If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did it Really Happen?

1 Aug

Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen. Photo: Maija Tammi

By this point, most of you have heard about the tragedy in Norway a few weeks ago when a Christian Fundamentalist* murdered 77** people and injured another 96. The story has been well-covered by International media and the mainstream press here in the US.

What you probably have not heard about is the married lesbian couple who rescued 40 teenagers during and after the bloody event. Several blogs and gay and lesbian publications are now picking up the story, but the heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this, have remained silent.

The Finnish capital city’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomatpublished this account (translated from Finnish):

Hege Dalen and her spouse, Toril Hansen were near Utöyan having dinner on the opposite shore across from the ill-fated campsite, when they began to hear gunfire and screaming on the island.

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake,” says Dale to HS in an interview.

The couple immediately took action and pushed the boat into Lake Tyrifjorden.

Dalen and Hansen drove the boat to the island, picked up from the water victims in shock in, the young and wounded, and transported them to the opposite shore to the mainland. Between runs they saw that the bullets had hit the right side of the boat.

Since there were so many and not all fit at once aboard, they returned to the island four times.

They were able to rescue 40 young people from the clutches of the killer.

“We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events,” Dalen said.

Please share this story and make sure people know the heroism of Hege and Toril.

Check out our follow-up to this post here: Hege & Toril: Why We Write, which addresses many of your comments and questions about this article.

*The term “Christian Fundamentalist” has been disputed greatly in both the press and the comments section below this post. According to Norwegian police investigating the massacre, Anders Behrin Breivik was a “Christian Fundamentalist” as described by the New York Times and several Norwegian sources. There is a great post from CNN, which discusses at length, the use of the term being used for Breivik.

**Thank you to readers who have provided credible sources as to the actual number of deaths from this tragedy. We originally reported that 92 had been killed, but according to Norwegian sources, the total number is at 77, with many still in the hospital.

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546 Responses to “If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did it Really Happen?”

  1. Techres August 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    You are what you do when it counts. Period.

    • Nidreya August 2, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Amen to that Sista

      • low resolution fox August 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

        Perhaps my mind has been warped recently, but I just get that eerie feeling this might be a made up story. I hope I’m wrong, but I just get that vibe it is.

      • Tor-Hugne August 4, 2011 at 8:09 am #

        Well the story is true, what is not true that it has not been covered. As an example from the main Norwegian (right wing) newspaper VG: http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/oslobomben/artikkel.php?artid=10080659

        includes interviews with Hege and her partner, and a man who was also among the many that picked people from the sea that day (whose sexuality is not revealed).

        But of course in a country where the legal right to partnership has existed for more than 20 years, one no longer makes a big point about if we are gay or straight. The point is that they were among the heros.

    • Clarissa August 2, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Excellent point.

    • Mariel August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

      AMEN!

    • Emma G August 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Amen to that.

    • Jon Morehead August 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      hell yes, our media disgusts me

    • Marty August 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      Did these two women save people’s lives because they are lesbians? Should they get recognition because they are lesbians? I seriously doubt they did not get as much coverage BECAUSE they are lesbians, but I am sure that’s what gay supporters would like to have everyone believe. This is what I cant handle about gay people. They put their sexuality before everything, use it as an explanation for everything – especially if its something that happened or didn’t happen to them that caused them distress, and make it the main issue in every story and aspect of life.

      Doing this diminishes the horrors of what happened in Norway that day to all of those innocent people. It takes the attention off loss of life, and places the focus on the sexuality of two people. It also diminished their own story of heroism. Its almost as if the writer of this blog, and many of the commenters, are saying “how horrible are these two gay women being treated!” instead of “what those two women did was so heroic in the face of fear and uncertainty.”

      Who gives a rat’s ass about the sexuality of individuals who do acts of heroism. Are they heroes because they are gay? Highly doubt it.

      • Megan August 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

        Point well taken regarding sexuality NOT being an issue or having any bearing on the real story of of these two women being true heroes as human beings. The story should have been published regardless of sexuality.

        But this is what I can’t stand about straight people. “They” say things like this:
        “This is what I cant handle about gay people. They put their sexuality before everything, use it as an explanation for everything…”

        By this statement, you are claiming that all gay people consider themselves gay first. Clearly you don’t know any gay people and if you do, why don’t you ask them how they really feel. And if they say that their sexuality defines 100% of who they are, take some advice and get some new gay friends. Being gay is just a PART of who we are. No one gives a “rat’s ass” about their sexuality, but next time you accidentally stumble into a gay bar or a gay-owned establishment, count how many seconds it takes you to pronounce your heterosexuality….

      • higeber August 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

        maybe they should’ve just left the people there, to avoid getting on your nerves.

      • Dalton August 3, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

        The point is not that they are heroes because they are gay. It is that the mainstream media (especially in places that tend to discriminate against the GLBT community) didn’t even deign to report on what they did in the midst of the tragedy. I am of the opinion that, had it been a hetero couple that had saved 40 teenagers, this story would have been reported all over the world and the two heroes would have been interviewed by numerous sources. This isn’t about “put(ting) their sexuality before everything” but more about why wasn’t this even mentioned. You are correct in saying that no matter the sexual orientation of these two women, they are heroes. The article is also right to question why no one outside of Finland has actually reported this story.

      • lakekid August 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

        So true. What does what they do in the bedroom have to do with driving a boat and picking up people??
        How about, “A bi-racial” couple saved 40 teens? Just like th behaviour of the first cuple, the races of the second have no bearing on what they did to help!!!!

      • jblovlossJoseph August 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

        I think the important point is that we’re considered to be evil sinners by a very vocal group of people, and reminders are nice.

      • KathyD August 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

        Exactly!!

      • Daniel August 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

        Given how the popular press typically loves stories of heroism, do you care to offer another explanation why this story hasn’t been reported in any major news outlets?

        What I can’t handle about indignant homophobes (and when you imply that all gay people do something [other than gay sex] and you can’t “handle it”, you’re homophobic) is their inability to make a cogent argument.

      • Dylan August 3, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

        Marty, the article doesn’t at any point claim they are heroes BECAUSE they are lesbians; they are heroes because they helped save 40 lives and risked their own lives in the process. The author is contending that if this was a straight couple, their heroism would be reported, but most media outlets don’t want to touch this story because they are a lesbian couple.

        You can agree or disagree with that, but your characterization of the article is incorrect, and your generalizations about gay people are wrong too. That would be like a gay person saying “this is what I can’t handle about straight people” because of the militant homophobes who go around telling gay people they are going to hell, they are impure and evil, they corrupt children, God Hates Fags, etc. It’s an irrational characterization that shows you don’t know that many gay people because you think they are all radicalised and push their sexuality everywhere.

      • Erin S Crawford August 3, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

        It is stated the way it is, because there are many mainstream medias that will not tell their story because they are gay. All heroic stories should be told, regardless of their sexuality, and yet, a number of conservative groups will not share the store of two courageous women who helped save a number of lives because of the heroes’ sexuality. This in no ways diminishes the big picture of the horrific events that took place in Norway, rather it brings everyone closer and keeps this horrible event in everyone’s mind a little longer.

      • WhoopWhoop August 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

        You’re absolutely right! This story really just proves how evil and deviant the homosexuals are. How DARE they try to suggest otherwise!

      • Jim August 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

        Amen to this! Also, if you read the 1500 page manifesto the shooter wrote, you will see that he definitely was not a Fundamentalist Christian. At best he was agnostic, but probably atheist.

      • Barry August 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

        that’s about as intelligent as a brick

      • Helmut August 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

        A little angry on this topic aren’t you?! There is no way this story “diminishes the horrors of what happened”?

      • Courtney August 3, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

        Isn’t that what black people do as well?

      • amanda August 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

        Great point.

      • borkula August 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

        You know, perhaps they did save them because they are lesbians.

        It takes courage to come out to your friends and family. To say “I EXIST” takes a great deal of courage. I faced many fears when I came out to my family. I was disowned but that single act of courage has lead to the last 13 years of joy and love I share with my partner and it has made me a stronger person.

        When I was younger I shied away from conflict. I don’t know if I’d have jumped in a boat and charged into gunfire. I don’t know if I would do it if it happened today but I do know that since I faced my fear of coming out, I have been stronger. I have stood up for myself and others and challenged situations that I would not have when I was younger and lived in fear.

        So yes, perhaps being gay did have something to do with it.

      • Debi K Baughman August 4, 2011 at 1:04 am #

        I thought the same thing, that the fact that they were lesbians might not be so important right here, or made such a big deal of; on the other hand, the fact that they were a lesbian couple, right now when so many people still have such negetive views about Lesbians, could play a big role to let people know that they were willing to put their lives on the line to save these kids, to give people another view other then just their present views on homosexuality.

      • LW August 4, 2011 at 1:38 am #

        This is not implying that their sexuality is important. It is actually the opposite. If their sexuality was not deemed important in the first place, why was their story not shared? However, since it was not picked up, this is what made it necessary to mention not just the heroic event, but the fact that it was not picked up as well.

      • Jacob August 4, 2011 at 1:53 am #

        Don’t question the logic of whether or not a claim is true and then make a sweeping generalization about gay people always making everything about their sexuality. This is not true. I don’t do it. Brush up on your fallacies.

      • Susan August 4, 2011 at 9:47 am #

        In your statement – This is what I cant handle about gay people. They put their sexuality before everything, use it as an explanation for everything…
        Really? Here I thought it was the straight people who are always putting our sexuality FIRST and using it as an excuse to discriminate.

      • Chelsey August 4, 2011 at 11:06 am #

        This article is about two women who saved the lives of 40 people that would have died in this tragic shooting. I don’t care if they are gay, straight, bi, transgendered they are HEROES and it’s upsetting that our government and press made the decision to NOT include the heroic acts of these two women BECAUSE they are lesbians. This act of heroism and humanity should be celebrated not ignored. If you ask me, we all need more humanity in our lives… we thrive way to much as a nation on tragedy, death and destruction. Truthfully this event is a reminder of another thing our government deems unnecessary to tell us…

      • SDM August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

        “This is what I cant handle about gay people. They put their sexuality before everything, use it as an explanation for everything – especially if its something that happened or didn’t happen to them that caused them distress, and make it the main issue in every story and aspect of life. “???????

        Such a stereotypical comment. I did not know that gay people have one voice and opinion on everything and a pattern of behavior apparently regarding their sexuality. Don’t worry Marty no one is asking you to handle us

      • Vaiko August 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

        How bout these two Women saved 40 peoples lives, and risked their own, is that enough clarity for you?

      • Ben Robinson August 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

        The issue is the media silence that obscures the existence and participation in our lives of marginalized people. What they did made them heroes, but it was not as widely publicized because they are lesbians.

        The point is NOT as you say: “This is what I cant handle about gay people. They put their sexuality before everything, use it as an explanation for everything”

        Often middle or upperclass heterosexual white males that have always been finanacially stabel with access to educational and employment opportunities take your stance. Most of the world does not share that privelege and THAT is the point.

      • Shelley August 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

        Dear Marty,
        Your heterosexuality is in the faces of everyone all the time.
        No one is a hero because of who they fuck, I agree. But it is absurd to say that gay people are the only ones who put their sexuality before everything else. Do you own a tv?

      • livetleker August 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

        @Megan: How can you say:”clearly you don’t know any gay people?” There is not a person on earth that does not know gay people. That’s the point: It’s silly to stress someones sexuality in a news report.

      • Jenna August 5, 2011 at 12:26 am #

        I agree with you Marty.

      • gladys August 5, 2011 at 11:22 am #

        Evidently you don’t care about their sexuality but you missed the point. Whether it was not reported because it was 2 women that did the heroic deed or because they were lesbians, if it had been 2 men I believe it would have made front page. I didn’t see it reported anywhere else, did you?

      • Leida August 5, 2011 at 11:53 am #

        You are so………..right!

      • MASON August 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

        Well said. I agree completely.

      • Michael August 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

        Here’s one for ya. I’m a Mexican/Maltese Hedrosexual who has been treated like shit all my life. Is it because I’m Hedro, Mexican or Maltese or because I’m male? Sounds rediculas dosen’t it?! By the way New York Times lies. The freak was not a christian but an atheist nazi who only wanted white people in his country. I have a handful of gay and lesbian relatives in my family and I love each and every one of them! They are some of the finest people you will ever meet. Because they’re wounderful humanbeings not because of any sexual oriantation. (Forgive my spelling!) And please don’t stick your sexuality in my face! I don’t care about that. That’s between you and God. MexMaltMike

      • Mark August 6, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

        I agree. Why do you suppose that is? If sanybody has an answer please let me know. It’s very similar to media coverage in the states when a “Person of Color” is refered to as the color first and what ever happened next. I’m not sure why it’s so important.

        If a story started out that “A White Person” did whatever, or “A Heterosexual Couple/Person” did whatever, lots of people would be upset. If I go around with a “White Pride” shirt, “Heterosexual Is The Way To Do IT” or ” I’m Straight And Proud Of IT” hat, I would be accused of being Racist or Homophobic.

        Can anyone say Double Standard? Thats what we have and it’s too bad because it gets in the way of normal un-hateful relationships.

      • Nikki August 7, 2011 at 12:29 am #

        Just like black people pulling the “cause Im black” stunt every chance they get……..they want equality, yet constantly bring attention to race, sexual orientation etc,etc

      • Anita Jones August 7, 2011 at 3:22 am #

        Not the point here. Why was there no coverage of their heroism despite being gay? Anyone having intervened in the saving of these students has been recognised elsewhere, why not these ladies. Sexuality has nothing to do with this event. You are obviously not focused on the broader picture. Their situation has been ignored, is it because of their relationship? The media decides who & what is reported, they also dictate the tone of the article how it is to be read by the public, not the individual reading the article.

      • Jennifer August 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

        THANK YOU! My thoughts exactly. Why did it have to mention that they were gay? That has nothing to do with that fact that they were heroes. Simply stating that they saved lives is plenty of information. Someone else mentioned they thought this story might be made up, I’m sort of thinking that as well. Can’t we all just get along?

      • Dahlia August 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

        not all “gay people” shove their sexuallity down people’s throats. I understand where your coming from, though i think your being harsh.in every minority group their are individuals who exagerate about miss treatment, and jump on the first thing they can to prove their point.

      • Mollie September 9, 2011 at 12:18 am #

        Hello Marty,

        I realize that my response is late. However, this story just now came to my attention, likely because was not run in mainstream media in the U.S. Unfortunately, you are not alone in not understanding structural discrimination and the lived expericnce of minority groups. I hope you are able to take in Megan’s response to your post and see the deeper issues that necessitate a story like the one above.

      • Norm October 2, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

        Hey Marty. As a GAY man, I tell ya’ what. When someone is shooting your ass up I’ll make a HUGE effort not to save you. And just while your on the pedestal speaking from a great height, what else can’t you handle about gay people? You are a bigot and just like the freak who shot those kids. If the two women had been Muslim or black immigrants, wouldn’t that have been notable given the agenda of the shooter or would that qualify in your ‘who gives a rat’s ass about their religion or ethnicity category? Finally, yes Marty, those women are heroes because they are gay and they have to face assholes like you everyday of their lives and they STILL save these children your country sends to political indoctrination camps. You’re a nasty, angry little man Marty and, eventually, it will give you cancer. Yes, Marty, I’m wishing cancer upon you!!! Maybe a Lesbian doctor will save you!

      • faith Alkire April 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

        in some ways you are right the point shouldn’t be their sexuality and in Norway were the story was cover by the press it wasn’t a point but you have to wonder if the very fact that in the USoA the fact that this story was very pointedly ignored does make their sexuality a point here

    • Kris August 3, 2011 at 1:21 am #

      As a human I appreciate them.As a “L” no.

