In the preceding video Bill O’Reilly makes several assertions; some of which I agree with; others which I do not.
I agree with Mr. O’Reilly that Anders Breivik, the culprit behind the recent attacks in Norway, is no Christian. In no way, shape, form, or fashion are his actions supported by the message of the gospels. In fact, I would say that Anders Breivik’s actions are a complete disregard for the teachings of Jesus. This, I think, is common sense.
I also agree with Bill that state sponsored Muslim terrorism is an entirely different problem than loose knit groups of Christian terrorism. However, I disagree that one is more dangerous than the other. They both produce the same result—fear, destruction, and death. The victim’s families, both of 9/11 and the recent tragedy in Norway, share the same heart ache and pain.
In the video, Mr. O’Reilly suggests that the dangers imposed by “Christian Fundamentalists” are illusory dangers imputed by the “liberal media.” Basically, he is suggesting that the liberal media is playing up the comparison between Christian and Muslim terrorism because “the left wants you to believe that fundamentalist Christians are a threat…” As Bill believes, some on the left may stand to gain personal validation and/or vindication by portraying Christianity as a vile system of archaic beliefs that incite fear and rage, but this neither here nor there. The fact is that Christian terrorism does exist. Regardless of whether or not he is able to pass O’Reilly’s entry exam into the Christian faith, it is obvious that Anders Breivik did considered himself a Christian (see section below). So, these threats are clearly not illusory. The effects are very tangible. But, as I mentioned earlier, it is not a problem with the Christian gospel. The problem lies in the extreme misunderstanding that is being propagated by so called proponents of the Christian message. They are not communicating the message of radical love and grace found in the gospels. Rather, they are expressing a rigid vision set in motion by their own fear and hatred, which seeks to re-create the world in their image. The fundamentalist message cannot be separated from the actions it inspires. This is true, regardless of whether the message is of Muslim or Christian origin. In fact, neither message is Muslim or Christian, as Bill half-heartily points out. They are the grossest forms of spiritual materialism—the same old fear and insecurity finding aggressive grounds for expression under the guise of religious language. This is a problem that exists in every religion, and must be dealt with by the adherents of these traditions.
Mr. O’Reilly’s also asserts that Islamic terrorism is different because the terrorism is “state run.” As I mentioned earlier, this is a point that I agree with. The terrorism is different—it is more organized, more frequent, and better funded. But none of this has anything to do with Islam or Christianity. It has to do with the state that is funding and organizing the terrorism. By definition, this is a political problem; not a religious problem. It is “state run” terrorism, not faith run terrorism.
Finally, Bill seems to be hinting—without saying—that Islam is different because the Qur’an provides grounds for terrorism, while the Bible does not. This, I think, is a lie propagated by the right in order to gain support for their political agenda. Islam does not condone mass murder, as Bill seems to be suggesting. He suggests that Islam inspires terrorism, while Christianity is immune to it, by applying a metric to Christianity that weeds out any extremest, but fails to use the same metric when referencing the “crazy jihadist.” He calls Breivik and McVeigh “nuts,” and refers to Islamic terrorists as “Jihadists.” This is meant to imply that one must be sane to be Christian, while using an implicit reference to Islam in order to describe their “nuts.” He seems to be saying that Christian movements are not, by definition, capable of producing terrorists, while terrorism is an intrinsic part of Islam. While it maybe true that Islam supports armed resistance when one is oppressed:
“Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for God loves not transgressors. And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter… But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful… If they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression” ~ Holy Qur’an 2:190-193.
It is a misleading lie to suggest that Islam endorses terrorism :
“..killing an innocent human being is like killing all of humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all of humanity.” ~Holy Quran 5:32
What do you think? Share your comments below.
The following is taken from Anders Breivik’s Wikipedia page.
During interrogation, Breivik claimed membership in an “international Christian military order” that “fights” against “Islamic suppression”. This order allegedly is called the “Knights Templar” and, according to his manifesto, has between fifteen and eighty “ordinated knights” besides an unknown number of “civilian members”.
The order, whose full name is the “Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici” or PCCTS, is said to have been established in London in April, 2002, as a “re-founding” of the twelfth-century crusading order. The new organisation supposedly was established to take political and military control of Western Europe, with its members being armed as an “anti-Jihad crusader-organisation”. It reportedly was established by nine men: two Englishmen, a Frenchman, a German, a Dutchman, a Greek, a Russian, a Norwegian, and a Serb. The main initiator apparently was the Serb, whom Breivik claims to have visited in Liberia and whom he referred to as a “war hero”.
Breivik said that his own code name was “Sigurd Jorsalfar” (recalling the twelfth-century Crusader, King Sigurd I of Norway) and that his “mentor” was “Richard Lionheart”. Breivik asserted that Norway had “4,848 traitors” who had to die.
In his manifesto, Breivik wrote that “[t]he PCCTS, Knights Templar is . . . . not a religious organization but rather a Christian ‘culturalist’ military order.”
On his Facebook profile, Breivik describes himself as a Christian. He states that he chose to be baptised into the Protestant Church of Norway at the age of 15 although he later became disenchanted with Norway’s State Church, supporting “an indirect collective conversion of the Protestant church back to the Catholic” in an online post in 2009.
Breivik condemns Pope Benedict XVI, for his dialogue with Islam: “Pope Benedict has abandoned Christianity and all Christian Europeans and is to be considered a cowardly, incompetent, corrupt and illegitimate Pope.” It will thus be necessary, writes Breivik, to overthrow the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, after which a “Great Christian Congress” would set up a new European Church.
Deputy police chief Roger Andresen initially told reporters that information on Breivik’s websites was “so to speak, Christian fundamentalist” Subsequently, others have disputed Andresen’s characterization of Breivik as a Christian fundamentalist.
~all of the above links are active if you wish to check the validity of Wikipedia’s sources.
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