Monday, July 25, 2011

Norway's 9/11

I don't have time to write more than a few lines on the cowardly mass murder carried out in Norway. For the citizens of that fair country July 22 will have the same significance as September 11 has for us.

I'm happy to see that the initial reports labeling this homegrown terrorist as a "Christian fundamentalist" are giving way to the fullness of the facts. I have little interest in defending the term "fundamentalist" but to call this guy a Christian of any definition is a slander. The media seized on some sketchy info from a Facebook profile and immediately ran with it. Of course, this was after many media outlets already had egg on their face for jumping to the conclusion that this was Islamic terrorism. I'll admit I made the same assumption on Friday morning when the first surreal images of bombed out buildings in downtown Oslo came across. The greater horror of what was happening 20 miles away -- and that it was being carried out by a Norwegian -- had yet to be discovered. As far as the rush to connect these acts to a Christian extremist I think Mollie Hemingway has the definitive response.

What's emerging instead is a portrait of someone who doesn't really have a coherent political ideology or religious belief beyond unfocused hatred of Muslims and fears about "multiculturalism" (there is a legitimate case to be made against mass immigration and multiculturalism -- see Ross Douthat's Sunday column). I guess in Anders Brievik's twisted mind slaughtering your own countrymen and women was a way to strike a blow against Islam. More than anything he strikes me as an incorrigible narcissist; spending hours alone in his room on the internet airing his grievances against a society that gave him so much. Look at the ridiculous photos and the hundreds of pages of ponderous "manifesto". Once again we're reminded of the banality of evil. And for what it's worth -- Brievik wasn't a member of some exploited or marginalized group. Like the Arab hijackers of 9/11 he was a well-educated child of affluent parents.

There's a part of me that would rejoice to see him taken out at dawn and shot, but that won't happen since Norway doesn't have the death penalty. Call that humane or naive, but he will have it to thank for whatever remaining years of life he has. Then again, a more just fate might be spending decades peering into the abyss of darkness from which his deeds originated. Hopefully this will happen after a speedy trial in which he has no more opportunity to garner the attention he so obviously craves.

God bless Norway and may she look to Him in faith!

UPDATED: Good post by Michael Horton

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