremacy—is alive and well and clenching many a trigger. It’ll be easy in coming days, as it was in 1995, to categorize the demons as exceptions unrepresentative of their societies. Easy, but false. Norway, like much of Europe, like the United States, is in the grips of a disturbing resurgence of right-wing fanaticism.  “The success of populist parties appealing to a sense of lost national identity,” The Times reports, “has brought criticism of minorities, immigrants and in particular Muslims out of the beer halls and Internet chat rooms and into mainstream politics. While the parties themselves generally do not condone violence, some experts say a climate of hatred in the political discourse has encouraged violent individuals.”


It’s convenient duplicity. The parties don’t explicitly condone violence. But they would have no appeal without explicitly endorsing beliefs of supremacy and projecting the sort of scorn and hatred for those who fall outside the tribe that cannot but lead to violence or the sort of fractured society we’ve become so familiar with. Those “Take Back America” bumper stickers share most of their DNA with the same strain of rejectionist white Europeans who think their culture is being bankrupted by Socialism and immigrants. Those idiotic anti-Sharia laws creeping up in Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida take their cues from the likes of Geert Wilder, the Dutch People’s Party leader who compares the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Florida’s own Koran-burning Terry Jones or the Rev. Franklin Graham’s velvety crusade against Islam are Wilder’s American clones.

Timothy McVeigh’s rhetoric may have been more extreme, but it was indistinguishable from the more college-polished and aged rhetoric of anti-government reactionaries now pretending to speak for American ideals under the banner of patriots, tea parties, Fox News’s hacking of the “fair and balanced” parody, or more establishment oriented zealots in Congress. The common denominator is exclusion and heresy: those who supposedly belong to “true” American values, and those who don’t. Al-Qaeda’s loyalty oath is identical: those who belong to “true” Islamic values and those who don’t. Either way, the inclusive, tolerant, broad-minded, and yes, multicultural outlook is under siege by fundamentalism in virtually every part of society as we know it: cultural, political, economic, religious. Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik used bombs and rifles. More seasoned zealots use rhetoric and policies. The ongoing march of folly over the national debt is merely one example among many.

“We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack,” the columnist Nicholas Kristof writes today. “But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.”

Islamists who may want us harm need only sit back and enjoy the view. They might as well have outsourced the job to their Christian brethren, with plenty of assists from mainstream conservatives. There’s no segregating these demons and maniacs. They’re an integral part of western culture. They’re us.

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53 Responses for “The Greater Threat: Christian Extremism From Timothy McVeigh to Anders Breivik”

  1. Edward says:

    It’s about TIME someone said something about the “other-side of the coin” when it comes to religion. It’s less about “religion” than it is about bigotry. We will always accept the mindset of the “majority” and as sheep, we will follow status-quo to our detriment. We are simply too willing to blame those who don’t look like us, think like us or act like us.
    Tragedies in the name of Christianity have been happening since the biblical times, the crusades, the lynching of Blacks to the bombing of buildings and slaughtering kids. Of course the bigotry that we are so proud of will prevent us from realizing this.

    • Janet says:

      Lynching had nothing to do with Chrisitianity. When people say things like that I know they know nothing about history or Christianity. The atheist governments with rulers like Pol Pot, Hitler, Stalin caused more death and destruction than all the Crusades put together. By the way the Crusades were defensive, not offensive. Muslems were killing people then as they do now that do not believe in their religions. They will force it on people and kill them if they don’t profess Allah. To hold up two crazed individuals as Christians because they may have attended a church at some point is ludicrous and shows very poor journalism.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hitler was a Christian, not an atheist.

        • The Facts says:

          Incorrect, there is a great deal of debate about Hitler’s personal believes. You are just as incorrect to declare him a “Christian” as the previous commenter was in declaring him “Athiest”

          As a whole, he has made many contradicting statements regarding Christianity. If one follows a timeline of his quotes, he seemed to lean more and more anti-Christian in later years. He went from openly declaring himself a Christian during his early rise to power to later declaring Christianity the root of all evil in the world and there can be no God but Germany. I would assume he used Christianity to win over the people, only to later view it as a threat once he was in power. Its safe to say Power was his true religion.

