Christian Terrorism?

CrusaderThis term has been floated about in the national discourse about what happened in Norway.

I find Mark Juergensmeyer‘s (Author of ‘Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence”) article, Why Breivik Was a Christian Terrorist, a compelling read worth everyone’s contemplation. He makes some significant points many of us might prefer to sweep under the rug. He brings to light a lot about Timothy McVeigh and his reasons, that I did not know, for the violence he committed on all of those innocent people.

Like the Oklahoma City bombing by America‘s Christian terrorist, the horrible events of July 22 by Norway‘s Christian terrorist Anders Breivik were symbolic attempts at empowerment, aimed at showing the world that the imagined war to save Christendom had begun. It is a tragic fantasy — that Christianity is under siege and needs to be saved — but one that echoes throughout the world of the Christian right, and sadly erupts, at times, in terrorism.

Christianity is filled with violent symbolism and the language of war and confrontation:  blood sacrifices, “I’m in the Lord’s army,” “Onward Christian soldiers,” to just name a few.  Some take this language to extremes.  Even George W. Bush spoke in terms of religious warfare when referring to wars in which he decided to engage this country.

Perhaps this is more than a religious war.  Perhaps this is a clash of cultures and power structures, some ancient, in the quest for economic gain.