No True Scotsman

Lion at the Scottish War Memorial, by sculptor Phyllis Bone

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik carried out a one-man terrorist attack in Norway which killed 77 people. He set off a bomb in Oslo, the capital, then took a ferry to the small island of Utoya, site of a youth summer camp put on by the Norwegian Labor Party. He proceeded to mow down scores of innocent youths. He was subsequently convicted and imprisoned (Norway does not have capital punishment). Is Breivik a Christian? It's complicated. Generally speaking, Christian say 'no.' Atheists retort, 'Aha! The 'No True Scotsman fallacy!' What is that?

The 'No True Scotsman' fallacy involves a redefinition which moves the goal-posts:

  • “Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, 'No true Scotsman would do such a thing.'”
  • Antony Flew, Thinking About Thinking

Unicorn at the Scottish War Memorial, by sculptor Phyllis Bone

No True Hopi No True Atheist
Humpty-Dumpty What is a Christian?
Anders Behring Breivik Lord I Want
Fruit Inspection The Brights

No True Hopi

The Hopi, when they discover a neighbor or relative has committed a crime, will shrug and say, 'He's not a Hopi.' Is this a classic case of the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy?

  • “The Hopi Dictionary gives the primary meaning of the word "Hopi" as: "behaving one, one who is mannered, civilized, peaceable, polite, who adheres to the Hopi way."

  • The Hopi Dictionary Project, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona (1998), Hopi Dictionary / Hopėikwa Lavāytutuveni: A Hopi-English Dictionary of the Third Mesa Dialect, Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Pr., pp. 99–100, quoted Wikipedia article 'Hopi.')

If someone said, 'No good man will rape, steal, or murder,' the eager atheist who leaps up and says, 'Aha! That's the 'No True Scotsman' fallacy!' has jumped the gun. It's merely definitional: the speaker is informing you what criteria he expects a 'good man' to meet. He has not told you Peter, John and James are 'good men.' If he sets out like Diogenes carrying his tub and lantern looking for an honest man, to see if he can find anyone who meets his definition of a 'good man,' at least he knows what to look for. If the Hopi wish to define the word 'Hopi' so that it includes ethical desiderata as well as a physical lineage background, then it is their word: certainly they can define it as they wish.

Should a criminologist go door to door at the Hopi reservation investigating to discover the crime rate, he will discover that the Hopi crime rate is zero. He will always discover that; peaceable people commit no crimes. So long as the residents are keeping to the definition, the poll results must be so. Can you plausibly accuse people of committing a fallacy when they are using words according to their actual definition? Perhaps the inquirer simply misunderstood the word's meaning. A better question to print on our criminologist's check-off form is, 'Do you know any people in this zip code who have committed crimes?' The answer then is 'Sure!' They weren't Hopi, as it turns out, because they can't have been.

'Hopi' is a word which names a certain tribe, but also has ethical desiderata attached to it. There are many words like this, for example "Israelite:" "Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" (John 1:47). 'Israelite' may or may not be a class whose boundaries are fixed by physical descent, rather "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." (Romans 2:28-29). Those who use the word should be aware of its multiple dimensions, not insist upon their own reductive understanding:

It may be that even 'Scotsman' is such a word, where a cloud of ethical desiderata cluster around a geographical or lineage core. Suppose Hamish tires of sitting around reading the newspaper and enlists in the military. Suppose he is sent to the Battle of the Somme in the Great War. Suppose all around him men are fleeing, though retreat has not been sounded, and he would very much like to join them. But a thought roots him to the ground: 'No true Scotsman would run away from danger.' Hamish dies thinking this thought and hearing the mournful wail of the bag-pipes and his name is recorded in the Scottish War Memorial.

What then did Hamish die for? A fallacy? Or a higher meaning of 'Scotsman' that was first advanced? It is very important that we not 'mix-and-match:' if a 'low' meaning of Scotsman is first offered, i.e. that a Scotsman is someone who resides in certain localities, then we cannot promote this meaning within the same syllogism to the 'high' meaning, i.e. a Scotsman is someone who resides in certain localities and does not run from danger. This does not mean, however, that the higher meaning is totally illegitimate or has been proven to be such.

As an example, take the Lord's use of the term 'Israelite.' Many readers point out that John the evangelist uses 'Jew' as a negative term. They object that no member of this group could possibly use the group name in such an objectionable manner. A better question might be, if they did not like the term 'Jew,' what term did they prefer to employ? As noted, it looks like 'Israelite' is it: “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!'” (John 1:47). This sounds like irony, because Jacob (Israel) was a deceiver if he was anything. But he did learn from experience; Philo Judaeus attributes to him, "that virtue which is devoted to and derived from practice." (Philo Judaeus, On Abraham, Chapter XI). Since his crafty dodges were always blowing up in his face, he may have learned not to act like that. Why the title 'Israelite' would imply that a person is without guile, might be explained if Jesus shared Philo's opinion about the word's etymology, ". . .for the name Israel being interpreted, means 'seeing God.'" (Philo Judaeus, A Treatise on the Meeting for the Sake of Seeking Instruction, Chapter X). 'Judah,' from whence comes 'Jew,' is one of the twelve tribes of Israel; 'Jacob,' or 'Israel,' is the patriarch from whence sprang all the tribes. It may be that a northerner like Nathanael liked the older designation better; he was from Cana in Galilee: ". . .Nathanael of Cana in Galilee. . ." (John 21:1). Jesus' use of the term 'Israelite' implies that one might be, 'in truth,' an Israelite, or perhaps not really, if someone belonging to that ethic classification were low down and deceitful after all. The term does refer to descent, but not only to descent.

That such 'double-duty' clan identifiers ought to be suspect is obvious; all tribes, hordes and gatherings of people are subject to the tendency, inherited from the old Adam, to say, 'My group is good, the others evil.' If we see people attaching all virtue to their own group and ascribing all vice to others, as we see today's atheists doing, this should send up a red flag, because people always do that. When I was a child, my Polish grand-mother, upon hearing that a suspect with a Polish surname had been arrested for a lurid crime, insisted that the wrong man had been arrested, knowing no more about him than his surname. Even as a child this struck me as improbable; after all, who commits the crimes which fill up Polish prisons other than persons with Polish surnames? Surely not all the crimes in Poland are committed by gypsies and foreigners! No one she knew committed crimes; she was generalizing from too small a sample.

The 'No True Scotsman' fallacy seems to be pointing towards this near-universal bias in favor of one's own kind; but ideals such as the 'True Scotsman' are not always entirely fiction. To be sure the leap from ideals set forth as worthy components of a proposed national character to the assertion that all members of the group actually possess these characteristics soars over a chasm. Paradoxically, the solution is to say, with the Hopi, 'He's not a Hopi.' If the Hopi cherish a set of ethical desiderata and attach that set to a certain word, their lexical freedom is not to be taken from them; it's their word, after all. As will be seen, the word 'Christian' is not one of these composite words like 'Israelite' or 'Hopi' or even 'Scotsman;' the geographical component is missing. If there were a geographical or ethnic component, it certainly would not be 'white' or 'European' or 'Nordic;' Jesus never set foot on the continent of Europe.

The idea of national character sounds antique, though at one time it was widely accepted: ". . .it is, however, certain that every nation has its own specific character, which is derived by induction from the study, not of one, but many of its members." (Jean Jacques Rousseau, Emile, Book V, Kindle location 20610). Note the idea claims to be empirically based: we notice, we do not posit, that the different nations display differing constellations of habits and traits. If culture impacts human behavior, and it certainly does, and if the differing nations embrace varied cultures, and they do, then it does not seem wildly implausible that some noticeable consequences might follow. Surely you would be a fool to insist your Scotsman was thrifty when evidence shows him a spendthrift. If these tales about national character have any validity at all, it is only as generalizations; 'Scots are thrifty,' if it is true at all, is not true in the sense that 'Each and every Scot is thrifty, there can be no exceptions.' It can only be advanced as a general tendency, showing many exceptions.

Some people flat-out deny that there can be any identifiable differences between human groups: "There are lazy and unwise and harmful individuals of African ancestry. There are lazy and unwise and harmful individuals of European ancestry. There are industrious and wise and harmless individuals of European ancestry. There are industrious and wise and harmless individuals of African ancestry. . .When you truly believe that the racial groups are equal, then you also believe that racial disparities must be the result of racial discrimination." (Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning, Prologue, pp. 40-41 of 43). But this is to deny common human experience as well as common sense. For 'race,' substitute 'affinity group:' let us say, people who have taken a vow of poverty. Other things being equal, we would expect our cohort who have taken a vow of poverty to have lower incomes than those who did not. They are inferior to none, but living up to their stated goals would result in lower incomes. Human communities, even those with ties of blood and land, are always a little more like affinity groups and a little less like a random assemblage of disconnected individuals, than these theories require. People talk; we are social beings. Shared ideals may result.

Using Kendi's principle, one concludes that all nations have brave men, as well as cowards. That is certainly true. But military history does not reveal a panorama of equally war-like nations having at each other, with equal outcomes. Italian troops served on the Eastern Front in the German invasion of Soviet Russia. But according to this Belgian volunteer, they were lovers, not fighters:

"In 1941 the Italians were the largest foreign unit on all the Eastern Front. Sixty-thousand of them had come, divided into three divisions and into numerous detachments of specialists. One saw them everywhere. . .Often their gregarious sentries left their posts to bask in the warmth of an isba, where they chattered, jested, mooched, and studied very closely the attributes of the local beauties. . .One night, in the southern part of the sector, strong detachments of Cossacks glided on their high-strung horses across the deep snow. At dawn, they were easily able to encircle three villages occuped by the Italians, but unprotected by the guards, who were busy sleeping or making love. They were taken completely by surprise. . . .In the twinkling of an eye they seized the three villages. No one had the time to react. The Italians were then dragged to the coal pits, where they were completely stripped of their clothes. .The Cossacks brought large buckets of icy water. Roaring with laughter, they emptied them on the bodies of their victims in cold which hovered -30 degrees to -35 degrees. The poor wretches in the three villages all died, frozen alive. . .From that time on, the Italian troops of the Donets were reinforced by German armor." (The Eastern Front, Leon Degrelle, Kindle location 765).

According to this observer, the Italians disliked "Prussian stiffness:" "By contrast, the Italians bridled whenever they saw a German snap to attention or cry out orders." (The Eastern Front, Leon Degrelle, Kindle location 738). Is it really true that nothing but a long history of racial discrimination could have produced the perception of a culture clash, of an unbridgable gap between fanatical Prussian military discipline and attention to detail, with the more laid-back approach of the Italian troops, which however turned out deadly? Why must this contrast immediately devolve into a claim that one group is superior and the other inferior? If the Italian troops had lower morale than the Germans, is this to their credit or discredit? When Hitler invaded Soviet Russia, some people, perhaps including this volunteer Nazi author, imagined that his intent was to liberate the Russians from Bolshevism. But those who were familiar with Nazi ideology were aware that was not the ultimate goal. Hitler wanted lebensraum, living room, for the German people. The Slavic people living to the east of Germany were, in his mind, racially inferior, and thus in the struggle for existence, the survival of the fittest required them to be pushed to the east, into Siberia, their place taken by German colonists. So why would soldiers weakly committed to this unrighteous and immoral goal, be deemed "inferior" to those strongly committed to it? Why is it unacceptable to notice that not all those serving were equally committed to the goal? Ibram Kendi's principles collapse into dust the moment they are applied, not to the cultural chasm between rap music and the Protestant work ethic, a yawning one indeed, but to any other of the many uncomprehending stand-offs between different people-groups that world history records.

Certainly voluntary assemblies can define themselves however they like. Jesus did not define His own following along racial or ethnic lines. He offered rather certain tests: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35). You can either meet the test or not. Does someone who makes terroristic threats meet the test?:

“H.L. Mencken once suggested a shrewd educational reform that has somehow not caught on. He said that there was nothing wrong with our current education establishment that could not be fixed by burning all the schools, and hanging all the teachers. Now some might want to dismiss this as an extreme measure, but visionaries are often dismissed in their own day. 'You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one . . .'” (Douglas Wilson, "Burn All the Schools," Blog & Mablog, November 1, 2018).

Obviously not; this is not the fruit of the spirit. So is it fallacious, or just noticing the obvious, to say that the speaker is not a Christian? Who gets to define who is a Christian, outsiders or the Founder?

For an inverted, distorted fun-house mirror version of the monster Breivik, see the Nation of Islam's Malcolm X. Some people, erroneously I think, perceive black supremacy as if it were the corrective and antidote for white supremacy. It is not the antidote, it is the same poison:

No True Atheist

When confronted by perplexed readers who wonder why the ideal world without any theists sketched out by atheist utopians like Sam Harris is so benign compared with the actual atheist states the world has seen, almost all of which murdered huge numbers of their own citizens, the atheists reply that those genocidal monsters, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Enver Hoxha, were not really atheists at all. The proof that they were not really atheists is that they murdered large numbers of persons, which no atheist has any reason to do.

This seems to be a classic case of the 'No True Atheist' fallacy, because at first the definition of 'atheist' was very clear and simple: an atheist is someone who thinks there is no God. But when evidence is introduced that atheist rulers of atheist states are very likely to commit mass murder, the definition changes. Then, we learn that an atheist is someone who is 'rational,' and that, by definition (if you please!) a religious person is someone who is 'irrational,' therefore atheist mass killers are religious people after all, not atheists. Or an atheist is someone who is not 'dogmatic.' But after these novel definitions are introduced to re-classify atheist monsters like Mao Zedong and Pol Pot, they are then dropped and we never hear of them again; they are not the usual and common definitions. In a similar vein, in Antony Flew's vignette of 'No True Scotsman,' we started off clear on what a 'Scotsman' was: this is someone who lives in certain postal codes, a newspaper reader can determine 'Scottishness' by examining place of residence. Then the definition changed. But as has been seen, this is not a newly discovered fallacy deserving its own name, but an old one, the fallacy of equivocation.


