Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bias Part II

About this post, Suekillam commented, “nope! you're wrong! the oslo killer professes to be a christian. like most other christians he hates all others that are not like him. It is a fatal flaw of all christians. The buddhist way is to love all and chant for them”

Here Suekillam demonstrates a taste for inflammatory remarks – something she would no doubt fault Christians for, but which she permits herself (and presumably her fellow Buddhists). Hating others not like them, Suekillam says, is the fatal flaw of “all” Christians. The use of “all” allows for no exception. And yet I do not hate others who are not like me. Accusation disproved.

As for the point that the Oslo killer professed himself to be a Christian: indeed, evil people throughout history have tried to pass themselves off as Christians so that the credulous will pay attention to them. That’s because Christianity is a good thing, and if a bad person wants to be listened to, he has to mix in something good or positive so that people will be fooled by him. A spoon full of sugar helps the arsenic go down.

One might ask why the Suekillams of the world are so eager to take at face value what a mass murderer has to say when the statement reflects badly on Christians. Might it be prejudice? Bigotry? Even hate? Do the Suekillams hate Christians? We don’t know what is inside a person’s head unless she tells us, of course. At the same time, based on the author's remarks, I think a case can be made for the objective presence of an unjust bias against Christians.

Now let’s move beyond Suekillam’s accusation and address her two assertions.

First, I have been on the receiving end of venomous remarks from Buddhists. I wrote about one experience in this post; the arrogance and condescension of the Buddhist I was conversing with was palpable. The chap did claim he was being charitable by trying to rouse people from their Christian bourgeoisie apathy, but that claim was not credible: he was too fond of distorting the historical record and sneering to believe he was trying to be genuinely helpful. He was also a lapsed Catholic turned Buddhist; the likelier scenario is that he’d simply turned against what he’d given up. But loving he was not.

Second, we do not have to try to guess what the Norway killer meant when he called himself a Christian – he told us at tedious length what he meant. He published his bizarre monologues, and after reading them nobody knew what in the world the guy was talking about. What we can say for certain, however, is that his notion of Christianity is warped beyond recognition.

* Wrote the murderer, "As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus." Right.

* He is promoting a secular Christian society, one that readily embraces Christian atheists and Christian agnostics. I'm not making that up.

* He does not view his ideal world as a religious organization. Instead, he advocates a Christian “culturalist” military order. At best he's a nationalist; more likely, a wannabe fascist.

* He calls on the "European Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu community” to assist in his campaign against Islam. Perhaps there's a Buddhist war chant he can co-opt.

* He said he is "not an excessively religious man," modestly adding that he is "first and foremost a man of logic" and "economically liberal." In short, he is progressive and secular, not religious.

* He's a Charles Darwin groupie.

So to a reasonable person it would appear clear that the Oslo killer is not a Christian. Rather, he is a nationalist product of a leftist secular society who detests Islam, values some but not all Christian cultural influences, and has little use for religion beyond a few select societal effects. As the killer is not a religious man, ipso facto he cannot be a Christian. Rather, he’s just a homicidal monster trying to blend in.

1 comment:

Helmut said...

Well written, as usual. I do question whether or not Anders Behring Breivik actually claimed to be Christian. I have read his comments on Christian Europe and Christian Norway - Christian this and Christian that, but even the Islamic websites do not quote him as saying "I am a (fundamentalist) Christian." Maybe, somewhere within his manifesto (which heavily plagiarizes the uni-bomber's manifesto) he calls himself a Christian, but I can find no such quote in posted articles.

The issue of "far right" is also a red herring. Nazis are right of communists, but they are still left of center (after all they are socialists). Only the left commie socialist really believes that Nazis are far right of center.

Using your Buddhist acquaintances logic, since the U.S.A. is a Christian nation, and abortion is legal, therefore abortion must be a Christian value...BAD LOGIC.