Right-wing Christian fundamentalist charged following Norway terror attack

Right-wing Christian fundamentalist charged following Norway terror attack July 23, 2011

THIRTY-TWO-YEAR old Anders Behring Breivik, arrested after yesterday’s bomb attack in Oslo and a random shooting at a youth camp on the Utoya Island, has been described as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist by the Norwegian police.

Anders Behring Breivik's Facebook photo
According to this BBC report, the police announced today that they had arrested Breivik over the two shocking terrorist attacks that killed at least 84 people, mostly teenagers attending a Labor Party youth camp, and another 7 people in the bomb attack in downtown Oslo.
While the police have refused to speculate about the suspect’s motives at this stage, they said that he appeared to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist based on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said Breivik’s internet postings:

Suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views. But whether that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen.

Little is currently known about him apart from what has appeared the on social networking sites – and these entries appear to have been set up just days ago.
On the Facebook page attributed to him, he describes himself as a Christian and a conservative. The Facebook page is no longer available but it also listed interests such as body-building and freemasonry.
The gunman was described by witnesses who saw him on Utoeya island as tall and blond – and dressed in a police uniform. The image of him posted on Facebook depict a blond, blue-eyed man.
The Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang quoted a friend as saying that the suspect turned to right-wing extremism when in his late 20s. The paper also said that he participated in online forums expressing strong nationalistic views.
He had no military background except for ordinary national service and no criminal record, it seems.
A Twitter account attributed to the suspect has also emerged but it only has one post, which is a quote from philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
As with his Facebook page, the tweet was posted on 17 July. It reveals very little about the man except an interest in libertarianism and a clear belief in the power of the individual.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn

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  • Milz

    The children at the camp were aged 14 – 18years, he hunted them down around the island, shooting many as they tried to swim away. This man is a monster, who doesn’t seem to be showing any remorse.
    Anders Behring Breivik, i say to you; “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests. But those with the truth, will always prevail.”
    Still at least we see the christian community showing their true colours.

  • Rob

    “Still at least we see the christian community showing their true colours” er – what? Is this some kind of attempt at making the most prejudiced comment possible, or is there some evidence I am ignoring here. Did he even attend a church regularly? I dread to think what this comment would have been if this man had been black.

  • Tom

    Milz, all you do with comments like that is point to your own deep prejudice. If we list the information given on this page from the man’s Facebook account, we have:
    Politically right wing
    Frankly, remove the label “Christian” and I’d still be pretty worried. And yet because of your own agenda you act as though this is the main factor…?!

  • Elwood Herring

    This only proves to me that one person with a belief can be 100,000 times more dangerous than people who have only interests.

  • Breivik’s Twitter account apparently has only has one post, a quote from Utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
    His Facebook page reveals very little about him except an interest in libertarianism and a clear belief in the power of the individual. There are no quotes from Christ.
    So why does the media insist Breivik is a “Christian” instead of a libertarian or a disciple of J S Mill?
    Can’t you guess?

  • Stephen West

    First My heart goes out to the people of Norway. My love and my prayers go out to you all. All forms of Terrorism is Evil.
    The true and living God said “you shall not kill” Jesus Christ said “Do not repay evil for evil”. This man has proved he does not love God or understand his word. It is God alone who deals with justice. Man’s part is to love the lord with all his heart,mind,soul and strengh also love your neighbour as your self. He is outside of the commandments of love, He is of the devil and Terrorism was his fruits. Almighty God does not need him or any one else to be him.

  • remigius

    @Milz. I find your comment about the Christian community showing it’s true colours somewhat puzzling. I have friends and colleagues who are Christian and I am pretty certain that none of them has ever committed a massacre, and nor would they do so ever. Just because they believe crazy shit doesn’t necessarily mean they do crazy things.
    This atrocity looks to be politically motivated rather than religious. A far right nutter punishing a leftist government for it’s socialist policies. None of the eye-witnesses have suggested that he shouted things like ‘Jesus is awesome’ or any foaming at the mouth Bob Hutton repent twaddle. He was apparently calm and collected and carried out his agenda with ruthless efficiency. That is what makes it even more horrifying.

  • remigius

    @Stephen West. Fucking idiot!

  • MRN

    No double standard, typical hypocrisy please.
    Any terrorist crime perpatrated by some nuts with Muslim equals International Al Qaeda Ltd which equals front company for 1.5 billion Muslims.
    But Christian terrorist just a mad man and do not dare call him Christian.
    Worse still, Zionist terrorists, they work with complete impunity.
    Does evan God exist? Why then world is unfair.
    Worse still, Zionist terrorist, well they are

  • Robert Stovold

    Beliefs are more powerful than interests – but less powerful than bombs, by the logic of Breivik’s own despicable actions.
    I’m not rushing to judgement re. what motivated this man, but suspect people have latched on to the “religion” element rather than the “John Stuart Mill” one because the former is bound up with rather more atrocities than the latter.
    The problem with the Bible is that you can find a verse there to justify anything:
    “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.” (Luke 19:27)
    “But these men [false teachers] blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. (2 Peter 2:12)
    Stephen, would you care to explain why the Christian doctrine of the atonement (killing one person for another’s sins) is necessary, just, and does not involve “returning evil for evil”?