Humpty-Dumpty's encounter with Alice set the standard for a certain modern concept of word meanings:

  • “'Certainly,' said Alice.

    'And only ONE for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

    'I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't—till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

    'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

  • “'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.'

    'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you CAN make words mean so many different things.'

    'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master—that's all.'

  • “Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they're the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

    'Would you tell me, please,' said Alice 'what that means?'

  • “'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

    'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

    'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

    'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark."

  • (Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson), Through the Looking Glass, Chapter VI.)

People used to laugh at Humpty-Dumpty's conception of where word-meanings come from, but they laugh no longer, because Humpty-Dumpty had the last laugh, and the post-modernists do, as it happens, defend their right to make words mean what they want them to mean. 'Racist' is one; originally coined to mean, someone who considered members of another people group inherently and biologically inferior, now it means. . .what does it mean? People feel free to redefine words in accordance with their own interest, even if these words have long been naturalized into common use.

What is a Christian?

As a case in point, take the word 'Christian.' This word, which turns up in the New Testament, has been in continuous use for two millenia; in many world languages, the Greek word is simply transliterated rather than translated. Most evangelical Christians, if you ask them what the word means, will tell you it means what the apostles meant when they used it in the Bible. This is not 'Nordic' or 'white' or 'European.'

Some observers see a direct connection to the underlying verb, 'chrio,' meaning 'to anoint.' Theophilus of Antioch bypasses the Anointed One in his explanation:

“And about your laughing at me and calling me 'Christian,' you know not what you are saying. First, because that which is anointed is sweet and serviceable, and far from contemptible. For what ship can be serviceable and seaworthy, unless it be first caulked [anointed]? Or what castle or house is beautiful and serviceable when it has not been anointed? And what man, when he enters into this life or into the gymnasium, is not anointed with oil? And what work has either ornament or beauty unless it be anointed and burnished? Then the air and all that is under heaven is in a certain sort anointed by light and spirit; and are you unwilling to be anointed with the oil of God? Wherefore we are called Christians on this account, because we are anointed with the oil of God.” (Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, Book 1, Chapter 12).

The New Testament promises believers an "anointing:"

"Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed [χριω] us, is God. . ." (2 Corinthians 1:21).

"But the anointing [χρισμα] which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." (1 John 2:27).

The title 'Christ' means 'Anointed One;' it is the Greek translation of 'Messiah,' God's promised anointed King: 'chrio' means 'to anoint.' Just as Jesus is anointed with the Holy Ghost, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38),— so are believers to be.

But how in actual history did this name come into use? Let's examine the evidence:

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians [Christianos] first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26)

"Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts 26:28).

"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf." (1 Peter 4:14-16).

Another possible reference to the name "Christian" is James 2:7: "Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?" It may be that the "worthy name" by which believers are "called" is 'Christ,' as in 'Christian.' The Book of Acts teaches that believers were first called 'Christians' at Antioch; by whom they were so called, themselves or by others, is not specified. This name at first seems similar to other party or faction names like 'Herodian,' but the idea of bearing Christ's name which is implicit in the designation cannot be a small thing nor an afterthought. Examine, for example, the idea of bearing the Lord's name as expressed in Revelation:

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12).

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads." (Revelation 14:1).

The name written on the forehead recalls the high priest's head-band with the name of the Lord inscribed thereon:

"And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD. And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD." (Exodus 28:36-38).

Our ultimate promise of life with God is to bear His name: "And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads." (Revelation 22:4). As the New Testament makes clear, this promise is already foreshadowed in a small way in the very name 'Christian.' How long we get to wear this name is not entirely under our control, because the Lord said,

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23).

So in the end the name we bear is the one assigned to us. Ultimately He will say whether you are, or are not, a Christian, whether you bear His name or do not. What we say does not determine the matter. The word 'Christian' is after all more like the Judge's verdict 'guilty' or 'not guilty' than like 'Hopi' or 'Scotsman.'


The rise of 'white studies' has produced the strange suggestion that 'whiteness,' as a qualifier of human beings, either individally or collectively, was invented by the colonial Virginia legislature in the seventeenth century. Since it was invented to facilitate exploitation, so the story goes, it is an evil category. Those who find themselves sporting this complexion should repent, according to Ekemini Uwon, or seek to lessen their evil whiteness, according to Robin DiAngelo. Is it true that no one prior to this time had ever noticed there were 'white' people and 'black' people? Encyclopedist Pliny observed, "Who, for instance, could ever believe in the existence of the Aethiopians, who had not first seen them?" (Pliny, Natural History, Book VII, Chapter 1.1). Did people in antiquity disbelieve in 'white' and 'black' people?:

Anders Behring Breivik

This Norwegian mass murderer found inspiration in popular anti-Muslim agitation: "In Oslo, Norway, a white thirty-something nationalist who was obsessed with what he viewed as the growing influence of Islam went on a killing spree, slaughtering 77 and injuring countless others. Among the dead were government leaders and youth Labor Party activists who he believed had contributed to lax immigration policies and the “Islamization” of Europe. Just before his gory spree began, he sent an email to his friends and supporters that included an attachment of his 1,500-page manifesto. Within its pages were hundreds of references to the peddlers of hate who comprise the Islamophobia industry." (Lean, Nathan (2012-08-06). The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims (Kindle Locations 420-424). Pluto Press.) He self-identified as a cultural Christian:

“Q: What about atheists and Odinists, can they join the PCCTS, Knights Templar?

“A: If you want to fight for the cross and die under the 'cross of the martyrs' it’s required that you are a practicing Christian, a Christian agnostic or a Christian atheist (cultural Christian). The cultural factors are more important than your personal relationship with God, Jesus or the holy spirit.” (Anders Behring Breivik, 2083 Manifesto, p. 1360.)

Child-murderer Anders Behring Breivik does not state into which of these three categories he squeezes himself. It is, however, hard to believe that a member of the first class would ever say, "the cultural factors are more important." After his shocking crimes hit the news, atheists gleefully insisted his use of the term 'Christian' was every bit as legitimate as anyone else's, in accordance with Humpty Dumpty's principle as stated above. It is not apparent why this should be so. In Mr. Breivik's use of the term, any atheist can be a Christian, provided only that he celebrate Christmas. By Mr. Breivik's definition, Richard Dawkins is a 'Christian,' because he is a Darwinian who celebrates Christmas. (“It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)).” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1361-1362).

