Letters to the Editor

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NORWAY: Extreme conservatism is history’s bane

Letter by Annie Russell, Gig Harbor on July 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm with 71 Comments »
July 25, 2011 3:00 pm

“I missed the part where we became the bad guys,” exclaimed Gunaratnam, one of the young survivors of the Norwegian mass murder spree (TNT, 7-24).

She is too young to understand this propensity toward clan mentality, xenophobia, fear, prejudice, greed and the drive to subjugate or, if that won’t suffice, destroy.

This Norwegian murderer, whose target was liberals, is described by the police as a “right-wing Christian fundamentalist.” He is just the latest in the hate-flooded litany of extreme conservative ideology.

It’s time to call a spade a spade. It was the epitome of extreme conservatism – fascism – we fought against in World War II; the conservative communists we feared in the Cold War; the conservative Islamists who are our enemies in the War on Terror; and American conservative beliefs that justified slavery, the subjugation of women, a campaign of terror against the Native Americans, segregation and today’s vitriol toward any group outside the clan.

Conservative leaders agitate an easily aroused populace with militant terms like “reload” and “take our country back,” while demonizing liberals, Muslims, Hispanics, blacks, intellectuals, feminists, environmentalists, gays, poor people, union workers. At war with the world, conservatives only pay lip service to values such as liberty, equality, justice and love. Their real loyalty is to clan mentality, which is diametrically opposed to such values.

Gunaratnam believes that we are all in this together and should help and respect each other. That’s liberal thinking, which qualifies her as a bad guy to the ultra conservatives.

Leave a comment Comments → 71
  1. aislander says:

    WHAT a melange of utter nonsense. The only clan mentality on display is that of the writer, with her blanket condemnation of conservatives and Christians…

  2. aislander says:

    Her conflating of all types of conservatism (Communist conservatives: really?) is the height of liberal provincialism, condemning that which she doesn’t understand. It DOES matter what one is trying to conserve

  3. An Islamic fundamentalist opens fire in Fort Hood – “Islamic Terrorism”

    A Christian fundamentalist opens fire in Norway – let the excuses begin.

    Someone needs to remind aislander that Islamic fundamentalists are conservative.

  4. tree_guy says:

    Militant terminology is not restricted to conservatives, Annie. check this out:

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said (June 2008).

    When composing a LTE it’s customary to engage in some research first.

  5. aislander says:

    KARD writes: “Someone needs to remind aislander that Islamic fundamentalists are conservative.”

    You mean they are fighting for the same classically liberal values I am? Doubt it! I am not fighting for sharia law or a worldwide caliphate, so I’m pretty sure we’re not on the same side. As I said above: It DOES matter what one is trying to conserve…

  6. A Christian fundamentalist opens fire in Norway – let the excuses begin.

    Read his manifesto for a view into his beliefs and logic as to why he did what he did. Anders Breivth (sp) does not describe himself as Christian, others have done that.

  7. From the manifesto:

    “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie, I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.

  8. aislander says:

    Thanks, xx. The libs do this EVERY time there is an outrage with these circumstances. Turns out Eric Rudolph was not a Christian, nor was Timothy McVey, nor even Adolf Hitler, who called Christianity the “Jewish mistake.”

  9. Ms. Russell, you represent the very readers I was most concerned about when this story broke. You bought the police/press lingo describing this man as a Christian fundamentalist in the blink of an eye…because it reinforces something you already believe, no doubt. I’m sure you will find, if you trouble yourself to thoroughly explore the evidence, that this shooter stands alone in the flames of his own personal hell. He represents no one but himself.

    I would hope that all reasonable people would stop to consider what aislander has here asked us to consider…when using the term “conservative” to describe someone, please pause to ask just what it is they are attempting to conserve. Please.

