I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tragedy in Norway: A Twisted Debate

Much is being said about the Norway shooter, Anders Behring Breivik.  His horrific act of destruction on July 22, 2011 is causing controversy on many levels.

One could focus on the response time of the authorities and wonder how they could have taken so long to react.  One could also speculate if such a scenario is possible in the United States, with our military being stretched thin and our state police agencies on severe budget cuts.

Or one could center attention on gun laws and the allegation (I say allegation because I am unsure if this is fact at this point) that Breivik obtained gun magazines from the United States that aided his torrent of annihilation.  One could force this issue into the spot light to help push anti-gun legislation requiring the opposing side to counter that one deranged man should not put limits on our second amendment right.  This could also bring about a much needed discussion regarding our constitutional right to bear arms and our founders’ belief that citizens need this right to protect them from a government growing too big and taking liberties away.  It could even quote Breiviks own concerns over his government which prompted this devastation.  It could show that our founders where correct in knowing man is inherently evil and can be swayed by power therefore citizens need a way to protect themselves.  It can also show that man’s evilness can abuse this right by not using it to protect self but to inflict self imposed justice on others therefore more regulation needs to exists to help prevent madmen from acting out in violence.  It’s a never ending cascade of chicken vs. egg in which both sides ride the tidal waves of events to push their opinions to the forefront.

One could wonder about the type of youth camp Breivik chose to target.  It has been compared to Hitler’s Youth camp.  While I do not know what this camp was ‘teaching’ I do know it was a Labor Party Retreat, so it was a political camp.  But are there not retreats for both liberals and conservatives here in the United States?  Political camps are not wrong unless they are used to brain wash our youth.  Was brain washing occurring at this particular retreat?  I do not know.  What is known is that Breivik was against the Labor Party and this played a significant role in his choosing this facility as one of his targets (the other being setting a bomb off in front of the Prime Minister’s Office).

A comparison between Breivik and McVeigh has ensued, another between Breivik and Bin Laden.  Similarities and contrasts between Muslim terrorist and Christian terrorist are dominating the headlines with all sides of religious beliefs throwing in their two cents.  Christians don’t want to concede a fellow believer could do such a thing, Muslims want to take the heat off radical Islamists by focusing on any statements Breivik made related to Christianity.  Other denominations do not want to be left out of the discussion so they chime in as well.  All are confusing facts, or maybe distorting them to fit their own agenda is more accurate.

Evidence that Breivik is a disturbed individual is marginally being discussed compared to the other topics.  Religious belief aside, he is not mentally stable.  His own lawyer, Lippestad, is seeking the insanity plea for him and has made statements alluding to the instability of his client.  Breiviks own 1500 page manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” shows much support for the precariousness of his views.

While I have not read the 1500 page manifesto, I have read exerts from various sources.  Many are using the same quotes over and over to state their side of the facts (strange that both sides can take the same quotes and twist them to fit their view).  So let’s focus a little on the facts that are becoming available.  While more evidence will be revealed in days to come and people’s opinions may change accordingly, what will not change are his own words and the devastation he has created.  Focusing on his religious, or lack thereof, beliefs to push agenda’s does not help the healing to begin, nor does placing blame on authorities, gun owners, political affiliations or anything other than the man himself.

Here is information taken from his own words and can be found at various sources:  Huffington Post, Washington Post, Politico, TheBlaze.com, Christianpost.com, religiondispatches.org and many other sites
1.       This man used his killing spree as a marketing tool for his manifesto hoping to ignite a 70 year war against Muslim Colonization and Cultural Marxism and thus ‘save’ Europe.
2.        He believed in the Knights Templar and wanted to somehow spark a reinstitution of this, a crusade if you will to protect “Christians” from Muslim influence and genocide. 
3.        He writes on page 1307 of his manifesto: “If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. 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.” (This quote can be found on the Huffington Post as well as Christianpost.com and I am sure many other venues). 
Please note that he does not say he has a relationship with Jesus Christ and God, in fact he denies a personal relationship… something highly unlikely for a devoted Christian to do

4.      “[T] hough he admits he is “not going to pretend I’m a very religious person,” he calls himself a “cultural Christian.””.  Sally Quinn, Jul 26, 2011 5:51 PM- Washington Post

So what is a Cultural Christian?  We could spend hours debating this, and many are doing that now.  Instead how about we focus on healing and love?  It is not for any of us, Christian or non, to judge this man’s heart or beliefs.  This event should not be used by anyone as an opportunity to push personal agendas. This tragedy should spark love inside us all and mourning at the lives no longer with us.

That we have allowed this heartbreaking occurrence to result in a media field hay day of pointing fingers and playing the blame game is almost, if not a greater, catastrophe than the shooting itself.   The loss of life should be mourned as we all look at this event trying to understand what could lead someone to such a desperate act in the name of religion or politics.  It should help us to reach across the isle of difference and embrace each other as fellow humans.  Our differences should not tear us further apart during this time, instead it should help shed light into our hearts and help us to realize how precious all life is.