  2. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Neither McVeigh nor Breivik are Christians.

  3. Edward says:

    Nor are Islamic extremist “Muslims”. Yet they both use their religion as crutches for despicable actions. When a Brown terrorist quotes the Quran, he is deemed an “Islamic Extremist”. When a White terrorist quotes the Bible, he is deemed a “random nut job”. My point WAS and still IS that EXTREME beliefs leads to EXTREME results. …and we like to justify our bigotry.

  4. Sam says:

    First , my condolences to the families of all those killed in Norway. Now let me comment on this article.There has always been, and always will be “extremist” on all sides of the planet. If you actually believe your going to change the world and everyone is going to live together in one big happy Utopia, your wrong. That will never happen. The best we can do is have the ability to protect ourselves from “extremist” when their near. If one or two Camp Counselors on that island with those young people would have been armed it would have given them a chance to defend themselves, and would have saved many lives.You can keep blaming religions and political parties all you want, its not going to change these extreme cases of violence .

  5. Kendall says:

    You have summed up my fears about the future of our country, Pierre.

    The things I see happening, the hate I see being condoned and excused in the name of “preserving America” are disgusting and in my mind are the roots of what we call racism and terrorism. God help us if this negative rhetoric continues. We will implode.

    Thank you.

  6. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Ed, my point is neither McVeigh nor Breivik are Christians. so they’re not using their religion as a crutch. What the media say about McVeigh is at odds with his own writings, but since what he’s said and written doesn’t advance the left’s narrative that he’s a rightwinger, you would have to go a website like the American Thinker to find that out.

    We know little of Breivik and what the media will tell us is what they want the story to be, not necessarily the truth

    Islamic terrorists commit terror in the name of Islam. So far as I can tell, there are been no instances of killing where the terrorists have called upon the name of Jesus or the Trinity, nor have any called upon Yahweh, Buddha or any of the many Hindu gods or deities of American Indians, Incas, but I think you get the idea.

  7. Lambie says:

    Pierre Tristam refers to a setting where, he says, “facts are incidental to ideology.” It’s reassuring to know that Pierre can look in the mirror and identify his way of thinking.

  8. tonyesperanza says:

    Timothy McVeigh was a nihilist, not a Christian. He never quoted the bible, he never yelled out “Jesus is great” before he detonated the bomb. He was not a “Christian terrorist” because there is no such thing. No mainstream Christian church condones, trains, and arms terrorists. Unlike the Muslims that practically make it part of daily sermons.
    From McVeigh in 1995 to yesterday you have 2 white guys who committed brutal acts of terrorism. How many acts of terror and murder were comitted in islam’s name? I lost count.

  9. Edward says:

    White guys have committed “terrorist acts” under the guise of doing God’s work since the beginning of religion, to the KKK, to the Koreshes of the world. Lately the rhetoric has changed to a more “political agenda. Don’t tell me that NO acts of terrorism isn’t based upon someone’s warped interpretation of the Bible. People like you strengthens my argument that we pay attention to what we want and ignore what goes against our core beliefs. I have read the Quran AND the Bible. Basically, they’re BOTH the same. In America, we have had the luxury of living “fat and lazy” thus have no reason to be neither religious nor extreme. As times get tougher, you will see the crazies scurry from under the rocks and we will go from plain ole’ bigots to full blown extremist.
    My opinion. Whatever.

  10. Kendall says:

    How about violence surrounding abortion clinics and providers? Those actions are often in the name of something related to christianity.

    Just as decent christian persons of the cloth don’t condone violence, neither do decent muslim leaders.

    It is unfair to paint all people of a creed, race, etc with a broad stroke. There is good and bad in every corner of humanity.

