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Anders Breivik, the BNP, and ‘Crusader Christianity’

Various theories have been put forward about supposed ‘Christian fundamentalist’ Anders Breivik, including the idea that he may have been a follower of ‘Christian Identity’. However, the idea that Breivik was a Christian Identity (CI) adherent is highly unlikely. CI is fundamentalist in the sense of belief in the literally inspired nature of every word of the Bible. Followers have to believe this because they are creationists who (in the most popular ‘dual seedline’ form) base their entire understanding of race and the evil of Jews on an unorthodox, albeit literal, reading of the Genesis accounts.

Likewise, the things CI believers claim mark them out as the ‘true Israelites‘ are based on ‘evidence‘ drawn from texts in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). Unless these texts are seen as inerrant, such claims of undeniable scriptural ‘proof’ would be impossible to make.

Put simply, to be a CI believer, you have to be obsessed with the authority of the Bible and with prophecy, yet neither of these are concerns of Breivik.

The kind of cultural ‘Christianity’ promoted by Breivik is in fact the very ‘Christianity’ promoted by the BNP.

In his 2009 Easter message, Nick Griffin set out a vision of ‘Christianity’ very similar to Breivik’s:

The huge sacrifice paid in centuries past by untold hundreds of thousands of Europeans of all nationalities to resist the spread of Islam into Christian Europe has been forgotten or is ignored by modern Western politicians.

Only the Nationalist parties of Europe, such as the British National Party, celebrate the legacy of the Christian heroes such as Richard the Lionheart and Edward I, both English kings who led Crusades.

In modern times, the BNP is leading the fight against the Islamification of our country. No other political party wants to preserve Britain as a Christian state! Across the political divide, all parties bar the BNP are dedicated to transforming us into a “multi-faith” and multicultural society – in other words a nation in which the indigenous British people are in a minority…

We will never allow our children to become a minority in our homeland! We will fight to the bitter end, just like our Crusader ancestors, to preserve our Christian culture and heritage. The spirit of the Medieval Knights lives on in all of us!

The BNP’s then member of the London Assembly, Richard Barnbrook, is pictured here getting into the Crusader spirit:

Griffin’s 2010 Easter message continued along similar lines:

In the past too much emphasis has been placed on the ethnic aspect of our present national dilemma, whilst the longest running feature of our identity has been overlooked: the fact that our country has been held together and guided for millennia by our common, ancient religion: Christianity.

And before you misunderstand me, I do not mean the gut-wrenching politically correct quasi-Marxist nonsense spewing forth from the treacherous leaders of the modern Anglican Church. I mean the traditional, upright, decent and honest Christianity that defended Europe from Islamic conquest, the Christianity of the Crusades and the Christianity of our forefathers

[...]

After the General Election, all BNP leaflets will carry a Christian Cross to demonstrate our commitment to maintaining and preserving our Christian heritage as a nation. Politically correct scoundrels like Rowen Williams will cry fowl but we have nothing to be ashamed of as we are the defenders of Britain’s Christian heritage, just like our Crusader ancestors in the Middle Ages.

That same year, the Young BNP was relaunched under the name ‘BNP Crusaders’:

The BNP Crusaders, named to pay homage to our ancestors from the Middle Ages who saved Christian Europe from the onslaught of Islam, is aimed at BNP activists aged between 18 and 30.

Both Breivik and the BNP are arguably wholly insincere about their ‘Christianity’ and have merely appropriated some vague sense of Christianity as part of Europe’s ‘identity’, along with an unhealthy obsession with fantasies about ‘crusades’. Unlike the BNP, however, Breivik turned words into deeds.

Joseph W. is absolutely right in saying that Breivik is not a Christian fundamentalist.