    • Octarin August 3, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      Hear hear! Jolly well done to these women, they just made me feel proud I’m a woman!

    • Gary DeVaney August 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      Awesomely accurate! Regards, G

    • susan stewart August 4, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      In the UK the ‘i’ newspaper reported the couple’s heroic act yesterday on page 10. Only a smallish paragraph, but at least it’s some acknowledgement!

    • marielle August 4, 2011 at 5:25 am #

      excactly. And I am pretty sure I saw a long interview with the blond woman at NRKsome 2-3 days afterwords. The interviewer did not ask her what sexual orientation she had. Neither did they ask the german tourist that, nor any of the others.

      Wonder if the couple approve of this article…?

      Anyhow: THANK YOU HEROES!!!

    • Dave August 4, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      scores of people helped the teenagers that day, both from boats and on shore. 90% of them were not written about; it has nothing to do with what type of people they were.

    • Confused & Befuddled. August 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      Utterly agree.

    • David Dalglish August 4, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

      What an amazing story of compassion, bravery and selflessness. True Heroes!

    • Kay August 5, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      Techres has said it superbly: “you are what you do when it counts. Period.”

  2. LoveYourDNA August 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Thank you for being such awesome heroines!

    • Minnie d'Arc August 2, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      I’ll second that, certainly. Bless Hege and Toril for their heroism.

  3. seriousandsomber August 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    I obviously do not support the Norwegian terrorist but he was not a Christian. He made it clear that he does not have a relationship with God in his manifesto. He said that he is only Christian culturally, not religiously. That isn’t quite clear what he means, but I know enough to know he is not a Christian.

    He also killed 69 people, not 92.

    Facts make things less sensational. Not saying that about the total deaths, but saying that about his religious alignment, which was not Christian.

    This was not a religious act. This was a political act.

    • mark August 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      And thats what you took from this story, not that two heroic women rescued forty individuals? Stay blind to your faith, it obviously clouds over everything else you read, but thanks for making sure we know it was ONLY 69 people killed and that the insane gunman had renounced his christianity. Way to see the important parts.

      • seriousandsomber August 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

        What faith?

      • Holly August 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

        Agreed.

      • Jim Aitkins August 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

        The two women are heroes, especially if they put their lives in danger. But the notion that their homosexuality is the reason we haven’t heard about this aspect of the story – I can buy that. After all, it also hasn’t been widely reported that the program of the camp was to celebrate and promote the Labor Party’s rather nasty Jew-hating worldview.

        Did everyone know about that? Has it been widely reported that this particular camp is a virulently anti-Semitic operation where children engage in exercises and activities against Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the most maligned country in the world? At Utoya, children learn about, and participate in, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) activities, protest Israel’s life-saving security fence erected as protection against Muslim-Palestinian terror attacks and even simulate breaking the blockade of Gaza that saves Jewish lives.

        In time, we may learn other aspects of the story… aspects that had been held back because those who disseminate the news to the masses don’t know how to make it fit into one of the few templates they want us to be fed. Who knows.

        Since just in this string of less than 20 comments (so far) there are about four different opinions about the total death toll of the attacks, the point is made that we all need to take responsibility for digging for the story within the story. As in this case, there are often several side stories! We should all ask questions that the major media fails to ask and see what else there is because there’s often more than meets the eye!

        Hopefully, most people can agree on one thing. The word “fundamentalist”, when attached to a person who engages in a certain activity, is a reference to the way that person acted in strict adherence to the most base, basic, fundamentals of their beliefs. As bizarre and altogether foolish as many Christians are, there is simply no tenet of the Christian faith that promotes violence, let alone killing 69, 77, 85, or 92 people in a bloody carnage. There was simply nothing “fundamentalist” Christian about what that monster did. So, no, he’s not a Fundamentalist Christian and was not acting as one.

        What if one of those lesbian heroes had a riffle. What if she shot and killed that murderer before the body count rose into the dozens, saving even more lives. I don’t even want to speculate as to what the headlines would have been then! What an upside down world. Thank God they were in the right place at the right time.

        [Being a Fundamentalist Christian is never about shooting people. It’s mainly about going around judging others, condemning others, looking down on others, condescending, patronizing, and misrepresenting Jesus.]

      • Gerald Hall August 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

        His manifesto clearly states that religion was not important in his life, that he was much more interested in secular issues. The problem with inflating numbers and falsely claiming that this murderer is a fundamentalist Christian now is that you are casting undue blame on fundamentalist Christians. Do two wrongs make a right? Clearly no. Please get away from the rhetoric and stick with the facts. OK?

      • jeannie August 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

        amen mark!! my sentiments exactly. and they call themselves christians?? i will never understand the mentality that professes to love God but has no room in their hearts for those of a different point of view or lifestyle. and these women, if the story is as reported, heroes of the best kind. they put themselves on the line for others ….and never thought to ask if they were gay or staright..
        kudos for doing what was right when it needed to be done.

      • Roni Keeton August 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

        Thank you Mark.

      • Laura August 2, 2011 at 1:15 am #

        I like your comment. Killing for any cause is wrong, most especially in G-d’s name. Unfortunately, being Christian has also included a “responsibility” to massacre those of other faiths or cultures in history repeatedly. Why is it when someone of a non-majority faith kills, the entire faith is blamed, but when someone of a majority faith kills that is not so?

      • Jason Page August 2, 2011 at 1:22 am #

        I’m glad these people saved who they could. Let’s keep the action at that. For the moment, WHO CARES if they are lesbians or not. We are all human beings and all life is precious. I am a Christian in the biblical sense of the word and while I do not agree with the lifestyle choice of homosexual men and women, I still treat them as people in need of a savior, Jesus, just as I do. I have tons of room in my heart for people with different points of view and different lifestyles – my heart breaks for so many of them. But unlike the current trends in thinking these days, i believe in right and wrong, not “everybody’s version of right and wrong is ok”. I choose to follow the Bible and Jesus because I believe it to be the truth. Why is there no room in others hearts for me when I show nothing but love and kindness to them?

      • Micah Burke August 2, 2011 at 1:43 am #

        Yes, that’s what seriousandsomber took, because it’s a simple falsehood repeated over and over, and seems specifically intended to make Christians look bad. This guy was neither a Christian no a fundamentalist. He was an admitted agnostic and used the term “christian” politically. Even in your reply you carry the theme over claiming he ‘renounced’ his christianity, did you bother to read any of the relevant parts of his manifesto or are you just spouting out of your rear?

      • Denise August 2, 2011 at 6:26 am #

        Mark,
        Truth does not cloud perspective – lies and anger do. Journalism/blogging/reporting should hold to the highest standards of excellence if a story is to be credible.
        When I read the line, “Christian Fundamentalist” I also was startled. Many will read that and forgive the writer the mistake. But many will stop at that line and not continue. If we care about our message, we will work hard at crafting it, won’t we?
        Denise

      • Jackie August 2, 2011 at 6:45 am #

        Well said, Mark.

      • PermaGoddess August 2, 2011 at 7:08 am #

        Right on Mark! I agree…!

      • Scott Wargo August 2, 2011 at 9:34 am #

        Mark, I think you’re missing seriousandsomber’s point. Our modern news LOVES to sensationalize, for good and bad. Why not just say two women did a wonderful thing? Why do they have to make a deal over the fact that they were two gay women? To prove that gays are human and compassionate too? DUH.
        And the article and many like it profess this guy was a Christian. That is a serious misrepresentation. The news is supposed to report RELEVANT FACTS, period. No one has any journalistic integrity anymore. He wasn’t a Christian. That’s an outright lie. Instead of just reporting what happened, they have to color the story with their personal viewpoint of GAY = GOOD and Christian = bad, crazy gay-bashing potential murderers filled with HATE, another overused word designed to stir up dislike and mistrust. Look up yellow journalism and propaganda pal, that’s what is distracting from the story of this tragedy. I don’t think S&S was trying to do so. We need to speak up about all the bullshit we are being fed by the so-called news services, regardless of their slant.

      • notyomama August 2, 2011 at 9:37 am #

        Thank you so much for pointing that out. I was thinking the same thing when I read that statement. What does it matter that they got the number murdered mixed up. Either way it is a horrible tragedy as well as a heroic story.

      • me August 2, 2011 at 9:40 am #

        I thought this blog post was about how this story was not being picked up. I agree that not reporting correctly is just as bad as not reporting it at all.

      • Peter Pazucha August 2, 2011 at 9:48 am #

        The point is not that this was the ONLY thing the commenter took from the article — The point is that getting your facts WRONG or screwed up calls into question the true points one attempts to make.

        In a day when photos are edited, when facts are not checked — even by reputable publishers its a GOOD thing to make sure that you are agreeing with something that is true and not a falsification.

        And I have been around long enough to have seen that many non-christians are ever so eager to blame atrocious acts on christians, almost as if someone else’s act justifies their choice to refuse faith. And in this case his objection to the article is correct — this was not an act of faith – it was an act of politics.

        That said — I did appreciate the primary point of the article. It’s too easy to think that because someone holds a point of view different from ours that if they do something admirable then it’s a good thing to ignore it.

        We are all made better by good acts; we are all diminished by horror; it’s good to honor those who give us something to appreciate, so say, that’s the way I would have wanted to behave if I were in thier place. Good on them for being courageous and humane

      • Lady Di August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am #

        Mark, I believe seriousandsomber was responding not to the caring the women showed, but the sensationalized inappropriate labeling given in the media.

        If the story had been about 50 Army personnel who had rescued 40 individuals, his/her criticism would still be valid. The regurgitation of misinformation by people who don’t take the time to read the documents, but know that somewhere that or those words were mentioned is lamentable journalism.

      • NonChristian August 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

        Wait, he’s pointing out the facts of the case, but he’s bad because you’ve decided on no evidence that he must be a Christian? Exactly who’s operating on faith here? I was bothered by the same thing: the first line of this story (which I’ve read elsewhere) contains an outright lie. I’m not a Christian, I’m not religious at all, and I’m as far left as you can go without drowning. Lying is lying. Spinning Breivik as a fundamentalist Christian when he’s nothing of the sort is Fox News tactics, and it makes me ill.

      • erika August 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        nice one!!!

      • deeliciousplum August 3, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        Hi Mark,

        1st and foremost, this is a lot of typing… you are not bound nor is it necessary for you to read this. Yet, I needed to share a thought or two with you.

        Thank you so much Mark for sharing your thoughts within your August 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm comment. I fully found talkaboutequality’s posting to be of a great value. Please, forgive me of stepping away from their blog, so as to make a small addendum to your comment of seriousandsomber’s questionable claim that Anders “had renounced his Christianity”…

        While Anders was interogated, he clearly stated that he is aligned with the very questionable and kooky community of people who are pro-Crusades, a Roman Catholic community of those who fight against Greek Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

        Anders also stated that he is passionately aligned with a presently fictitious (as they once did exist in the early part of 2nd millennium) and kooky conspiracy minded community of people known as the Knights Templar, “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon.” In the early part of the 2nd millennium, The Knights Templar were commissioned and sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church to actively partipate in the Crusades, “a religiously sanctioned military campaigns, called by the pope and waged by kings and nobles who volunteered to take up the cross with the main goal of restoring Christian control of the Holy Land.”

        Mind you and even if the Knights Templar do exist in some shape or form presently, they are most likely made up of kooks with conspiracy filled minds, who are more of a danger to themselves than to society as a whole. But, this is an opinion. Anders, seems to have fused his psychosis along with the tenets of the these odd Roman Catholic Crusaders.

        Once again, forgive me for sharing way too much info on Anders… In my one point three cents of an opinion… Anders appears to have killed possibly due to motivations that are derived from a psychosis (one that did not render him incapable of being quite skilful and knowledgeable) that took shape and was fueled by a heightened sense of paranoia towards multiculturalism and due to aligning his moral compass with these very kooky historical Roman Catholic sanctioned Christian soldiers, who are motivated to kill due to their faith and religious purported life purpose.

        Anders is a heinous murderer. Yet, it was quite a far stretch of the imagination for seriousandsomber to claim that Anders is not a Christian. Mind you, I do side with seriousandsomber when they claim that one of the components of Ander’s intent was derived from a political motivation. Seriousandsomber just mistakenly forgot to mention the religious (though a visible kooky aspect of religion) component.

        – dee

        p.s. I could be so far off. But one share in thoughts and from this we learn.

      • Fed_Up August 3, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

        I’d like to think the person to whom you are replying was merely stating facts. Just because that person didn’t say anything else doesn’t mean you should read into it. The facts that person stated do not cancel out the others. No, he was not a Xian – but does that mean that 2 women *other* false Xians despise *didn’t* save all those people? One has nothing to do with the other.

    • Audra Lowery August 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      He killed 85 in the camp alone so 92 is not sensationalizing anything, He called himself Christian, his acts weren’t Christian but the acts of most terrorist don’t really go with the religions we associate the people with so it’s not fair to leave that out.

      • seriousandsomber August 1, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

        He killed 69 people total in all locations. Facts matter.

      • vivi August 1, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

        70 of the ppl he shot on the island died (that day or in the hospital). He also killed 22 people with a bomb in Oslo. 92 people total; facts matter, YOU should get them right.

        He used to belong to a church, he had religious overtones to his homicidal/terrorist mission, and he cited many religious affiliations. He said he was fighting the Labour party’s stance on Muslim immigration for religious reasons and the obvious xenophobia. If a person had said and done all these things for Islam, you would not hesitate a second in calling them an extremist Muslim. However, it’s pretty futile to use rational reasoning on someone so closed-minded. What a shame…

      • Cash August 2, 2011 at 12:05 am #

        Actually, he didn’t call himself a Christian, and in his manifesto he rallied against Christianity as well as other religions. When he refers to Christians in his ramblings, he is talking about anyone that isn’t Muslim. Before you decide to school someone, maybe you should do your homework first.

      • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 1:47 am #

        And he did not call himself Christian, to the contrary he actually refused the title.

      • Scott Wargo August 2, 2011 at 9:35 am #

        ….and I can call myself a secret agent. That don’t make it so….

      • Robert Marshall August 3, 2011 at 9:27 am #

        Then by the same logic it is not fair to leave out the size of his penis as that too is an irrelevant fact.

    • Stacey August 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

      you are missing the point lame-o.

      • seriousandsomber August 1, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

        I did not miss the point. I just don’t like when people stretch the truth or paint people a certain color to make their point seem more important. The OP is making this a religious, anti-gay thing when it is not that at all.

    • Augusta Christensen August 1, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      Your numbers are provably false.

      http://en.rian.ru/world/20110727/165415865.html

      The death toll is 76.
      As for the rest of what you say, I have not read the manifesto, but from what I have heard of it, he was writing that he desired a holy war to take back Norway from Muslim immigrants. Yes, it was a political act of terrorism. So was 9/11, but the external religious influences must also be taken into account.

      • Zion August 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

        you’re a fool if you still think islamic extremists are responsible for the september 11th terror attacks…

    • makiki89 August 1, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

      Jesus, people. Read his comment before you all start whining. He has a point – he’s not protecting Christianity, he’s just pointing out the invalid perspective of this article. Nothing more or less.

      It is weird that I had not heard this story before, though. Is it really because of the gay-thing. ‘Cause in my country homosexuality really isn’t that big of a deal anymore…

      • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 1:48 am #

        I heard a similar story but it was a man with a boat.

    • Danae?! August 1, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      Oh yeah. 69 people. That’s like not even a blip, is it? Bahaha, that’s barely even any lives at all! Why does it even matter? /sarcasm

      If this guy was “culturally Islamic” it would be just another example of “Islam breeding violence”. Religion, no matter WHAT it is, can have a detrimental effect on people when taken to extremes.