  11. tonyesperanza says:

    Which church arms and trains their congregation to kill abortion providers?
    Anders Behring Breivik calls himself a “cultural Christian”. That isn’t a phrase used by ANY church.
    The KKK is a racist, political, terrorist organization. Not a religious organization. White supremacy comes first everything else is second. In fact many white supremacists now describe themselves as Pagans. They see Christianity as weak and an extension of judaism that was created to make non-Jews passive.
    David Koresh was a weirdo who thought he was god.
    There is no church based organized Christian terrorist group.
    Unlike in Islam, where there are many(not all) mosques that will indoctrinate, arm, and train future terrorists.

  12. Kendall says:

    Westboro Baptist is a terrorist group in my opinion. Any group that finds it acceptable to picket the funerals of our armed service personnel killed in action is no better than radical islamists.

  13. Amerkican Sheeple says:

    Why don’t people do more research outside of the mainstream media who are told what to say for the most part? If you believe these guys acted alone then I feel sorry for you. Some people claim to be free-thinkers but will not do any research for truth. Instead the “media” tells us anyone who thinks outside of what they tell them are nut jobs or conspiracy theorist. The real conspiracy is the bull crap they are spouting and most of us believe it.

    Baaaaaaa Move along little sheep.

    • The Facts says:

      That is correct, McVeigh was a self described Agnostic who was quoted as saying “science is my religion.”

      Why he is refered to as a Christian Terrorist so frequently is anyone’s guess?

  14. elaygee says:

    Facism is coming to America, wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross

  15. Jack says:

    Anders Breivik told investigators during interviews that he belonged to an international order, The Knights Templar, according to Norwegian newspaper VG, which cited unnamed sources.

    He described the organization as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression, the newspaper said.

    Suffice it to say he’s a Christian extremist that collaborated with other Christian Terrorist cells to carry out this attack. His manifesto is full of right-wing fascist nuttery.

  16. Outsider says:

    Only Pierre could twist facts and logic so grotesquely as to actually convince himself that this act of insane violence could somehow be related to the views of the Tea Party members and others who are demanding we get our fiscal house in order. At least now when someone points out one of the virtually daily examples of violence perpetrated by Muslims (such as yesterday’s suicide bombing of an army base in Yemen) Pierre will have something else to scream besides “Timothy McVeigh! Timothy McVeigh!”

  17. Liana G says:

    Religion is used as a crutch for racist, bigoted and prejudicial intolerances by those individuals seeking to justify and legitimize their views and actions. while, at the same time, encouraging, promoting and keeping a class system in place. Even Utopia is not without its flaws.

    It’s hard for people not to have anti-government feelings when they are being robbed, exploited, oppressed, and victimized by the very people they’re paying to look out for them. Even the mafia operates with ethics and integrity.

  18. Richard says:

    Pierre.
    In general i agree with your article and with the sentiments expressed by Edward above.

    But i have given up hope of being able to discuss rationally these issues with many of my “friends”. How can you argue rationally with someone who who denies evolution or whatever other irrational belief they espouse. The two biggest dangers, and the cause of almost all wars, are blind nationalism and religious extremism.

    Mariana (above) seems to be denying McVeighs religious leanings but the only reference she gives is some site called truefreethinker.com . So i checked it and found this reference “True Free Thinker is a Christian apologetic website run by Mariano Grinbank that has a strong emphasis on the refutation of various forms of atheism” . Well sorry Maraiana but that doesnt cut it for me. Find something else.

    And to Tony Esperanza (isnt that meaning hope?) i suggest he reads the Europol report on terrorism in Europe in 2010. http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/TE-SAT%202010.pdf

    Islamists? They were behind a grand total of one attack. Yes, one. Out of 294 attacks. In a population of half a billion people. To put that in perspective, the same number of attacks was committed by the Comité d’Action Viticole, a French group that wants to stop the importation of foreign wine.

    It would be interesting to get a similar report from the FBI on incidents in the US. (particularly if they separated out incidents that were in fact engineered by the FBI in entrapment operations).

    Anyway, the end result, is that we have created a false bogeyman that has lured the US into several endless overseas wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc) . And so now, to balance the budget , instead of cutting out those pountless expenditures we are going to cut back on Social Security, Medicare, pot holes and anything else that makes sense.