  10. aislander says:

    You know, sozo, it doesn’t even seem to be moral equivalency that lefties are seeking, but moral inferiority. Any time there is a perceived imbalance of power, the person or group in the less-powerful position is granted the superior moral ground, regardless of whether it is deserved or not. Disgusting practices by “victim” groups are excused every time, but it goes beyond that. Men are viewed as having been in the power position in our culture and are, therefore, disparaged, and women are even given advantages in law. Children are less powerful than adults, and therefore Algore says that children have superior knowledge and instincts compared to parents. Then there are Palestinians versus Israelis…

  11. In the 1920s, Hitler’s German Workers’ Party (pre Nazi term) adopted a “Programme” with twenty-five points (the Nazi version of a constitution). In point twenty-four, their intent clearly demonstrates, from the very beginning, their stand in favor of a “positive” Christianity: “We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession…”

    The Nazi regime started a youth movement which preached its agenda to impressionable children. Hitler backed up the notion that all people need faith and religious education: “By helping to raise man above the level of bestial vegetation, faith contributes in reality to the securing and safeguarding of his existence. Take away from present-day mankind its education-based, religious- dogmatic principles– or, practically speaking, ethical-moral principles– by abolishing this religious education, but without replacing it by an equivalent, and the result will be a grave shock to the foundations of their existence.” – Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)

    The Nazi regime began to control schools insisting that Christianity was taught.

    The Nazi regime included anti-Semitic Christian writings in textbooks and they were not removed from Christian doctrines until 1961.

    nope….no Christianity involved in the Nazis…..not to mention the present day Arayans…….

  12. “The man who admitted to killing 76 people in Norway told a court that he wanted to save Western Europe from a Muslim takeover, the judge said.”

    Now, I guess that doesn’t make him a “Christian”….but it certainly says he opposed Islam.

    I’m going to wait for more than two sentences from what investigators have called a “rambling, narcisstic” writing.

  13. “aislander says:
    July 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm
    You know, sozo, it doesn’t even seem to be moral equivalency that lefties are seeking”

    Interesting that aislander equates “lefties” to anyone that might think this person is a Christian looney. I guess there are no “righties” that can see Christianity has contributed to a fair amount of social ills.

    God must be a Republican.

  14. Well…can’t blame this one on MSNBC. It’s the Telegraph from UK:

    The blond-haired 32-year-old appears to have set up accounts on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter just a few days ago.

    Although police have not officially named Breivik as the suspect, Norwegian media identified him as the gunman. Police say the suspect is talking to police and was keen to “explain himself”.

    Eyewitness reports from the island of Utoya, where the shootings took place, have also described a tall, blond haired, blue-eyed Norwegian man dressed as a police officer.

    On the Facebook page attributed to him, Mr Breivik describes himself as a Christian and a conservative. It listed his interests as hunting, body building and freemasonry. His profile also listed him as single. The page has since been taken down.

    Police chief Svinung Sponheim said that internet posting by Breivik suggested he has “some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views”.

  15. off the rails… that didn’t take long…

    karnos – read his Manifesto, their are enough summaries out there to make it easier for both you and I.

    Again from the Manifesto:

    “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie, I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment. ”

    Who do you believe, the man’s own words or a newspaper account of what they think he is?

  16. aislander says:

    The Nazis co-opted Christianity and turned the churches to the service of the state, along with every other institution in Germany at the time. Kinda like the way the left is trying to co-opt religion in THIS country. You know: that whole social justice thing…

  17. geeterpontiac says:

    Ms Russell seems to have run off the rails a bit herself.

    Communist conservatives? Oh, well.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/jul/24/norway-anders-behring-breivik-beliefs

    The article above is from is from Andrew Brown’s blog, via the Guardian. (British media) I think it does a fair job of summing the situation up. One should also look at other foreign publications and news sources easily, including those coming out of Norway. Combined with exerts from the killer’s own Manifesto, it is obvious authorities on the scene believe religious belief (via facebook) played a very minor role (if any) in driving his actions.

    Foreign media seems to take a much more reasoned and level headed approach to the reasons for this tragic event, and, their analysis is much better. Being closer to the horrific event provides a more factual account than that coming out of mainstream American media who seek to politicize this tragedy.

    But, what else is new?

