Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oslo Shooter No Fundamentalist, Shame on the Media

Trying to grapple the why and how of the Oslo  bombing, and the deaths of more than 90 kids at a camp is hard to do.    We can only grasp that the accused is deranged, mentally off the charts, and that is about as far as we can define him.  Yet the media driven by early police statements are very quick to "Label" the offender.

First reports were that the murders must have been an act of Muslim Terrorists, and TV broadcast news gave their usual bylines:  "So far, Al Queda has not taken credit for the bombing....."  and then the reports of the Camp shootings came out, and a possible link.

Then the media rushed to repeat what the Police said:  This was the work of a   "Right Wing Christian Fundamentalist "  and I will simply say, that is the wrong definition, and the Media should be very quick to clarify such a fantastic claim.  

Anders Breivek Twitter Page, No Christian Fundamentalist

Christian Fundamentalism is about arguing against modern Science/Religion.  It is a firm, and often vigorous belief that this world was created by God in a quick 7 days about 7,000 years ago, and we are all decendents from Adam and Eve.  

Simply put, a Christian Fundamentalist, strictly believes in what is in the Bible, takes the Bible literally, not theoretically; there is no hierarchy, no "leader" in fundamentalism, and it is a belief system, often by very well meaning, and sincere people.

You might remember from your history class, about The Scopes Trial  or "Monkey Trials" about an evolution pamphlet.  And the great impact and uproar it caused at the time. John Scopes a Biology teacher was charged with illegally teaching the theory of evolution, in 1925.

Inherit the Wind a 1960 movie based loosely on the Scopes Monkey Trial was cast with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March.  This was an attack upon anti intellectualism in the 1950's a generation removed from the actual events, so it was a sly exploration into the accepted beliefs and value systems of American society at the time. 

Tracy and March in Inherit the Wind 

  It is important to question the media.  In this day and age when each network is no longer objective, and has no intention of being objective it is more and more important to question what we see in the media.  

  Granted, the police labeled the Oslo shooter, Anders Breivik as a Right Wing Fundamentalist Christian simply, and admittedly from what little they knew at the time.  Major news outlets were quick to grasp this definition, and run with it.  Was this responsible journalism?  Of course not.  Will the media retract and redefine those labels? I doubt it.  Will the Norwegian Police clarify their mistake? I assume not.   It is up to us to question what we hear, and not accept at first glance what is broadcast.

Remember the Scopes Trial.   Evolution vs. Creationism defines a Christian's "Fundamentalism".

Crazy right wing nuts who blow up buildings and shoot children have no business being labeled anything whatsoever.  They are murderers, and their writings and ramblings certainly have no place in the story of Creation, or Evolution.



  1. I think the Policeman as I read and saw the same quotes by him might have been in shock, and given the opportunity, he may want to label the shooter, Anti Muslim, Delusional, SocioPath, and stay away from the Religious Labels. But you are likely correct, the damage is done. Very good iteration that Fundamentalists believe a strict reading of the Bible. I don't know why the media rushed so quickly to label the guy the way they did, Sam. Obviously you feel strongly about this. I dectect a note of disdain for the media here!! I also know you are an investigative reporter, and rarely judge anyone. You can be tough on the Press! LoL Have a great weekend. What's left of it. Lonny Dunn I tweet at @ProNetworkBuild

  2. Great point, Sammy. Media is entirely too quick to label and even pidgeonhole events and people. This was not the act of a "terrorist" or a "fundamentalist." It was the act of a crazy murderer, plain and simple, and it needs no other labels. Thank you for your good sense.

  3. The greatest problem we have in todays society that causes the evil in this world and the biggest terrorist known alive who is alive and well on this plantet earth is Satan. Bible prophecy foretells Satan shall continue to cause havoc until the leader of the fundamentalist Christians, Jesus returns and the 1000 year kingdom begins which takes place after the 7 year tribulation period. Eventually Satan will be cast into hell with all nonbelievers in Christ and those believing in Christ will live in the paradise of heaven with Jesus forever.

  4. What you hear in the news media is a slanted view on Christianity and an extremely biased opinion. They take one view that is a partial statement and run with it. They may take a phrase and distort the meaning into something of what wasn't said or implied. Christianity view points are taken from God's word the Bible.

  5. In this instance the ever opportunistic news media seized & reported from their 'official' source, the policeman, in an effort to 'be first, be the fastest, capture interested viewers' as quickly as possible. And it would appear the 'policeman's statement' wasn't 'fact checked' because he's the 'official source'...either. @grammakaye on twitter

  6. Those poor people. Nothing about that act was all.

  7. I am just now reading this, and my two cents worth is something my parents always told me:
    "Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear."

    That rings especially true today. And the bottom line is that there are a lot of grieving parents out there because of this crime. My heart goes out to them, and the precious children they lost.

    Very good post Sam. Thanks.
    @jonesbabie on Twitter