  19. JR says:

    For all the media hype of Islam as a “religion” — it’s more like a cultish political ideology — of peace, it was Muhammad, not Jesus, who added to his religion by warring and conquests.

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      JR, all religions are cults and vice versa. The only difference is numbers and PR, and in the Catholic Church’s case, the more elevated number of victims (murders, massacres and holocausts in the old days, the rape of little boys more recently). Islam has its long knives, but it’s a very distant laggard in comparison.

  20. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Jack, the Knights of the Templar were founded in the early 12th century and was disbanded in the early 14th century.

  21. tonyesperanza says:

    Richard,
    The europol report, much like the meaning of my last name, is irrelevant.
    Mr. Tristam is attempting to equate so called Christian extremists with Muslim extremists.
    The point is there is no Christian equivalent to Islamic terrorists. Don’t give me the “Knights Templar” b.s. The order of Templar hasn’t existed since the 14th century. Any modern equivalent is pure fantasy.
    Mcviegh never expressed a coherent Christian belief. Mcviegh’s own words make him out to be a nihilist. Anders Behring Breivik’s self described belief in “cultural Christianity” makes no sense. Which Christian church puts forth that belief? Either you believe in Christ, accept as a savior, and follow to dogma or you don’t. It’s clear that he did not believe. He even insulted the modern day church’s acceptance of multiculturalism and tolerance.
    FYI I’m not a Christian and I do think evolution happened. Nice try.

    Pierre. give me a break.
    The catholic’s sins are well documented. I don’t recall any pope in my lifetime ordering the faithful to go out and comit murder for Jesus.
    I guess after your insult of the catholic church you can expect a whining phone call or letter from Bill Donohue. If you did that to Islam, you could expect the same response Theo van Gogh got. Just ask Salman Rushdie or Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
    Again, there is no Christian equivalent.

  22. Jack says:

    @lawabidingcitizen: I am aware of the Knights of the Templar history, I quoted from the Norwegian newspaper VG, of which you seem to have missed in my initial post. And in his manifesto he references the group repeatedly.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/knights-templar-norway-crusadersgroup-explained/2011/07/25/gIQASj2RYI_blog.html

  23. Kevin says:

    “JR, all religions are cults and vice versa. The only difference is numbers and PR, and in the Catholic Church’s case, the more elevated number of victims (murders, massacres and holocausts in the old days, the rape of little boys more recently). Islam has its long knives, but it’s a very distant laggard in comparison.”–Pierre tristam

    Thankfully, many or most of us know that that Islam has a very rich, proud history and tradition of committing atroscities that are equal or more to that of what you just repugnantly besmirched the Catholic church of. Especially in the more recent times as the church has propelled itself further into doing more altruistic things for the downtrodden and helpless while the attacks from you and your Islamic friends have increased a hundredfold in every area throughout the world where law and order is non-existent. Obviously see the massacres throughout the world done in the name of Islam are something consider a banner of peace and good???

    Your agenda against Christianity and overall hateful consideration of the underbelly of what made America great is obvious to a large majority of your readers. You hate White, hard-working, non-socialist, anti-progressive, Christian Americans. When one or two humans commit an action like the one that just occurred, you ridiculously whitewash everything Islamic fundamentalists have done currently and in the past, and ignorantly try to actuarily equate, insignificant in comparison “Christian” terrorists to that of incomparibly larger Islamic jihadists and their terrorist minded brothers and sisters. Most of whom cannot be counted because they wait silent in cells dormant, for the opportunity to do on mass scale what these few people did when they can and convert all whom lie in opposition–thus the way of the jihadist…or do you dare lie and say that isn’t their way given all that is known to date???

    Yes, they Islam makes known through tools such as yourself that they wield large swords. That is impressive in what way to you, elevating them in your eyes?

