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24 July, 2011

A Christian Terrorist

When the bombing in Oslo happened, even I, who tries to keep an open mind and not make snap judgments on things, didn't even entertain the idea that it might not be an extremist Muslim that carried out the attack. I even wondered, "What the hell did Norway ever do to anyone? The French have the burqa ban and the US killed Bin Laden, why are they attacking Oslo?"

Cue foot in mouth when it turns out that the person responsible for the horrific attack was a right-wing Christian fundamentalist. In retrospect, that doesn't surprise me. We've all seen what Christian terrorists can do to abortion clinics and doctors, to churches who have more Black people than White people, to Gay people and to churches that lean more moderate. And that's just in the US. What does surprise me is that our media suddenly isn't calling it a terrorist attack. That would imply that the man was a terrorist, but since he was a Christian, they can't call him that. Only the dark-skinned people worshipping Allah get that title in the US.

So what happens when you call out the people that are redefining terrorism to fit their own little prejudices and bias? You get, "He wasn't really a Christian." What? How do you get to define a Christian all of a sudden? Merriam-Webster online has a good enough definition that has always worked:

a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

b (1) : disciple 2 (2) : a member of one of the Churches of Christ separating from the Disciples of Christ in 1906 (3) : a member of the Christian denomination having part in the union of the United Church of Christ concluded in 1961

If you go to church and you call yourself a Christian and you believe in Jesus, you're a Christian. Once you start defining a Christian by how people act, you are doing nothing more than explaining why there are 30,000 denominations of Christianity. No one can agree on the doctrine or how people should act. You could take a narrow view and define Christians only as Young Earth Creationists. Or you could say those people are nuts and only Christians who accept Evolution as God's glory work are Christian. Anyway, it all gets very convoluted and pretty soon, no one can fit every standard, so no one would be able to be called Christian.

The Oslo bomber was a Christian Terrorist, just as are the people who bomb abortion clinics, burn Black churches, shoot abortion doctors, and terrorize Gay people. If you can't swallow that because you don't want to admit that you have some bad people in your fold, then you have to stop calling Al Qaeda a Muslim Terrorist Group. There are millions of Muslims that don't act on their religion like the terrorist cells and they would all insist and show passages of peace in their Quran to no avail. We would still call them Muslim Terrorists. I believe that all religions should be held to the same standard; it should be even across the board. Yes, Christians, even you can be terrorists. Get over it and do something about it.

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