      • trickster August 1, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

        What the hell. I mean honestly what the hell. “Religion, no matter WHAT is it, can have a detrimental effect on people when taken to extremes?” I hope, sincerely hope, you mean to say- “an idea” no matter what, when taken to an extreme can have a detrimentral effect. Otherwise, it appears to be a completely bias and misleading diss towards religion. :/

    • tobi August 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

      he killed 482! NOt tHE DAMN POINt! even if it were one person dead. if you need an explanation of the actual point, then me tellin you wouldnt help since you see what you wanna see. p.s. alqeda or whatever isn’t muslim either, they are extremist, which isn’t preached in either or any

    • a August 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

      What the heck is wrong with you? Really, this is the article you choose to leave this kind of comment? The terrorist responsible for all these deaths did in fact kill over 80 people. Nobody is claiming that the terrorist act was anti-gay. The culprit also identified as Christian so just because you don’t consider him a Christian by your standards means nothing. Nobody is saying that religion is solely to blame but religion does play a part in it. All of this is neither here nor there because the article isn’t about the mass murderer who committed the crime. It’s not about religion, sexuality, or media sensationalism. This article is about a lovely couple who helped saved lives out of the goodness of their hearts.

    • Ray August 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      He was a freemason. One cannot become freemason unless you accept a greater deity, most often the Christian God.

      The number was originally thought to be 92, until some of the missing teenagers were found alive. The psycholigcal impact he had on the other 300 people on the island, as well as their friends and families, and the people killed in the Oslo bombings as well as THEIR friends and families, should probably make up for the lessened number. At least I think so. Perhaps it’s mainly because I’m one of those people who had friends on that island, and have seen the effects on those who returned home.

      Just thought I ought to point it out, whether it was a political act or not. Facts does not make things any less sensational when you look at the big picture of things. Unless you’re a heartless douche.

    • Kels August 1, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

      He wasn’t a real Scotsman, either.

      • Sacha Moufarrege August 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

        +1 for citing the No True Scotsman fallacy, which is completely relevant here. I’m sure the Christians denying that the killer was Christian wouldn’t hesitate for a second to call him a Muslim if he were Middle Eastern. In fact, when the media originally reported on it, people were calling him a Muslim.

      • claudichameleon August 3, 2011 at 2:10 am #

        hahahaha! Good one. ~*)

      • claudichameleon August 3, 2011 at 2:26 am #

        @Kels: do you suppose maybe the writers of these strange posts are real? i’m kinda hoping not. they’re certainly not Scotsmen/women either. because they have no wit whatever. and your post went so far over their heads it didn’t even register. amazing. everyone’s off in ‘lalalalala’ land where no one can hear what anyone else is saying….. ~*)

    • Barbara Barrett August 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

      Seriousandsomber: he was Christian. He said so. Doh!

      • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

        He said he was not a Christian in terms of faith, he was a Christian in terms of culture. He is talking about the (usually) Caucasian, western culture. He made a mistake in calling it Christian because it is not Christian at all.

    • Paulina Coughlin August 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

      I was about to say the same thing.

    • FactFinder August 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      The total is 77… Facts are important. And in his manifesto he calls himself the saviour of Christianity… Facts are important. He openly procalims himself Christian multiple times in the manifesto and in his other writings… Facts are important. Seriousandsomber may want to find some that aren’t from the Bill O’Reilly show.

      These two women are heroes, plain and simple. They ran into the fire that others fled from. They are the truth in this matter.

      • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 1:38 am #

        I never disputed that these women are heroes at all. I disputed the incorrect figures and assumptions in the OP’s post to make it all more dramatic.

      • Scott Wargo August 2, 2011 at 9:39 am #

        ….again, I can call myself Captain America, that don’t make it so.

      • H. August 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

        You are correct fact finder, facts are important.

        The total number is 77 killed
        (69 on Utøya 8 in Oslo)
        66 hurt on Utøya
        30 hurt in Oslo
        Nobody is missing anymore.

    • John Nixdorf August 2, 2011 at 4:07 am #

      The Norwegian terrorist is only not Christian if all the Islamic terrorists aren’t Muslim. I don’t care which way you go, but it’s got to be a universally applied standard. Either the tiny sliver of religious wackos aren’t representative of their entire religion and “aren’t really” Christian or Muslim, or they are members of the religions they claim, allbeit violent and hateful ones.

      • Fed_Up August 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

        Well said. I agree that no truly religious person ever commits an act like this – as can be proven by the overwhelming members of any religion who never do anything like this.

      • AJA August 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

        Agreed, I think “Islamic Fundamentalist” is as misleading as “Christian Fundamentalist”. People are using religious labels in an attempt to indict by association as many people from groups they oppose.

        This man was a terrorist as is any other person, regardless of goals, who use methods of terror to make political or religious statements. The word “fundamentalist” has lost its original meaning, it only maintains negative connotations, it is now used mainly as a negative epithet.

        What amazes me is the hatred held in our modern world for anyone who holds religious beliefs of a supreme God. Yes, granted, a lot of evil things have been done in the name of God, equally as bad as those things done in the name of the secularism. But, how many great things have been done in the name of God. People need to drop their hatreds of “groups” and hold the individual responsible. This man murdered many, and his reasoning to do so is secondary to the fact that he is a murderer. Any goal he may have had for this event could have been achieved without violence. He chose violence, therefore he is responsible, not religion or lack thereof.

      • AJA August 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

        (I forgot to finish my thought) These wonderful women acted in the manner befitting their morals, but they acted as individuals, not as members of a group. The fact that they are lesbians had little to do with their actions. The actions were a result of their humanity, courage, and compassion.

    • Tonya August 2, 2011 at 4:44 am #

      Wow. Really? That’s ALL you got out of this article?

    • Lea August 2, 2011 at 5:41 am #

      The deathtoll was orriginally at 92, because so many people were lost and nobody knew where their wounded friends were, They were scattered on various hospitals, and there had been some confusion when they counted the dead at the island, the first time.
      Respectfully
      Lea Thume

    • jin August 2, 2011 at 7:29 am #

      sounds christian like too me.

    • Randy August 2, 2011 at 9:57 am #

      I’m guessing that’s how most Muslims feel when the fundies on their side of the fence commit horrid acts such as this – Shame, disgust and wanting to pretend that their religion couldn’t have possibly spawned such atrocious acts

      But, unfortunately for You, for fundamentalist Christians, fundamentalist Muslims and any other religion that spells out violence as being a legitimate course to take upon those outside Your frame of morals, such things do happen.

      And it IS partially Your religion to blame.

      You can deny him being a “Christian” all You want, but that’s Ok. Denial can be a warm security blanket when morons like this guy throw You and Your beliefs out in the cold.

    • Jeremy Poynton August 2, 2011 at 10:16 am #

      Quite so. To label him a Christian Fundamentalist is simply to lay bare the author’s own prejudices, in what is an otherwise uplifting article.

      Disclaimer. I am not a Christian, I am not even baptised; I will say that the Christian message has much to commend it, regardless.

    • Klm August 2, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      Agreed. I came to say that fanatical right- wing anti- Muslimist nutter would be a more accurate description than Christan Fundamentalist. Nothing I’ve read about/by him indicates a particular drown faithfulness.

      And I’m a bad catholic raised in SE USA, so not in any way defending Christian fundamentalists, whom I learned to be wary of 40 years ago.

    • Stephen Bryce August 2, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Try me again when pretty much every fundamentalist Christian on the planet ISN’T talking just like this guy!

    • Alan August 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

      It could have easily been a religious act though. The Bible does grant an a-okay on genocide.

      • John Brown August 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

        “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

        Yep, sounds like Jesus was real big on genocide. And before you trot out some Old Testament passage, or like the other guy here who quoted Luke 19, let me urge you to learn how to read the Bible in context before you start telling me what it says. Don’t commit the same error as the right-wing wackos who quote verses out of context to make a point that actually stands against what Jesus clearly taught. Anyone can “proof text” from the Bible to make a point, but until you can make a clear case from the whole of Scripture and defend a Biblical ethic that doesn’t rely on random verses taken out of their context, then don’t tell me what the Bible “grants an a-okay” to.

    • Adnihilo August 2, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      re. I obviously do not support the Norwegian terrorist but he was not a Christian. He made it clear that he does not have a relationship with God in his manifesto. He said that he is only Christian culturally, not religiously.

      “Breivik chose to be baptized at age 15. He self-identified as “Christian” on his Facebook page. He thought “Christianity should recombine under the banner of a reconstituted and traditionalist Catholic Church” or, later, under a new (traditionalist) European Church.

      Breivik is not an American-style evangelical Christian. He is not a “fundamentalist” in that sense. Though he does identify with American cultural Christian conservatives. And he considers himself to be fighting in the name of “our Christian cultural heritage.” He supports a reconstituted Knights Templar devoted to winning a war against Islam in the name of Christianity.”

      “Reminders That Norwegian Terrorist Was A Christian Extremist Make Non-Extremist Christians Defensive”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/26/reminders-that-norwegian-_n_910097.html

      re. That isn’t quite clear what he means, but I know enough to know he is not a Christian.

      The above paragraphs from Huffington Post make it crystal clear that this mass murderer was indeed Christian. “I prayed for the first time in a very long time today. I explained to God that unless he wanted the Marxist-Islamic alliance and certain Islamic Takeover of Europe…he must ensure that the warriors fighting for the preservation of European Christendom prevail.”–Anders Behring Breivik

      “Breivik had repeatedly and forcefully argued that he was waging a war on behalf of European Christendom.”

      http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/07/26/breivik_christian/index.html

      Based on the above information, it should be clear to any rational person [as in non religious;-] that indeed Breivik committed his mass murders in the name of Christianity and its intolerance of Islam just like all of monotheism’s inherent intolerance against any other beliefs outside their respective religion. It is irrational for a reasonable person to tolerate this inherent intolerance in all of monotheism.

      There is an intellectual cowardice about the very nature of religion itself. All too many ignore the reality of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Monotheism depends on and demands intolerance. It is a requirement for obstinate and unreasoning attachment to any religious faith-based beliefs unfounded in fact. Intolerance is needed for indoctrination and continued adherence to religious dogma. If believers are not intolerant of other religious beliefs or non belief, these faith-based adherents do not remain devout members of their religion.

      Religion, with such black and white absolutes from fictional god-given standards created by religious leaders, must make the adherrent self-deprecating and dehumanized when the err; and must lead them to despise and dehumanize others in an intolerant and bigoted fashion when they act badly. This
      kind of absolutistic, perfectionistic, bi dimensional thinking results in the two most corroding human emotions: anxiety and hostility.

      I’ve seen arguments presenting Breivik’s actions as representing fanaticism as the cause of his intolerance like you see in below link

      http://www.rawstory.com/rawreplay/2011/07/maher-norway-shooter-is-a-christian-terrorist/

      That entire segment and panel [excluding Maher] at the above link only goes to again prove that so many who are justifiably at odds with today’s religious recidivism are presenting an all too politically correct form of intellectual cowardice that tolerates the inherent intolerance of religion [where you'll see below the video a comment where I get into the inherent intolerance of monotheism in a deeper manner].

      Breivik’s motivations were based on his more severe level of psychosis, a severe mental disorder in which contact with reality is lost or highly distorted. His more severe level of religious psychosis characterized by its bi dimensional thinking results in the two most corroding human emotions: anxiety and hostility.He acted out on his psychosis with drastic results and the deeper level he exhibited is very much akin to what you’ll see and hear coming from dozens and dozens of barely literate, barbaric, far right, American Neo Nazi white supremacists from KKK, and Aryan Nation all dressed up in their Nazi uniforms, Scottish kilts, or other uniforms [that's really hilarious;-] at the below link to a shocking documentary called:
      Blood in the Face

      This documentary fully illustrates that a strong right wing authoritarian [RWA] Christian Identity with a devout faith based belief system in the bible is the MAIN SOURCE of all Christian intolerance, hate, bigotry and violence within not just white supremacy groups, but all devout Christians. The more devout the Christian, the more intolerant, racist, bigoted, hateful and violent they seem to be. While watching the documentary do note that or at least 90% of the white supremacists reference their intolerance, bigotry, hate and violent tendencies as stemming directly from their bible. Some of their references were ‘literally’ sourcing the bible as their reasons for their intolerance, racism, bigotry, hate and violent tendencies while other bible references were stretched beyond any recognition from their source to ‘fit’ their racist cause.

      • robertantonwilson August 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

        Everyone needs to read what you just posted. Well done sir (or madam).

      • m00nbeast August 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

        Very well written. Thank you.

    • Rose August 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      I agree, he is not a Christian. They can’t wait to put Christians down every chance they get.

    • Jay Branscomb August 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

      Thank you so much for not supporting the Norwegian terrorist. That’s very reassuring.

      By your standards and logic, can we also assume that you hold the 9/11 terrorists not to be Muslims? Were their murderous acts political and not religious? Is AlQaeda not to be construed as an Islamic organization?

    • Hamid August 3, 2011 at 7:03 am #

      As is the case with so called Muslim terrorists.They are not Muslims when they commit acts of terror.Contrary to western propaganda,it is strictly forbidden to kill innocent people,that are not involved with the war.Especially,woman,children,and the elderly. When so called “moderate Muslims”,which is purely a western media fabrication,say the same thing about Muslim terrorists,there claims are rebuked. Yet it is ok,for you to decry that he is not a Christian? Please. You are obviously not even close,to being well versed on Islam or religious history for that matter.

      • Pierce Nichols August 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

        Both your claim and seriousandsomber’s claim are both excellent examples of the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. I suggest you look into it. Muslim terrorists are Muslims and Christian terrorists are Christians, and a pox on both your houses.

    • Dee August 3, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      This was the act of a nut case. Period.

      • Brian Nightingale August 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

        The focus of this story is about heroes, how did their lesbian acts achieve anything.

    • Marianne Kuiper Milks August 3, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      You only addressed half of the story, the point of the story.
      “Let the children come unto me, except lesbians and gays”?
      I thank heaven for these brave women, who acted when others may have kept eating. And that’s all that counts!
      It’d really ok, because you clearly didn’t read: 77 children were killed, 86 more injured , and 40 rescued to live, through their courage.

      “ONLY” 69 children? ONLY? Oh boy-do you ever have multiple facts wrong! Shame, shame!

    • Harlan Sanders August 3, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

      … His manifesto talked about how the de-christianizing of Europe was part of the issue that drove him to this. I think that’s a relationship if you ask me. On top of that he talks about the inferiority of nonchristians. I really don’t see how we can minimize the importance of that section in the manifesto because he spends several pages talking about how he is a crusader and how the crusades were a great thing. He may have had secular goals as well, but that doesn’t change the fact that he explicitly discusses that aspect of his motivation. I’m a Jew, but my faith isn’t the only thing the defines me, I think you probably feel the same way about yourself, and Anders Behring probably feels the same way.

      If we can continue to call someone like Osama Bin Laden a Muslim we can call this guy a Christian. It’s his decision what his religion is. Ultimately, we all need to remember that he did this in part in the name of Christianity and in his manifesto compared himself to a crusader. While what he did wasn’t consistent with the values most people identify with Christianity, we’ve gotta call a spade a spade, if he says that was his motivation we should ask why that was his motivation… No one is saying all Christians are violent or Christianity believes in violence, what they are saying is this guy was motivated by what he thought was Christianity (but was in reality a perversion thereof). It’s useful to understand why people do what they do so we can help detect others who may be so motivated. Why do we talk about the radicalization of Muslims? Because Bin Laden and friends claimed to be motivated by Islam. Same thing applies here.