This is not the common meaning of the phrase! The author baptizes every "native" European, regardless of religious conviction: “The answer is simple: Because native Norwegians, Brits, French, Germans are white Christians. . .” (2083 Manifesto, p. 804). According to Mr. Breivik, his choice to affiliate with a group supporting "Christian values" was purely pragmatic, not a matter of conviction: “Why did you choose an allegiance to a group with Christian values. . .My choice was based [on] purely pragmatism. . .Mass appeal should be the most essential factor in this strategy.” (2083 Manifesto, pp. 1380-1381.) What motivates him isn't love of God but love for Europe: “. . .I would rather say I’m driven by my love for Europe, European culture and all Europeans.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1382). What are Christians to make of him?

Social Darwinism Nordic Genotype
Friedrich Nietzsche Eugenics
The Moral Landscape No Personal Relationship
Christian Atheists Fjordman
Atheist Indigenous Peoples True Believer
Not-Islam Mosaic Law
Multi-culturalism Reform
Devil's Due

Social Darwinism

Murderer Breivik is nostalgic for the good old days of Social Darwinsim:

“Social-darwinism was the norm before the 1950. Back then, it was allowed to say what we feel. Now, however, we have to disguise our preferences to avoid the horrible consequences of being labeled as a genetical preferentialist.” (2083 Manifesto, page 1227).

His own ethics came out of that jungle: “In many ways, morality has lost its meaning in our struggle. The question of good and evil is reduced to one simple choice. For every free patriotic European, only one choice remains: Survive or perish.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 837). The killer lays a civilizational foundation stone of Darwinian evolution:

“'Logic' and rationalist thought (a certain degree of national Darwinism) should be the fundament of our societies.” (2083 Manifesto, page 1386).

While this fits in with the killer's ideal of eugenics via “outsource breeding” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1182), needless to say Darwinism is not "the fundament" of Christian fundamentalism. Mr. Breivik's 'Christianity' might best be described as 'not even in the ball-park.' Presumably Darwinian evolution is the 'science' he wants to take precedence over the Bible: “As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1403).

Mr. Breivik is concerned for the survival of the 'Nordic' race, allegedly threatened with dilution through "race-mixing:" “They must encourage and even directly sponsor repro-genetics programs on a private and/or state level, which facilitates reproduction clinics who focus strictly on indigenous genotypes from pure sources (non-diluted (95-99% pure) Nordic genotypes) found in Northern Sweden and other areas where this is available.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1153). 'Social Darwinism,' for those not familiar with the concept, is that school of political thought built upon the 'insights' of Charles Darwin. Its central concern is to find ways to prevent the poor and unworthy from breeding:

"Or as Mr. Greg puts the case: 'The careless, squalid, unaspiring Irishman multiplies like rabbits: the frugal, foreseeing, self-respecting, ambitious Scot, stern in his morality, spiritual in his faith, sagacious and disciplined in his intelligence, passes his best years in struggle and in celibacy, marries late, and leaves few behind him. Given a land originally peopled by a thousand Saxons and a thousand Celts — and in a dozen generations five-sixths of the population would be Celts, but five-sixths of the property, of the power, of the intellect, would belong to the one-sixth of Saxons that remained. In the eternal 'struggle for existence,' it would be the inferior and less favored race that had prevailed — and prevailed by virtue not of its good qualities but of its faults." (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Chapter 5).

The viewpoint of scientific racism gained a toe-hold in the misnamed 'Enlightenment' and was then solidified into an anti-social political ideology that prevailed for decades. Here's the sad story:

Nordic Genotype

At the time the New Testament was written, the people living around the Mediterranean were only dimly aware of Scandinavia. Whatever 'Christian' meant to the apostles, it did not mean 'Nordic.' One hopes that, had the New Testament authors found occasion to say anything about them, they would have been kinder than the forthright pagan Pliny the Elder, who frankly called them savages: ". . .while, in the opposite and frozen parts of the earth, there are nations with white skins and long light hair. The latter are savage from the inclemency of the climate. . ." (Chapter 80 (78), Pliny, The Natural History, Book II). Had the apostles any reason to treasure the Northern European cultures of which they were aware? The semi-civilized inhabitants of Great Britain in that day liked to paint themselves blue, which they thought a very wise and prudent measure. Was 'painting oneself blue' a cultural norm the apostles wished to celebrate? The people who inhabited Scandinavia were not at that time even advanced enough to paint themselves blue. Perhaps they treasured a hope that, in time, they would learn to do that; after all, white people are very good at problem-solving, or so our author tells us: "Whites are generally more intelligent and creative than blacks and have, throughout human history, solved the problems presented to the human race by Mother nature far more effectively than blacks have." (2083 Manifesto, p. 392). To what "problem" blue face and body paint is the solution awaits discovery. To judge by the cadavers preserved in bogs, the murder rate in Great Britain prior to Roman civilization was so high that unnatural death was the general fate. Was 'having a really high murder rate' a cultural norm the apostles wished to preserve? The Druids used to offer human sacrifice to trees, who no doubt appreciated the gesture and would have liked to tender some reciprocal benefit, had they not been helplessly rooted to the spot. We could go on, but to what purpose?

Ethiopia is an ancient land whose inhabitants were civilized long centuries before Northern Europe. While the inhabitants of Northern Europe were wild men running around half-naked, sinking axes into one another's heads, the Ethiopians were teaching one another the gospel. If we enquire of an Ethiopian mother and father, who we see reading to their little ones, 'Why are you teaching your children?' 'Because we want them to be Christians when they grow up.' 'What are you reading to them?' '"Heidi" and "Pippi Longstocking"; we said we wanted them to be Christians, didn't we?' Can even an atheist believe this fable? Words have meanings, and 'Christian' does not mean 'white,' 'Nordic,' or 'European.' When the killer talks about "ethnic Christian European interests," (2083 Manifesto, p. 722), he posits an empty category: what could an "ethnic Christian European" possibly be?

The Ethiopians trace their church to the court official converted in Acts: "And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet." (Acts 8:27-28). Where is any Scandinavian mentioned in Acts? This ancient church has wended its own way down through the ages, surviving the Islamic challenge, with no input from Scandinavia:

"When Europeans discovered the country in the seventeenth century, they were astounded by the degree of Christian devotion. Even an author from Counter-Reformation Portugal, where religious houses were far from scarce, asserted that
'[n]o country in the world is so full of churches, monasteries and ecclesiastics as Abyssinia; it is not possible to sing in one church without being heard by another, and perhaps by several…. this people has a natural disposition to goodness; they are very liberal of their alms, they much frequent their churches, and are very studious to adorn them; they practice fasting and other mortifications…[they] retain in a great measure the devout fervor of the primitive Christians.'"
(Jenkins, John Philip (2008-10-16). The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died (pp. 55-56). HarperCollins.)

To make a religion which started in the Middle East into a celebration of Nordic ethnicity is insane. There is no ethnicity in the church: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:11, Galatians 3:28).