  • Don

    Fundamentalism in any religion clearly leads to terrorism.
    Historically religion is cited as the cause for most war.
    We need to move on as a species.

  • Robert Stovold

    Stephen, let’s not forget that God allegedly had the power to stop this disaster, and didn’t. It happened on his watch. Along with two World Wars, the Black Death and five mass extinctions.

  • Angela_K

    Breivik’s christian claim is possibly just part of his mental illness; behind many atrocities there is often a religious element as a driving force.
    The BBC are calling Breivik a Neo-Nazi – well they would wouldn’t they.
    @Stephen West. What Mr Stovold said.

  • Broga

    @Stephen West: You make many statements about God and what he wants. What is your evidence for any of these? You have none. In the context of this slaughter your comments are offensive. If my children had been amongst those hunted down and murdered I would be appalled at your comments. If your God is all loving, all powerful and all knowing I would be interested to hear how you reconcile these characteristics with the horrors pepetrated here.

  • Broga

    @Stephen West: I don’t often quote the bible as it is such a confusing and contradictory mess but I will make an exception for you. Any views on the following:
    This is your God’s requirement for anyone who decides to “serve other gods.”
    Deuteronomy 9 and 10: “But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
    “And thou shallt stone him with stones, that he die…….”
    God forbids pity in verse 8: “neither shall thine eye pity him.”
    Any comments? Explanation? Or do you prefer to ignore the vile parts of God’s ordinances. For an omnipotent and omniscient Being he has produced a very inadequate Holy Book. He also has an insatiable appetite for flattery. Rather like the Iron Age rulers of the time the bible was written. Curious coincidence, that.

  • Paul

    Stephen West, you are full of shit. You aren’t quoting Jesus, you are quoting the Bible – there’s a difference. Most books of the New Testament are not apostolic, those which might be apostolic (Numbering seven, in total), were written tens of decades after the death of Jesus, by apostles who never met Jesus. But just for fun, let’s go ahead and quote Jesus from the book of Mathew:
    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
    36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
    37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
    39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
    Jesus sounds like a real swell guy, Stephen. Why don’t you worship him some more…somewhere else.

  • David Anderson

    You forgot; “I kill… I wound… I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh.” Deut. 32:39-42.
    I don´t think there will be an answer from Stepen.

  • Andy

    To all those who believe you are attempting a discussion of Christianity:
    I don’t think Stephen should respond because you are all purposely being antagonistic rather than opening up a free discussion. If you had wished to discuss things intellectually, you would not have started with attempts to eviscerate Stephen’s belief system. In fact, you would have attempted to inquire, sort of in the way Robert asks his final question, assuming the hostility in his second quote is merely a repetition of Voltaire’s argument for not being Christian (an argument which denies the idea of man’s free will), rather than a second attack before Stephen is given the chance to say anything.
    I should also note that what you discuss Robert is an isogetical reading of the scripture, taking verses out of context to prove a point. I can prove all men are liars or that you should never brush your teeth, but neither the culture nor the surrounding passages mean anything to that effect.

  • tony e

    I think it’s far too early to second guess this man’s motives. It could be his religious beliefs or politics or his girl dumped him or whatever.
    Watching the press coverage this am, I was glad to note the Norwegian Prime Minister was very calm and would not be drawn into making statements without the full facts.
    @Stephen West; Let me state a simple fact, if YOUR god is all powerful and controls everything then, effectively, his finger was on the trigger.

  • Immortal

    Unleash the black metal hordes to bathe the streets of Oslo in Christian blood!!!!!!

  • Great Satan

    I’d probably find the fact that he lists himself as a body builder to be the most telling ! it is known that many body builders (quite apart from their narcissism) use steroids and even amphetamines that can produce “roid rage” and aggression.
    On a political point, you can bet your bottom dollar that islamists and leftists will seize on the sick actions of this lunatic as a snide excuse to attempt to ban or censor anti-islamist campaigners by saying we/they created the atmosphere which incited him.

  • Broga

    @David Anderson: I don’t think we will hear from Stephen either. The christian message has, of its contradictory and imcomprehensibe nature, to be a one way traffic. The preacher/missionary/christian tells the rest of the world what to believe. Responses, never mind discussion, are banned.
    I would think the man who did those killings is desperately regretful now, unless he is insane. And I mean regretful of what he has done to himself and his own life. Rush of blood to the head, mass and mess of crazy ideas, delusion of power fed by his beliefs and gun and he doesn’t think beyond that. What could he possibly imagine he was acheiving? Or did he feel envy at young, happy and intelligent people? He picked a summer camp for youg people interested in politics. Reality has certainly bitten hard now and he will have a long time to consider what he did.
    I suspect there is much to learned from his violent attack about the nature of the societies we live in; the antagonisms to others of the groups in these societies and what could possible trigger this man’s behaviour.

  • winds of sixty-four

    Has anyone here ever heard a Christian fundamentalist quote John Stuart Mill? Ever?

  • James B

    Religion is like a sat nav – it can put you on the right path, but take it literally and you end up crashing into a building.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Stephen West
    How dare you! Seriously, how the fuck dare you claim that your moronic religion has anything whatsoever to do with love or peace! It is filled with hatred and loathing and bigotry. You are either a fool or a willing accomplice to all the terrible things it has, does and always will represent. Either way, you should be truly ashamed.

  • barriejohn

    There is more information here now:

  • barriejohn

    And a Wikipedia entry, though I haven’t had time to follow up all the references yet!
    He seems to have been greatly influenced by the Freedom Party.

  • AngieRS

    No, Broga, not a rush of blood to the head. That implies no forethought, no planning. Anyone who takes the time to assemble a car bomb, blows up the centre of a city and then calmly drives to an island full of teenagers and while dressed in a police uniform, calls people to him and then starts killing them is not doing it through a rush of blood to his head. These acts took planning and it took more than one person to do it.

  • Broga

    @AngieRS: Point taken. I live and learn. He planned it.

  • ZombieHunter

    When this all started kicking off I had a feeling they were jumping to conclusions too soon when they tried linking it to al quaeda/ ismalic terrorists etc, looks like they did.
    I even wondered if it was varg vikernes or his followers (if he even has any now) who had pulled it off but it looks like bible bashers are more than capable of pullling off terrorist attacks as any other religion.

  • @ Don: “Fundamentalism in any religion clearly leads to terrorism.
    Historically religion is cited as the cause for most war.
    We need to move on as a species.”
    Well spoken, sir.

  • MrGronk

    Something to consider though: You know Islam must be fucked up when Muslims themselves initially assume that any sufficiently inhuman massacre must have been done by their co-religionists.
    In any case, this guy would appear to be an isolated nut who dredged up any religious/social/political excuse he could find to rationalise his yearning to kill people.

  • Dolorosa

    He’s a Freemason (learn their history of violence) and not a Christian. Beware of the controlled media. God made man Jesus Christ said those that live by the sword will die by the sword.

  • “he appeared to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist”…ask me why I’m not surprised as most all religions are hate groups. They choose to ignore the violence their teachings create, like the bombing of abortion clinics and the killing of their doctors, the shooting of Larry Flint, and their wracked out so called religious leaders like Jim Jones and Charlie Manson (yes Charlie’s followers thought he was JC….and I won’t leave out the Islamic suicide bombers.
    It is religion that creates such monsters…I produced some videos about the Shanda Sharer murder case, and of the four teen girls involved with Shanda’s torture and murder I discovered that the more one was raised with strong religious beliefs the more violent they were to Shanda. The only one who showed an ounce of compassion and inflicted no violence to Shanda was the atheist Toni Lawrence.
    One of the girls believed that no matter what her crime all she had to do was prey to god and ask for forgiveness and she would be forgiven for her crime…even murder. That is a hell of a thing to be teaching young people!

