The Myth of Christian Terrorism

The Myth of Christian Terrorism

By Maggie Gallagher - July 28, 2011

The young man from Norway with the chiseled blond good looks of a movie star, a Nordic god, who brutally slaughtered 76 innocent human beings, many of them children, claimed he was some kind of "crusader."

It took the police 90 minutes to arrive on the secluded island where the Labor Party hosted its youth retreat. There, unlike the similarly vicious shootings in Arizona on Congressman Gabrielle Giffords, no law-abiding citizen-hero with a gun close at hand emerged to stem the body count.

Anders Behring Breivik roamed free, living out his dark video-game-like fantasies, hopped up on drugs to stay awake, unobstructed by any force, including conscience and reality.

"He has a view of reality that is very difficult to explain," Geir Lippestad, his lawyer, said, in the understatement of the year. Breivik believes with a mad faith that history will vindicate him in 60 years.

In his dark fantasies, Breivik invented a counterpart of Islamic terrorism, complete with secret "sleeper cells," that would rise up at his beck and call. But Norwegian police say he acted alone.

Sunday morning, a gay marriage advocate wrote to warn me that I should reconsider my own "hate" in the light of these killings. The writer's own fantasies were clearly gratified by imagining some kinship between the great lifegiving truths of Genesis and the murderous acts of this sad and evil deranged boy-man.

Later that day, I picked up The New York Times, whose Sunday headline in large type read: "As Horrors Emerge, Norway Charges Christian Extremist." I thought back to the day an Army psychiatrist yelling "Allahu Akbar" slaughtered 13 U.S. soldiers and wounded 29 in Fort Hood, Texas. That day The New York Times headline read "Army Doctor Held in Fort Hood Rampage."

Religious wars are terrible when they come; there is no need to anticipate or encourage them in a country and a culture that has avoided them for 300 years, thanks to the genius of our Founding Fathers. Why the deep hunger among so-called "progressives" to find, name and label organized Christian-inspired violence? Or to re-label moral disagreement as hate?

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Copyright 2011, Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher

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