Friedrich Nietzsche

The killer describes his 'Manifesto' as a compendium, which he helpfully defines as, "book/intellectual work - a concise, yet comprehensive compilation of a body of knowledge." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1508) ('concise' got orphaned somehow). His expansive trawling net captures authors perceived as seminal to European identity who are not even 'cultural Christian,' whatever ingredients go into brewing that weak tea, but openly atheist and anti-Christian, including an admirer of the great enemy of Christianity Friedrich Nietzsche:

"The Judeo-Christian religions played an important and influential role in building the once mighty West but we also discovered that these religions contained a serious flaw that has sowed the seeds of the suicidal demise of the indigenous peoples of Western Europe and our cultures. This flaw was identified by the brilliant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who described it as "an inversion of morality" whereby the weak, the poor, the meek, the oppressed and the wretched are virtuous and blessed by God whereas the strong, the wealthy, the noble and the powerful are the immoral and damned by the vengeful almighty Yahweh for eternity. Nietzsche, with great insight and perception, stated that Christianity would be abandoned en masse in the twentieth century but that Westerners would still cling to this inversion of morality." (2083 Manifesto, p. 391).

Nietzsche disliked Christian morality because it put chains on his Superman. How Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Friedrich von Hayek came to be 'Christian' is unclear, though they can safely be conceded as 'European.' Mr. Breivik imagines that Christian symbols are up for grabs; title and ownership may be transferred from Jesus's followers to "Europe" at will:

"One example is the crucifix case in Italy in 2009. They ordered all crosses to be removed from all public class rooms because the ECtHR had concluded that the cross was an offensive symbol. But suddenly they meet resistance. An overwhelming majority in Italy opposed this ruling. Instead, many leaders ordered more crosses to be distributed and placed on government offices. Not because they had suddenly become more religious but because the cross is the most important cultural and historical symbol. The cross is Europe." (p. 338, 2083 Manifesto).

The cross is not Europe. The cross is a torture rack upon which the King of Glory, Jesus, a non-European, died, though the people who employed it as a means of imperial control, the Romans, were indeed European. He rose again, and still did not go to Europe. He lived His entire life without ever entering Europe. To watch Christian symbols borrowed and misappropriated in this way fills with indignation those to whom they belong. Yet to atheists like Bill Maher, the symbols are unquestionably Breivik's, he is evil and they are evil, so both belong together. But the symbols are not Maher's to give.


Whenever there is a horrific crime like this Norwegian child-murder spree, the response is a wave of public revulsion. Eager dam-builders and tunnellers like Mr. Maher seek to channel and direct this wave so that it washes over things they want to see destroyed, like Christianity. But the killer's concern with eugenics does not come from Christianity: "Why is eugenics and reprogenetics so extremely politically incorrect to discuss?. . .In any case, we need to get over this taboo as soon as possible because it is estimated that the Nordic genotypes will be extinct completely within 200 years." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1190). Why not let the public' revulsion flood back in the proper direction, over Charles Darwin and his progeny?

Those looking for the origin of that white racism which made life so miserable for so many African-Americans during the days of Jim Crow need look no further than to this pseudo-science; they will look to the Bible in vain. While Mr. Breivik tries to put distance between his movement and racism, whether from public relations/marketing concerns or from genuine revulsion, tidying up the vocabulary doesn't correct the problem: “However, you can use other words than 'race' to more effectively dodge such characteristics. By using words as tribe or ethnic group you may be able to more effectively communicate your message.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1156). The problem remains, because fighting for the interests of the 'Nordic' tribe, while proposing to deport those not of that tribe but who are legally in the country, remains and will remain racist. Saying "NOT" does not correct the problem: "However, loving your ethnic group and fighting for the interests of your tribe is NOT and will never be racist." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1155.) To put an embargo on the word 'race' while favoring words like 'tribe' or 'ethnic group' for the beloved community is obfuscation.

Mr. Breivik is not the first white supremacist who has sought to shroud himself in the cloak of medieval chivalry. The American domestic terrorist organization the Ku Klux Klan strove mightily to make the same connection. D. W. Griffith's epic movie, 'The Birth of Nation' was based on Thomas Dixon's novel 'The Clansman,' which closes with a paean to the white-robed knights of the Ku Klux Klan, whose like "'the world has not seen since the Knights of the Middle Ages rode on their Holy Crusades.'" (quote from Thomas Dixon's 'The Clansman,' p. 123, 'The Fiery Cross,' by Wyn Craig Wade). The 'Kloran' of the 1920's Klan, a compendium of membership rituals, tries to make the same connection: "Its teachings: To inculcate the sacred principles and noble ideals of the world's greatest order of chivalry, and direct the way of the initiate through the veil of mystic philosophy into the empire invisible." (Excerpts from The Kloran, with other documents, Appendix B, quoted p. 428, 'The Fiery Cross,' by Wyn Craig Wade). To spatter the knights of the Middle Ages with white supremacy, of which they likely never dreamed, is unjust and anachronistic.

The reader must recall that Mr. Breivik has no commitment to honesty: "You can never win an election by being honest." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1156). Our author borrows a lot from Mohammed ibn Abdallah: his salvation plan, patriarchy, and the dictum that war is deceit: “Deceitfulness is the most basic concept in warfare and in politics

“'War is deceit'

“Muhammad himself made this statement more than 1000 years ago. Politics is war. If you are unable to understand this concept then you have already lost.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1367). His hysterics about "race-mixing" mark him as an old-fashioned racist: "Race-mixing leads to suicidal children with severe mental problems" (2083 Manifesto, p. 1159). He protests against this way of characterizing his views, though it is accurate, because he wants "mass appeal" and racism doesn't have it. Views of this sort, long perceived as being on the wane, seem to be making a comeback in this internet age, to the sorrow of suffering humanity. They didn't cause enough human misery the first time around? Mr. Breivik, someone who had difficulty catching on in real life though the hero of his own internal epic, is the proto-type of a loyal consumer.

The Moral Landscape

It should surprise no one that the killer's ethics are Utilitarian; there is no other moral system that 'works' for mass killers: "I accept the fact that sometimes, innocent individuals have to perish in order to serve the greater good." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1117). The killer asks: "If you could save 1000 individuals by sacrificing 100 people — would you contribute to indirectly kill these 100? Every rational individual knows the only answer to this." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1291). Every Utilitarian knows the answer, but it is the wrong answer, the answer that underlies every killing field:

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!" (Pastoral 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 Christians?
"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.

". . .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!

Christian Atheists

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." (Mark 12:29-30).

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 question.


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.

The world would be unlucky enough if there were only white supremacists; there are also, of course, black supremacists:

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 structures.'

True Believer

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.

Because Jesus had somehow forgotten to mention that warriors who died fighting for 'Christendom' went immediately to heaven, the pope hastened to correct that omission. Indeed Jesus had somehow neglected to mention there was any such thing as 'Christendom,' saying instead, "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36). Maybe they meant 'Ummah,' but thought it sounded foreign. These doctrinal distortions built upon themselves; once they had agreed that the pope had the authority to invent a new, extra-Biblical 'salvation plan' so that all knights go to heaven, then what was to stop him from inventing another, more self-interested one, whereby all investors who sent him money got out of purgatory? So he did, and it was very profitable.

