Saturday, July 23, 2011
Insanity or Politics, the Massacre in Norway
The events in Norway yesterday were disturbing. What sort of insanity would lead someone (s) to blow up a building, then enter a youth camp and slaughter them indiscriminately? I can hardly imagine the pain and anguish of so many families and friends in Norway. My prayers and heart are with the Norwegian people today.
It is easy to pin this on him as if he were disturbed and an aberration. Yet our own history should suggest that might be a cop out. Think of the atrocities of our times. A right wing extremist (Christian) blows up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. We know he had help. The murders of abortion doctors around the country. The bombing at the Atlanta olympics, another example of extreme intolerance leading to violent acts. 9-11 was an extreme act of intolerance, that time by Muslim extremists. The man who entered and opened fire in a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Knoxville, Tennessee. He hated liberals and their tolerance of diversity. His home was filled with writings by folks like Limbaugh and Beck.
What I'm trying to say is that while it is re-assuring to label these acts as insanity, they seem more to be an inevitable outcome of extreme intolerance. It doesn't matter the religion or lack of it. Osama Bin Ladin claimed to be an Islamic extremist but they guy watched porn in the sanctity of his compound. Religion is the excuse, but intolerance towards diversity remains the reason.
AS SUCH, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT INSANITY, BUT A POLITICAL ACT.
Over the days ahead, more details will become available. A second man was found with a knife in the hotel where the prime minister was going to be speaking with the families. Was he part of a larger plot? What is clear is that the current intolerance towards diversity by the right wing, religious groups, and pundits are reaping their desired result. True believers ready to do the unthinkable. Perhaps the time is fast approaching for a new "intolerance of the intolerant." How many more lives will be lost in the name of hate?