As more details emerge about Anders Behring Breivik (who has reportedly confessed to the bombing and shooting massacre in Norway) the more the man sounds like a clone of some of the far right Christians and white supremacist extremists in the USA.
Yesterday, one commenter on my personal blog left a nasty comment (which was not published) attacking me for focusing on the parallels between what appear to have been Breivik's views and those that I see as a similar threat in this country. If the truth hurts as to what such constant anti-immigrant, anti-liberal Christian and anti-Muslim propaganda can lead to, I'm sorry.
Sometimes the truth hurts.
An Associated Press story in the Sunday Virginian Pilot has these highlights which further underscore these parallels:
A manifesto published online - which police are poring over and said was posted the day of the attack - ranted that the European elite, "multiculturalists" and "enablers of Islamization" would be punished for their "treasonous acts.
More was coming to light Sunday about the man who police say confessed to a car bomb at government headquarters in Oslo and then, hours later, opening fire on young people at an island political retreat. Both targets were linked to Norway's left-leaning Labor Party, and authorities have said held anti-Muslim views and posted on Christian fundamentalist websites
"He wanted a change in society and, from his perspective, he needed to force through a revolution," Geir Lippestad, his lawyer, told public broadcaster NRK. "He wished to attack society and the structure of society."
"We, the free indigenous peoples of Europe, hereby declare a preemptive war on all cultural Marxist/multiculturalist elites of Western Europe.... We know who you are, where you live and we are coming for you," the document said. "We are in the process of flagging every single multculturalist traitor in Western Europe. You will be punished for your treasonous acts against Europe and Europeans."
CNN has highlights from the manifesto here. Yes, it's frightening stuff - and it sounds far too similar to things being said by anti-immigrant factions in the USA and far right Christians who have claimed that the freedom of religion rights under First Amendment of the US constitution apply only to Christians. As for Breivik's views on liberal Christian denominations - which likely included the Church of Norway that allows partnered gay clergy - the Christian Post has these highlights:
He chose to be baptized into the Protestant Church at the age of 15, but over recent years has grown weary of the state of the modern Church. In one blog posted in 2009 he wrote: "Today's Protestant church is a joke. Priests in jeans who march for Palestine and churches that look like minimalist shopping centres. I am a supporter of an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic."
Another Christian Post story has this highlight:
In Norway and Sweden extreme Marxist attitudes have become acceptable/everyday while the old-established truths of patriotism and cultural conservatism today are branded as extremism.
Candidly, his complaints against liberal churches sound like the screeds one sees on the website of the far right's so-called Institute for Religion and Democracy. Another example is Robert Knight's recent screed in the Washington Times against gay marriage and "the Obama administration has stepped up its attacks on the moral order." This highlight from the New York Times is also noteworthy:
Thomas Hegghammer, a terrorism specialist at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment, said the manifesto bears an eerie resemblance to those of Osama bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders, though from a Christian rather than a Muslim point of view. Like Mr. Breivik's manuscript, the major Al Qaeda declarations have detailed accounts of the Crusades, a pronounced sense of historical grievance and calls for apocalyptic warfare to defeat the religious and cultural enemy.
According to the police, Mr. Breivik first drew security services to central Oslo when he exploded a car bomb outside a 17-story government office building, killing at least seven people. Then he took a public ferry to Utoya Island, where he carried out a remarkably meticulous attack on Norway's current and future political elite. Dressed as a police officer, he announced that he had come to check on the security of the young people who were attending a political summer camp there, many of them the children of members of the governing Labor Party.
He gathered the campers together and for some 90 hellish minutes he coolly and methodically shot them, hunting down those who fled. At least 85 people, some as young as 16, were killed.
Given the constant drumbeat of grievances against gays, liberals, Hispanics, blacks and Muslims being put out by so-called Christian "family values" groups and far right GOP aligned organizations, one can only wonder how many would-be Breiviks are being cultivated here at home in the USA.