Religious conservatives in the United States went on the defensive after media described the suspect in last week’s shooting rampage in Norway as a Christian fundamentalist.
Christian Broadcasting Network veteran Dale Hurd called usage of religious terms to identify confessed murderer Anders Behring Breivik “really sloppy and probably opportunistic journalism by the left-wing media.”
“I have covered the so-called far right all across Europe and it is full of people who call themselves Christians who never go to church, clearly do not have a personal relationship [with] Christ, and they call themselves a Christian almost in a patriotic sense that they stand with their country in the way that it was founded,” Hurd said.
Denny Burk, associate professor of New Testament at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said in a blog that “at most, he is Christian in name only.”
Burk said the term “Christian” carries different meanings in popular and biblical language. He said the Bible uses the term to denote a follower of Christ, not as someone identified as a Christian because of cultural heritage, family tradition or national identity.
Breivik said as much in a 1,500-page document that he posted on the Internet before setting off a bomb in Oslo’s governmental district and then opening fire at a Labour Party youth camp, killing a total of 76 Norwegians.
In the document, Breivik distinguished between “cultural Christians” and “religious Christians.”
You may also read HERE a similar point of view.
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I find it very relevant that religious conservatives are offended when a killer like Breivik is called a ‘Christian fundamentalist’, but are themselves very eager to label terrorists in the Middle East as ‘Muslim fundamentalists’.
Now, admittedly, Breivik was a ‘Christian in name only’, but most of the terrorists in the Muslim world are also ‘Muslin in name only’.
So, in all fairness, we, Christians get in this false labeling what we deserve. We should apply to oursevles first the measures we apply to others. ‘What goes around, comes around.’