The Christian Post (Link) - Ed Stetzer (July 29, 2011)
By now, it appears, the media has decided that Norway�s shooter was not a �Christian fundamentalist.� GetReligion�s Terry Mattingly, explained:
This is a far cry from initial reports. CNN is my preferred news station and could not count how many times I heard the word, �Christian fundamentalist.� We are told we should renounce the �Christian terrorist,� and lest anyone be unclear, I (and all Christians) do. That label �Christian fundamentalist� traveled around the world before anyone asked if it was correct. Now, calmer voices have emerged. CNN�s Belief Blog brings the clarity:
Agreed. It�s a red herring. But, I don�t think that ends the conversation for the mainstream media. As I wrote last week (as did many others with bigger megaphones), this identification was obviously incorrect, yet the media pursued and propagated THAT VERY red herring... and the question I would like to ask is, �why?�
To be fair, this is what the initial police report said.
However, that was soon debunked by those who took the the time to read what
Breivik actually wrote. And, reporters are a fiercely independent bunch--except
when there is a preconceived perception. We all tend to see the world through
our preconceptions. For example, I am more likely to believe something
questionable when I already have a perception or belief about an issue.
A narrative is being fashioned about conservative Christians (and to the media, just about all evangelicals would be very conservative). That narrative is that they are simple, angry, persecute gays, cling to God and guns, and are close to violence at any moment. So, to the media, this was an �aha� moment--they saw it coming all along. However, their response says more about the media than it does about Breivik.
Now, all this to say, I think an important moment of self-examination needs to take place in the media. Simply put, in regards to labeling Breivik a fundamentalist, �Why so eager?� I think we can all see why--I just hope that those in the mainstream media can as well. �
Christians ~ Signs of the Times