    Here are a couple of more links to European media that provide better insight into the issues involved and what drove the killer than what we are sure to get mindless liberals seeking to spin the tragedy for political purposes.

    Each site has numerous takes on the tragedy. Do your own evaluation and reach your own conclusion.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/

  18. “aislander says:
    July 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm
    The Nazis co-opted Christianity and turned the churches to the service of the state, along with every other institution in Germany at the time. Kinda like the way the left is trying to co-opt religion in THIS country. You know: that whole social justice thing…

    I’ll take social justice over “God is white” any day.

  19. I believe the man’s own words:

    “On the Facebook page attributed to him, Mr Breivik describes himself as a Christian and a conservative.”

  20. I suppose if Breivik said he was Santa Claus that would make it so Kardnos?
    Don’t be absurd. And as for Hitler or the KKK or David Karesh…et.al. anyone can call themselves Christian and rewrite the creed to suit themselves. It’s meaningless.

    Now about Fort Hood…did the shooter have ties to other Islamic extremists? THAT is a key difference.

    You would be wise to stop fancying yourself as some sort of super-articulate spokesman for the left, Kardnos. Try actually looking at each situation that arises with at least an attempt at objectivity and reason. My left-leaning friends all know better than to give any credence to this criminal’s ramblings about being Christian, conservative or anything other than nuts.

  21. “On the Facebook page attributed to him, Mr Breivik describes himself as a Christian and a conservative.”

    Facebook – short text boxes for info, pre-programmed drop down list

    Manifesto – 1500 pages of thought that defines terms and explains his position as a “Christian” with statements like:

    “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person, as that would be a lie, I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment. ”

    and your choice is Facebook… Ok, good luck with that…

    read summaries of the Manifesto, I am begging you and trying to help you before you really go off the rails.

  22. klthompson says:

    1500 pages for a Manifesto? Marx got it done with only 22 pages, and millions died.

  23. “read a summary” = read an edited version.

    ‘left is trying to co-op religion in this country” another made up fantasy.

    ‘1500 pages of thought that defines terms and explains his position’ – I’ve seen it described as 1500 pages of confused and contradictory ramblings.

  24. “read an edited version”

    at 1500 pages – you really think I or any of you are going to read cover to cover all 7.5mb of a manifest… no, I didn’t think so.

    Edited, no not edited… excerpts related by subject.

    “…confused and contradictory ramblings”

    Yep, probably… your point is?

  25. aislander says:

    Jim Wallace, Obama’s pet minister, has a whole social justice initiative aimed at churches and funded by George Soros. You should get out more, xring…

  26. alindasue says:

    sozo said, “And as for Hitler or the KKK or David Karesh…et.al. anyone can call themselves Christian and rewrite the creed to suit themselves.”

    The same can be said of the radical Muslim groups, yet the rest of the world’s Islamic people have to deal with the public’s reaction to these radical groups on a regular basis.

  27. madmike272 says:

    Gee Annie, learn that from one of your leftist nutjob political science professors at Evergreen?

  28. menopaws says:

    The writer is correct–more wars have been waged by “conservatives” than other factions. Religion has been the excuse for interfering in the Terry Schiavo case, the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The Lord seems to tell these people what is their mission and blood flows……These good Christians terrorize Muslims in their communities,. and intimidate all those immigrants who “take American jobs”. It is the excuse, not the reason for bullying, intimidation and violence. To be a conservative means that the Atticus Finch rule is over your head…..Attitcus, in “To Kill a Mockingbird” told his daughter that to truly understand a man–you must walk a mile in his shoes. This crowd not only doesn’t try that, but respecting anyone else’s beliefs as real and valid is a failure……..not a virtue.

  29. Meanwhile, Glenn Beck jumps the shark (again) by likening the slain teens to HItler Youth……

  30. madmike272 says:

    KARDNOS – Actually, it was called the National Socialist Democratic Action Party (NASDAP). If you are going to quote from history, know what you are saying.

  31. tellnolies says:

    Give up on the “us vs them”…
    Insanity doesn’t follow a political or religious ideology…

  32. From now on, when a person claims to be a Christian Conservative, I should not trust that, but request a manifesto.

    Hey, Newt…..get that manifesto going!!!

