What shall we call Anders Breivek?

In his lengthy manifesto, Anders Breivek wrote at length about Christianity and culture in a manner that elucidated neither. What was clear to those that read the tome in full was this: to the extent that one can be labeled a fundamentalist Christian as we imagine them here, it is not the case that Breivek fairly belongs in that camp. The reason is that he states outright that he has no personal relationship with God or with Jesus Christ. Rather, he saw Christianity solely as a moral and social identity.That his extreme xenophobia that led to his misguided acts of hatred and terrorism were wrapped up in notions, however muddy, of Christianity, is unfortunate.

What is even more unfortunate is that Christians, some fundamentalist and some garden variety, have been offended that Breivek has been lumped into the “Christian” category. First of all, it says rather clearly in the Bible that all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God. All. Are. Sinners. I see no gray area here – not those who claim the title and those who don’t, but all.

Second, what we should be outraged about, both Christians and non-Christians, is not what he is called or what he calls himself, but the destruction that he did. Lives have been lost. The man is a terrorist. Xenophobia, fear of the other, happens every day and it has just played out in a large, heartbreaking way. We may never be able to pin down the truth about Breivek’s attitudes but I think the real question is this: are we brave enough to tell the truth about our own, and if necessary to change them so that things such as these do not continue to go on?

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