Horton is pointing out that Christianity, to the Norwegian terrorist, seems to have played a strictly utilitarian role in his thinking. He hates Muslims and dreams of a time when all Europeans were united against them. That happens to be when Europe was under Roman Catholic control. Does he believe in Catholic or Christian teaching? We find no evidence of that (in fact, we find evidence to the contrary), only that Christianity provides a convenient mechanism for unifying Europeans against his personal enemy. This is why Horton brings up Nietzsche (Nietzsche talked about how many Europeans use but don’t believe in Christianity for their own purposes). This is why I will now bring up Hitler. It is crystal clear that this was the thinking of Hitler as well. He did not want to abolish Christianity (such a goal was too ambitious and self-defeating). He first wanted to Nazify it for his own purposes (use it). Hitler had no doctrinal convictions affirming the truth of the faith. He had a political and personal agenda that he saw could greatly benefit from a duped faith community.
So where does that leave the belief system of this guy? Not sure at this point, but don’t forget this previous post.
He writes on page 1307 of his online manifesto:
“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.”
A few comments on this statement from the terrorist. First, if this is a Christian fundamentalist, then we all owe Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell an enormous apology. Second, he is saying (as Horton and I wrote above) that he is a Christian but not a religious Christian (i.e., strictly cultural, expedient). Third, this statement could have been made by ANY liberal Christian, since it’s precisely what they think about Christian faith (the truth of the doctrines of Christianity is irrelevant, even mistaken; what matter’s is the impact that Christianity has on society).
UPDATE #2, more from Breivik’s manifesto. This one really seems to confirm that he is a secular-right wing extremist:
As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily suggest that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus. Being a Christian can mean many things, including that you believe in and want to protect Europe’s Christian cultural heritage.
The European cultural heritage, our norms (moral codes and social structures included), our traditions and our modern political systems are based on Christianity – Protestantism, Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity and the legacy of the European enlightenment (reason is the primary source and legitimacy for authority).
It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. In many ways, our modern societies and European secularism is a result of European Christendom and the enlightenment. It is therefore essential to understand the difference between a “Christian fundamentalist theocracy” (everything we do not want) and a secular European society based on our Christian cultural heritage (what we do want).
So, no, you don’t need to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus to fight for our Christian cultural heritage. It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian-atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter).