Christianity and the Christchurch Mosque Attacks

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This is a screenshot from page 15 of one of the New Zealand shooter’s manifesto.

Elsewhere, the writer mentions this is slapped together over a two-week period. He had a 240 page version he claims he deleted. Evidently it had a lot more detail and nuance.

But there’s plenty of “nuance” in the 74 page document.

It is clear the writer has particular concern for declining birth rates in Europe (and European colonies). The author goes to great lengths to communicate affinity for the “traditions” of Europe.

But as with most white supremacists, Christianity is divisive. Indeed, based on this line alone, we could be forgiven for thinking he skirts the issue. The author is trying to build a multinational coalition with the goal not of purifying New Zealand. The expressed goal is to stoke racial resentments here in the United States. The author wants liberals and progressives here to call for the abolition of the Second Amendment. He wants conservatives to take up arms and defend the last beacon of hope in a multicultural world.

Christians who support non-whites and immigrants are part of the problem for the author of this manifesto. They have been made weak by ideology. “The last virtues of a dying nation are tolerance and apathy,” he wrote at one point.

He calls for strict separation of racially homogeneous nations as an act of “diversity”. He invokes a rainbow: It is beautiful because the colors are distinct from one another. He claims no hostility for Muslims being Muslims in their respective homelands. But he cannot countenance white converts and he has no timetable or benchmarks for assimilation.

Indeed, he chose one of the sites because it had been converted from a church into a mosque. He expressly chose New Zealand to create a rippling effect that would reach us here in the United States.

Christians preaching and enacting the love of strangers are a thorn in the side of transnational hate movements. He can’t share the depths of his disdain or it would be counterproductive for his purposes. He’s trying to dig the trenches a little deeper on the issues that already divide us.

He wants progressives to be mad about conservatives retreating to the “thoughts and prayers” refrain.

He doesn’t feel the ethical weight of Jesus’s commands to love others. That much should be clear on the other side of his heinous actions. And he feels those of us who do are suckers who can’t see the forest for the trees. Their racial imagination is terrifying because it endows “nations” with a higher moral status than human beings.


About wlivings

PhD student in Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy at Florida State University. Stetson '12, Vanderbilt '14.
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