Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Imagine my surprise to see, lately, the Knights Templar "trending" on my news feed! Granted, there are always conspiracy theorists who love all things Templar (Dan Brown and myself among them), but this latest surge of interest comes from another source.
The Oslo terrorist composed a manifesto in which he called himself a Knight Templar and extolled the wars between Christians and Muslims in which the Templars participated.
This guy is a nut case for sure, but he was certainly a determined nut case. He killed more people in 90 minutes than any Knight Templar before him. The original Templars didn't have automatic weapons or fertilizer. Or trucks.
The interesting thing about this modern so-called "Knight Templar" is that no group in Norwegian politics or religious life knew anything about him. He was a complete lone wolf, or so it appears. What we must ask ourselves is this: From whence did his motivation arise? Could it have been fanned by events beyond Norway? Could it have been stoked by rhetoric from other countries -- without the knowledge of the people responsible for the rhetoric?
Those who hold power, especially in politics and religion, must always be aware that someone might hear their pronouncements, or read their position papers, or see their YouTubes, and then become over-zealous in the implementation of the agenda. This is what worries me about fringe groups like the DC40 (see below). A fiery video ... preachers inveighing against the Goddess ... proclaiming "spiritual warfare" in an era when anyone can purchase a firearm. Others can shrug it off, but I call it alarming. Falling on the wrong ears, this rhetoric calls lunatics to battle.
I agree that it's best not to engage these fringe groups on their own terms. But it falls to us, to thinking people, to keep the peace, to protect our places, and to preserve the tenets that inform our republic.
Our gods would rather be bored than brutal.