  • Didier Ortiz

    Well let me see and try to explain all these issues here. First off there was a mention of some Bible verses by Robert Stovold. The Luke verse speaks of a parable in which the king who condems someone to die is supposed to represent GOD. The 1 Peter verse tells of how the actions of individuals who act like brute beast will bring them to their deaths. This is true, a lot of people die acting wrecklessly. Broga went on to state that an all loving, all powerful creator would not allow this event to have happened. The thing is this if humanity is given freedom of choice, then GOD who has given man this freedom cannot intervene, all powerful does not necessarily mean, always and fully active. HE can choose to act as HE best sees fit but also chooses to keep his word. I must remind you also that according to Christian theology all man will be judged according to their actions. You also then quote Old Testament verses which are now irrelevant because by the death of Jesus Christ, an infinite amount of grace has been given unto mankind. You say that GOD prohibits pity but actually HE only speaks of whatever particular situation the Bible was speaking of at that time since it’s Deutoronomy it spells out the long list of laws that the Hebrews had at that time. Paul then went ahead and quoted Jesus and he implies that Jesus is promoting senseless violence but rather he is actually promoting justice. In any movement as history shows where justice must be defended it will always bring discrepancies in society, at times even war. Imagine a youth in the 60’s rebelling against his parents who support the war in Vietnam while he sees that it is just an imperialist manuever to bring down the people of that country. David Anderson then goes ahead and MISQUOTES Deuteronomy 32:39-42 GOD says that HE kills and HE makes ALIVE, that HE wounds and he HEALS. then GOD states of how he will treat HIS enemies, this being satan and the fallen angels who war against HIM in the heavenly realms. I’m guessing you guys got those quotes from some atheist websites but whatever.lol Also Broga that fact i’m willing to discuss things disproves your remark about Christians being all under one mind and forbidden opinion. I think you will find the works of Facundo Cabral (Christian Socialist), Leo Tolsoy (Christian anarchist) Henry David Thearou (Christian enlightment era philosopher) to be quite fascinating along with the works of many Christian Humanists like Cornell West and others like C.S. Lewis. AgentCormac, you’re just ranting here, i could also point out massacres which are way bigger than this one that were committed by atheist government and arson commited by atheist groups all over Scandanavia and even Norway!lol Marky Mark, it is not the religion but rather the individual who is the ona that hates. If in fact anyone with religious beliefs were as prone to violence as you claim, I seriously doubt you would be alive by now. Remember that many a con artist will abuse religion to promote their own selfish self-serving interest. Please reply as soon as you can. Thank You. :~)

  • lol, this the REAL TERRORIST!!

  • Holland

    In extremist Norwegian killer Breivik’s manifesto mentioned as his favorite comedian: Pat Condell (congrats). Download manifesto: http://www.2shared.com/file/M-s-2fBD/2083-AEuropeanDeclarationofInd.html

  • Holland

    A manifesto discovered online is the work of the Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed more than 90 people in an in Oslo yesterday. If you want to read what a indoctrinated diseased mind can drone about for 1,516 pages, download manifesto: http://www.2shared.com/file/M-​s-2fBD/2083-AEuropeanDeclarati​onofInd.html
    A video that goes with it: http://www.veoh.com/watch/v211​23164bZCBQeZ8
    Update: The guy is scrared of islimazation of Europe and blames left/labour multiculturalism for allowing it. That’s why he slaughtered labour people. From his manifesto: ” Europe is heading towards cultural and demographical suicide due to the absence of nationalistic doctrines. Nationalism is the anti-thesis of multiculturalism/internati​onalism. In order for nationalism to succeed, multiculturalism must be deconstructed and vice versa.”
    Another quote from Breivik manifesto: “Acts related to self-defence or with the purpose of directly or indirectly protecting ethnic Christian European interests (everything from the loss of life to securing national borders). This also includes attacks and/or the execution of cultural Marxists/multiculturalists​ or pre-emptive strikes.” I would summarize as: don’t shoot the muslims you hate, shoot those who allow them here.
    So Breivik’s killing of dozens of children was to prevent another generation of polically correct multiculturalists. Sick! Of course he was indoctrinated into a islamophobe nazi himself…. Holland says: don’t let ANY politics or reiligion MINDFUCK YOU! Focus on ART and SCIENCE.

  • barriejohn

    There is no guarantee that the manifestos (written and filmed) are genuine, though as others are saying, they do seem very detailed. Robert Spencer is also claiming that the words “Christian” and “Conservative” were added to the facebook profile after the event, but one might say that “he would say that, wouldn’t he?”. I think we are going to have to wait until Breivik says more himself now.

  • barriejohn

    I had to laugh at this!
    A true Christian would not go and … shoot people in a camp or blow up buildings.
    Oh, Noes!!

  • remigius

    @Didiot Ortiz. I really can’t be arsed to read through that rambling, incoherent mess you posted. However if you could get a grown up, perhaps your care worker, to show you the basics of grammar, syntax, paragraphs etc then I may give it a go.
    Also make sure you have taken your medication before assaulting the keyboard, otherwise you might be pereived as a bit of a tit.

  • Broga

    @Didiot Ortiz: Don’t you do paragraphs? I didn’t read your long long ramble either. I would like to suggest that before you come here with your sermon you read some intelligent, cogent and convincing atheist views. I suggest for a start:
    The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
    God is not Great by Christopher Hitchens
    The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the future of reason by Sam Harris.
    Or, to give you a flavour of what some of the great writers and thinkers have concluded about christianity:
    The Portable Atheist selected and introduced by Christopher Hitchens. This includes writing by David Hume, Shelley, George Eliot, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad, Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell,George Orwell, A.J. Ayer, and many others.
    And next time, remember you do not have a captive audience here. So try paragraphs and keep it short.

