Overheard on CNN.com: Should Breivik be called a Christian fundamentalist?
Oslo shooting suspect Anders Breivik seen leaving court
July 25th, 2011
04:58 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Should Breivik be called a Christian fundamentalist?

Comments of the Day:

"The guy said in his own manifesto that he wasn't a religious Christian, that his affiliation to Christianity was political. So why should we claim the guy?" -bamagrad03

"I find it interesting that when the terrorists are Muslims, people jump all over their faith, yet when they're Christian, they say that their religion had nothing to do with their act of terrorism. Double standard much?"–WillH85

Who is the suspect in the Norway attacks?

Norway terror suspect claims to have worked with 2 other cells

Purported manifesto, video from Norway terror suspect detail war plan

Anders Behring Breivik, a white Norwegian member of the conservative Progress Party, has been charged with the worst violence in Norway in decades. The suspect told investigators he belonged to The Knights Templar, which he described as an armed Christian order, fighting to rid the West of Islamic suppression. A manifesto bearing his name rants against Muslims and their growing presence in Europe.

Descriptions of him as a Christian fundamentalist had CNN.com readers arguing over whether those terms are accurate and relevant.

Yoduh99 said, "His manifesto is not specifically against Muslims but against multiculturalism and the 'Islamization' of Europe, which he believes the ruling Labor Party has allowed; therefore he went after them and their children. He's also agnostic, not a Christian extremist, though he believes in preserving the European Christian-based culture."

Treadmill replied, "I am afraid you are mistaken; read what he said on June 11: 'I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and the certain Islamic takeover of Europe to completely annihilate European Christendom within the next hundred years he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.' ”

SSearthquake said, "Stop calling him 'right-wing Christian fundamentalist.' He crossed the line and he is nothing but a terrorist and whatever his views are, he cannot be defended." indigoth replied, "I disagree. He claims he was a Christian and there's no reason to think otherwise. Sure, he committed a very un-Christian act, but that doesn't change his religion. He is a 'right-wing Christian fundamentalist,' but he is also a terrorist."

faisalsh said, "Christian leaders often blame Muslim clerics of sympathising with the cause of the terrorists. I think that these events are very sad, however, it drives home the point that no terrorist belongs to any religion." IxNay said, "He is a Christian, but not one you would call a good Christian; remember that when you hear that someone is not following the tenets of Islam and you feel the need to berate the whole religion."

Suburbanite1 said, "Real Christians don't kill kids in the name of Christianity." BMILL said, "An awful lot of people who considered themselves to be Christians have killed a remarkably large number of people over the centuries. In America, you have to look no further than what happened to the Native Americans for evidence."

LonnieD5 said, "lol. Religion has nothing to do with this. It doesn't matter what religion you are, anybody could have something cause them to snap. The guy was a psycho; that's all there is to it. If he is a Christian, it's not even relevant."

kris5967 said, "I hope the Religious Right (and all religious and patriotic people, for that matter) can learn from this tragedy. This man acted from a jumping off point of religious zeal and patriotism and he let it take him over the edge. His religious devotion became intolerance and his patriotism became xenophobia and hatred. Let him be an example to us all of what not to become."

GameIsOvr said, "The same thing could happen here. This lunatic simply took Teabagger values to the next level. Anti-immigrant, anti-tax, pro-Christian, and xenophobic. All right-wing, conservative, Republican values."

MartinOM said, "This is the result of extreme views. Right-wing or left-wing, it makes no difference. Intolerance is not the answer."

'Can I touch it?' The fascination with natural, African-American hair

In a CNN.com story and video, women of color told of how returning their hair to its natural texture sometimes causes strangers to reach out and touch them. Some think the response is funny, but others are angered by what they think is latent racism. CNN.com readers, however, said it had nothing to do with race and everything to do with harmless curiosity.

ankelly said, "Give me a break. Why is it that black women are the only people who complain that others touch their hair? As a curly redhead, I have had my head touched a lot since I was a baby, and I don't feel wronged or write articles about exploitation. Pregnant women have their bellies touched all the time. If you are going to spend time writing an article on this, then knock off the racial victimization and keep the bigger picture in mind."

cpg352223 agreed: "I'm a white guy who had well-groomed shoulder-length hair in my early 20s. During a couple of summers spent on an inner-city youth project, African-American kids - children and teenagers alike - were continuously asking to touch my hair. Why does everything have to be about race relations? Blacks and whites have different textured hair and simple curiosity is just that."

maggitsmom said, "It's just curiosity. When I visited India, a few people asked about my blond hair, and some even touched it. Yes, it invaded my personal space, but I wasn't offended. They had simply never seen a white/blond person, in person, before. Can we please stop turning everything into racism?"