  24. Kevin says:

    Christian Jihaidsts??? Unbelievable caption considering for one they were not yelling, “God is great” or demonstrating anything vaguely Christian by their conduct at the time of their reprehensible acts. Another difference that stands out as uniquely different then that of Jihadists and Islamic terrorists is that in mass numbers Christians are very vocal in their refrudiation of the conduct of killers labeled by the media and people like yourself as “Christians.” This is the opposite of what we see in the Muslim world where others Muslims around the world in comparison provide silent condemnation of Islamic terrorists against non-muslims and Muslims alike.

    It pains me to know you consider yourself as evolved in both your thinking and productivity to society.

  25. Christie 2012 says:

    I have not seen Christians around the world cheering this guy on, Unlike the many Muslims after 9/11. What a great day for you on the left, now you have TWO man to compare Christians too. Abdulhakim Muhammad was convicted to a life sentence today. Why wasn’t there a story about him on here.(most people do not know him because the press keeps it that why.)

  26. Sam says:

    As most of these comments suggest, the blame for everything evil is religion. What I see happening is Christians will once again be the sacrificial lamb. Funny how history repeats itself. Prepare for the New Roman Empire. We all know how respectable the Roman Empire was. All Hail Pompus Ignorumos.

  27. Jeff says:

    It’s fascinating watch xtians spin and twirl in their insistence that these two aren’t really Christians, and even if they were, it was still the muslims that made them do it. What utter psychotic bs.

    One of my friends grew up in Southern Baptist country in the deep south. She has vivid memories of the kkk storing wooden crosses under back porch of the church her family attended by the deacons of the church…the same crosses that would be burned in front of black people’s houses and in front of the houses of white people who didn’t like it.

    I’ve listened to more southern preachers than I can count preaching about how all gays should be stoned to death or rounded up and imprisoned for life.

    Fundamental xtianity is considered enough of a danger to the U.S. that the FBI keeps a steady watch on it and has for the last 30 years.

  28. Jack says:

    Well said Jeff, it amazes me how right wing lunatic pundits and their blind followers spin the narrative of both McVeigh and Breivik to better suit their delicate sensibilities.

    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

  29. Sam says:

    “Fundamental xtianity is considered enough of a danger to the U.S. that the FBI keeps a steady watch on it and has for the last 30 years”………………I got news for you, the FBI has been watching every group for the last 50 years. Jewish,Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Baptist,Jehova Witness, Mormons, etc, etc. If goverments tentacles wrap to tightly around there meal tickets, they may soon STARVE !

  30. Ken Dodge says:

    This so-called “Christian Extremism” has about as muct to do with Christianity as Grape-Nuts Flakes has to do with grapes…or nuts.

  31. Kevin says:

    Jeff,

    Whatever reason you have for hating Christians is your own priovate issue. However what needs to reiterated is that Christians do not work in organized chains and groups planning worldwide, or local, terrorism.

    Any person can be dangerous if driven mentally to the point as these persons were based onwhat they see happening as a result of liberalism and politicians selling out theri homelands for the sake of their political success. I certainly don’t condone them but I understand their greivance just as Pierre understands the greivances of Palistinians.

    It is very easy to blame God and Jesus just ass it is to blame today’s dismal state of the union exclusively on George W. Bush. Still to this day many leftists blame everything on Bush yet allow the destroyer in chief continue unfettered to lie and fearmonger more than any ten presidents in the past. In two years he has as a fact created more debt, started more wars, brought on the highest long term unemployment, lie, cheat and steal more than any other President since my birth. Aren’t you proud!

  32. Richard says:

    Yes Sam, the FBi is probably watching anyone who is following this damn leftie website. But i am thrilled that we are having at least some sort of conversation on the subject.

    Somewhere above Tony said the Europol report (only one of 294 terrorist attacks in europe in 2010 was islamist) was not relevant but i did not follow his reasoning. There are roughly the same number of Christians and Muslims in the world. Does anyone here know how many Christians were killed by Muslims in the last 10 years and vice versa? I think the count for Muslims killed by Christians is several hundred thousand. and the count for Christians killed by Muslims is maybe several thousand. Probably Muslims killed by Muslims is much higher than Christians killed by Christians but i dont know, Someone please post the correct numbers and then we can talk rationally.