Without the pope's claimed authority to craft a novel salvation plan in imitation of Islam, there is no 'Christendom' after killer Breivik's heart: "The Pope dispenses indulgences from a reservoir of grace tied to martyrs of the church, those men and women who, by virtue of their suffering, assists in the intercession for all Christians." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1324). This was the wrong road from step one, and it led to the only sort of 'Christianity' which can appeal to someone as violent as Mr. Breivik, a student of the Crusades. The regrettable necessity of a common defense against Muslim aggression should have been tasked to the secular authorities, who are commissioned to hold the sword. No wonder Mr. Breivik nurses a grudge against Protestantism.

Does Mr. Breivik himself believe in the Crusader materials he incorporates into his compendium? He shares with us his intent to hire the services of a prostitute prior to his killing spree,— "I have reserved 2000 Euro from my operations budget which I intend to spend on a high quality model escort girl 1 week prior to execution of the mission." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1424),— though he includes in his compendium sermons by Bernard of Clairvaux celebrating the Knights Templar as a celibate monastic order. He rejects as "misguided piety" (p. 1434) the moralistic scolding he expects to hear. . .from whom? From Protestants?

Evangelicals, who pattern their faith on the apostolic template as recorded in the New Testament, know nothing of any 'warrior salvation plan;' neither do contemporary Catholics. What an irony that Mr. Breivik, whose life motivation is hatred of Muslims, believes in their religion, mislabeled. He openly admits to following in their tactical foot-steps: "Solo-cell systems in combination with martyrdom is the most efficient and deadly form of modern warfare. This strategy was adapted by Jihadist groups. And now we will be using it as well." (2083 Manifesto, p. 919). Mr. Breivik believes the innovations of two popes legitimately introduced the Islamic scheme into Christianity:

"Pope Urban II and Pope Innocent III granted indulgence to all future Crusaders.
"The PCCTS, Knights Templars are Destroyers of Marxism and Defenders of Christendom. We are Crusaders, martyrs of the Church, selfless defenders of the weak and the blind. We our not only automatically granted access to heaven in light of our selfless acts; our good deeds and final sacrifice will be added to the divine storehouse of merit and will therefore help other less virtuous individuals." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1346).

Can the Bishop of Rome do that?


For the same reason as no population group identifies itself as 'non-white,' there is no religion, Christianity included, which defines itself as 'not-Islam.' Our author's 'cultural Christianity' is the exception to the rule: “The individual has to be a Christian European and thus must support Judeo Christian traditions. In other words, the individual has to oppose the Islamisation of Europe/European multiculturalism.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1073). "In other words," if you are against Islam, you're a "Christian." By this logic, authors of rabid atheist anti-Islam invective like Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens are 'Christians.'

In his self-interview, the killer asks himself the right question:

“Q: Some 'Ghandist/pacifist' members of the conservative resistance will claim that violence will not solve anything and will instead only give our enemies more rhetorical ammunition and make it easier for them to gain the moral ground. They will finally be able to say; 'terrorism has no religion.'” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1375).

Having asked himself the right question, he answers with indignant incomprehension, like someone talking to himself who laughs at a joke he has just told. The diatribes against Islam in the killer's compendium are familiar boiler-plate for this genre of literature, which mingles together valid concerns along with exaggeration and half-truths. No one ever complains that the head-gear formerly worn by Roman Catholic nuns, more elaborate than a head-scarf, 'dehumanizes' them, nor that women who have an audience with the pope have to wear a mantilla. Admittedly there are many legitimate issues with Mohammed ibn Abdallah's theology and polity. A central theme of this fear-mongering literature is to burden Islam with terrorism, so that when you say 'Islam,' you think, not 'the Taj Mahal,' but 'terror.' A dispassionate observer must admit this is not altogether without justice. . .until now. Mr. Breivik is a terrorist, and he also says he is a Christian. He does not take the trouble to go back and edit the 'Islam=terror' claims in his own compendium, though he should, if he really thinks he is as he claims a bona fide Christian. Another author and stage personality working in the highly profitable 'Islam=terror' genre of literature and entertainment:

A Repentant Jihadi
Danger Warning
The Bible on Lying
Damage Assessment
Those Hyper-Calvinists
Turkish TV
Ergun 'Mehmet' Caner

Mosaic Law

The killer is wonderfully impressed that the Mosaic law allows for self-defense, stretching that permission so elastically as to cover even his murder of defenseless and unthreatening children. The Mosaic Law mandates many other things, including due process: "Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; and the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother. . ." (Deuteronomy 19:17-18). An evidentiary hearing is required featuring witness testimony: "At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death." (Deuteronomy 17:6). Vigilante justice, with any wandering unemployed thug appointing himself as judge, jury and executioner, has no place in Moses' law.

Paul condemns "covenant-breakers" and "truce-breakers:"

"Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1:31-32).

"Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. . ." (2 Timothy 3:3).

God chastened Israel with famine because they had violated their covenant with the Gibeonites:

"Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn unto them: and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD?" (2 Samuel 21:1-3).

What would be an example of 'covenant-breaking'? For example, if European nations, concerned that their collapsing birth-rate endangered their Social Security systems, encouraged foreigners to immigrate, but then at some later time, expelled these law-abiding citizens, neither traitors nor criminals (for those who are, Norway already has laws), having complied with all legal requirements for citizenship, out of concern for preserving the "Nordic genotype."

For Lady Justice to loosen her blind-fold and peek to see the ethnicity of those petitioners who have come before her is the injustice known as 'respect of persons:' "These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment." (Proverbs 24:23). Moses ruled it out: "Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it." (Deuteronomy 1:17). If the killer is interested in what Moses said about self-defense, does he also care what Moses said about these things, not even to mention murder?


During the nineteenth century, Europe felt that multi-culturalism was plenty good enough for everybody else, and so they conquered and governed both the ancient civilizations of the Third World and village subsistence lands whose inhabitants were not of like culture with their new governors. In their own homeland they followed the model of ethnic and linguistic homogeneity, the parent of endless wars. Upon sparking inito existence, the new nations begin to oppress the newly isolated minorities within their border and to declare war upon their peers: "As Tasker Bliss put it in a letter to his wife: 'The submerged nations are coming to the surface and as soon as they appear they fly at somebody's throat. They are like mosquitos, vicious from the moment of birth.'" (Mr. Wilson's war, John Dos Passos, p. 463). Nationalism is endlessly fissiparous. How exactly like yourself does your neighbor have to be before you are free?

If people can only truly be free if they live in a state whose other citizens look like them and speak the same language as they do, which is the guiding principle of European nationalism, then get ready for ethnic cleansing, which is generally the only way to achieve such a desideratum, even at a first approximation. In the twenty-first century Europe has flipped that paradigm 180 degrees, adopting multi-culturalism for themselves while upholding ethnic-based separatist movements in the rest of the world. Hopefully their penchant for war will not re-emerge under this new paradigm, or at any event, if it does, the rest of us can stay clear of their wars.


