Thought of the day

Listen, BlackBerry Facebook Mobile, I appreciate that this most recent update is a real update that has actually vastly improve things, but seriously, stop adding my number to my profile every time something changes. If I have deleted my number the past 6 times you updated, then why would things change this 7th time?

Come on.

Apparently basic logic is too difficult for Billo

Bill O’Reilly doesn’t believe that the Norway shooter Breivik is a Christian:

On Monday night’s show, O’Reilly was outraged that The New York Times described Breivik as a “Christian extremist” in a page-one headline, declaring that being an “anti-Muslim bigot” is what drove him, “not Jesus, not being baptized.” O’Reilly went on to assert that this was part of “a movement in the American media to diminish and marginalize the Christian philosophy.” Later in the show, O’Reilly said the Times’ headline was done to “give jihadists quarter or something like that, diminish the threat of them,” asserting that “the liberal media is so protective of extreme Islam, when it hates the left. … At The New York Times, they would all be hung.”

This one really shouldn’t be that hard. Just admit that Breivik is a self-identified Christian, but qualify that acknowledgement of the truth with the observation that he does not represent mainstream Christianity. I mean, in terms of in-group mentality he does, but in terms of action, no, he certainly does not. That should be good enough. No one is going to start thinking that, oh, I guess all Christians like to kill innocent people.

But no. O’Reilly can’t be that honest. He has to pretend that Breivik was somehow not motivated by his faith because labeling him both a Christian and an extremist would make him seem like all those icky brown towel wearing people. And I can understand O’Reilly’s motivations here. Many Americans, including Papa Bear himself, do look at Muslims with an unjustified eye of suspicion. They do this because of the publicity given to a few of their acts, not to mention the simple fact that they represent an out-group. Most Americans are Christians, and all religions encourage a negative view of anyone who is different. So yeah, it makes sense for O’Reilly to hold the view he does. It isn’t honest, but it makes sense.

O’Reilly continued his obsession on Tuesday’s show during a segment with The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn. As Quinn pointed out that Breivik called himself a Christian, invoked the name of Jesus and discussed the nature of his faith, O’Reilly insisted that “there’s no evidence that ties this guy to Christianity,” dismissing Breivik’s self-description by claiming that “Mussolini called himself a Christian.”

Uh-huh. There’s no evidence. Except for that evidence.

But O’Reilly wasn’t done. He went on to invoke the “No True Scotsman” fallacy (as others have), essentially claiming that Breivik couldn’t be a Christian because “they’re nonviolent.” When Quinn noted that most Muslims would not consider accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan a Muslim, O’Reilly objected: “I’m not saying he was a good Muslim. I’m saying that he was a Muslim terrorist because he carried a business card that said ‘Soldier of Allah,’ and he committed his crimes in the name of Allah.” He added, “The guy in Fort Hood, he was acting in the name of his religion. He killed because he believed that Allah told him to kill. The guy in Norway didn’t kill because he thinks Jesus wanted him to kill those people. Jesus had nothing to do with it. He wasn’t even cited. And using the word ‘Christian’ to label this guy is dishonest.”

Right, Billo, it’s everyone else who is being dishonest here. Everyone else is taking these two exact same situations – violent acts of highly-publicized murder motivated by a heap of crazy and a dash of religion – and twisting them around. Why can’t everyone see how dissimilar they are?!

This is as bad as all those dishonest Christians who claim Hitler believed in evolution. We know he was a Christian creationist who was raised Catholic and constantly professed a belief in Jesus and God. That doesn’t particularly indict Christianity. We have plenty of other things that do the trick. For example, blatant dishonesty.