    • Carol Rivermoon August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      He probably has as much of a relationship with his god as did the folk who murdered those doctors who happened to support choice by performing abortions…..

    • LS August 3, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      He did it because of HIS perceived notion that Muslims continue to “invade” Europe and the liberal labor party – in HIS view – was not doing anything to stop it. That makes him a right-wing fundamentalist Christian terrorist. it bigotry at its best.

    • didi August 4, 2011 at 12:41 am #

      since when has religion not been political? I think youre living in a dream world or have simply refused to take a look at history if you honestly believe any religion, including Christianity is not political in some forms

    • Pierce Nichols August 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you for this lovely example of the ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy. Would you mind if I included it in the collection of examples I’m putting together?

  4. Brat August 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    What a self-sacrificing thing to do. My hat is off to these two ladies. I don’t care what they call themselves, I call them heroes.

    • Shoe August 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      Amen

    • dee August 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      thank you for bringing this convo back to the point

  5. Gertie H. August 1, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    What is wrong with you all… he killed people, period. That isn’t even the point of this story. The story is about two women who saved many lives… grow up, and learn to read!

    • muumol August 2, 2011 at 1:08 am #

      Agreed. An act of terror an killing people. It didn’t matter to him who he killed or who he terrorised. What mattered in this story was there was two people who risked their lives to help those he would’ve killed if given the chance. They did the right thing and they deserve to have their story shared as much as others.

  6. RM August 1, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Actually the number of deaths is 77. I am Norwegian and that is the official number. 68 at Utøya, 8 in Oslo, 1 in a hospital due to injuries from Utøya. Here is one source in english – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/29/norway-terror-attacks-victim-funeral . Facts are indeed nice. However, around 20 people are still in hospitals, seriously injured, so sadly the number could still rise. Also, many young people are probably traumatized for life, and pretty much the entire Norwegian population feel shock and grief these days. So please don’t try to make this about numbers and your own religious issue.

    But more to the point, these two women acted heroically, as did many others, and they are a source of joy and hope during a difficult time. Thanks for sharing!

    • Dewayneinsd August 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

      Correct the number does not matter the attack was horrific and these two ladies unarmed were beyond brave!

      I am much more interested in how many they were able to save and THAT IMAGE,the faces of this couple rescuing them is what they will remember the rest of their lives.

    • numberthirtysix August 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

      I’m sorry, but what does their sexual orientation have to do with the deeds they did? Let’s praise them for what they did, not for they are. That’s what’s most important..

      • numberthirtysix August 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

        Whoops, wanted to reply to article in whole, sorry.

      • Taylor August 2, 2011 at 1:20 am #

        When being part of a community commonly comes with negative annotations, people like to glorify all the positives that come from their community.
        I personally don’t think it matters, but I believe thats the mindset of a lot of people :)

      • Carolina August 2, 2011 at 5:10 am #

        what they are is not important, i agree. but it becomes important when all the national and international mass media have ignored this story. it’s just important to see the fact that if they were two people and not two lesbian, the mass media system would have turn this story into a fairy tale, would have tell the fact as well as an hollywood movie.

      • Lea August 2, 2011 at 5:48 am #

        Some of my friends on Facebook have wondered the same thing. I think it is because sexual leanings are so unimportant in Denmark and Norway. Gays and Lesbians have equal rights with others, unless a few laws, and they are being worked on.

        I know that when these horrible pictures from Utoya first came to the news, and we saw the media, they talked with these two ladies, and others who had rescued a lot of young people. But of course noone mentioned anything about sexual orientation. That was simply unimportant, then and it is unimportant now, in Denmark and Norway. Granted, it may be important in the United states to mention this, just to underline the fact that Gays and Lesbians are part of our society and an important part of it too.
        Respectfully Lea Thume

      • Sabrina August 2, 2011 at 7:11 am #

        It’s an issue because this hasn’t been reported by mainstream media, which is insane.

    • Tom August 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      Who cares if they were lesbian? Does that fact in their lives make it any more heroic what they did that day? I could care less if they were Jewish, Muslim, hetero, or hermaphrodite. What they did was nothing short of heroism in extreme crisis. They could have left and never come back, but they didn’t. As for calling the guy a fundamentalist Christian, the facts show in his own manifesto that he was neither religious or spiritual, but rather on a broader moral platform. The Bible says “Thou shalt not murder.” Generally, Mankind accepts this as morally wrong. Does that make mankind Christian? Calling him a fundamentalist Christian was only done so with intent and malice towards those who espouse a true belief in Christianity. After all, didn’t everyone notice how those two words alone: “fundamentalist Christian” lit a fire in the news, in spite of the facts?

      • Lily August 2, 2011 at 6:14 am #

        This article is pointing out that their heroism received less press than it probably should have, not that it would have been any less heroic than if it had been done by a Jew, Muslim, Heterosexual or Hermaphrodite.

      • Denise August 2, 2011 at 6:29 am #

        Well put Tom.

      • Bob August 2, 2011 at 9:49 am #

        The reason it is mentioned, you goofus, is that, in the original poster’s opinion, they would be being praised to the sky by Fox News et al if they were not a lesbian married couple.

        Since they are not being praised to the sky, it is only sensible to wonder why.

        Personally, I think the reason is less likely to be a conspiracy of silence than chaos combined with the heroines’ reticence. As per The Telegraph: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tomchiversscience/100099405/utoya-massacre-a-married-lesbian-couple-an-act-of-heroism-and-a-media-silence/

    • Johana August 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

      this. thank you.

    • Nicky August 1, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

      I dont understand us as a human race. Some one above mentioned that ANY religion taken to an extreme is bad. also if you speak to the general muslim people, they would tell you they dont support what the terrorists do, as in this case, God or Alah (pls forigve the spelling) or what ever you want to call Him in your faith, Hates His children killing each other, and when they say they do it in His name, I personally don’t want to know how He feels about that. God’s second law – love each other as you love yourself. If only we could all live by this.

      You guys are carrying on about numbers. what does it matter how many were killed. even if it were just 1 it would be a tragedy. The number doesn’t matter. Its the fact that lives were lost. Precious Lives.

      To the ladies who saved all those children, I take my hat off to you. May God bless you in abundance.

      To the rest of you start loving each other like brothers and sisters, the world would be such a better place.

      God bless you all

      • John316 August 2, 2011 at 4:39 am #

        Did you know that ‘Islam” means way of peace?

        I am a Christain (by which I difine as having a realtionship with Jesus Christ).

        I have Muslim friends. It is sad that people in this world are afraid by others’ beliefs.

        It is horrible and unbelievable what happened in Norway. Praise God that these two women (and others) had the courage to save more lives.

        I dont see why their sexuality should be important to anybody! They saved lives.

      • Sabrina August 2, 2011 at 7:13 am #

        >God or Alah (pls forigve the spelling) or what ever you want to call Him in your faith, Hates His children killing each other, and when they say they do it in His name, I personally don’t want to know how He feels about that.

        The Koran utterly disagrees with you.

      • Bruce of the sheepdip August 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

        John316

        Islam does not mean “Way of peace”.

        It means, loosely, “Way of submission”.

        Peace and submission are not quite the same thing

    • Pamela Blunt August 3, 2011 at 2:17 am #

      And you are absolutely right about where our focus should be. Our hearts go out to the people of Norway and we are so thankful for those who risked their own lives and saved so many other lives in the process. This man really didn’t represent any religion–he is a very misquided, brainwashed and sick individual. May all the parents who have lost their children, all those who are grieving, all those still recovering from physical wounds and all those who are so understandably traumatized by this horrific event, find themselves surrounded by love and support.

  7. Jayme August 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Kudos to them but does it really matter if they are married lesbians…how important to this story is that detail

    • Sabrina August 2, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      It’s important because this isn’t being reported in mainstream media, and there has to be a reason why. Read the article.

      • tg August 2, 2011 at 9:12 am #

        several heroes has’nt been reported in mainstream media. they were several, not just these two women.

      • H. August 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

        This story has hardly been mentioned in the Norwegian/Scandinavian media because it simply doesn`t matter what sexual orientation these two women have in our countries. And I guess that is why the international media hasn`t picked up in it either because many of the facts the international news have been printing is based on facts from our news sources.
        Here in norway they got an honorable mention in the papers, but so did a lot of other civilians that actively helped out aswell.

  8. RespectTheseBraveWomen August 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Could everyone stop pointing out the numbers and religious/non-religious overtones to this. seriousandsomber probably didn’t miss the point that the article was commenting the couple, nor do they want to suggest that 69 deaths is any less horrific than 92 to those who lost their lives, or their families.

    Different websites/newspapers have published different numbers, and whether it was religion, politics or a combination of the two that pushed this man to extreme action, it should not be characterised as the work of a Christian Fundimentalist, just like 9/11 should not be labelled as the work of Muslims. This was the result of a single man’s deranged view on how to act based on extreme opinions.

    Facts are important, but what’s more important is to look at what this particular article is saying. It’s not focusing on the killings or the man who commited them, but the brave human beings who risked their own lives to save those teenagers. They did not get the credit and gratitude they deserved for their courage that night, and this article is attempting to draw your attention to the 40 they saved rather than the numerous who died (may they rest in peace) or were injured.

    Humanity should be proud to have people like Hege and Toril, regardless of their sexual orientation. They merely show us what we should already know — the desire to help our fellow man is affected by the gender of our chosen partner, but the courage and will of our individual characters.

  9. KN August 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    It kind of sucks that we’re all taking a story about tragic, unnecessary deaths and a selfless exploit and walking away with an argument on spectator faith. Fact is, people died, and people tried to help. That’s all that matters. /agrees with Brat

  10. Haley Davidson August 1, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Of course? What kind of question is that?

  11. Michelle August 1, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    The Fact is there were too many lives taken that day that deffinitely did not deserve it….That is FACT!!! It doesn’t matter if it was 1 person killed, that is still 1 too many!!!

  12. Fox August 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    I don’t want to reply to multiple people above, but: The current death toll is 77.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/norway-bomb-breivik-2011-8

    I was quite surprised because the last news I had read was also claiming 22 deaths in the bombing and “at least 80″ in the shooting. I suspect part of the confusion was probably due to misunderstanding the use of the word “casualties” (technically any deaths AND injuries, but colloquially used to mean deaths) due to English-speaking news sources having to translate.

    I don’t see why this should be cause for leaving nasty comments or derailing the topic of the conversation to accuse people of sensationalism. Commenters who cited higher numbers did so because they were mistakenly informed or had not seen the latest updates, not because of their overzealousness to dramatize something which is already a devastating tragedy (and the biggest death toll from a single shooter incident ever).

    I think the kerfluffle over “Christian fundamentalist” is a similar situation due to interpretations of translations. The facts are:
    1. He called himself a Christian.
    2. He distinguished between religious and cultural Christians but said they are the same with the same goals.
    3. His manifesto was steeped in Christian symbolism and a call to resurrect the Crusades.

    You can argue all you want about “real” Christians and who you think qualifies, but do not get angry at people for using labels that he applied to himself.

    This story is really heartwarming (though scary – I can’t even imagine), and I hope it gets lots of coverage. I suspect that this may be a case like 9/11 where there were many acts of heroism and sacrifice performed and we don’t necessarily hear about them right away. I mean, can you imagine this floating across Rachel Maddow’s desk and her NOT mentioning it? Of course we will never see it on FOX, unless Bill O’Reilly thinks up some way to twist it into a case of “once again the Left is telling LIES and accusing us of ridiculous things!” (which seems to be 99% of his coverage of this tragedy anyway).

  13. crystal August 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    you.know.what.surprises.me.the.ignorance.of.people.here.is.a.story.about.heroism.and.u.all.r.making.this.man.look.like.someone.important.and.hes.not.we.should.celebrate.the.life.of.the.forty.people.who.got.saved.by.two.very.brave.married.women.who.risked.there.life.to.save.total.strangers.while.bullets.where.flaring.so.i.just.have.to.say.hoorah.to.u.my.lbgtq.family.well.done.from.a.friend.in.trinidad

    • PenboyX August 2, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

      “you.know.what.surprises.me.the.ignorance.of.people…..”

      Like your ignorance of writing? It shouldn’t surprise you since you show the same ignorance. What’s with all the periods — are you that insecure?

      • annie August 3, 2011 at 12:15 am #

        what are you the grammar police? who gives a crap how somebody types on a post. they made a good point regardless.

  14. jacklejohn August 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    What does sexual orientation have to do with saving lives? That’s not a gay thing nor a straight thing, that’s a human thing. Only and idiot would think otherwise.

    • Mike August 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

      Gay people are frequently demonized by societies all over the world. Giving a face, and a heroic one at that, matters a lot to a lot of people.

  15. Eric Poole August 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    A similar thing happened after 9/11, when ex-rugby player Mark Bingham, who was also gay, was among the passengers on United Flight 93 who tried to retake the plane from the terrorists and forced them to crash land outside Shanksville, Pa.

    But all the narrative after the incident — with the exception of a column in Sports Illustrated by Rick Reilly and several columns written by ex-rugby player Eric Poole (yeah, that’s me) on Sports-Central and the Ellwood City Ledger — were all about Todd “Let’s Roll” Beamer, because our homo-hating president at the time was more comfortable with that and the U.S. media overall is uncomfortable with the notion of gay people being heroes.

    • womble August 2, 2011 at 9:00 am #

      Seriously? There was one gay guy on flight 93, and you’re complaining because he wasn’t held up as the primary protagonist in the news….
      Odds are there was probably at least one fundamentalist gay hating Christian on that plane too, maybe they should have run with the headline “Super bigot saves the day”??…

  16. KH August 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Actually they have been written about in the Norwegian press, at least the printed press and have been featured on several NRK news casts. The articles about them might have been flooded away, seeing as still, probably like 70% of anything that gets written in Norway is about the terrorist and the attacks he perpetrated.

    Point is,the hero stories in Norway have just about started to surface at all, everything up until this point has basically been “OH HELL, SHIT HAS GONE DOWN!” and “THIS IS THE GUY WHO DID IT”. We’ll see more of the stories of the likes of these ladies in the upcoming weeks, just give it some time.

  17. Joseph Reinhart August 1, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    just because they saved lives doesn’t mean what they are doing is right….
    #realitycheck

    • Sabrina August 2, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      Sure, standing and watching while people get killed is clearly the more appropriate response.

    • Ashley P August 2, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Number 1 – Get your head out of your backside and stop being such a biggoted outdated pig.

      and Number 2 – Whatever your opinion of these ladies’ sexuality (or anybody’s for that matter) how dare you comment with such a disgusting attitude when these women deserve to be praised. You should be ashamed and you should realise who other people choose to love is none of your god damn business and that you have no right to judge if it is “right” or not.

      And most importantly Number 3 – These ladies are amazing and I for one am inspired by their courage and outstanding humanity! God bless you both, you are true heros.

    • Chrissie August 2, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      There is absolutely nothing wrong with being LGBT.
      #realitycheck

      • robertantonwilson August 2, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        Oh but everyone’s favorite religion Christianity will tell you otherwise. Sure, they may smile to your face if you’re gay, but the whole idea behind being gay to Christians is “enjoy Hell, cause you’re going to be burning in it”. Sure, Christians won’t come right out and say that (some do!), but that’s what it all boils down to in the end. Being gay is wrong and the people who practice it are going to Hell. That is the Christian doctrine in a nutshell.

    • Kevin Maurer August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      and who died and left you to play judge?

      • Kevin Maurer August 2, 2011 at 10:16 am #

        shouldn’t we leave that to the christian funda”mental”ists?

    • Mickey August 3, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      Reality check? When are you going to have one?

    • vivian August 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Joseph, Did God appoint you as the judge of his people??The fact is two people did something to help at the time
      I think there is so much good in so many people, to label anyone is really not part of our purpose on this earth.

    • soulesurfer August 4, 2011 at 4:56 am #

      Reinhart..
      You are a tool!

  18. Rachael August 1, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Thank you, ladies, for having been so brave and willing to help people caught up in a terrible situation. I cannot say how much there is to admire in what they did, and the same for everyone else who acted to help.

    Thank you for sharing.

  19. Silver_chan August 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    This is such an inspirational story. There need to be more people like these two ladies in the world, people who are willing to stand up and do what’s right when it matters. No matter what label they choose to use, or how they wish to live. Their actions matter, and from where I’m standing, the actions of these ladies make them true heroes.

  20. Skyelar August 1, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    “I don’t know if these two ladies were written about in Norwegian media, but there’s been a lot about several people sailing to the island to save the young people from the shooter.
    I don’t know how it works in the US of A, but the media doesn’t usually make a big deal about people’s sexuality here. Not so long ago I was watching the Danish news that had a story about a dangerous road children had to cross to get to school but the town did noting about it. The couple they interviewed about it was two gay men with their daughter, but not once was it mentioned that they were gay. They were just treated like any random couple that was concerned for their child.

    So it’s not a horrible thing that the women haven’t been mentioned much. The reason is most likely just that no one cares that they were a married lesbian couple and saw no reason to treat them differently.”

    Comment on a different site that I agree with.

  21. Jared Jammer August 1, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    First of all, the killer wasn’t a “Christian fundamentalist,” as the author of this piece states. He was an anti-multi-cultural ideologue who drew much of his inspiration from the writings of social Darwinists.

    Secondly, what does the fact that the two women who (allegedly) saved these children’s lives being lesbians have to do with anything? I don’t recall anyone saying homosexuals couldn’t be valuable human beings, just that they’re sexual deviance is abnormal (they’re mentally ill) and proven to be dangerous (an increase in suicide, drug abuse, domestic abuse, STDs, and a shortened life-span).

    • Ashley P August 2, 2011 at 9:40 am #

      ……………You think gay people have a shorter life span than homosexuals?? …………Are you on drugs?

      • Pat August 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

        That’s an actual thing that isn’t true but does have a source. He’s referencing something that anti-gay forces probably don’t really believe but still say to fool their peons. It originally comes from research suggesting that gay people’s health issues weren’t treated as seriously as straight people’s and if the trend didn’t change we could have shorter average life spans in the future (now the past, it’s old research). The prediction never came true, but it was misquoted by an anti-gay researcher (who mostly liked to misquote existing research and claim it supported his pre-existed conclusions) and the rest is history.

        The rest of the things are largely true (and probably do contribute to a shorter average lifespan, depending on the type of averaging)… attributed more to being a marginalized minority group than to existing while being homosexual.

    • Terry Collmann August 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Jared, if you genuinely think people with a different sexuality to you are “mentally ill”, it’s you that needs the help.

  22. roid August 1, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    I’m pretty sure i heard about how people in boats were saving those who were fleeing.
    Their sexuality wasn’t mentioned, but nor was their hair colour (why is it newsworthy?).

    Whom were the “heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this”?

  23. Tina August 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    It matters NOT how many were killed ~ but that they WERE KILLED.
    It matters NOT whether the killer was christian, muslim or buddhist ~ he is a KILLER.
    It matters NOT that the women who rescued those people are “Lesbians” ~ they are HEROES.
    If we as a society would quit micro-naming everything and everyone, maybe we could find some peace.

  24. Connie August 1, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Kudos to the couple but I’m confused. What difference (at all) does their sexuality make? When a hetero firefighter, police offier or Jane Doe on the street does something brave the headline isn’t “Straight firefighter saves man from burning building” and nor should the headline that. Dividing us, labels and the such makes us weaker. Those were two brave, selfless women, period, IMO. Their sexual orientation is a non-story.

    • Julie August 2, 2011 at 12:04 am #

      I whole heartedly agree!!!!!!!!!

    • Sherri August 2, 2011 at 12:25 am #

      I so agree with you, Connie. I’ve never seen the headline read “Gay Man Rescues 3 From Wreckage” or “Blue-eyed Woman Saves Baby”. Why SHOULD they make a big deal of their life-style….just print the story and tell that they saved lives, for goodness sake!

      • Pat August 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

        I see no mention of their lifestyle. I know absolutely nothing about it from this source or any other.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 12:36 am #

      Connie, I agree and I wish we lived in a country and a world where their sexuality did not make a difference. Unfortunately, when a story about a hero comes out, it is assumed they are heterosexual. That’s the way our country works – that’s why even when Rosie or Ellen come out of the closet, there is shock and surprise.

      We have thousands of LGBT teens killing themselves every year because they are told by society there is something wrong with them and they will never grow up to achieve so much as having a family – THEY need to hear about the Lesbians who were heroes.

      I truly do hope to see a country where labels no longer matter, but I believe right now, that is a valiant hope. One we should strive to achieve. I believe our labels are what makes us stronger until the day we don’t need them anymore – that’s why I’m telling these ladies’ stories. Thanks so much for your insightful comment and for visiting the blog.

      • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 1:41 am #

        Even positive discrimination is still discrimination. If you mention their sexuality as if it somehow affects the outcome of the events, it is just another way to segregate homosexuals from heteros. This story could have easily been just as great without bringing their personal lives into it. One can assume the OP thinks homosexuals are less likely to be heroes than heteros, and that’s why their sexuality was mentioned. That is a stupid assumption but I can’t figure out why else their sexuality played any part in this.

      • Riza August 2, 2011 at 5:42 am #

        Actually, here in Norway, it is a bit like that. Sure, we still have discrimination towards gays and lesbians, but it’s not even close to what it used to be, and still is in the US.

        In norway, mentioning their names and writing they are married is enough to make people understand they are lesbians, although thats not why they mention it.It’s just not that big of a deal here wether people are gay or straight, at least when it comes to mainstream media.

        Remember, the US newspapers take their coverage of this case from nrwegian news and international news agencies. Since it’s not mentioned in Norwegian media aside from their names, the US papers probably haven’t even picked it up…

      • robertantonwilson August 2, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

        Hmm, maybe if we got rid of, oh I don’t know…CHRISTIANITY???? Do you think we as a country would be more accepting of lesbians and gay people then? Think about that for a second and get back to me. Let’s not forget WHO in our society is telling these gay teens that they are wrong. I’ll give ya a hint, they go to church on Sundays and believe in an invisible man in the sky.

    • Nancy B August 2, 2011 at 3:07 am #

      The entire point of the story is that there were NOT any articles with the headline “Two women risk their lives four times to save 40 kids from Norwegian tragedy” (well, obviously that’s too long for a headline, but hopefully you get my point). In this day and age of the 24-hour news cycle, why wasn’t this story covered by the mainstream media in the first place? Heck, the media wrings out EVERY possible angle of EVERY news story, when they think it’s news.
      The only reason the couple’s sexual orientation is a feature of this particular article is because the story was ignored by the mainstream media and ended up only being reported by LGBT sources.

    • Faith August 2, 2011 at 4:04 am #

      I believe the implication is that the reason this is not being reported is due to the fact that they are homosexual and married, which is just a great big stupid problem for media in the US and other less equal-rights-minded countries.

    • Sandie August 6, 2011 at 12:27 am #

      ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Connie, you said it perfectly.

  25. Jim Marks August 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    He was not a Christian fundamentalist. He was not a right wing Christian. He wasn’t a Christian at all. He was, at best, a highly dogmatic heretic. Not “fringe” in the way that Fred Phelps is fringe, but fringe in the sense that Fred Phelps would consider this guy’s views to be completely off the map.

    Learn what Swedenborgianism is before you continue to spread this falsehood which does a considerable injustice to innocent people.

    The whole purpose of the gay rights movement is to dispel ignorance and to ensure that groups are not oppressed, violated, or marginalized because of slanderous stereotypes.

    You _completely_ undermine that work by resorting to the spread of slanderous stereotypes and the promotion of ignorance as tools for the cause.

    If you justify the tool for yourself, you justify the tool. Period. Everything cuts both ways. Always.

    • John Nixdorf August 2, 2011 at 4:10 am #

      If he’s not Christian, then the Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists aren’t Muslim.

      If they are Muslim, then he is Christian.

      • Bob August 2, 2011 at 9:53 am #

        + 1. You don’t get to decide he isn’t a Christian. (Unless you are in charge of the list for everyone.) What he might be is a Christian of a type you choose not to recognise. But he thought he was one. We want Islam to be a religion of peace, and lots of Muslims are peaceful, but the 9/11 bombers definitely thought of themselves as Muslim. And lots of bigots draw strength/coherence (in their own idiotic minds) from something they call Christianity.

    • Pat August 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Fred Phelps would consider my views to be completely off the map. Of Jesus’. Or anyone else’s. That’s what he’s known for.

      It doesn’t really say anything to say that.

    • Jack Meiofe August 2, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

      By saying what you are you distance him from the very leaders in Christ-insanity who keep pushing these hate filled agendas spreading fear and hate to keep those donations rolling is so they can buy another mansion or fancy car.

  26. Gary August 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    Congratulations to these “lesbian” heroes. More to the point though is that the Labour Youth League summer camp at Utøya got the Labour Party’s young hopefuls visited by Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Gahr stated that the Palestinians “must have their own state, the occupation must end, the wall must be demolished and it must happen now,” said the Norwegian Foreign Minister to cheers from the audience.

    The main activity at the Utoya Island Meeting were mock “Break the Israel blockade” games. One event was Palestinian aide boats would try to break the Israel blockage. The sign says “defeat the blockade” (opphev blokkaden – Gaza)

    Utoya camp was not Islamist but it WAS something not much more wholesome (by our standards, at any rate). It was a summer indoctrination camp run by Norway’s ruling Labor Party for up-and-coming children of the ruling elite. Glen Beck was not far off when he compared it to the Hitlerjugend or Young Pioneers. It’s so the junior members of the aristocracy can be properly told what to think and can network with each other in preparation for their brilliant careers ruling over the peasants.
    I saw at least one article that had photos of previous summers with the little dearies and their handlers assembling Israel-bashing displays. We Americans had similar traditions further back in the twentieth-century. The likes of David Horowitz and Ronald Radosh have written of the red-diaper summer camps their parents sent them to.

    There are still institutions such as the “Midwest Academy” where budding labor activists go get schooled in labor and community organizing over the summer. Not to mention the many religiously-oriented summer camps that have long been a cultural staple. The camp was run by the Youth Movement of the Labour Party and used to indoctrinate teens and young adults. Breivik was targeting the future leaders of the party responsible for flooding Norway with Muslims who refuse to assimilate, who commit major violence against Norwegian natives, including violent gang rapes, with impunity, and who live on the dole… all done without the consent of the Norwegians.

    The day before the shooting, a pro-Palestinian rally was held. In an interesting article Breivik and totalitarian democrats in which Sevje, the Norwegian ambassador to Israel is quoted: “Ma’ariv asked Sevje whether in the wake of Breivik’s terrorist attack Norwegians would be more sympathetic to the victimization of innocent Israelis by Palestinian terrorists. Sevje said no, and explained, “We Norwegians view the occupation as the reason for terror against Israel. Many Norwegians still see the occupation as the reason for attacks against Israel. Whoever thinks this way, will not change his mind as a result of the attack in Oslo.” The author of the article notes: “So in the mind of the illiberal Norwegians [the Labour Party], terrorism is justified if the ideology behind it is considered justified. For them it is unacceptable for Breivik to murder Norwegian children, because his ideology is wrong. But it is acceptable for Palestinians to murder Israeli children, because their ideology is right.”

    ALSO take a closer look at the progression of Islam in the UK! There are now SHARIA CONTROLLED ZONES spreading across the country. Only days after a deranged Anders Breivik claimed creeping Islamization of Norway as an excuse for cold-bloodedly murdering 76 people, the majority of which were children, a group of British Muslim extremists have seemingly mocked the tragedy by hanging bright yellow posters in several London boroughs declaring them “Sharia-controlled zones.” One has to wonder about the timing.

    Pasted on bus stops and street lamps, the posters have appeared in the London boroughs of Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The message they convey is that there is to be “no gambling,” “no music or concerts,” “no porn or prostitution,” “no drugs or smoking” and “no alcohol” in the areas where the posters are displayed. The warning at the top reads: “You are entering a Sharia-controlled zone – Islamic rules enforced.” The messages are going up in both Muslim and non-Muslim-majority areas and are expected to appear country-wide. “We now have hundreds, if not thousands of people up and down the country willing to go out and patrol the streets for us,” said Anjem Choudary, 41, the Muslim “preacher” claiming responsibility for the poster campaign. A former lawyer, Choudary says that besides addressing “the sort of thug life attitude you get in British cities,” the campaign’s goal is also “to put the seeds down for an Islamic Emirate in the long term.” Choudary heads the banned radical Islamist group Islam4UK and has advocated for a Sharia-ruled Great Britain. reposted with thanks to The Anti-Mullah

    • Kalthoom Bouderdaben August 2, 2011 at 2:10 am #

      Wait, wait, wait, wait. You didn’t read the article at all, did you?

      I mean, quite basically, you’re saying IT’S OKAY HE KILLED THESE PEOPLE, THEY WERE PRO-PALESTINE AND PRO-MUSLIM.

      I mean, that’s ALL I got from your words. Nothing else. You’re defending his actions. You’re saying that we shouldn’t condemn him for killing these children, because the camp was teaching them it was okay to kill Israeli children. So, you know. Let’s just go all genocid-al on them, because they don’t deserve to live.

      Really? Really? That’s all you got from the article? You’re just here to spread more hate, more ideology, and more discrimination than even the ridiculous argument farther above about how many he killed. KILLING IS WRONG. PERIOD. And the fact that you’re absolutely fine with him killing those children and people…

      Well, let’s just say that if you draw a line between yourself and the Muslims, I would never, NEVER, stand on your side of it, no matter my personal religious beliefs. Muslims would be better than you, frankly. Find another place to spread your bile and hatred.

    • ChristineU August 2, 2011 at 6:29 am #

      I don’t know the truth about your statements, but are you saying the women in this article should have let the teenagers die, because they might be in favor of a Palestinian state?

    • Terry Collmann August 2, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

      “There are now SHARIA CONTROLLED ZONES spreading across the country. ”

      No there aren’t. Don’t be stupid. A few nutters put on a stunt – that’s all.

      And if you can’t see why Norwegians, and others, have more sympathy for the Palestinians than the Israelis, I suggest you read more about what life is like for the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

    • Londoner August 5, 2011 at 5:50 am #

      Anjem Choudary has a following of a handful of grumpy teenagers trying to piss off their parents. I doubt he has the wherewithall to patrol his local park, nevermind streets up and down the country. Odd that you are willing to take a statement at face value from a fringe fantasist who is clearly telling tall stories to big himself up.

  27. Gary August 1, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    In a recent interview, Norway’s Ambassador to Israel has suggested that Hamas terrorism against Israel is more justified than the recent terrorist attack against Norway. His reasoning is that, “We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel.” In other words terrorism against Israeli citizens is the fault of Israel. The terrorism against Norway, on the other hand, was based on “an ideology that said that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is foregoing Norwegian culture.” It is hard to imagine that he would make such a provocative statement without express approval from the Norwegian government.

