07.31.2011 08:15 AM

In today’s Sun: the right-wing scrambles

Honestly, I don’t know what is worse — the Norway massacre, or various right-wing pundits’ bizarre response.

I’m overstating my case deliberately, of course. There can be no doubt Anders Breivik’s mass-murder was a horrific crime, one that has shaken Norway and the world. It left nearly 80 dead, most of them young people — and some of them as young as 14.

To target and murder children, as Breivik did, was sick, inhuman and — clearly — profoundly evil. Of that, there can be no doubt.

But some right-wing commentators have sounded profoundly indifferent to evil in the days following the Norway massacre too. Variously, these commentators actually seemed to suggest the victims deserved to die, or the killer wasn’t entirely bad, or Breivik — who had views about Muslims and immigrants eerily similar to their own — wasn’t in fact motivated by those views. Here is sampling…


  1. Bill M. says:

    Every side has their lunatic fringe.

    Problem is that the talking point ideologues bank on that fringe for support and funds. Then they try to brush it off when something like this happens.

    Zealots of all kinds live in the extreme. Rational people live in the middle.

    Oh yeah, and Karma’s a bitch.

  2. Bill M. says:

    Why, do you have a short attention span?

  3. j rothwell says:

    “To be Tulk.” FTFY

  4. Chris says:

    I know, right! And why didn’t Warren do a little research and find some examples of ultra-left wing nutjobs who massacred 80 people including children?

  5. Nuna D. Above says:

    Why are the New York Times, the CBC and now your column trying so hard to portray the killer as a Christian? Is this one of the “ugly moral lapses” of which you write? From what I’ve read by another columnist in the Sun, the killer didn’t attend church and wrote in his manifesto he had no relation with God or Jesus. His actions prove his madness, is there any evidence-not spin-he was a Christian fundie? Are deaths from starvation in Somalia less deserving of coverage if they don’t help with an anti-Christian narrative? (Non-practicing Catholic here, for your readers preparing the name-calling attacks.)

    • James Bow says:

      The guy called himself a Christian, although he distinguished himself by saying he was a “cultural Christian” and not a “religious Christian”. I’ll leave you to parse the distinction (every time I try, it comes out ugly), but the fact remains that he himself said he was, and the news media is only reporting what he said.

      Now, no one rational is making the case that this man represents even a fraction of what fundamentalist Christians stand for. But there is a fair amount of sauce-for-the-goose going on here. Mainstream Christians have never been asked to separate themselves from the evil people who pretend to speak for them. Mainstream Muslims don’t receive this same respect. I think they deserve the same respect, don’t you?

      The man is also espousing some of the rhetoric that has been going down in the most extreme of the right wing. And there really is no comparable examples in the left to match. Not in terms of the tenor of their rhetoric, nor in terms of their reach. Michael Moore is often cited as the left’s version of Rush Limbaugh, but Michael Moore has never called for the death of conservatives. And those among the left who do go haywire with their rhetoric do not have nearly the influence of the people whose writings this man claimed influenced him.

      • Jan says:

        The Islamaphobes always claim that Muslim terrorists do what they because of their religious conviction. According to them they’re all jihadists – not a mental case amongst them. With the Norwegian shooter, they’re trying to argue it’s all because of his personal psychology, nothing to do with either his religion or poltics. Jon Stewart had a great montage the other night of Fox news doing this denial routine.

    • Elizabeth says:

      He was baptized Christian – into the Protestant Church of Norway. Therefore – Christian. Self-identified. Nobody is trying to “portray” him as Christian, he’s done it himself. Responsible journalists report the facts – why would that be left out?

      A bad, evil Christian absolutely, (and I’m all for Norway returning to the ancient religion of Thor, Odin, etc., in order to deal with this) – but I’d be interested to find out what are the views on forgiveness in Christian churches? Isn’t that a main tenet of Christianity – forgiveness? Baptism is supposed to ensure that you don’t die in sin, as far as I know – so maybe it was part of his long-term plan, who knows?
      In the Catholic church you’re excommunicated if your sins are bad enough; however I’ve never heard of any excommunication for other churches. Jehovah’s Witnesses have disfellowshipping, or shunning. Is there an Anglican excommunication?

      Maybe there should be a sort of excommunication rite for the Protestant church, but then Jesus was very big on forgiveness. Where do you draw a line? I’ve heard a lot from Christians on other issues who will say “well he or she is not a Christian (even if they identify as such) because he or she isn’t doing this, or that, or whatever” Who gets to decide this?

      • Elizabeth says:

        And “forgiveness” doesn’t mean you escape punishment for your crimes, by the way; at least not on this earth.

        • Granny says:

          Yes, there is, at least there was excommunication in the Protestant church. My great-grandfather was ex-communicated from the local Lutheran Church. A serious theological argument with a Pastor who didn’t like to be questioned and didn’t like to admit that he was wrong.