  33. From now on, when a person claims to be a Christian Conservative, I should not trust that, but request a manifesto.

    Well, no karnos I wouldn’t go that far. But I would tend to look for something more credible than FaceBook.

  34. LarryFine says:

    You watching beck bB ??? LOL. Odds are, no one here would have even thought about Beck had you not went off topic with your post… kooky.

  35. menopaws says:

    It won’t be long for Glenn Beck—the men in the white coats are coming to take him away………this man is sooo seriously disturbed that Fox cut it’s losses before he had his psychotic meltdown on camera. I honestly believe he has mental issues. Those children were in a “Nazi” camp?????? He is so desperate to gain an audience–he just grows more bizarre and off center……It’s actually kind of sad–he needs professional help.

  36. The letter writer, Annie, as well as most other liberal commentators can always be relied upon to ponce with the anti-Christian rhetoric at every opportunity. Is anyone really surprised? Moreover, does anyone reallly care what a thumb-sucking, anti-American liberal thinks? This idiot in Norway does not represent Christian believes nor does he represent conservative practices. If he did, there wouldn’t be any liberals around to worry about. now, would there? Annie, a word of advice to you, save your liberal smugness. The only people you impress are your fellow liberals.

  37. menopaws, what ever happened to Keith Olbermann? How about Sgt. Ed Shultz?You know, the guy who called a woman a “slut” on his program. Talk about nut-jobs. Don’t forget the “thrill up my leg” crackpot Chris Matthews.

  38. Annie writes a letter that I thought was too generalizing and then the usual group of far-right Christian conservatives on these comments post responses that make her broad brush seem true.

    Fortunately, there are many Christians and a few conservatives left who are the exceptions to what the letter is talking about, but you would be hard pressed to find them on these threads.

  39. “frosty says:
    July 26, 2011 at 7:45 am
    menopaws, what ever happened to Keith Olbermann? How about Sgt. Ed Shultz?You know, the guy who called a woman a “slut” on his program. Talk about nut-jobs. Don’t forget the “thrill up my leg” crackpot Chris Matthews.

    Olbermann is on satellite TV. Ed Schultz reported thoroughly on the President’s speech, last night on his regular show. Chris Matthews is STILL on both NBC and MSNBC.

    Oh..and what about Congressman Darrell Issa calling President Clinton a slut? Or a conservative pundt Rose Tennant that called Hillary Clinton a slut?

    Schultz had the sense and dignity to apologize.

  40. “xx98411 says:
    July 26, 2011 at 7:16 am
    From now on, when a person claims to be a Christian Conservative, I should not trust that, but request a manifesto.

    Well, no karnos I wouldn’t go that far. But I would tend to look for something more credible than FaceBook.”

    Are you claiming that if a person calls himself a Conservative Christian on Facebook it lacks credibility? There are lots of Conservative Christians that need to know…..

  41. Are you claiming that if a person calls himself a Conservative Christian on Facebook it lacks credibility? There are lots of Conservative Christians that need to know…..

    nope, in this specific case, if there appears to be a contradiction between a FaceBook page and a Manifest (as well as other postings), I would tend to lean towards the Manifest (for the most credible source)

    There is a lot of conflicting bits of information out there. We have to discrimnate and choose wisely what is the most credible for the questions one may have.

    If the question you have is that Breivik is whether he is a Conservative Christian and you absolutely need to label him as such for whatever reason you may have, then you are probably correct… but not because a police spokeman said so, nor a Facebook page said so… I just would weigh the Manifest as more credible into the mind of Breivik. (The Manifest has more detail than a simple drop down box)

    Caution… no make it a warning… it’s pretty murky in that mind of his, proceed with caution.

  42. LarryFine says:

    So we have established bB and meno watch Beck ? Weird.
    .
    The only way, Tuddo, that one could possibly believe there are a “usual group of far-right Christian conservatives on these comments” is if one was a far left secular neo-soc… just sayin’.

