Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and a Lunatic: How I Was Reminded to Examine with the Right Lens
“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”
Anders Behring Breivik looks almost ghostly. In every picture that I see of him, he appears serious and menacing and totally unrepentant. This repentance he lacks should be for the murder of seventy-seven people last year when he both detonated a bomb in Oslo – killing eight – and arrived at a Labor Party Youth Camp in Utøya shortly after, killing sixty-nine more with firearms – some as young as fourteen.
His trial is currently underway and estimated to end in July. He has shown no remorse for his actions and has repeatedly claimed he would do it again. Upon entering the courtroom, he raised a fist, took his seat and said, “I do not recognize the Norwegian courts.”
Breivik is a staunch nationalist who desires the “purity” of European nations. He is critical of Islam, women, and most importantly, multiculturalism. He adds to his first statement about Norwegian courts that they “have received [their] mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism.” He fashions himself not as a mass murderer, but as a political prisoner, who engaged in an act of war. He goes onto say that “The attacks on July 22 were a preventive strike. I acted in self-defense on behalf of my people, my city, my country.”
He also compares his actions to the United State’s dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
Breivik has maintained this characterization of himself through the entire trial thus far. He has not apologized, backed down, or acquiesced in any way. In fact, he shows awareness of the fact that others will see his actions differently when he explains how he believes the media will portray him:
However, since I manifest their worst nightmare (systematical and organized executions of multiculturalist traitors), they will probably just give me the full propaganda rape package and propagate the following accusations: pedophile, engaged in incest activities, homosexual, psycho, ADHD, thief, non-educated, inbred, maniac, insane, monster etc. I will be labeled as the biggest (Nazi-)monster ever witnessed since WW2.
He is one of the biggest Nazi monsters since World War II.
There is no doubt that Breivik is an example of nationalism gone awry. And for me, he stands as an acute warning, a recent reminder of what nationalism can do. If nationalism is the ultimate ethic, if it is what my moral decisions are based in, then atrocities happen because morality, without absolute truth, is vague at best.
The reason that Breivik has become highlighted in my thoughts recently is not because he is an example of how a Christian might succumb to national extremism – I have not read anything about how his actions were religiously motivate. Instead, he helps to show the deficiency of national concerns as a standard by which one might make moral decisions. His example of Hiroshima makes that even further apparent to me.
As a person of faith, I have the ability to appeal to an absolute standard because I believe that there is good and evil beyond circumstantial concerns.
In light of these thoughts, I desire to train myself to always be evaluating my political and cultural views not with a Republican or American lens, but with a Christian lens that is not afraid to make major changes if necessary.
I am not the conservative gone liberal. I don’t believe that I was brainwashed as a child to believe only certain things. I also don’t think that most American ideals are inherently evil. That is for all of my liberal friends who think that I have “finally come around.” The challenge is the same regardless of your political leaning or your nationality. It is a challenge that I want to start taking more seriously.