|Who to blame for the Norwegian killings?|
(Luke 6:36 NIV) Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Ironically, the Christian Right being so judgemental and hypocritical deserves being labelled as "Christian Terrorist" in Norway. Are we true to Jesus in responding in such a judgemental manner ourselves!
The large number of news articles published by some magazines just on the word "Conservative Christian" on the facebook of the Noweigian mass murderer is surprising because they are supposed to be thinking and people of intellect.
It seems that some carry so much baggages of conservative christians bashing them with the bible that when a terrorists calls himself a "Conservative Christian", all knives are drawn to deduce the Evangelical Christians beliefs causes the violence.
The Washington Post blames it on Evangelical Christians proclaiming that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. But they forgotten to add that Breivik never believed in a saving Christ nor that a short cut to heaven awaits him for his murderous deeds.
The real issue was a war of cultures, a "Christian" versus an "Islamic" culture of the middle ages. Note also that the freedom enjoyed by other religious groups in Europe is seldom reciprocated in their home country. Because of Breivik, many will be vary of open laws and freedom in Europe lest it is misused by the religious faith who would not give such freedoms if they were in the majority. This is a tragedy.
It was a "setup", a facebook created only a few days before the terrorist acts, and the word "Christian Conservative" added on the day of the crime. He could have only added "Christian" but he chose the word "Conservative", which he himself was not. It was intended to create a notion that the Christian Conservative culture in Norway and Europe under threat. It was "us" versus "them", highlighting his angst of how Norway has descended into liberalism of the left wing political and religious movement.
The church in Norway has a strong Christian liberal tradition, and in framing himself as a Conservative Christian, Breivik was attempting to spark a debate and for the country to descend to the right of politics. He wanted Conservative Christians and the more conservative politicians to be blamed and drawn into his crimes, so that he can cause a split in society and with this split, stronger laws against immigrants other other faiths lest it causes another carnage.
Breivik didn't bomb a religious institution like some religious radicals would do in Egypt and Iraq, he chose a left wing political organization. He was not a religious quoting terrorist, but deliberate and calculative, cold hearted like a Templar Knights even willing to use deception through the face book. He was very calculative for framing it as "Conservative Christian" movement, which makes it a much bigger confrontation between the left and the Right thus causing a generally liberal Norway to take into consideration conservative views before implementing its policies.
We often forget the context and the details and spin the issues ignoring the specifics:-
a. The face book with "Conservative Christian" was created only a few days before. The entry "Conservative Christian" was added on the day of the murder. It was not a statement of beliefs rather it was a setup for people to find and take sides for a blaiming game.
b. His 1500 pages of writings/manifesto showed that
- He believes more in Darwin rather than Jesus
- Christianity was a crutch for the weak instead of the death of Jesus Christ for the redemption of our sins.
- Christianity is cultural rather than the evangelical notion of a relationship with Jesus Christ
- Never quoted from the bible to justify his intended actions. Religious terrorist uses their bible constantly to justify themselves.
- Didn't go to any Evangelical churches.The Lutheran Church which he was baptised as a kid was now more liberal than Evangelical.
- Motivated by Templar Knights of Jerusalem and not Jesus Christ.
Generalization is not good for the soul. Even if he was a "Conservative Christian", we shouldn't judge Christians in general for it. But it becomes a sin and a false witness, if we say he was a Conservative Christian because we so wanted to rather than actually was the case. We pick up one small scrap of evidence in the face of a mountain of contrary facts, and deduce a dogmatic position based of this scant evidence.
This is exactly the same as the Christian Right cherry picking the most obscure of scientific evidence and spinned it to say that gays can be cured, or that gays are not innate simply because there is an ulterior aggenda. We simply believe what we want to believe despite the facts of the matter. And for others to behave in the same manner as religious fundamentalist is sad because we are supposed to be thinking and not sheepish followers.
This is also the approach of the Christian Right reading the six clobber verses against Gays at face value and not bothering about the circumstances or the religious idol worship context where the straight men had anal sex with the priests to be possessed by the demonic spirit. All the porblem started because the priests were castrated males. If they were females there would be no problem and we wouldn't ban heterosexuality anyway.
The bible "says so" was to the believers who would know what it meant based on the culture, history, and pagan religious practices. Does Jesus advocate violence? There is no sword in our Christian banner, rather a Cross not that we put others to the Cross, but it is a curse where Jesus chose to deny Himself to die for us. It is God dying for us, not men/women dying for God or dying to gain eternal life.
If we believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, it would mean following Jesus. He told Peter to put down the sword even when treatened. He healed the soldier who came to arrest Him when Peter in angst cut off his ear. There are few other faiths where such grace, and mercy was dsiplayed and non-violence expounded in the extreme.
Even as America proceeded in wars against Iraq and Afganistan, there is no preceedence in a Christ centered bilbical Christianity even though the Christian Right champions it. Because, when we are harmed, we are asked to forgive and give grace.
We should not behave with the same false manner like the people we oppose lest we become no different. Of course the Conservative Christians are guilty but not for the crime that Breivik had committed but they are guilty against the GLBT population. Judgement should be accurate lest we have no moral standing.
Sure they deserved the label "Christian Terrorist" because they have terrorised the GLBT community, and destroyed many lives, many more deaths than in Oslo. But our God, is a God of grace, undeserved grace.
We should not become judgemental like the Christian Right even though they had judged gays unfairly and had caused much harm and many deaths in the GLBT community. To repay in kind is not the way of Jesus, the way of love, grace and mercy for which no law can contain.
Finally, we are reminded by Luke.
(Luke 6:36 NIV) Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
The Christian Right is now being judged in the same measure that they have judged others. However, we should not enter into this rethoric whatever they have done against us.