    I think Tony’s point is that Christian churches dont openly advocate killing muslims while (some) muslim churches advocate killing christians. Well i dont attend a right wing church so I dont know, i only see some of the people on Fox. The only church i’ve been to recently is the unitarian universalist which is a model of christianity and understanding. And any muslims I know disavow the extremists. In the western hemisphere the christian churches no longer need to preach blood and guts because the government does it for them. The templars disappeared because the Holy Roman Empire took over, then the Hapsburgs and the Spanish, and so on. How many muslims has the US Government killed in the last 12 months? How many were innocent civilians?? we have no f**ng idea because they keep it hidden from us.

  33. becky says:

    Wow..the left is the first to try and demonize Christians or Jews if there is a hint the person is familiar with Judeo/Christian writings. But if anyone mentions Muslim and extremist in the same sentence, all one hears from left is defense of the Muslim religion of Islam, and its followers. Any atrocities committed By people quoting Scripture, are not committed By true Christ followers. (except for crusades, and they were mistaken in their views, and the Church at large has realized it, and repented.) If we follow your logic, then the students who go on killing spree, are representative of the University they attend. The Marxist/Communist Governments committing genocide, mean that all governments are bad. There is only one answer for the vitriolic tone in the Christian and Tea Partiers, (many members r not Christian). And that is an almost insane hatred, such as fueled the violence of the two men this article was about.

  34. rickg says:

    Thanks again Pierre for your insightful and articulate piece on the two numb skulls who apparently think its okay to kill and harm innocent people. No matter what religion they adhere to its insane and this crap needs to stop. If there were a god then why wouldn’t he or she intervene in this case? Well, I guess since there was no intervention I got my answer.

  35. McVeigh said, “Science is my religion.” Breivik wrote in his manifesto:

    “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie. I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment. In the past, I remember I used to think: ‘Religion is a crutch for weak people. What is the point in believing in a higher power if you have confidence in yourself!? Pathetic.’ Perhaps this is true for many cases. Religion is a crutch for many weak people, and many embrace religion for self-serving reasons as a source for drawing mental strength (to feed their weak emotional state [for] example during illness, death, poverty etc.).”

  36. Breivik also describes himself as “anti-racist/pro-homosexual/pro-Israel” in his manifesto.

  37. Yogi says:

    Jesus tells us to love our enemies. Leave them alone. Obey the civil law. We do this to walk with Him because we love and trust Him, not because we want to impress humanity. We trust Him when He says he will make things right. It is sad that you try to distort our reason for faith.

  38. tboz says:

    Wow Mr. Tristam. I guess we were all deluding ourselves after the USS Cole, and the Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam bombings, and the Madrid train bombings, and the London bus bombings, and the Mumbai massacre, and the Bali bombings, and the shoebomber plot, the underwear bomber plot, the New York car bomb plot, the Fort Hood Massacre and ,oh yeah, 9/11 that the worlds greatest terrorist threat came from Islamists who love death even more that we love McDonalds and suv’s. But this in fact was just a red herring, brought about by the racism and islamophobia of conservatives and libertarians and tea partiers to distract anti-terrorism resorces from the real menace: Right wing extremists like themselves.

    So I guess that any of us who claim-with fact based evidence and fact based argument-that political Islam is a threat to Western security are tacitly responsible for the massacre of, what’s the number now? 70?, teenagers by a deranged, lone-wolf killer? The man left a manifesto that was largely lifted from the unibomber. He is somehow connected to Americans who disagree with you?

    I find the way you seem to explode with a vengeful glee to be disturbing.

    And to Mr. Richard above-I found your link to Europol very interesting.
    I hope you do realize that the report covered 2009 and was printed in 2010. There seems to be page that contains information you may have missed-there were 110 arrests made in relation to Islamic terror. Most of those arrests were made to foil attacks.
    The strange thing is Richard, I cannot find any information on any conservative christians either being involved or being arrested for anything. They’re not even mentioned.