  • barriejohn
  • barriejohn
  • Broga

    @barriejohn: Is this man insane? But then we need to define insane. He seems to be talking to himself, exhorting himself, as much as to anyone else and extraordinarily vain: the uniforms, the wet suit, the descriptions of himself,the identifying of the make of his guns and the reams of his propaganda. He is said to have consulted the English Defence League, to have links with Freemasons and to want his protestant church absorbed into Roman Catholicism.
    On the insane definition: do extreme right wing views and extreme religious views, so affect the brain, and muddle it, so that objectivity and rational thought become impossible? The victim of these slips into fantasies and into a fantasy world. How does society separate the paranoid fantasies of the insane from the fantasies of extremists? This man is seriously weird and unbalanced. Is he one of a type and if so how many others are out there?

  • Robert Stovold

    Didier, if even a loving god is justified in killing humans (as your reading of the parable of the minas would indicate) then anything goes for us poor fallible humans.
    2 Peter 2:1 says false teachers bring destruction upon themselves, but 2 Peter 2:4 has God doing the punishment. The verse I quoted implies the latter, as it refers to animals being “caught and destroyed”. Do animals “catch and destroy” themselves? Please explain. Likening humans to instinctive beasts hardly meshes with the Free Will defence you invoke to excuse evil. The dehumanising idea that some humans are destined to be destroyed has more in common with Paul’s theology (Romans 9:16-19):
    “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy… One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”
    The Free Will defence conficts with the Christian idea of predestination. Another problem is that we go out of our way to curtail the freedom of violent offenders, by locking them up. Are we wrong to do so? Presumably, Didier, if you could know for an absolute fact that someone was about to commit mass murder, you wouldn’t tell the authorities. Can’t have them restricting someone’s right to commit mass murder, now can we?
    Now balancing rights and freedoms can sometimes be tricky, but if I had certain knowledge (as God is meant to have) that someone was about to commit mass murder, I reckon I’d curtail their freedom pretty quickly.

  • barriejohn

    Broga: My thoughts as well. I often think that anyone who can end the life of another human being in cold blood and without good reason must necessarily be insane, but does that absolve them of responsibility for their crime? The definition of insanity varies anyway, so the arguments will run and run!

  • Stephen West

    I’am Very Sorry if I upset any one. I truly did’nt mean to.Perhaps I need to think about what I say before I say it.
    I’m all for peace and love, I would never hurt anyone.I’am a good man with a heart of gold. I was like that before I became a Rasta and I will always be a good man after and forever.
    I will not let hate change me and I don’t hate the people who wrote that stuff so don’t worry I love you and I forgive you all.
    Let’s be there as a friend for Norway and not let that man win. Let the law system deal with him.
    Again I’am Sorry to you all.

  • Broga

    @Stephen West: I don’t know what a Rasta is, or does, or believes. What upsets me is seeing people believing in a non- existent god, and his non existent son, and believing that a father torturing that son would somehow absolve humanity from their supposed “crimes” which arose because a talking serpent misled an imagined woman (Eve).
    Why should torturing an innocent absolve the supposed guilty from their crimes?
    What would please me, as I am convinced that religious belief is a destructive force in the world, would be for you to step back and take a long and hard look at what you seem to believe. Think about it. You have never, apart what what goes on in your head, had any evidence of the existence of this god or his son. As there are thousands of religions and cults what makes you believe that you have chosen the right one.
    As I assume you don’t believe in all the other religions, other than your own, that makes you an atheist where they are concerned. Just go one step further, don’t believe in any, and enjoy the freedom and delights of non belief like most people here.
    Finally, good people do good things; bad people do bad things; but it takes religion to make good people do bad things.

  • Jason Mitchell

    Most acts of human terror are not led by “religions” – churches, priests, religious leaders (there are exceptions – most notable of which are the acts of the Roman Catholic church during the middle ages and Islamic leaders (imams, mullahs) leading terrorist acts today (and traditionally)).
    Objectively speaking, religion is any set of principles to which one chooses to adhere. A few popular religions today that don’t necessarily involve a “god” include nationalism, Darwinian socialism, atheism, pantheism and secular humanism. Each of these belief systems have inspired their own zealots in much the same way that “classical” “religions” have inspired zealotry (the series “Whale Wars” on “The Animal Planet” is an illustration of pantheistic zealotry).
    History shows that most acts of human terror have been led by political leaders or political organizations (governments), sometimes under the banner of religion (such as the crusades, where religious beliefs were capitalized upon by political leaders to expand a kingdom).
    R.J. Rummel, at the University of Hawaii, has documented global genocide and democide throughout the 20th century and notes that more people died at the hands of their own government during the 20th century than in the all the world’s wars and violent crimes combined. Details of his work may be found here: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills.
    Communist regimes are responsible for killing a disproportionate number of people, numbering in the 10s of millions of their own citizens during the last half of the 20th century alone. Interestingly enough, atheism is the official religion of the Communist Party (must be an atheist in order to join the Communist Party).
    “Religious conflict” has been conveniently used by political leaders to distract, consolidate power, expand legislation and raise money. However, to put things into perspective, historically, terrorist acts have killed, on average, just over 300 people per year, worldwide (with the obvious exception being Sep 11). In comparison, just over 200 people drown in their own bathtubs in the United States each year.
    To say that Breivik was inspired by his religion to commit these acts is to state the obvious. However, it appears by the evidence that in this case, Brievik’s nationalistic ideals (not all that dissimilar to the global nationalism being taught to the students he killed) overshadowed any other minor system of principals to which he ascribed.

