It remains difficult for me to wrap my head around the insanity and violence that took place in Norway a couple days ago. As a writer, I always try to understand the perspective of people in the news. Anders Breivik is no different. This is what I’ve gleaned so far:
– He felt that multi-culturalism was destroying his country.
– He has fervent Christian beliefs and thinks he’s part of the Knights Templar
– He fears Islam.
– He has an ego that is out of control.
The wiki that has been assembled already can give you some more hints about him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik
The most disheartening thing was his description of his killing spree as the “marketing campaign” for his manifesto. Apparently he sent his 1500+ page document to 5700 different people indicating as such.
This article says that he even had ambitions of acquiring a nuclear weapon to hold a major city in Europe hostage.
But now he is in police custody and is pleading not guilty for his behavior while the rest of the law enforcement scrambles to see if he was acting alone, or if there are other individuals out there that will be following his example.
As someone who has been raised in the Christian church and has learned the virtue of non-violence, I can speak directly against Breivik’s actions and say that the Christian religion he seems to be following has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the words and teachings of Jesus.
In a time like this I believe it is in the best interest of all world religions to continue the interfaith dialogue. This is a small but necessary step for Christians and Muslims in particular. There needs to be some honest conversation about where the “followers” of these religions are trying to go. We need to stop the foolishness and religious competition. Religions should teach us how to be at peace with one another – they should ideally have nothing to do with violence and people like Breivik who would use Christianity as a launch pad for violence are completely disconnected from the message of love.