While the mainstream media attempts to paint Anders Behring Breivik, the terrorist bomber and shooter who killed over 76 people in Oslo last week, as a “fundamentalist Christian,” a 1,500 page document he wrote reveals not only that he did not consider himself a Christian believer, but that he was a mason, held such anti-Christian views as supporting abortion for disabled babies, and that he also hired a prostitute prior to his killing rampage. 

The horrific death toll and monstrous methods employed by Breivik in his killing spree have been followed by outrageous attempts to paint him as a conservative Christian, a characterization that has the potential to lead to a backlash against faithful Christians in Europe and elsewhere.

But Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto paints a picture of a hate-filled and confused man with little to no personal religious faith, who holds bizarre and contradictory views that most Christians would conceive as abhorrent, even as he shares some views in common with them.

Relevant to pro-life supporters, Breivik says that he supports abortion in cases of rape, and “if the baby has mental or physical disabilities.” (pg 1179) Breivik also notes that he hired a prostitute one week before his ‘mission’. (pg 1424).  He also identifies himself as a Freemason (pg 1369). 

Commenting on his own faith, Breivik writes:

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. 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.

As Catholic commentator and media personality Michael Coren observes:

No intelligent person, and certainly no informed Christian, would regard this as the statement of a follower of Christ, let alone a fundamentalist follower. So why the hysterical boasts that he was a Christian? Obvious. It inflates the bubble of propaganda and lies. So different to when yet another Islamist attack occurs – four over the weekend by the way – and media does everything it can to distance the killers from Islam.

But how do we best respond to this hate-mongering? I’ll leave that last word to an esteemed colleague who has himself been unjustly accused of hate - Dr. Michael Brown.  “Let us, then, who call ourselves conservative Christians, redouble our efforts to expose the folly of these false charges, overcoming evil with good and hatred with love, thereby proving ourselves to be genuine followers of Jesus.”

For a detailed analysis of the manifesto see the coverage by Massimo Introvigne the head of the Center for Studies of New Religions.