No Personal Relationship
The Lord promised that He would come to dwell with those who were His:
"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he
will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come
unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23).
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any
man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and
will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20).
This great promise of God is not the province of one single sect of Christianity, it is proclaimed by a broad
range of preachers, including the Pope:
"But it is in the Church that you will find Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever (cf. Heb 13:8).
He loves you and he has offered himself on the cross for you. Seek a personal relationship with him within the communion of his Church,
for he will never betray your trust!"
Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland, Section 9).
This "personal relationship" is no part of Anders Behring Breivik's version of Christianity:
"A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in
Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it.
So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious
"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
". . .European Christendom and the cross will be the
symbol in which every cultural conservative can unite under in our
common defense. It should serve as the uniting symbol for all
Europeans whether they are agnostic or atheists." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1307).
"Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an
excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic.
However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."
(2083 Manifesto, p. 1404).
Mr. Breivik is looking for a few good fellow 'cultural Christians:'
"Q: Do I have to believe in God or Jesus in order to
become a Justiciar Knight?
"A: As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a
Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to
have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian
can mean many things;
"That you believe in and want to protect Europe’s
Christian cultural heritage." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1361).
But no Christian agrees that this what "being a Christian" means!
Europe has aptly been described as 'post-Christian' and there are many atheists there. Are
the "majority," or indeed any, of these people 'Christians' without even knowing it? Not according to Jesus,
for whom theism is a sine qua non:
"And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
One might as well say that Bill Maher is a Christian, because he lives in a country whose legal system is
not based on Sharia. The author of the Manifesto, while conceding that he
is not 'religious' ("I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person
as that would be a lie." 2083 Manifesto, p. 1344), does not expressly come out and identify himself
as an atheist. However, he employs arguments against Islam, the prime
object of his detestation, which are also arguments against
Christianity. He quotes a Sufi master who says that Muslims are slaves
of God as evidence of their unfitness for democracy, unconcerned that Paul
also was a "slave of God:"
“If Muslims are 'slaves of Allah,' it is tempting to
view ex-Muslims as runaway slaves, who are to be hunted down and
punished for their desire for freedom, just as real slaves were in
the old days." (2083 Manifesto, p. 543).
One might as well say that Christians are to be hunted down, because Paul says
he, too, is a "slave of God:"
"Paul, the slave [doulos] of God, and apostle of Jesus
Christ in the faith of the chosen of God and the recognition of the
truth which comes by piety in the hope for life everlasting. . ."
(Titus 1:1, Richmond Lattimore translation).
Our author quotes with approval the dictum, “It is better to live one
day as a lion, then one hundred years as a sheep.” (2083 Manifesto, p.
1359). This old Roman proverb is somewhat less popular, I suspect, with
Bible-readers than it is with 'Christian atheists,' because they say, ". .
.we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3). God's flock
expect to live not for one hundred years only but for eternity as sheep following our Good Shepherd. The 'Manifesto'
is a compendium, with clear attribution of authorship of each chunk not always given. The authors
cited include atheists, Jews, Hindus, and Christians; in fairness to the
editor, he cannot be assumed to endorse every viewpoint expressed.
But why include anti-God material at all? Granted that he hates Muslims,
why criticize them for praying to God? The editor's willingness to include atheist arguments against Islam
makes the reader wonder whether he, too, is an atheist, because this ex-Muslim's case
against prayer as quoted applies equally well to Christian prayer:
"This was like the indoctrination that the dictators of
our time have used to keep their military under control. Muslim
rulers succeeded in their attempt and eventually, the daily five
prayers became an integral part of the Muslims’ lives. In the hope
of pleasing Allah, they not only waste a colossal amount of their
valuable time, they also put off their important duties in order to
perform their prayers, thereby greatly harming their own and their
nations’ economic well being." (2083 Compendium, p. 507).
If the Muslims' prayers are a time-waster, so are ours. Christians
find fault with Islam's mandatory daily prayers, questioning whether
they are addressed to the right object. They also question right manner: endlessly repeating rote, compulsory
prayers in an unknown foreign language not understood by the speaker breathes new
life into the phrase "vain repetitions" (Matthew 6:7). However,
there is no Christian who would agree that prayer is in principle a
waste of valuable time. That is strictly an atheist argument. If the
editor is a 'Christian,' why include it?