AshKetchum said, "I am African-American and I have natural hair. I get how this is an invasion of personal space, but I don't agree with it being a racial thing. Black and white people want to touch my hair all the time. But some people have rude tendencies to just want to touch people without permission. My white friends especially tell me how soft my hair is, like their soft lamb toys they had when they were young."

puddytat said, "As a black woman I have the urge to touch the hair of complete strangers of different ethnicity. I'm merely curious. I'm from the Caribbean and we've got a beautiful mix of people - blacks, whites, Indians, Asians. I once sat on the bus behind a guy with locks, and I reached out and touched his hair without permission. I felt terrible doing it, but curiosity got the better of me. I should've asked first. But as humans we come in all different colours and shapes and textures and sometimes we just want to know what the other 'feels like.' The person being asked does not need to be so sensitive. It's just hair. ..."

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Philip

    @gillian...true. Hitler did claim to be a christian, just like our own leaders do. But was he really? Obviously, neither Adolph Hitler nor any of the world's rulers pattern their lives after the life of Christ, which is what being a Christian means.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mohandus Ghandi

    "I love Jesus, yet I despise christians. For they do not do as Jesus himself did." (in short...if it isn't like Jesus, it isn't christian).

    July 26, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Lin

      Just because a person says they are Christian does not mean they are. You know a true Christian by his or her fruits. Someone who does such evil is not a Christian. Please do not hate Christians in general, just the evil that some self proclaimed Christians do. This man IS NOT a Christian. What is a Christian? Answer: A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST, not just someone who calls themselves a Christian. Glad you love Jesus, now get to know Him personally.

      July 26, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Voter

      @Gandhi: Jesus was jewish, so maybe Christians should do as the jews.. Going off your logic.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CaringFool

    Glenn Beck is the ultimate disturbed ultra right psycho.

    July 26, 2011 at 6:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Sometimes I make a pragmatic decision to handle a situation in a Christian way.
    At other times, especially when dealing with Muslims, I behave according to two basic teachings of Islam, respect for others, and submission to the will of God.
    BTW, Muslims tend to be very perceptive of a failure to respect them.
    A fine musician and strong Christian woman whom I know says often, "perfection died on the Cross."

    July 26, 2011 at 6:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    @Joey...I'll take that as a 'yes'. (that a few men conspired and made-up a Jesus who then devised a lofty ethic and set of high-moral values to mislead people 2,000 years later...one of them being President Obama) So you voted for a man stupid ebough to be fooled by an old made-up story. I understand that you could care less about President Obama's religion. Do you not care about his thinking capacity either?

    July 26, 2011 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    BTW, I've battled a stomach virus all night, so I'm excusing myself from my morning workout.
    I'll be around for a bit, then I have to teach this afternoon.
    (If I don't go to work, I don't get "my check." Yes, I don't like it that so many loafers get "their checks" when they don't even get up to try to get work, and I go when I'm sick.)
    The new furniture is arriving to properly fill out the spaces between good antiques, and the place is starting to look great.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. CaringFool

    Glenn Beck doesn't like this gathering either.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Joey? I suspect that you haven't studies the Koran by your comment. Here, let me help you by quoting the Koran. "Fighting is onligatory for you, much as you dislike it."–"Slay them wherever you find them and drive them out."–"On unbelievers is the curse of Allah"–"Allah is the enemy of unbelievers."–"But if they[fellow muslims] turn Renegade [side with the invaders] sieze them and slay them wherever you find them." (Sura 2, 4, and 8 is where you can find) What we see in Afghanistan are true-Mulims dealing with those who invade their land exactly as Allah has commanded. And would we not do the same if we were invaded and occuupied? Or would we become Renegade's and side with the enemy.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Philip:
    I'll answer that second part first.
    I do care about Obama's capacity for thinking. However, one may think much better in one area than in another area, and I also don't even care whether the President tells the truth about his religious beliefs or not. I do hope he's honest enough not to take a hatchet and ruin all the future cherry-blossom splendor in Washington, DC.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    Oh, I thought that common-sense covered all areas. my bad.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Philip:
    To your first question, I answer that I consider only part of the centuries-long collaboration on the Bible to be a conspiracy. Some of it was artistic endeavor, and some was gossip.
    I see that now you have another picking at my mind. I'll go back and read it.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Oh, Philip.
    Tedium, tedium.
    1. Common sense is common. My thinking is not.
    2. I have certainly read the entire Koran. I didn't get a degree in it, but it's an easy read.
    3. If I'm living in the USA and we are attacked by Muslims, I'll fight for my land and for my life.
    4. Is there a war on, here?
    I thought you didn't like wars. They're expensive.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Lin, did you bring sawdust?
    I'm interested in better music for the show, and perhaps a little Martin Buber.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    joey?...So you believe that the faithful Muslim's in Afghanistan who daily attack and kill US personnel are doing so because they belong to a 'religion of peace and respect for other's. huh. Most people call the "terrorists"...even your President does.

    July 26, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Martin Luther King

    How many illigitimate children did I father? Joey? You touted me as a good example didn't you? Surely you are aware of the FBI's investigations that exposed my illicit relationships with many women. No, never mind. You probably don't care about my religion either.

    July 26, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
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