    I can’t remember many other examples of so much nonsense compressed in such short an interview. First of all, terrorism against Israel began well before there was any “occupation”. The first major terrorist attack against Jews who had long lived in Jerusalem and Hebron began in 1929, when the leader of the Palestinian people, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, ordered a religiously-motivated terrorist attack that killed hundreds of religious Jews-many old, some quite young. Terrorism against Jews continued through the 1930s. Once Israel was established as a state, but well before it captured the West Bank, terrorism became the primary means of attacking Israel across the Jordanian, Egyptian and Lebanese borders. If the occupation is the cause of the terror against Israel, what was the cause of all the terror that preceded any occupation?

    I was not surprised to hear such ahistorical bigotry from a Norwegian Ambassador. Norway is the most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel country in Europe today. I know, because I experienced both personally during a recent visit and tour of universities. No university would invite me to lecture, unless I promised not to discuss Israel. Norway forbids Jewish ritual slaughter, but not Islamic ritual slaughter. Its political and academic leaders openly make statements that cross the line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism, such as when Norway’s former Prime Minister condemned Barak Obama for appointing a Jew as his Chief of Staff. No other European leader would make such a statement and get away with it. In Norway, this bigoted statement was praised, as were similar statements made by a leading academic.

    The very camp that was attacked by the lone terrorist was engaged in an orgy of anti-Israel hatred the day before the shooting. Yet I would not ever claim that it was Norway’s anti-Semitism that “caused” the horrible act of terrorism against young Norwegians.

    The causes of terrorism are multifaceted but at bottom they have a common cause: namely a belief that violence is the proper response to policies that the terrorists disagree with. The other common cause is that terrorism has often been rewarded. Norway, for example, has repeatedly rewarded Palestinian terrorism against Israel, while punishing Israel for its efforts to protect its civilians. While purporting to condemn all terrorist acts, the Norwegian government has sought to justify Palestinian terrorism as having a legitimate cause. This clearly is an invitation to continued terrorism.

    It is important for the world never to reward terrorism by supporting the policies of those who employ it as an alternative to reason discourse, diplomatic resolution or political compromise.

    I know of no reasonable person who has tried to justify the terrorist attacks against Norway. Yet there are many Norwegians who not only justify terrorist attacks against Israel, but praise them, support them, help finance them, and legitimate them.

    The world must unite in condemning and punishing all terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, regardless of the motive or purported cause of the terrorism. The world must unite in condemning and punishing all terrorist attacks against innocent civilians, regardless of the motive or purported cause of the terrorism. Norway, as a nation, has failed to do this. It wants us all to condemn the terrorist attack on its civilians, and we should all do that, but it refuses to live by a single standard.

    Nothing good ever comes from terrorism, so don’t expect the Norwegians to learn any lessons from its own victimization. As the Ambassador made clear in his benighted interview, “those of us who believe [the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel] will not change their minds because of the attack in Oslo.” In other words, they will persist in their bigoted view that Israel is the cause of the terrorism directed at it, and that if only Israel were to end the occupation (as it offered to do in 2000-2001 and again in 2007), the terrorism will end. Even Hamas, which Norway supports in many ways, has made clear that it will not end its terrorism as long as Israel continues to exist. Hamas believes that Israel’s very existence is the cause of the terrorism against it. That sounds a lot like the ranting of the man who engaged in the act of terrorism against Norway.

    The time is long overdue for Norwegians to do some deep soul searching about their sordid history of complicity with all forms of bigotry ranging from the anti-Semitic Nazis to the anti-Semitic Hamas. There seems to be a common thread. by Alan Dershowitz

    • Kahikatea August 2, 2011 at 1:35 am #

      Alan Dershowitz, if ‘the world must unite against the killing of innocent civilians’, then the world must unite not only against the killing of innocent Israelis by palestinians, but also against the killing of innocent Palestinians by israelis (which is happening in about 10 times the numbers, yet you completely ignore this).

    • Kalthoom Bouderdaben August 2, 2011 at 2:15 am #

      I’m glad that you read an article about lesbians and their heroics and managed to twist it into “Norway deserved what they got, because they support Palestinian terrorism.” /sarcasm.

      What’s wrong with us? That we have to point this out? Does it matter? He killed people. HE KILLED PEOPLE. Stop defending his actions. Stop implying the Norwegian people deserved it for what they do. Because if we want to go down that route, well, in 9/11, less people died than when the Americans expanded west and killed the Native Americans. So it’s some cosmic dogma/karma thing, right?

      No. Just… no. Please just focus on the fact that people died and these two women helped them. That’s what this article is about. Not your delusions. You want to spit hatred and fear out of your keyboard and at everyone? Do it on your own site, where people can go to read such lies and biased opinions and not where people are trying to recognize heroism.

      Because what you’ve done right here? Is the total opposite of recognizing heroism.

    • Marcus August 2, 2011 at 5:49 am #

      There is a long and sordid tradition in Palestine/Israel of using violence to make one’s case agains very real injustices. Unfortunately, although it was far from the only factor, those in the region can point to an instance where terrorists have gotten their own way – the foundation of the modern state of Israel. Unfortunately, there has been way too much time and political movement for that mistake to be realistically undone, but Palestinians will continue to believe that what “worked” for the Zionists six decades ago will work for them. It makes no odds that other factors were way more influential than the terrorism in the wrong-headed decision to found the state in the first place, perception is everything. The situation isn’t helped by the continued occupation of land outside the internationally recognised borders and blatant and continual flouting of UN resolutions (far more than any other nation) by Israel. The whole is further confounded by the idiotic conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism by those who think that sympathy to the Palestinian cause is equivalent to Islamic world conquest plots.

    • Stu August 2, 2011 at 5:59 am #

      Uh, Gary… you started by saying ‘More to the point’ and then went on for ages about Israel and Palestine. How is that the point?

  28. Mayo August 1, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    I agree, the facts are important, the fact that these two women, who happen to be married, risked their lives FOUR times to save people. That as well as, all the other heroic stories should be a priority in reporting the news!

  29. Chloe August 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    lol it doesn’t matter that they were lesbians… You could have just BEEN the person to write an article about it and solved all your problems. The fact that you make a point to say “look! look! lesbians are just as nice as regular people!” does the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve :S OF COURSE they’re just as nice and heroic. Everyone should assume so

  30. Renee August 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    seriousandsomber is doing a good job distracting people from the point. Don’t let him(her). Ignore the troll and the troll goes away. Feed the troll and it stays.

    Thank you for posting this story. Wonderful women!

    • seriousandsomber August 2, 2011 at 1:46 am #

      Troll? As if… I’m trying to dispel sensationalism. The OP obviously has a vendetta against Christians and I’m pointing out that the terrorist was obviously not a Christian and only painted as one by the first news sources to report it. In his manifesto he denies being a Christian. I’m not taking away from the story. The women are still heroic. Their sexuality doesn’t contribute to their heroism. It’s ignorant to assume that. Gays are not any less likely to be heroes than straights, so there is no need to specify their sexual orientation. That and calling him a Christian and incorrectly reporting the total death toll is only skewing facts. I was wrong in saying 69 were killed. It was actually 77. So we were both wrong. That doesn’t make the story any less important but facts really make the possibility of sensationalism less likely. The OP is just heated against Christians and wants something to attribute to them. Sorry it won’t happen this time. He is not a Christian. You can call him whatever you want but it doesn’t make him that.

      • Juliet Sweigart August 2, 2011 at 3:35 am #

        There’s obviously mixed information out there as to whether or not this guy is a Christian. Simmer down; even if he considered himself Christian or was most easily categorized as being Christian, it doesn’t mean his religion caused him to do any of this. He did this of his own sick volition. Many of us seem to be confident about this; why aren’t you?
        Yes *gasp!* it’s possible that someone who believes Jesus is the messiah and blahblahblah is also capable of doing something heinous.
        I am willing to bet a lot of the reason his religion was even mentioned was to differentiate him from Muslim terrorists, which you have to admit would be the first thought or assumption of a lot of people.
        As for this and other articles mentioning the sexual orienation of the heroes… my first instinct is to say the same, that there is no need to make an issue of their sexual orientation because it has no bearing on their good deed. However, it is becoming more clear to me the older I get that the rest of the world does not have the same view of equality I and my peers have. It doesn’t matter that the heroes are gay, but it does matter that the press does not shy away from that fact or perpetuate heteronormativity or avoid running the story because they’d have to mention that the two women are married. Perhaps it is not such a big deal in other countriess, but it is in the United States.

      • Kat August 2, 2011 at 3:41 am #

        You are all being ridiculous. I know I am only a ‘guest,’ but I was linked to this article from another site and cannot believe the unnecessary finger pointing, name calling, and poor arguing in these comments, from everyone.
        First of all, yes, OP called the shooter a ‘Christian fundamentalist,’ but that was most likely what OP heard/read from other sources. It was not necessarily a reflection of OP’s opinion on how Christians or fundamentalists (or both) act. Next time perhaps OP should research more carefully, but without any further comment than that from OP him/herself it really shouldn’t be assumed that he/she is Christian-bashing. I completely do not understand why this comment thread turned into yet another Christians-hate-gays no-they-don’t argument when the article has nothing to do with that.
        Second, if you look at the TITLE of the post and read the article with it in mind, OP seems to be pointing out that although mainstream media has picked up on countless hero stories before, they are not touting this one. OP thinks the reason is because the couple is homosexual (which, while certainly an unfair reason, is normal for much of the media of the world) and that is why is why OP is purposefully trying to get the story out. He/she is not saying ‘the news media should have told everyone about these lesbians,’ but rather ‘the news media should have told everyone about this and I think they didn’t because the heroes were lesbians.’ Also, it says right at the top that this blog is called ‘talk about equality,’ so it is silly to question why their sexuality matters in this instance. No, their sexuality doesn’t make their actions any more or less heroic, but it does mean that this blog would have a particular interest in the story, seeing as how the story has not gained ‘equality’ amongst other news pieces about the tragedy.
        So, if OP would like to comment and agree with OR refute anything I have said here, he/she should feel free. I would welcome the clarification. I just can’t stand watching (as far as I presume) adults fail at basic reading comprehension and logical argumentative skills. The world is crazy as it is; we do not need to add to the hate with pointless fights, especially over the internet. Now please go back to commenting with messages of support for these women, and please share their story, because they deserve praise whether or not you decide to mention their sexuality.

      • Rita August 2, 2011 at 6:44 am #

        Of course their sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with their heroic acts. I think the point the blog is trying to make is that if it had been a straight couple, the international media would have been all over the story, but as it is, they won’t touch it.

        If the gunman had had any links at all to the Muslim faith, I’m sure no one would have made any caveats for the fact that he was only a Muslim “culturally”, not “religiously” (whatever that distinction might mean).

        Take a look at this brilliant article by Charlie Brooker, which denounces the blatant double-standards of the media towards Muslims and Christians: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/24/charlie-brooker-norway-mass-killings

      • tortilla August 2, 2011 at 10:14 am #

        well, in his manifesto he called himself a modern crusader, fighting for “christian values” and western culture, he even took a picture of himself with fake crusader medals. so yeah, he kinda is a christian.

      • JohnBoy August 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        “…the terrorist was obviously not a Christian…” “…he did not call himself Christian, to the contrary he actually refused the title.” “He is not a Christian.” — seriousandsomber

        “At the age of 15 I chose to be baptised [sic] and confirmed in the Norwegian State Church. I consider myself to be 100 percent Christian.” — Anders Breivik, in his 1500+ page manifesto.

        Eesh. Sometimes I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. It’s like…if someone plugs their ears and hums, they can change reality. “…obviously not a Christian…” “100 percent Christian.” Insanity.

        He considered himself to be Christian, but not a particularly religious one. A cultural Christian, who believed in God, but didn’t have a “personal relationship” with God.

        So, if you can wrap your head around that, then congratulations…you’ve figured out the ramblings of an educated psychopath.

        Many Christians have somehow developed a severe victim complex over the last 10 years. Not sure where that came from, but I’m guessing our friends at Fox News are responsible.

  31. Vince August 2, 2011 at 12:19 am #

    On a certain level, their orientation is irrelevant. But those screaming the loudest “I don’t care about their orientation” simply don’t want their homophobic narrative disrupted by this heroic act.

    For these homophobes, gays are “wicked,” “immoral,” “sinful,” etc. They can’t possibly be the source of anything good. Hence this act of heroism, that many straights would not be capable of performing, angers them.

    So on another level, their orientation should and must be highlighted. If it were up to the homophobes, you will only hear negative stories about LGBT people. That’s the way they want it.

    Everything I ever needed to know about Christianity, I learned on 7/22.

  32. The potions master August 2, 2011 at 12:21 am #

    Obviously what these two did was wonderful, but I don’t know why they have to put so much enphasis of their sexuality.

    I mean, does it make it more important if the couple is gay? I don’t think so…

  33. Jodie August 2, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    I could be wrong, but what I got out of the article was that there is a large possibility that it’s not being reported in mainstream news outlets around the world because they are a lesbian couple. If that is true, that is really, really shameful. Been spreading it – because if the mainstream news won’t, we will.

  34. Coffee&Chicory August 2, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Man, most of you really missed the point on this one. It’s not just the fact that these two women are lesbians, it’s that the story has gone untold, probably BECAUSE they are lesbians. Learn to freaking read, jeez.

  35. Kelly August 2, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    The killer was a narcissist with a case of megalomania.

  36. me August 2, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    The only useless part of this story is that ANYBODY gives a damn that these two heroes were lesbians. Why does that matter in the least to anyone? Only queers actually feel a need to publish their sexuality as if it matters to anyone else. I’m half surprised you didn’t further villify that “fundamentalist christian” by calling him a heterosexual. :o

    • Pat August 2, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      “Only queers actually feel a need to publish their sexuality as if it matters to anyone else.”

      You have successfully convinced me that it does not matter to you. Congratulations sir or ma’am.

  37. Born-Again Atheist August 2, 2011 at 2:15 am #

    This mass-murder terroist’s crimes were obviously the product of an extremely sick and deranged mind. But they were “not Christian”? I beg to differ. Ironically, so does Christ: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” The Bible, in countless instances, condons and even commands murder of nonbelievers and anyone whose lifestyle, ethnicity, traits, etc, it does not approve. It is not ignorant to point out the murderous intolerance in Christianity’s history and throughout its foundational text. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, and anyone who claims the god of the Bible is misrepresented by those who kill unrepentant sinners in his name are demonstrating a serious lack of knowledge of the document they claim to be his “word”.

    • Born-Again Atheist August 2, 2011 at 2:19 am #

      The quote is from Luke 19:27 (red-letter words of Christ).

      • John Brown August 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

        Wow…you’re just as skilled at taking Bible verses out of context as people like Fred Phelps. Next thing you know, you’ll be telling me that George Lucas wants me to come to the dark side because that’s what one of the characters in his stories said.

        You’re like my friends who say that in Jeremiah 25:27 God commands us to get wasted.

      • Jason Page August 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

        This quote is from the end of a parable – Jesus is telling the story of a king who gives three servants differing amounts of talents (money). Start reading from verse 1. The quote is the king of the story speaking, not Jesus. Jesus does the exact OPPOSITE of what the religious leaders of the day would have done – he heals the lepers, gives the blind sight, stops people from stoning a prostitute, feeds 5,000 +, etc. You have taken this verse so out of context, your ignorance is blinding me right now.

      • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

        Got to love the comparison of George Lucas to God. I’m sure George Lucas would agree. And I must admit, Genesis would be far more credible if began with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

        The difference between you two and me is that I’m perfectly willing to accept that I might be wrong. It is lack of the kind of conceit you just reveled in that led me to question my beliefs in the first place and opened my mind to reason and evidence. What your snide comebacks (very Christlike, btw) completely fail to take into account are the many supposedly historical accounts of God-commanded acts of murder, genocide and barbarism in the Bible, all supposedly by the laws of God which Jesus proclaimed to support and would remain valid until the end of the earth. Even if you reject this premise–and I hope you do–that does not wipe away its *existence* from the foundational texts of the belief system you defend, or the resulting millennia of genocide, persecution and murder into the present day.

    • TheWatcher11 August 2, 2011 at 9:19 am #

      Let’s not forget all of those fine men who murdered hundreds of millions in the name of Atheism: Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot/Khmer Rouge, Mao Tse Tung, Hoxha, Castro, Bonaparte, Ho Chi Minh, et al.

      Please don’t come with that tired nonesense that these men killed in the name of “communism”, and not Atheism. Communism was merely the vehicle which they used to carry out their atheistic plots to eradicate religion from the world, and to create religion/God free utopias. Karl Marx himself admitted that communism was born of Atheism.

      • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 2:48 am #

        Oh yes, let’s do throw up a tired, pathetic old argument that has been conclusively debunked time and again and thump our chest defiantly against “nonsense” like history and reality. Never mind the conclusionary statements witout a shred of evidence to support them, never mind the injection of your own opinion as an unsourced paraphrasing of an historical figure, what I want to know is how any of the claims you just made even address, let alone justify or wipe away the FACT of the Bible’s wide support for genocide and barbarism or Christianity’s centuries of answering that call. Did it even occur to you that by arguing that certain secular states were just as brutal, you’re automatically implying the inverse is also true, that Christianity is no LESS brutal and intolerant than Nazi Germany, et al? It just so happens that I–and history–actually agree with on that one point.

  38. Zuri August 2, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    I’d like to speculate that perhaps this particular story has not been deemed newsworthy because they were not the only heroes that day.

    In addition to the brave couple above, another gentleman saved somewhere between 20 and 30 of the teenagers that day (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8658437/Norway-shooting-German-tourist-hailed-a-hero-after-saving-30-lives.html), while it has also been reported that a total of 150 teens were pulled from the water by various campers around the campsite (http://www.newser.com/story/124200/hero-camper-rescued-teens-fleeing-norway-massacre.html).

    Knowing that, is the lack of attention this couple has received really as significant as it is being made out to be? Is the criticism of the “heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this” really deserved?

  39. raincoaster August 2, 2011 at 3:40 am #

    Congratulations, Gawker ran it. The mainstream media can’t ignore it now.

    http://gawker.com/5826826/lesbian-couple-rescued-40-teens-during-norway-massacre

  40. Jared August 2, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    What is the big deal about being homosexual in this article and how is it related to being herioc? Its almost like they are surprised. Are they that bigoted to think thaf all homos are cowards? I know some gay dudes that are more manly than me. Why even turn their sexuality into an issue.

    bravery & heroism has nothing to do with which species you mate with. Good job ladies! You are very brave humans (regardless of your sexual preference).

  41. Sylvia August 2, 2011 at 4:17 am #

    I thank Jesus Christ for these two lesbian woman having courage to rescue the victims.

    • robertantonwilson August 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      …and that would make you a walking contradiction. God doesn’t make gay people, they’re the devil’s work.

  42. botzarelli August 2, 2011 at 4:18 am #

    A great story of decency and courage. It is always heartening to hear of the tremendously brave things that ordinary people will do in dire circumstances.

    I’m not sure I buy into the “no-one hears about it because they were married lesbians” angle particularly. They were not the only ones rescuing the hundreds on the island.Is there any evidence that the media specifically shied away from them on the basis of their sexuality or status? For example, have they said in interview that as soon as reporters found out about this they said they weren’t interested in talking to them? The Reuters story that comes up first on a google search gives Otto Loevik as a rescuer who did much the same as this couple. I have no idea and no interest in his sexuality.

    Had Breivik been gay and married to a man (maybe he is) it would surely have been considered to be terribly prejudicial and unfair for his awful crimes to have been described as those of a married gay gunman unless there was some link between this and his crimes.

  43. Zina August 2, 2011 at 5:10 am #

    Um. I think the blogger’s point is: why haven’t there been stories about two women who saved 40 young people, and could it be because they’re married lesbians, to which I can only say…well, possibly. Unfortunately.

  44. Anthony Ducker August 2, 2011 at 5:40 am #

    I read this thread and thought what amazingly brave people caught up in such a tragic event. Then read on to the posts. Disgusting. Who gives a flying. It didn’t matter if it were one life or one hundred he still took life, he planned it for months, and who cares if he is a jew, a muslim, a christian, he was a nutter, and all through this thread people are arguing numbers! Numbers and faith, does it really matter here, we should be celebrating the fact that these two women saved lives in a horrific event, not arguing about who has the better view, who knows more facts than who. A man killed people and these ladies did something to help. There is your fact, so just shut up about who knows what, who believes what and who thinks they have a better point to make on here, have a bit of respect for the people that did die and be greatful that for each crazy out there, there are people fighting on the right side (whichever you all think that is) and making a difference. Jesus christ.

    • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      I completely agree with you that bickering over the number of the dead is grotesque, as is exploiting news of a national tragedy in order to make self-gratifying arguments in support of one’s own sense of superiority. However, it is anything but disrespectful of the dead to look into what motivated their murderer, for learning that fact and debating its implications is society’s only hope for evolving to a state in which such things never happen. When it comes to anti-rational, hate/death based religions, whose texts actually *do* justify and motivate such madmen’s horrific crimes, it is our responsibility *not* to ignore and dismiss them out-of-hand, for respect or fear of offending those who continue to cling to the homogenized, passified versions of the *exact same* systems of beliefs,

  45. M.C.Host August 2, 2011 at 5:58 am #

    Emailed ABC online about this…

  46. Max August 2, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    This is a really sad story………….about the persecution of gays, and how bad religion is.

    Its a sad story about lots of kids getting killed -stop trying to paint the killer as a republican to help your own cause. That said its unfortunate that those two didn’t get a mention, but I imagine there are plenty of unsung heroes here, and its ear;y days yet

    • More than literate August 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      Exactly where is it stated in the article that he was a republican? Also, the point of the article is not to persuade people of what the killer is, was, or could be. It’s to mention that some heroes at the scene were not given the big press as other heroes have been given (not just in this event, but every event where there are brave acts). And it is the author’s speculation that it may have to do with the fact they happen to be married homosexuals.

  47. westernqueensland August 2, 2011 at 6:34 am #

    Heroes get noticed/
    When media has a point/
    To make with their lives/
    #haiku

  48. n August 2, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Why is it even relevant if they’re a lesbian couple?

  49. Sarah August 2, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Wow, you lot are all arguing about numbers and faith! Bunch of twats, seriously. The story is about two lesbians who saved some children … remember that! Its not about who is right and wrong here. Most of you are acting like 5yr olds with no morals and ZERO respect.

  50. Lisa Stephens August 2, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    this is a pure miracle . why wasnt this in the newspaper. I think is amazing how these women saved so many lives. thanks for sharing this

  51. Chet August 2, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    Wow, what a story!

  52. Andrew August 2, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    I have no idea if this point has been made alreay and I can’t be arsed to read all the previous comments. I don’t care if these two are gay, straight, black, white alien or all of the above. I am not even fussed if they rescued one person or forty one, the point is they didn’t tit around saying somebody do something they were the people that did something and that has to be applauded. I very much doubt this story was under reported because the two women in question are a lesbian couple it is more likely that they are not courting the press or looking for a film and book deal thus modest people do not make good news.

  53. Jo Lovatt August 2, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    This wasn’t in the news reports -

  54. Jo Lovatt August 2, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Confused. Was trying to link this to Facebook and ended up posting a comment on here by mistake.

  55. Bill Graham August 2, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    The only fact that matters in this story is that the lesbian couple saved children being massacred by a radical. As for the Christian element of the story, I know the difference between one who is culturally Christian and one who claims Christ as their savior. I happen to be born again. In addition, I went to bible college and seminary.

    Attempting to draw a distinction between this man and real Christians is pointless. He identified himself in one way or another as Christian. He has done so for a long time. Furthermore, he wanted to spark a war between the Christian West and multi-ethnic immigrants.

    It sickens me that Christians of any stripe are so unwilling to admit that one of their own is capable of committing such an act. Of course Christians are capable of terrorism. They’ve terrorized people for centuries. Have you not heard of the crusades or the inquisition? Hello! What about those Serbian Christians rounding up the Kosovars? Think that’s not a problem? Give me a break!

    We have to own up to the fact that Christians are capable of crimes against humanity. To compare the children at this camp to the Hitler Youth is beyond disgusting. To raise that point is a flimsy attempt to shift the blame from the man who committed the murders to his victims. That’s sickening!

    You people who defend Christians against these charges are only proving one thing: that you have eyes but do not see. You have ears, but you do not hear. You have hearts, but do not understand. You have hardened your hearts in an ill-fated apologetic for a murderous thug. In denying his Christian roots, you’ve tried to deflect the blame on philosophies that gave rise to his murderous acts, but you have only proven that Christians are more callous than anyone thought. Your own words are the very facts that condemn you.

    • annie August 3, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      well said.

    • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

      I am always happy and relieved to encounter rational, responsibile people on the other side of the looking glass. I won’t comment on what you wrote for hesitance of robbing any of its credibility in eyes of your target audience. Good day and good luck, sir. Your kind is tragically rare these days. Go ye forth and multiply!

  56. xavier August 2, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    Not that much was written of Jandre Botha, a four year old who [the internet tells me] was beaten to death for refusing to refer to his mother’s lesbian lover as “daddy” [Hanelie Botha (31) and Engeline de Nysschen (33), respectively].

    From what I have read, this is meant to have happened in Vereeniging, South Africa, in late 2005.

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/lesbian-couple-guilty-of-gruesome-murder-1.270415

    To my knowledge, this news item was not widely reported either.

    Let us not childishly demonize nor revere homosexuals merely due to the fact that they are homosexuals. People are simply that: people. And they can be admirable just as they can be deplorable.

    Having said that, Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen are obviously brave, kind-hearted women. That fact is undeniable. I simply happen to think that this is so regardless of their sexuality.

  57. WurstBoy August 2, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    enough with the conspiracy theories. this story was reported in Finnish and then picked up by some other publications.

    The real story here is that in total about 20 groups of people with boats rescued over 300 people. Some of the people in those other boats may or may not have been gay/lesbian/black – the point is that your sexual orientaiton is completely and utterly irrelevant to your herosim.

    Using a tragedy like this to gain publicity by claiming some sort of non-existent discrimination is just sick.

    “Is it cos I is gay/black/crossasapplicabl​e?”

  58. Heather Physioc August 2, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    Murder = bad.
    Heroism = good.

  59. Kevin August 2, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    The heroism of Hege and Toril truly deserves praise and recognition. I don’t understand the headline of or point being made by the article though. I did hear about their story as well as other acts of heroism from people near the lake and the youth on the island. I heard it on the mainstream BBC on the Sunday after the massacre.

    Why did these bloggers feel the need to hijack this story and tether it to their own agenda. I don’t see how the sexuality of these heroes affects their actions at all. Approximately 250 people were rescued form the waters of the lake but I haven’t seen any reports of 210 people rescued by heterosexuals

  60. Tiram August 2, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Actually, there have been very few interviews with people whoe rescued or helped kids from Utøya that day. Many people took to the water in boats to help, but I’ve only seen one or two interviewed.

    And a quick search turned out this news article from last week, about Hege and Toril:

    http://mobil.helgeland-arbeiderblad.no/nyheter/article5681862.ece

  61. Carrie Cunningham August 2, 2011 at 8:43 am #

    That was 40 less lives taken that day. Those women didn’t have to put their own lives in danger but did.
    They should be rewarded for their heroism and not shunned and unrecognized

  62. Paul Daniels August 2, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    What the hell does sexual orientation matter in these situations?
    Why do you all write long as paragraphs on such irrelevant factors?
    It’s why human progress is so slow.

  63. E August 2, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Please stop creating rumours about this tragic incident which you clearly do not know enough about.

    What difference does it make wether the rescuers are gay or straight? In Norway it makes none, and that’s why these women haven’t been given special treatment in the media. There were probably 30-50 camping tourists helping rescue teenagers that day, most of which have not been interviewed in the media. Why would they give these two special coverage?

    Stop trying to score political points of this tragedy, it’s offensive, and it certainly doesn’t help the cause.

  64. Rob Smith August 2, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Nothing like mentioning christian and gay in the same paragraph to shake up the god botherers.

    Shame it overshadows the point that human beings are alive thanks to these human beings.

    I am glad I live in Finland where newspapers are willing to print such stories.

  65. TheWatcher11 August 2, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    I am still disturbed, though, by the people who keep falsely referring to the gunman as a “Christian Fundamentalist”. Do these people really have to stoop so low to attack Christianity with false “facts”? This is an blatant Atheist/homosexual bias against Christianity, which falsely seeks to link the attack to Christianity – a link that is simply absent. There have been multiple stories on various news sources such as CNN which clearly have stated that the man has absolutely no knowledge of the tenets of the Christian religion whatsoever, other than thinking Christianity is “cool”. The shooter even goes on to say that he has absolutely no personal relationship with God or Jesus Christ. If you claim a faith, and then argue against the core tenets of that faith, you are not a practitioner, but rather a dissenter. What brand of “Christianity” is THAT? I encourage readers to skip the bias of those who obviously hate Christianity, and educate themselves by doing their own research to ascertain the true facts.

    • Kalthoom Bouderdaben August 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      I concur completely. Heinous acts done superficially in the name of religion are all too often linked directly to that religion.

      That being said, (forgive me if I paraphrase your words) :

      We need to stop falsely referring to al-Qaeda operatives as “Muslim Fundamentalist”, as we are attacking Islam with false “facts”. That is a blatant Western/European bias against Islam, which falsely seeks to link the attacks to Islam – a link that is simply absent. There have been multiple Muslim organizations that come forward and try to explain that those men had absolutely no knowledge of the tenets of the Muslim religion whatsoever, other than thinking that they’ll die a martyr.

      “If you claim a faith, and then argue against the core tenets of that faith, you are not a practitioner, but rather a dissenter.”

      Truer words have never been spoken. And I’m not being sarcastic there. If you lay claim to a faith and then go against the core beliefs, you are misguided and on the wrong path, not a faithful practitioner.

      I think, though, the problem is that too many news stations are willing to get upset that Christianity is linked to an act of terrorism, while they are completely and one hundred percent willing to link their local mosques, Muslim population, and the Islamic faith with any radical event that takes place – until, of course, they learn that the attack had /not/ been done by a Muslim or Islamic group.

      Just an observation.

  66. Mike August 2, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Why can’t we just say two women helped save them? Is their heroism due to their lesbianism? Perhaps if the same-sex lobby weren’t so enthusiastic about pushing same-sex rights down everyone’s throats, these two might have been mentioned and their sexual orientation not be of any consequence. Instead, it’s front and center of this story because it is taken to be their identity. Your sexual orientation, however, is not the sum of your identity. To believe it is, is a lie.