  • barriejohn

    Jason Mitchell: Another troll! I thought you were about to say something interesting, and then I come across this:
    Objectively speaking, religion is any set of principles to which one chooses to adhere. A few popular religions today that don’t necessarily involve a “god” include nationalism, Darwinian socialism, atheism, pantheism and secular humanism.
    Absolute rubbish. Your definition of religion is hilarious, and as for atheism, or secular humanism, being a “religion” – well, I’m almost lost for words! I don’t know what the point of your comment was, but I would say please don’t clutter up this site with such drivel, and don’t comment unless you have something intelligent to add to the debate.
    PS Communism and Nazism are ideologies. Buy yourself a dictionary if you don’t know what that means either!

  • Jason Mitchell

    barriejohn: Your point is taken, however, religion does not have to involve any form of “god,” as some would like you to believe.
    From Webster’s dictionary:
    one definition of religion = a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor or faith;
    another definition of religion = a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, practices
    ideology = a systematic body of concepts especially about human life or culture
    Nazi actually stands for: “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” which translates into National Socialist German Worker’s Party, and yes, the ideology (system of beliefs) as practiced by the Nazi political party certainly is “religious” in its fervor.
    The point is that any one particular ideology can be as “dangerous” as any other. 20th century genocides and democides sprang forth from fervent ideologies that are espoused, accepted and promoted today. The nationalistic fervor acted upon by Breivik is the same nationalistic fervor incited by the National Socialist German Worker’s Party and the results of both are the same. As well documented, both pale in comparison to the result of communist ideology and the human terror that it has wrought in the last century.
    Like German leaders in the 30’s & 40’s, today’s political leaders point to minority groups within a society (Jews, Christians, Muslims, blacks, browns, whites, genetically inferior, lazy, jobless, those with more than 1 child, etc.) to blame them for society’s problems (today it is acts of terror and their point is that ANYONE can commit an act of terror – therefore we must treat EVERYONE as a terrorist) and the end result is and will always be tyranny, slavery and death (acts of terror).
    Breivik’s crimes of terror will justify to political leaders (and some citizens) acts of institutionalized terror on a wholesale basis: search, seizure, home invasion, eavesdropping and every other form of invasive personal violation ever committed by any authoritarian regime.
    It is right to punish Breivik for his crimes and to hold him accountable for his actions.
    It is wrong to institutionalize an ideology based upon the fear and hatred of the Breiviks of the world and to use this fear and hatred to justify the acts of terror carried out by politicos and their agents.

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  • MrGronk

    Applying my PopPsych app, I’d describe Breivik as a narcissist/sadist. He probably isn’t a psychopath – they can’t imagine another’s feelings, whereas a sadist can imagine – and relish – his victim’s fear and pain all too well. All too horribly sane, I’m afraid. I’m still chilled by the way he exulted in those childrens’ terror. As much as I admire Norwegian humanist values, I really hope something nasty happens to him in prison.

  • MrGronk

    You make a valid point that any ideology can be cleaved to with religious fervour, but religion by definition must involve belief in a supernatural aspect. Regardless of religion’s moral or practical benefits, freethinkers object to any insistence on belief in absurdities.

  • remigius

    Regardless of religion’s moral or practical benefits…
    OK I give up. What are they?

  • Jason Mitchell

    MrGronk: There are plenty of philosophies such as buddhism, taoism and hinduism that are categorized as “religions,” but do not delve into the supernatural (although some branches of each may include supernatural beliefs along with their philosophical views).
    Additionally, there are plenty of examples of absurd beliefs by people accepted to be freethinkers (such as Richard Dawkins’ belief that man was planted on earth by space aliens) that would not be widely categorized as religions in and of themselves, but require unequivocal belief (faith) in the supernatural and therefore they ARE religious – in that they are “…beliefs held to with ardor or faith…(see webster’s dictionary)” in the absence of logic or evidence.
    A belief in ANYTHING in the presence of obvious physical evidence to the contrary IS religion.
    Any moral judgement (right vs. wrong) is religion and does not necessarily involve the supernatural. Who is to say what is right or wrong – it is simply a system of beliefs, an ideology… …a religion…