  43. aislander says:

    LarryFine: WHO thinks Glenn Beck is crazy? We’re talking about a pot throwing a stone at a kettle in a glass house…

  44. Good one aislander….funny.

    Tuddo, I take exception to your remark.

  45. aislander says:

    test

  46. Roncella says:

    Annie, Your letter is sad and disappointing. That you actually believe your statements is scary.

  47. aislander says:

    sozo: We live in an age of supermegahypersensitivity, wherein the national pastime is no longer baseball, but the state of being offended. That observation is not aimed at you, but at the perpetually outraged (such as tuddo, perhaps) who have no qualms at hurling the most vile accusations at the mainstream of America, very much including Christians.

    Imagine if you or I had written the above letter, but, instead of being aimed at “conservatives” and “Christian fundamentalists” it was directed at any “protected” group. I would bet the letter would never have seen the light of day in the Trib’s pages, and if we posted such comments, we would expelled from this forum. I find myself retching from the stench of hypocrisy…

  48. aislander says:

    Hmm. Thought I closed the italics. Try again, I guess…

  49. I would be interested in seeing your list of “protected” groups, aislander, and compare it to my own. That’s an excellent term for it, by the way. Christians are fair game, as are fat people. Who else?

    Comedians are currently quite active in making fun of all this “protection” I think. It’s gotten THAT absurd. It reminds me of the protection racket as depicted in mob movies…”You promise to vote for me, and I will see to it that no one ever gets to say anything negative about your special interest group.”

  50. “nope, in this specific case, if there appears to be a contradiction between a FaceBook page and a Manifest (as well as other postings), I would tend to lean towards the Manifest (for the most credible source)”

    Or is it just the most convenient source to align with your apologist position?

  51. “Roncella says:
    July 26, 2011 at 11:14 am
    Annie, Your letter is sad and disappointing. That you actually believe your statements is scary.”

    DITTO on YOUR statements

  52. Nice to see you learned a new word recently, Kardnos.

  53. Or is it just the most convenient source to align with your apologist position?

    One – you wanna use FaceBook as your source for a position… go for it, I dont care.

    Two – I presented an opinion of sources. You don’t care for my logic, I don’t care.

    Three – “…apologist position?” What are you referring to? I haven’t aplogized for anything nor anyone.

  54. Roncella says:

    KARDNOS, I wouldn’t expect you fully comprehend my post above. You are sooooooo far left and see everything through leftest tunnel vision.

  55. sozo, do you think that I include you in the “far-right” category? Interesting, since you must, or you wouldn’t take exception to myu remark.

  56. old_benjamin says:

    The communists and the Fascists were conservatives, or so says Annie.

    Conserving what? The Russian Czar? The Weimar Constitution?

    ‘Tis a pity that kids don’t learn European history any more.

  57. KARDNOS, so Olbermann is “on satelite T.V.? Could of fooled me! You must be one of the dozen or two people that knew that. Ed Schultz “had the sense and dignity to apologize”. You’re right, his option was to be unemployed or relegated to satelite T.V. like that other nut-job. Much to the discredit of MSNBC and NBC they do still have Matthews slobbering all over the microphone. As for Darrel Issa calling Clinton a slut, what would you call a promiscuous individual who uses his position to take advantage of a young intern? I’d say that Mr. Issa was not too far from the truth.

  58. LarryFine says:

    “…the letter would never have seen the light of day in the Trib’s pages, and if we posted such comments, we would expelled from this forum. I find myself retching from the stench of hypocrisy…”

    One of the truest statements in these threads in a long time.

  59. These are your words, are they not tuddo?

    “…there are many Christians and a few conservatives left who are the exceptions to what the letter is talking about, but you would be hard pressed to find them on these threads. ”

    You have, in my opinion, no basis for such a sweeping remark. I didn’t know whether you considered me an exception to this abitrary ruling of yours or not, though I do comment on these threads regularly.

    Your experience with Christian conservatives informs your bias about them, but it does NOT make you a good candidate for objective evaluations.