  39. Layla says:

    They’re are many busy these days trying to create villians in this country. This is no different than what these very sick individuals succeeded in doing.

    And it is far more dangerous. We need to stop demonizing religion, period.

    Hate speech is hate speech.

  40. Gosh, i wish we were back in the ages of hating the reds… It seems less delusional, somehow, and slightly less dangerous than some of the sentiments voiced by I guess my neighbors. If I prayed, I’d pray that Islamophobes commenting on this tread keep their hateful opinions to themselves, on the off chance that my kids would ever overhear their venomous spiels. Fear makes for lousy human beings – it’s about time you chickenshits grow up and realize that the world has changed, your world for the supposedly homogeneous, white-ish, blue-eyed, born English speakers and all. You can’t change it back. The SOB sitting in Oslo jail right now had your ideas. So did Hitler. So does the schmuck with an addiction for burning someone else’s Holy Books and camera lenses. Grow some balls – democracy depends on it.

  41. Kevin says:

    Tboz: In the words of one of the most malicious, repugnant ly speaking, anti-journalists spawned, Chris Matthews, your comment gives me a thrill up my leg! That was about the only thing he has ever said worthy of repeating.

    Seems like things will be heating up around here with you coming to visit along with Yogi, Westernconfuscious, and some others.

  42. richard says:

    Pierre,
    I sort of wanted to respond to Tboz and Tony above, but first i just wanted to say that maybe this is not the best forum to argue over this issue, and perhaps you should give us some other link we could transfer over to. I want to respect the tragic effect on the families in Norway. I think we probably all agree that the events in Oslo were tragic, wrong and should never happen for any reason. The same for other terrorist acts, from 9/11, the Nairobi embassy, the bombing campaigns in Ireland, ETA atrocities in Spain, and bombings of mosques and family planning clinics. So maybe we should move to a less emotional site.

    Anyway i reread my previous two posts and stand by them. My point in the first post is we have overreacted so much against islam in order to justify multiple wars that we have effectively bankrupted ourselves. My point in the second post is that, over recent history, islam has a whole lot more to fear from western culture than we have to fear from them. Implied in that is that any culture that is fearful is likely to react negatively.
    I did not blame “conservative christians” for any terrorist attack but i did comment that christians (of any leaning) have probably killed way more people tham muslims over the last ten years, and I have not yet seen any opposing evidence.

    I’d just like to reiterate the first point i made
    ” The two biggest dangers, and the cause of almost all wars, are blind nationalism and religious extremism. ”

    Pax vobis

  43. tboz says:

    Kevin, thank you. I will do my best to check in and show my support for common sense.

    Richard, although I do agree that there should be a forum to show respect for the victims and their families-this is not the place.
    Mr. Tristam has made it very clear in his article that he does not care about these victims. He wishes this tragedy to be a hammer to hit his perceived opponents with. His vain attempt to pin this on those whom he disagrees with politically shows this.
    It is obvious that the narrative of this piece was created long ago. The lack of research, fact checking, or care shows he was waiting for some event to happen so that he could plug it in to the framework and twist and turn until it fit his world view. These conspiracies that he has laid out are scattered fantasies that he wants to be true. Pierre’s hatred for anyone who dare to think differently from him is clear. Seeing that so many share his narrow world view and anger is just sad.

  44. Derek says:

    Christians are fairly extremist in there own way if you think about it. But the muslims are definately worse. It’s a shame that most are hated for there beliefs but I hate to say they did it to themselves. So many wars have been started over either A. Religion or B. Natural Resources. It’s quite unfortunate.

  45. concerned says:

    Pierre, perhaps a column on the history of christianity as it relates to islam is in order – a comparative analysis of mass murder down thru the ages. obviously, most of your commentors have no idea of religious history let alone religious extremism thru the ages. of course, they would just say you’re a lying, over-educated nut and dismiss you at once. not all of us, gratefully, are as narrow minded, hateful, and ill informed.

    It’s a dirty fight, Pierre, thanks for hanging in there on behalf of those of us who remain somewhat sane…

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