  • David

    He wanted to kill people and leave his mark on society, the Right wing Christian veneer means nothing, he has planned this out for a long time and picked a side that he liked just to justify his own actions. Strange days ahead. Will we see a rise in right wing terrorism just to add to left wing terrorism, Islamic terrorism and seperatist terrorism as well as enviromental terrorism. I think one day we will look back at the centre ground and say remember when

  • remigius

    @Jason Mitchell.
    Contrary to what you believe, Richard Dawkins does not think man was planted on Earth by space aliens.
    Several years ago he was duped into taking part in a pseudo-documentary called Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed. During the taped interview he explained that there were many theories as to the origins of life, but we just don’t know yet. He explained one theory, panspermia, but made it clear he didn’t support it himself. However deceitful editing turned it into an endorsement.
    Nowhere in any of Dawkins writings, programmes or interviews does he support such a theory. It is only to be found in a shamefully edited film made by cretins creationists with the purpose of misleadng the audience.
    And you believed it. Sucker.
    That’s how religion works!

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  • remigius

    I love these early mornings on the internets. It’s the best time to catch the crazies.

  • MrGronk

    Religion can make some suggestible sorts behave better. Of course, it’s just as likely to turn others into complete dicks. My point is that its putative benefits are irrelevant to the more important question of it being true or not.
    Buddhism and taoism may have started off as philosophies, but they have most certainly acquired supernatural baggage since then. As for Hinduism, with 10 or 100 million gods ( I forget the exact number) it most certainly “delves into the supernatural”. Anyway, your point that any ideology or philosophy can evoke fanaticism is true, but IMHO religion makes for the worst fanatics, simply because of the huge psychiatric damage that results from belief in absurdities.

  • barriejohn

    Don’t encourage him: He’s making it up as he goes along!
    I am certain that there will be many who are inspired by these actions of Breivik’s, and that we will see others seeking to emulate him in the not too distant future.

  • Marky Mark

    WOW…great discussion!

  • “Still at least we see the christian community showing their true colours”
    – Witnesses say there were at least 2 gunman and so the unstable, lone Christian theory is weak:
    Also, I would like to challenge Barry Duke, who appears to be at the helm of this blog, to come and refute my article proving God’s existence:
    Atheism offers neither true freedom nor logical thinking. If I’m wrong, it should be fairly easy to show me Barry.

  • barriejohn

    Jesus Christ Almighty – this thread has certainly brought the trolls out of their caves!

  • barriejohn
  • barriejohn
  • remigius

    @Templestream. I had wondered how long it would be before the conspiracy nuts started crawling out of the woodwork.
    Took a look at that word goulash you posted on your blog. I won’t bother reading it but you do get points for using paragraphs. If you had really been able to prove the existence of any of the gods it would have been on the telly or something.
    Why not try to peddle it to the Vatican, or one of the myriad other churches? They’ve been looking for proof for two thousand years.

  • barriejohn

    I could have saved you wasting your time, Remigius! His “revolutionary” argument is that because there are “laws” operating in the universe, therefore there must be a god. Not only old news, but a complete non-sequitur, I’m afraid!

  • AgentCormac

    @ Templestream
    The Norwegian police aren’t looking for a second gunman.
    You’ll also note that the BBC refer to Breivik’s Facebook page on which he quite overtly describes himself as a Christian.
    And if you call that spectacular drivel on your blog ‘proof’ that god exists, I suggest you you get some psychiatric help.

  • barriejohn

    Remigius: Supposing Richard Dawkins DID support panspermia (or, more accurately in this case, exogenesis)? It’s a possibility. It is only ignorant trolls like Jason Mitchell who would make the allegation that he therefore believes that man was planted on earth by space aliens. Talk about misrepresentation! It is also ironic that a religiot should be castigating a renowned scientist over his open-mindedness on this issue, when the usual accusation is that atheists have CLOSED minds!!

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    Presuppositional apologetics (which is what your drivel appears to be) has been thoroughly debunked already.
    I’ll leave you to find the relevant posts.

  • Don

    Assuming the manifesto to be authentic (I haven’t read it thoroughly) he does not appear to be a christian fundamentalist. There is no indication of a belief in god, but rather a belief that christianity is a necessary defining and binding characteristic of the ‘culture’ he saw as under threat.
    He talked of praying and taking communion before his crimes, but as a way of psyching himself up. In much the same way he talked about playing ‘Lux Aeterna’ at full volume on his Ipod. The banality of evil, eh?
    If praying will act as an additional mental boost/soothing it is the pragmatical thing to do. I guess I will find out… If there is a God I will be allowed to enter heaven as all other martyrs for the Church in the past.
    I am pursuing religion for this very reason and everyone else should as well, providing it will give you a mental boost.

