Beliefnet News

Beliefnet’s Robert Mims observes: “The horrific terror attacks in Norway Friday — and that’s what they were, whether perpetrated by Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, or home-grown extremists as it appears to be in this case — led to a lot of initial knee-jerk bigotry.”

Blame in on the Christians . . . Muslims, Republicans, Democrats, etc.

In this case, it was not demonizing of Muslims at large, but use of the increasingly popular pejorative in the media of “fundamentalist Christian.”

At first, news organizations identified one of the suspects as a Norwegian citizen who was a fundamentalist Christian and Muslim hater.

Then, it turned out, the man in custody was more of a extreme political right-winger, apparently with no love for Muslim immigrants, who had “posted” his opinions on what were described as fundamentalist Christian websites. And, of course, anyone with a computer or smartphone could do that.

Welcome to what my college philosophy instructors called the logical fallacy of the “straw man” argument. It boils down to misrepresenting a group, in this case Christians who continue to hold to a strict interpretation of the Bible, based on the actions of an individual.

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