    • Attack! says:

      ‘Nuna D. Above’: get your terminology right:

      it’s not that he had NO relationship w. God;

      what he wrote was that he had no PERSONAL relationship with God, which is what something certain ‘Born Again’ types claim to have (as in, He literally SPEAKS to them).

      So, fine, he probably shouldn’t be described as truly being a Fundamentalist or Evangelical Christian.

      But then, neither should about 90% of the estimated 24 million or so Canadians over 15 who self-identified as Christians in the 2001 Census (by some reckonings, only 8.5% of them are Evangelicals; maybe 12% of all the Protestants, and 7% of the Catholics).

      If we follow that more stringent def., does that mean that the 17 million or so of self-identified Christians in Canada who don’t profess to have a “personal relationship” with Jesus or God and who don’t necessarily believe in the literal truth of the whole Bible… um, aren’t really Christians?

  6. Attack! says:

    I was wondering when you were gonna show… been pretty conspicuous by your absence on this, considering how startlingly familiar his anti-Muslim views sound to… yours, when you applauded Harper for sitting on his hands during the bloody Egyptian demonstrations, based on the REMOTE possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood might play a large role in whatever happens next there, whom you depicted in the darkest terms (such as being linked to 9/11; e.g., at http://warrenkinsella.com/2011/02/ignatieff-takes-a-stand-on-sovereignty/#comment-26261 )

    So you’d think that, “To truly be trying to be fair,” you might have raised a similar objection to Harper’s over-compensating decisions to plunge us in with both, er, fleets, to:

    not only thrust Canada into being one of the most enthusiastic participants in the initial Libyan invasion (in a blatant attempt to try to justify their rash decision to buy the over-priced, under-performing F-35s),

    but also to embrace the mission creep, and throw our lot in with the rebels…

    especially since, um, it turns out they ARE deeply influenced by jihadists within their ranks, who just murdered their own general (although admittedly, he was a defector, but to the ‘right’ side, no?)


  7. Dave M says:

    One of the things that I’ve found most disturbing about this incident (other than the fact that before any facts were known everyone in the media jumped at the opportunity to blame muslims, then didn’t apologize for their inflammatory stories when it came out that it was an anti-muslim right wing sociopath.. and, you know, the mass murder, of course) is how many commentators went from “All muslims are violent extremists. Deport them all!” to the equally extreme “All religions breed violence! Destroy them all!1” once it became obvious that he was a Christian.

    Extremists are often violent, it doesn’t matter what they’re extreme about. Next time it could just as easily be a militant atheist commie (though if it is, I’m sure before any facts are known the first thing the media will do is blame the muslims. Then all commies.)

    At least the Norwegians set a damn fine example about how to react to an incident like this after the fact. I can only hope if something similar happened in Canada we’d do the same.

    • RN200 says:

      Not. A. Christian.

      Last went to church when he was like 15. Geez. Figure it out.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I’ve never heard that attending a church, or not attending one – decides whether you are or are not a Christian.

        • smelter rat says:


        • The Doctor says:

          It certainly indicates whether you’re a practising Christian.

          • smelter rat says:


          • Pat says:

            You do realize that the roots of protestantism were based in “bringing religion into the home”, rather than allowing a centralized clergy control faith (ie. Catholic Church), right?

          • Philip says:

            Perhaps that is true Doc, although I’m not entirely sure why Breivik should be the recipient of this level of nuance. If you self describe as a Christian, the adjective you place before that word is only a matter of passing interest, not the center piece.

      • Jan says:

        Do we know that so-called Muslim terrosts all attend mosque regularly? I seem to recall the 9/11 crew hitting the strip clubs before they boarded those planes.

        • h holmes says:

          that would be a definite yes, seeing that they were all recruited directly from Mosques.


          The thing that links them all together is the hatred of our western governments and way of life.

          Not left or right, christian or Muslim.

          • Philip says:

            How exactly does your first sentence: (recruited directly from Mosques) (not right or left, christian or Muslim) square with your last?
            It does seem as if you are trying to have both ways.

          • H Holmes says:

            Not really.

            These hate crimes are directly related to secularism and democracy.

            Antigovernment forces including anarchists, islamists, isolationists and crusaders.

            All share one thing in common, they despise our secular way of life.

            Whether these groups are recruited at a church, mosque or message board makes no difference.

            To think that the left doesn’t have these problems is laughable, we spend almost a billion dollars for security at the G8 to keep away leftist goons from the world leaders.

  8. In this case however — the Norway massacre, which is actually the topic of the column — there has been no “moral lapse” on the part of the left. So I don’t understand why anyone would expect Kinsella to present a false equivalency at the beginning of his column.
    Are we always supposed to avoid hurting the delicate fee-fees of the right-wing at all costs? And is there nothing that will ever stop the right-wing from feeling hard done by anyway?

  9. A.Bo says:

    Really, Gord? Wow.

  10. smelter rat says:

    I’m starting to worry about Gord….he’s been more deranged than usual lately.

  11. Don Johnson says:

    Hi Warren

    Would you consider posting links to the right-wingers you point out? Your quotes are brief and I would like read them in full context.

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