Much of Europe is already post-Christian; if Mr. Breivik is a portent of their future, then pray for the luckless people living there, in particular those who are not 'atheist indigenous peoples:' atheism kills and who knows what the body count for "Christian atheism" will turn out to be. The hard-partying monarchist Breivik's concept of a 'Christianity' which has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and everything to do with Europe is already widely accepted there, though, for obvious reasons, nowhere else. Religion, is his mind, is a tool, a means to an end, which is European unity:

"However, the Church's primary role will be to contribute to unity by offering cultural and spiritual opportunities. The Church will once again be allowed to do what it was intended to do; to propagate and maintain cultural unity through pre-defined rituals and celebrations. Christendom is after all the primary factor that unites all Europeans." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1135).

He understands that the church as it now is does not serve his purpose, but don't worry, that can be fixed, he intends to rid the Vatican of peace-loving softies and craft a more warlike church: "We must therefore rid the Vatican of corrupt and even suicidal members and ensure that we have Church leaders who believe in a sustainable and confident European Christendom. We need a Christendom that believes in the fundamental concept of self-defense and that has the will and ambition to survive. . .The current fanatically egalitarian, self loathing and suicidal Church of Europe will be reformed. . ." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1136-1137). Once made more warlike, Christianity will serve his purpose. He does not intend to allow freedom of religion nor church autonomy in his future totalitarian state: "The pacifist/suicidal Christians must never be allowed to dominate the church again which one of the reasons why I personally believe that the protestant Church in Europe should once again should reform to become Catholic (Nordic countries, the UK, Germany, Benelux etc)." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1308).

Some of his plans for the church sound like what Mr. Hitler had in mind for the 'German Church:'

"Instead of abandoning the Church we will save it and re-create it as a nationalistic Church which will tolerate and allow (to a very large degree) native cultures/heritage/thought systems such as Odinism.
"As a cultural Christian, I believe Christendom is essential for cultural reasons. After all, Christianity is the ONLY cultural platform that can unite all Europeans, which will be needed in the coming period during the third expulsion of the Muslims. . .In order to protect your culture you need, at the very minimum, strong, uniting symbols representing your culture. In this context, the cross is the unrivalled as it is the most potent European symbol." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1361).

Sane observers cannot reconstruct what he thought he could accomplish by slaughtering defenseless children. He has made himself and his cause loathsome in the eyes of all civilized people, and for what? To be sure European governments have a long history of caving in to terror and terroristic threats perpetrated by small groups (for instance in the matter of the Danish cartoons), but perhaps 'one' is after all too small even for these cowardly governments. He doesn't much like Protestants:

"I usually refer to Protestantism as the Marxism of Christianity. As long as you ask forgiveness before you die you can literally live a life as the most despicable character imaginable." (2083 Manifesto, p. 1346).

Inasmuch as it was the Bishop of Rome who introduced into Christianity the Muslim concept that the warrior dying on the battlefield is swept up to heaven, the "Crusader Popes" must now be made part of the package:

“It is however understandable that they view modern humanist Christendom as weak and therefore unworthy of support. . .However, the solution is not to reject Christianity but rather to reform Christianity to re-introduce the concepts of 'self-defense' as propagated by former Crusader Popes.” (2083 Manifesto, p. 1374).

What Mr. Breivik intends to do with those Christians resistant to reform who don't care for popes, Crusader or otherwise, he fails to say. What groups like my own Baptist church aim for, as the target after which to pattern the church, is not the middle ages, but the apostolic faith as recorded in the New Testament: "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3). Presumably we'll end up on the transport ships alongside the Muslims, in Mr. Breivik's fantasy future world if not in reality.

Atheist Christopher Hitchens famously said that religion poisons everything. Atheists like John Lennon 'Imagine' a paradise where, religion having faded away, there is no violence. Is it true that atheists are inherently peace-loving? Can this prideful assertion be empircally verified?:

Theodore Kaczynski Paul Jaworski
James Oliver Huberty Carl Panzram
Jeffrey Dahmer David Roland Waters
Craig Stephen Hicks Devin Patrick Kelley
Leon Frank Czolgosz Pekka-Eric Auvinen
Karl Marx V. I. Lenin
Bhagat Singh Mao Zedong
Pol Pot Enver Hoxha
The Derg Che Guevara
No True Atheist Why?
Tu Quoque Prince of Tyre
Atheist Armies Jim Jones
The French Revolution

Devil's Due

To give the devil his due, one must concede the demographic policies pursued by the anti-democratic elite who rule the European community defy rational analysis. What population group has ever deliberately committed national suicide in this way? Post-war European policy-makers understood that the social welfare provisions upon which their societies had come to depend were premised on the assumption of endless economic and population growth. This had stopped. So they introduced immigration, without regard to the compatability of the two populations thus brought together in loveless marriage, leaving the unassimilatable newcomers staring in bewilderment at the natives, incapable of assimilating them. These feckless governments accelerate Europe's ongoing population decline by giving every encouragement to the radical feminism which has brought it about, while at the same time thoughtfully arranging for the presence of a successor population to take over once their policies reach their logical conclusion. Certainly the European atheists will never make 'converts' of the Muslims; who prefers nothing over something, even if an imperfect and second-hand something? But neither will this murdering monster make converts to free-masonry or medievalism or whatever it is he is pushing.

Why European voting publics allow these self-defeating policies to continue is a mystery. After events like the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the post-Christian European youths whose only idealism is that they may live dissolute lives untroubled by moralistic nagging stream into the streets. If it ever comes down to a pitched battle between these troops and the Muslim minority, is there need to wonder who will win? When the Arab armies first burst out of Arabia to conquer the world, they were initially tolerant, which is indeed a wise policy for any minority group, especially a minority governing elite. Gradually, that changed, and any Christians remaining in Muslim lands learned to keep their heads down. Given the attitudes that prevail amongst the Muslim minorities of Europe, one wonders if there will even be any tolerant phase this time. Post-Christian Europe appears, at least to the outsider, to be a rotten post needing only a hard shove to topple over.

Lord I Want

There is a beautiful old song which runs,

  • “Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart.
    In my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart, in my heart.

  • “Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart.
    In my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart, in my heart.

  • “Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart.
    In my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart, in my heart.

  • “Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart.
    In my heart, in my heart,
    Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart, in my heart."
  • (Traditional)

It is difficult to reconcile this song's diction with the atheist conception that you are a Christian if you say you are. Why would you 'want' to be something, if merely saying you were made you so? Much less if merely residing in a country most of whose inhabitants are, or used to be, nominal Christians, made you anything other than a resident of a country most of whose inhabitants used to be Christians.

In a perfect world there would be no Christian racists or apologists for slavery to excite puzzlement and confusion, but this is not a perfect world. The Bible does not condone slavery, but there ever stand at the ready demagogues eager to confuse the issue:

Fruit Inspection

The Bible catalogs the fruits of the Spirit:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23).
"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord." (Ephesians 5:8-10).

