“A Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections”

That’s a phrase that nary an American official would use to describe a terrorist:

The Norwegian police on Saturday charged a 32-year-old man, whom they identified as a Christian fundamentalist with right-wing connections, over the bombing of a government center here and a shooting attack on a nearby island that together left at least 91 people dead.

The police said they did not know if the man, identified in the Norwegian press as Anders Behring Breivik, was part of a larger conspiracy. He is being questioned under the country’s terrorism laws and is cooperating with the investigation, they said.

“We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” a police official, Roger Andresen, said at a televised press conference, adding: “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” So far Mr. Breivik has not been linked to any anti-jihadist groups, he said.

I’m not interested in holding up this scenario as an example of what religion can do. Unless Breivik is part of a larger Christian fundamentalist group, this is more or less an isolated incident. But it is interesting that Norwegian officials are so willing to describe this guy the way they have. It would be a rare official in America who was willing to throw out “Christian fundamentalist” when describing such a violent act – especially one that is being investigated under anti-terrorism laws.