  60. It occurs to me, tuddo, that you’re a bit like an ex-smoker or a recovering addict. Your life as a So. Baptist isn’t the beginning and end of the story for others.

  61. sozo, I agree with and say something positive about Southern Baptists because it was a big deal in the Conservative media that they took Cain to task for his remarks, and you liken that to my being an addict? What is your reasoning here. I don’t understand the insult, so enlighten me.

    I have a lot of positive things to say about Southern Baptists, especially their strong support for Biblical scholarship, their strong support for the rights of other religions to conduct their worship the way they believe, and their strong support for the separation of church and state.

    It seems, based on your remarks about your friends and you, that you disagree with Herman Cain about banning Muslim mosques in America, so, yes I do think you are an exception on these threads, if that is what you actually think our Constitutional protection means.

    Others, and I can name five so far, agree with Cain or attack me for disagreeing with him, so apparently you are the exception that I was talking about.

  62. aislander says:

    Mussolini was a socialist* revolutionary firebrand before he was a fascist. HARDLY a conservative…

    *He was the editor of Avanti. Look it up. Seriously…

  63. LarryFine says:

    ROFLMAO !

  64. tuddo, I honestly didn’t mean that as an insult though it does sound condescending when I read it back. As an ex-smoker, I am just aware that once you leave something behind, you sometimes tend to be awfully self-righteous about that fact. Your appreciation of your former denomination notwithstanding, you did leave it because you thought they were wrong in their ultimate understanding of scripture, no?

  65. aislander says:

    sozo: “Jews” are on the protected list, but “Israelis” aren’t–gives the anti-Semites among us some cover…

  66. sozo, yes, I left it because of their denial of women and minorities their rightful place in the church. Some of that is just disagreement on what the Bible intends and what was left over from tribal patriarchal societies (women in the clergy) and some of it was total disagreement with views on minorities, some of which has been changed in their churches (interracial marriage).

    I also felt that their preaching of strident anti-Catholic messages often stirred up violence against Catholics that lingered through the 1950’s. That has been replaced with their strident anti-gay rhetoric, so I won’t be rejoining them anytime soon. Being opposed to some of their tenets does not make my life center around my disagreement.

    I stand up “for” things, generally, such as our Constitutional protection of religion and the right to worship without any government “banning” without the process of due cause in case of criminal activities. That means I must sometimes call out leaders, especially those who would run for our highest office, who have no regard for what that means.

    I am frankly appalled at the huge support Cain is getting for his anti-Constitutional remarks, all from conservative Christians, but as you and the Southern Baptist Convention exemplify, not from all conservative Christians.

    For example, I am for gun rights, also based on the Constitution. I would also call out a candidate who said it was all right to ban a group of citizens who had committed no crime from owning guns solely based on the fear of what they might do with them. Of course, a lot of conservatives might beat my timing on that one, because they do believe in part of the Constitution, but not the parts that would keep them from discriminating against people who are different from them.

  67. I find you to be a reasonable person, tuddo, and though we disagree on some things, I’m guessing we agree on some too. I believe in freedom to choose, but of course I do not favor anarchy. While I want the government to have less say in our individual lives, I know that one of its functions is to protect the innocent which is why I continue to believe, for instance, that protection of the unborn should trump the freedom of the mother to terminate a life. Mind you I’m well aware that the key point of contention in that debate is about when life begins, but you get my drift.

  68. Guess I should have added, in the name of clarity, that I would never support a presidential candidate who would deny a person their right to worship as they see fit.

  69. aislander says:

    sozo: I guess I AM a strict constructionist, for I can find nothing in the Constitution preventing private citizens from discriminating if they are so shortsighted as to do so. The document proscribes the Federal government and (by later extension) the states from doing so…

  70. aislander, if you are commenting on my comment, then what the context is concerns a presidential candidate who says that governments can ban religious groups from building a worship center based on citizens’ assumptions.

    Private citizens can believe or say anything they want. It just gets tricky when their actions infringe on other’s rights.

  71. aislander says:

    KARD is projecting…again.

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