The protocol for fruit inspection was laid down by the Founder Himself, albeit with caution against overuse:

"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:17-20).

Given that the Lord Himself instructed His followers by this rule to distinguish between those inside and those outside, it is not likely they will discontinue its use anytime soon. It is, however, quite legitimate to point out when the same speaker is using both a low definition of 'Christian' (for example counting all baptized persons as do Catholics) and a high one; what is disallowed is mixing-and-matching, not using the same word in two senses. As a rule, evangelical Christians are fairly consistent in not counting nominal Christians as Christians. Fruit inspection is a procedure employed on professing Christians only, who are under suspicion of not living up to their profession, not on those who do not even make it over that thresh-hold, like Mr. Breivik, whose concept of Christian atheism holds more appeal for atheists than it does for Christians.

From the time of Breivik's murder spree, white supremacist violence has grown only more common and more extreme. I wish I could offer the reader some insight into why this is happening, but I do not understand it myself. It seems as though the internet and social media have given a second life to every bad idea ever promulgated, including white supremacy. 'Replacement theory' is broadcast openly over the airwaves by Tucker Carlson. What is apparent is that the confident proclamation of 'anti-racists' that it is economic exploitation and racial discrimination which gives birth to racist ideas is false: "Northern states. . .made almost no moves — gradual or otherwise — to end racial discrimination and thereby racist ideas." (Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning, Chapter 10, p. 1 of 36). There's no "thereby." For decades American law has discountenanced racial discrimination, except in the approved form of affirmative action. The people who are reviving the white racist civilizational saga realize organized society does not stand behind them. The old leftist idea that capitalism installed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany is a willed fiction; German industrialists were as astonished as their country-men to discover someone they classified with the lunatic fringe wielding power. Then, they rushed to come to terms with him. Racist ideas seem to be as addictive as crack cocaine; to people disappointed in life, hearing encouragement to say, 'I am better than you,' is a balm for all disappointment, loss and failure.

Mr. Breivik's concern about replacement is central to the white identity neo-fascist movements arising around the world:

"Ultimately, the modern Westerner resides in another’s land. This is true not because he stole it centuries earlier but because he keeps and maintains it for the taking of outsiders, whom he invites and who ultimately dispossess him. Indeed, his own dispossession has become the Westerner’s only good. Thus, Western man, whose birthrates have plummeted, creates well-ordered spaces and civil institutions not for himself and his natural progeny but for his replacements." (Wolfe, Stephen. The Case for Christian Nationalism (p. 169).)

First Amendment Wall of Separation
Ancient Times Pilgrim's Progress
Fundamental Error Theonomy
No Place Like Home Natural Affection
Gynocracy The Lares
Intermarriage Respect of Persons
Temptation in the Desert Heaven
Exiles Tower of Babel
Scatter the Proud

I've often asked them, who is replacing them, or why do they think anyone is replacing them? Certainly in the United States, these concerns make no sense.

For whatever reason, a relentless, steady march of white supremacist gunmen continue to take their rising toll of victims. Some of these mass murderers seem to have been 'cultural' Christians like Mr. Breivik, while some have held a more than nominal faith; how they reconcile this faith with bloody, random, indiscriminate murder, I cannot imagine. What does the future hold? To the outsider, it may look as though the European experiment in multi-culturalism has failed; the European countries, with their vague self-celebration of culture and ethnicity divorced from religion, cannot incorporate foreigners and make them 'French' or 'German.' There is no European 'melting pot.' How will they deal with the indigestible mass of foreigners now residing within their borders? Hopefully this will end well but it is difficult to see how. As for the United States, hopefully we can repel these warmed-over re-servings of fascist ideology as the unwelcome foreign invaders they are.

The Brights

To obtain a 'Christian crime rate' that doesn't match the 'Hopi crime rate,' zero, one cannot insist upon defining 'Christian' from God's perspective. Society after all does not reside in heaven but on earth. A plausible sociological definition would look to earth. A mild, unassuming definition focusing on observable traits like church-going would be more helpful. Casting the net so wide that it includes a 'cultural Christian' like murderer Breivik or a 'Christian atheist' renders the question meaningless. The crime rate for 'church-goers' cannot be zero, because "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Corinthians 4:7). But neither is it uncommonly high, by all observation.

Today's atheists have the charming habit of calling themselves the 'Brights;' the rest of us are, presumably, dim. The crime rate for these university professors, students and hangers-on is low, though their libertine lifestyles are not counted moral by Christian standards. Some of their crowing about their own excellences falls into the category of 'fun with numbers:' for instance, this population has a low divorce rate. So do nuns. They do not form many marriages, compared with believers; if you count the divorce rate according to the number of marriages not people, their divorce rate is high. But how to account for their low street crime rate?

There is an old Elaine May/Mike Nichols comedy routine in which Mike Nichols plays a man who has lost a dime in a pay phone, and Elaine May is the supervising operator for the (formerly near-monopoly) phone company. When Mike Nichols indignantly protests that the phone company has stolen his dime, Elaine May pompously informs him that the phone company did not steal his dime, the phone company does not need his dime. (Skit.) There is no need to explain why an affluent group of people does not commit many muggings and car-jackings.

Libertarian Vox Day, in his book 'The Irrational Atheist,' differentiates between the High Church atheists, who do not commit street crime, and the Low Church atheists, who do. This matter requires more investigation, inasmuch as the people who commit street crime often disdain to describe themselves as atheists, just as do the rest of us, though they certainly do not obey the gospel either. What is their proper category? They are neither 'Hopi' nor 'Brights.'

There are atheist books and atheist web-sites which resemble the racist literature the old Ku Klux Klan and other white racist organizations used to put out during the 1950's and 1960's. Not that their target is blacks; their target is Christians and other religious folk. Every crime committed by an African-American was trumpeted, no crime committed by any white person was ever noticed; no good thing done by an African-American was ever noticed, though good things done by white people were continually celebrated. The reader heard nothing about the Tuskegee airmen, much about street hoodlums. The careless readers might conclude, 'Gosh, those black people are awful, and white people are wonderful.' These readers needed to hone their critical thinking skills, because there is nothing going on here but selection bias.

It does not in the end seem likely that people's actions are unrelated to their ethical principles, nor does it seem likely those who have none excel us all. Europe has been aptly described as 'post-Christian;' perhaps the young British rioters are the shock troops leading the way past Christian morality and into the unknown. Justice requires us to evaluate each individual on his own merits, not pre-judge him by known or suspected characteristics of the group to which he belongs. The 'sell job' which atheism has become projects a wholly imaginary world in which atheists are the good people, Christians the bad ones. Speaking from my own personal experience growing up outside the theistic universe, this is a fantasy-land. This 'sales strategy' is like selling squash, a legal product to be sure, by rhapsodizing, 'Oh! it is so sweet! it tastes just like strawberries and raspberries, combined!' But it doesn't; this is false and deceptive advertising. The reality is, even atheists do not like other atheists.