    His motives do not seem to have been religous but rather racial/political/cultural/territorial with christianity being a totemic part of whatever mythical entity he thought he was killing for.
    Obviously I could be completely wrong about this, but I’m guessing that many of the youngsters he murdered were more sincere christians than he is. Although likely secular christians, given the nature of the camp.

  • Steve Foulger

    I am still finding it hard to get the atrocities committed by Breivik out of my mind – there is something particularly heinous about the way he targeted young people in the way he did – young people moreover who by their participation and interest in humane and decent politics probably represented much that is good and positive for the future. I have to say that I cannot imagine our “Labour” party running such an event as they have long since forgotten to care about people. The Norwegian embassy has opened a book of condolences but it is not very practical for me to get over there especially as they have somewhat restricted opening times for signers so I have e-mailed a message to the embassy
    Following the dreadful and heartrending events of last week perpetrated by a ideologue of hatred and despair I would like to offer my condolences to the bereaved and wounded and their families and my hopes that this tragedy will ultimately reinforce Norway’s fine tradition of humanity and tolerance and thus defeat and overcome the message of inhumanity. I dag er vi alle nordmenn…..
    I hope it is not too pretentious … Certain commentators are now carping that people who automatically concluded it was an Islamist atrocity are guilty of “islamophobia” to which I’d reply that if you correlate the bombings and suicide bombings that have been perpetrated over the last few years to the ideological make up of the perpetrators then there are more than sufficient confirming instances to make it a reasonable assumption. I actively dislike this tendency to coin words like homophobia and islamophobia in an attempt to deflect any criticism/commentary whatsoever by attempting to adjudge it as irrational and therefore untenable. It is possible to have, as Breivik has, an irrational hatred of Muslims but that is a different thing altogether. I personally think Islam is a particularly perverse and unpleasant religion and that islamists are a potential threat to the enlightenment project, liberty and liberal humane society in general but I would be betraying everything enshrined in that triad if I were to say that people could and should not practice that religion in peace. Breivik’s ideology is fairly typical of a ‘future world’ ideology – following his ‘revolution’ Europe will become an homogenous conservative white Arian ‘Christian’ society without Muslims (or Jews?) but to attain this promised future it is perfectly OK to murder and maim because all is legitimated (“gruesome but necessary”) by the coming future world. This uses people as means to an end but, following Kant, this should never ever be done.

  • barriejohn

    He is now claiming to have “two more cells”:
    Could be pure fantasy of course.

  • remigius

    barriejohn. That would be the one at the police station and the one awaiting him at the prison!

  • barriejohn

    Remigius: I think he was referring to brain cells actually, but we all know that can’t be true!

  • Robert Stovold

    Jason, stop behaving like Humpty Dumpty (“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”) and admit that by any reasonable standards, calling atheism a religion is like calling baldness a hairstyle.
    With regards to life being planted here by aliens, Creationists believe in an invisible magical extra-terrestrial called God.
    Higher population densities and more powerful technologies help explain why so many people were killed in 20th century conflicts. We can control for the former by looking at the proportion of people killed. As Margaret Knight notes, “Europe was frequently devastated by religious wars, which destroyed a far higher proportion of the population than the global wars of the twentieth century. The Thirty Years’ War, for example, reduced the population of Germany by a third”. (Christianity – The Debit Account 1975, p.4)
    And by transmitting the Black Death, fleas (God’s creatures?) killed ¼ of Europe’s population in the 14th century. No, don’t tell me – God couldn’t intervene to stop this – to do so would have interfered with the fleas’ free will…..

  • barriejohn

    Calling atheism a religion is like calling baldness a hairstyle.
    So true! And how about this statement:
    Any moral judgement (right vs. wrong) is religion…
    Or this:
    Objectively speaking, religion is any set of principles to which one chooses to adhere.
    Do people really believe such nonsense?

  • Barry Duke,
    Any reply to my challenge to refute my article proving God’s existence would be appreciated.
    “How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence.”
    Barrie John and others, thanks for your colorful and entertaining comments.
    In case you are not aware, posting a description on Facebook as Christian doesn’t make a person a true Christian any more than labeling an atheist a freethinker makes an atheist truly open-minded. 🙂
    Small errors can be corrected with a little debate even as mild stains come out in the wash. However, some arguments are so weak they’re like old clothes people are afraid to put in the wash.

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  • remigius

    Templestream. Read it. Not even wrong.
    But well done with the No True Scotsman argument. Works every time.

  • adam

    @Milz, think you might want to re think your last statement! jerk off!

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  • Brian Brown

    I hope he gets to meet Jesus very soon.