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Anders Breivik and the Left entirely misunderstand Christianity.

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Being a Christian Ain’t What It Used to Be

Anders Breivik and the Left entirely misunderstand Christianity.

Anders Breivik killed more than six dozen people. If that doesn’t persuade you of his insanity, a clue comes via his manifesto: it is 1,500 pages. Confirmation comes through his plagiarism of the Unabomber. 

But for the Left, all this is irrelevant. It is the killer’s contention that he is a Christian that truly makes him nuts. The New York Times, among other outlets, felt compelled to identify Breivik as a “Christian” in its headlines.

But what did Breivik identify as Christian?

His lengthy manifesto uses “Christianity” as a cultural/ethnic identifier rather than a term encompassing a set of religious beliefs. “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian,” he writes. “Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.”

The Norwegian killer welcomes atheists into the ranks of “Justiciar Knights” and urges religion upon them as a pragmatic means of making them more effective soldiers. He says that he would probably pray to God upon his murder mission but then questions God’s existence. “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie,” Breivik admits. “I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.”

He sounds like neither Billy Graham nor Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Like many Westerners, Anders Breivik called himself a Christian while rejecting many of the tenets of Christianity. “Thou shalt not kill” and that part about believing in God seems to have escaped Breivik’s theology.

Breivik isn’t the first mass murderer converted to Christianity by the Church of the Holy Left.

“I am a complete pagan,” Adolf Hitler proclaimed. He killed thousands of priests in concentration camps and established Nazism as a quasi state religion. Yet, leftists routinely invoke the irreligious German as a forerunner of American religious conservatives. “The Christian Coalition was a strong force in Germany,” Jesse Jackson claimed during the Pat Robertson-led group’s heyday. “It laid down a suitable, scientific, theological rationale for the tragedy in Germany. The Christian Coalition was very much in evidence there.”

“Nobody’s gonna come out of the sky!” Jim Jones informed his flock. “There’s no heaven up there. We’ll have to have heaven down here!” The reverend threw the Bible to the floor in his Peoples Temple and openly stated his disbelief in God. Before Jim Jones orchestrated the deaths of more than 900 people at his South American jungle commune, Willie Brown, Angela Davis, Harvey Milk, and other leading leftists lauded him as a hero. After the carnage at Jonestown, the Left conveniently dismissed him as just another crazed Christian fundamentalist.

Like Hitler, Timothy McVeigh was baptized a Catholic but didn’t attend mass as an adult. He moved away from the church and repeatedly held, “Science is my religion.” Despite these inconvenient truths, the media continues to classify his murder of 168 people in Oklahoma City as an act of “Christian terrorism.” 

The evidence for the Christianity of Hitler, McVeigh, and Jones is as weak as the crackpot claims that the president is a Muslim based upon his attendance of an Islamic school in Indonesia and the fact that his father was raised Muslim. What we believe, not what our parents or our schoolmasters think, defines our beliefs. 

Like Anders Breivik, the Left uses “Christian” in a very loose sense. Whereas the Norwegian mass murderer transforms a religious term into cultural one, the Left uses it as a tag to identify its enemies. In both cases, whether the “Christian” in question believes such things as the divinity of Christ, God’s forgiveness of sins, or the resurrection of the dead doesn’t factor into the designation. The secular Left associates Christianity with evil, so they instinctively link monstrous acts—the Holocaust, Jonestown, Oklahoma City—with Christianity even when the facts establishing this don’t match the strength of their desires to establish it.

Desperate to find moral equivalence between Islam and Christianity, culturally alienated Westerners declare Anders Breivik a Christian Osama bin Laden. Breivik may believe he is a Christian. But most Christians don’t. No part of Christendom celebrated his attacks, as vast swaths of the Muslim world celebrated 9/11. No poll has, or will, show Breivik’s popularity in the West, as polls taken of Indonesians, Egyptians, and Pakistanis showed Osama bin Laden’s popularity.

Is it surprising that the Prince of Peace would inspire very different religious attitudes toward violence than the Warrior Prophet?  

The Left couldn’t find the Christian jihadist that they have been searching for. So they invented him.

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Written By

Daniel J. Flynn is a columnist for HUMAN EVENTS and the author of Blue Collar Intellectuals: When the Enlightened and the Everyman Elevated America (ISI Books, 2011).

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