'Christian atheists' and 'Christian agnostics' loom large
in filling the ranks of this 'organization:' "Furthermore, creating a
religious order would be counter-productive as a majority of
Europe’s armed resistance fighters are agnostics, atheists or
relatively secular Christians." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1363). He doesn't
state whether we're talking about eight people, three, or one. Did Mr. Breivik, a fatherless child,
really find a male mentor who encouraged him to kill, like John Allen Muhammad? Whether
he counts himself with the majority or the minority is open to
An unbelieving blogger known as 'Fjordman' is Mr. Breivik's favorite
contributor. Mr. Breivik is a loyal fan, a little puppy-dog following this mediocre thinker
and pedestrian writer around: "However, I really felt a connection to
Fjordman's essays. He is most likely the most talented right wing essay
writer in Europe." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1405). In no way is this infatuation lessened by 'Fjordman's' habit of
recycling his material. Thus this non-believer's ponderous insights are
endlessly repeated in the steroid-popping Breivik's poorly edited magnum opus.
In 'Fjordman's' greatest hits, he explains why Europeans such
as himself no longer believe in God: “Europeans lost belief in God
in Auschwitz and the trenches of WW1. We no longer trust in God, so
we put our trust in the State. . .” (2083 Manifesto, p. 600). In
spite of his unbelief, he prefers Christianity to Islam: “The religious
postulate is: If you are given a choice between religions, always prefer
the religion that is most conducive to creating a community of
reasonable men, even if you don't believe in it yourself.”
(2083 Manifesto, p. 683). He likes to quote Nietzsche,
“Friedrich Nietzsche stated in the nineteenth century that 'God is
dead.'” (2083 Manifesto, p. 600), and warns ominously of the threat
posed by pure Christianity, "Over the past few centuries, Christianity has stripped itself of its pagan
accretions. In the process, it has become as much a threat to
ourselves and our loved ones as Marxism used to be, if not more so."
(2083 Manifesto, p. 676). Given that this favored contributor situates himself among
"those of us who don't have any religious belief." (2083 Manifesto,
p. 684), why do the long-suffering readers of the 'Manifesto' hear more from
him than from any other contributor? It is normal for Christians to nod
their heads in agreement with Christian speakers, not atheists; why is the killer not nodding in unison,
if he is among their number.
Atheist Indigenous Peoples
The killer's criminal complaint of cultural genocide seeks legal
protection for atheists, an unusual target for such concerns: "These individuals and groups are all members
of the Global Islamic Ummah, who has historically or still are
exercising violent, hateful, discriminating and genocidal behavior and
acts towards and against Europe’s Christian and/or atheist indigenous
peoples." (2083 Manifesto, p. 777). Given Mr. Breivik's fondness for non-believing bloggers like Fjordman,
his own and his contributors' affinity for atheist authors such as Hayek, Nietzsche and Darwin, and his habit of
including anti-theistic arguments in his case against Islam, the reader
must wonder whether his friendliness to "Christian atheists" arises from
his own membership in their tribe.
Given his stress on marketing and his openly stated willingness to use deception,
the reader must wonder whether the Crusader religiosity is window-dressing:
"As Muhammad once said: War is Deceit (al-Taqiyya). Many Muslims are
masters of deceit, and it’s time we start adapting to these
realities as well." (2083 Manifesto, p. 666). He seeks a symbol to
unite Europe, and what he finds is only the cross:
"Anyone with half a brain will know that only the symbolism of the cross
(which is a part of all the Nordic flags btw with the exception of
Germany) has the potential to unite us for this cause."
(2083 Manifesto, p. 1360-1361). But the phrase 'Christian atheist' is
an oxymoron: there is no such thing, any more than 'warm ice' or 'amorphous
However the killer's soul does thrill to the sound of patriotic
music, and he seems to share the Muslim's hope that death in battle leads to
citizenship in heaven, or Valhalla or wherever: "This voice is all you
hear as your light turns to darkness and you enter into the Kingdom of
Heaven. This must surely be the most glorious way to claim the honor of
martyrdom in battle." (2083 Manifesto, p. 849). This is a religious
faith of sorts, though more Muslim than Christian. To turn toward a
Warrior God is not without precedent. When the Christian populace of Europe
looked to the East and saw the cruel faces of the Muslim Turks on the march,
they panicked. They took to imitation, the sincerest form of
flattery, as if America had adopted Marxism-Leninism in the midst of
the Cold War. Because the Muslims were under one unitary command,
the Caliphate, Christians felt they needed an anti-Caliph: the
bishop of Rome stepped up to do the job, and became the pope, a
dictator. . .because, ultimately, the warlord Mohammed ibn Abdallah
had been a dictator, and his successors emulated him. To the medievals, it became a truism that in unity is strength, and one-man rule secures
unity. The unbiased observer perceives that this form of government secures only corruption, stagnation and repression.