    • theozarker August 2, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      I’m curious, Mike, as to whether you believe these “same sex” rights the “same sex” lobby is so enthusiastic about pushing are somehow different from the “opposite sex” rights we all want? And if they are not, why you would object to the “same sex” lobby pushing for them when they are denied. You and I, as heterosexuals have always had the right to be who we are, love who we want and, yes, legally marry any consenting adult we want (as well as receive the legal benefits thereof). This has not been true for the gay community. Under the Constitution, equal rights are guaranteed for all citizens. Yet at one time it was illegal in most states to be openly gay and gay people were prosecuted and even jailed under the law for this. It was only through “enthusiastic pushing” by the same sex community and those who supported their right to be who they are that this changed. They are still fighting for those other rights here in most of America where many see their sexuality as “abnormal” (as one poster put it). And I think that this is why this blog – which IS called, “talk about equality” feels it is important to point out that these two women were married lesbians and ask whether the story was not covered as such here in America where there is a tendency to only mention a gay person’s sexuality when they have done something bad. If gays were actually treated equally here, it probably wouldn’t be worth mentioning in the story. But they are not.

    • Mickey August 3, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      The reason the story wasn’t previously told was BECAUSE they were lesbian. If they had been covered previously, it wouldn’t be an issue.

  67. Mordi August 2, 2011 at 9:16 am #

    You should check your sources. Hege Dalen and her story from this terrible day was on the news, both TV and in all the norwegian newspapers. A number of locals and camping tourists participated in saving kids form the ocean that day, of course not all of them were interviewed. A lot of them didn’t want to be. But this woman in question actually was, so please don’t make things like this up.

  68. Anthony August 2, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Religion is the root of all evil. I knew it.

  69. tf August 2, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Please respect the killed and their families and stop discussing all this. In Norway all people are equal and these women has infact been interviewed in norwegian papers. I’m sure I can find a brown haired man or a bold fat guy who has not been interviewed (yet) – should I blog about that? Is that unfear? Of course not! All the people at Utvika helped in some way.

    Not all of them are mentioned. Yet.

  70. Rita August 2, 2011 at 10:00 am #

    That level of distinction doesn’t seem to be allowed to islamic terrorists. International media immediately label these attacks as “carried out in the name of Islam”, its perpetrators are immediately labelled “Islamic fundamentalists”.

    Acknowledging that this killer is a Christian is not an attack on Christianity itself, so I wish people who consider themselves “real Christians” stopped being so defensive.

    • meardonna August 2, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      can’t believe they did not get the press they deserve! oh and i’m a christian! and this guy is not a christian cause if he was he wouldn’t have murdered all those people! using terms like christin extremist, islamic extremist etc just gives some excuse to there behaviour, we should just say some nutcase went crazy! he’s a sick murderer clear and simple, and this couple should be praised no matter who they are!

  71. ken gibner August 2, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    This story seems to make an issue of the heroes courage and selfless acts, as though it has something to do with their sexual preferences. Its as though you’re saying, “see lesbians can be good people too!” Of course they are! I commend these women for their courage under fire, irregardless of their preferences! Weel done I say. These women should be recognized in their countries highest manor, for their actions, not their private life.

  72. Ken August 2, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    It’s absolutely true that these women are heroes. What does the fact that they are lesbians have *anything* at all to do with their amazing heroism? And yes – I will reiterate it again – and as many times as necessary – it is a blatant lie and intentionally misleading that the hateful cowardly killer was a ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ – he is as far from Biblical Christianity as one can possibly be. As a born again Christian, I don’t agree with a lot of things I see and hear around me – but I would never even consider killing someone over it – that would be wrong and diametrically opposed to the Bible also. Any true Christian that follows the principles of God’s Word will have an unconditional love for those around them – even if they don’t agree with their lifestyle.

    • robertantonwilson August 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm #

      What about the old testament? There’s plenty of murdering there to go around. And of course those old fun guys we call the “Crusaders” were smart enough to “twist” the Bible into something that gave them command to kill as many people as they possibly could. So don’t give me that God’s Word bullsh*t. The Bible also says “man shall not lay with another man” doesn’t it? So doesn’t that translate to “Gays=wrong”? Are the wrong not to be punished by God’s own hand? And if there’s one thing we know, it’s don’t piss God off. He is a vengeful God and will send you to Hell.

      When does the Bible just become some nonsensical shit that people made up. It’s made up! Someone made it up! It’s make believe!

  73. Yvonne August 2, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    I saw that these people had gone over in their boat to rescue people on BBC News. They didn’t mention they were a lesbian couple, but I don’t suppose it was the most important question at the time, considering they were still trying to find people.

  74. Randy August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    It’s a fabulous story of courage and yes, the mainstream media around the whole world should have been all over it.

    For me, the misstatement of the number of dead didn’t detract at all from the story. However, the swipe at “Christian fundamentalist” did. I am not a religious person, either.

    Many commenters said that wasn’t the point of the story and we should just ignore it. Others defended it as accurate. By all available evidence, it is not accurate at all to describe Breivik as a “Christian fundamentalist.” And when you insert that false statement into the FIRST SENTENCE of your article, readers may be forgiven for concluding that the writer has an anti-Christian agenda. It matters because false slurs against Christianity (“fundamentalist” or not) are as destructive as false slurs against Islam, Judaism or any other religion.

  75. Kevin Maurer August 2, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    Really? Who cares if they were Lesbian, thespian, caspian, or anything else? They were more brave than any ten of the folks who responded in negative here. They should be commended for their courage in the face of such horror!

    and to the guy who stated that there is no tenet of violence in the christian faith, you need to go back and reread your bible… God smote, God plagued, God told so and so to go and smite so and so… it amazes me how so many people overlook the real facts…

    christians, in the name of God, have been slaughtering people by the hundreds, and thousands, for thousands of years.

  76. Crystal August 2, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    If I were to save a person life, do you think it would be important to me that I let people KNOW that I was a straight single mom just divorced and looking for love? Who cares that they were lesbians???????????? What RELEVANCE is THAT to saving a life? Do you think when they were saving these lives that they stopped and said”oh by the way I am lesbo, do you mind if I save you now? or will you be offended later by this? wait will i be offended if they dont do a story on me and my partner, lover, whatever? this is stupid. I dont Care that they are lesbians or that they didnt get a story!! Did they save these people JUST to get a story?? I dont think they did. People need to STOP trying to turn everything into some poilitical agenda for gay and lesbian rights already!!! Im not lesbian, but my sister is and I support her. But you dont save peoples lives for the attention or for a cover story…you do it to save a life and that is it…..and by the way until this articlew I had not heard about this story.

  77. Peter Barlow August 2, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Dear Hege and Toril,
    When the news hit the international media I was caught up in the horror and helplessness. What could I do? Arrange a minute’s silence in my own summer school, yes, and put up pictures of the Norwegian flag at half mast. Change my Facebook profile picture to the Norwegian flag.
    Pretty useless; just a gesture. Like half the world, my heart was breaking for your country’s children and their families. (It still is.) What more could I do?

    I like to think that I could have had the courage to do what you did.
    I salute and thank you both.
    Peter

  78. Niels Lund August 2, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    To give the latest numbers on victims from Norway
    Oslo University Hospital had a total of 32 people hospitalized after the Breivik massacre. Of these, 11 had injuries after the explosion in downtown Oslo, while 21 had injuries after the attack on Utøya.

    One person has died in hospital, and thus brings the total death toll up to 77.
    Most of the victims from Utøya was shot several times. Anders Breivik would kill as many people as possible and therefore he used fragmenting munitions, which gives extra damage.

    The Norwegian broadcaster NRK has collected data from hospital and the emergency medical service in Oslo, and they show that a total of 153 persons were injured in the attack 22nd July.

    62 people were injured in Utøya, while 91 were wounded by the bomb that burst in downtown Oslo. Please remember the wounded, several of them will be damaged the rest of their lives.

  79. Marco August 2, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Some day we will live some place where credit is due; a place where we we’ll have the freedom to judge on the actions of a person rather than their label. Some day the scale will sway over to the good side… this video expresses my hope that it will happen sooner rather than later, and I hope you will also feel some comfort from it:

  80. Brent Weber August 2, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    I consider myself a real christian. The bible I read preaches compassion and empathy for others. This happens to be a story about a couple of people who showed compassion and empathy for others. Not just that, they put themselves in harms way to demonstrate it. It is too bad that their sexual orientation/relationship causes some to disregard the real story.

    Thank you Hege and Toril for being caring human beings.

  81. Ami August 2, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Lots of comments here, here is my two (or 6) cents:
    1) The killer killed 68 people on the island and sevral is still missing.
    2) 8 people where killed in the bomb he set of in Oslo, sevral more wounded.
    3) He is christian, but his religion was not why he did the terrible things he did.
    4) He has a burning passion of politics.
    5) The reason why he chose to kill the people on that specific island is because they where future politicians who shared the opposit view that he belived to be right.
    6) I have not hear this story about the lesbian couple saving 40 people, and I don’t really care more then that fact that 40 people where saved.

    Thank you Torill and Hege, for saving 40 lives.

  82. Shannon Keith Wiley August 2, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Wow all the arguing over alot of bullshit comments… Fact is this couple saved lives they did what was right Agappe Love (to love all with godly love no matter what religon sex race or sexual prefernce) If you call yourself a christian than in my opinion you should know what this kinda love is and spread it around THE END!!!!

  83. Death-Rae August 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Those 40 teens know it happened…

  84. Stephen Bryce August 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Anyone who says that Brevik isn’t a Christian fundamentalist, has clearly not had a conversation with the Christian Right or Tea Party, lately. The only difference between those whackos and the Taliban is how far they’re willing to do — a distinction that Brevik is erasing!

  85. Keltik August 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Do all us actual Christians a favour and stop calling this guy a Christian, there was nothing Christian about his actions.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      There’s nothing Christian about a lot of Christian’s actions. Doesn’t change the fact that they claim to be Christian.

    • Kai August 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      Then do the actual muslims of the world a favour and do not call f.ex Al Qaida muslim.

    • Beavis Christ August 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      But I bet you think the hijackers who rammed the jets into the twin towers were “real Muslims”, right?

      You don’t get to play God and decide who is a Christian and who isn’t. I get really tired of Christians who point their fingers at anyone who does anything they don’t like and scream “He’s not really a Christian!!!”

      Grow up and face reality: Christians do bad things just as much as anyone else. You need to deal with the reality here: your pwecious widdle religion doesn’t make you holier or more special or a more moral person. Just remember, for every Christian you point at and call “not a genuine Christian”, there’s another Christian out there somewhere pointing his finger at you and saying the exact same thing.

      All Christians think of themselves as “true” Christians, and all Christians think many Christians are not “true” Christians. The only “true” Christian ends up being the one you see in the mirror. This “not really a Christian” ridiculousness is just one of hundreds of reasons your religion is a disgraceful farce.

      Christianity has proven itself a million times over to be just another superstition-addled cult. I find no goodness in it, at its core.

    • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      That is no better than me claiming that Stalin and Pol Pot were not “real Atheists”.

  86. Annika Jessen August 2, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Good point there! However, I want to clarify that the shooter is NOT a Christian fundamentalist. He considers himself to be a soldier who has to save Europe from Muslims and socialists. This was an act of political terror where he deliberately aimed at the next generation of working party members. ( whom are left wing; like socialdemocrats )

    • Born-Again Atheist August 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

      Please explain how murdering those whose beliefs and lifestyles one disagrees with “is NOT” one of the fundamental tenants of Christianity, in practise at the very least.

  87. John Brown August 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    This is an awesome story of bravery and compassion, and deserves to be told. That said, the whole “Christian Fundamentalist” conversation is one that needs to happen, since the author of this post clearly felt he should be identified as such.

    In every group there are extremists…right and left. For every lunatic who self-identifies as “conservative” and desires to commit acts of violence against their “enemies,” there’s another lunatic who self-identifies as a “liberal” who thinks Christians and other “right wing fascists” should be put into internment camps (or worse). Every group has its fringe, we can’t deny that. The problem comes when people fail to realize the difference between the fringe and the mainstream, for example the person above who said there is no difference between the Norway murderer and the Tea Party or Christian Right, an assertion that is as false as it is inflammatory and ridiculous. A group should never be judged by its fringe–for example we cannot judge Islam by the actions of the 9/11 terrorists, just as we cannot judge Christianity by the actions of Westboro Baptist Church.

    The operative question in the Norway massacre is, “What drove him to these horrible acts?” It’s clear now that the facts have been gathered that faith was not a driving force, indeed it’s clear his “faith” is nothing more than a prop for his twisted political and racial positions. That’s why starting this article with “the Christian Fundamentalist who murdered…” is wrong and worthy of censure. That label has been exposed as a red herring (see this excellent article from CNN: http://tinyurl.com/43jeqcb) and serves no useful purpose but to perpetuate a falsehood, something that happens far to often on the Internet, and sometimes on purpose.

    I think this in an important issue because there’s an overlap here due to the sensitive nature of the story. We’re already talking about a married lesbian couple, something that clearly pushes buttons with both the Christian right and more progressive folks. To label this guy as a “Christian” in the context of this story makes a link to the existing debate over gay marriage in a way that inflames and distracts. It’s as if the author is saying, “Christians already hate us, so let’s fight back by pointing out this guy was a Christian.” I’m not saying that was the author’s intent, but it’s bound to be read that way given the context.

    I urge everyone to tell this story–this couple deserves every word of praise they receive for their heroic acts. But I also urge everyone to tell the correct story and avoid spreading false, misleading, and inflammatory information about what really happened in Norway. This guy’s faith had nothing to do with his actions, just as this couple’s sexuality has nothing to do with their heroism.

    • John Brown August 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      In my eagerness to jump into the fray I forgot to say a simple “thank you” for bringing this story the attention it deserves. I may disagree with one two-word phrase in your post, but that doesn’t negate the importance of getting the word out about what this couple did.

  88. toppertje August 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    If you are worried about equality you should be thrilled these two amazing women are being defined by their acts of bravery and not their sexuality.

    You should really do more research before blogging and perhaps look up the word “equality” in the dictionary.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Hi Mark. Thanks so much for your constructive comment. I know plenty about equality. I know enough about it to say that if youd actually read my post youd see that the problem is not that these women have their relationship being revealed with their story of heroism, but that their story isnt being told at all – essentially because They ARE lesbians. Try reading an article and comprehending it before you comment.

      • toppertje August 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

        This story has been widely covered in many countries. None of which thought the couple’s sexuality was important or relevant. Jumping on the coattails of a tragedy like this to prove some LGBT point about equality is both crass and tasteless.

        Now I accept that you have issues with the media and how they cover stories with regards to a persons sexuality but this is about human bravery and compassion, not gay pride.

        I should maybe mention that the country in which I live celebrated ten years of legal gay marriage this year. Not only do I understand equality but thankfully I am surrounded by it.

      • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

        Those who are surrounded by equality and have never fought for it don’t always have the best understanding of what it means. This story has NOT been widely covered by the mainstream media, as I wrote about in the post. If you can find me one major mainstream press outlet in the US that covered this story before yesterday, I’ll say that I’m wrong. Please read my follow-up post about exactly why their sexuality is relevant not to the story itself, but of the reporting of it. If you disagree, you disagree – I happen to find that in a country where primarily negative stories of LGBT people pervade the press and society, a story like this is necessary.

      • pooty August 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

        in order to demonstrate a conspiriacy of inequality, would it not be helpful to provide us with a myriad of links to MSM stories about heterosexual responders? and if you can’t do that, what does that tell us, Jamie?

      • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

        It tells me that the MSM is ignoring other stories too. But when we live in a country and in a world where being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is so frequently seen as a disability (and stated as such by anti-gay hate groups), this should be a major story. It was just 30 years ago that we began losing millions of gay men to AIDS. Our leaders, our press, no one would talk publicly about it because it was a disease they thought only afflicted gay men. If you think that fear, that hatred doesn’t still exist in our media and our leadership, you’re sorely mistaken. And that’s why it’s not so hard to assume that this story is not being told because this is a married lesbian couple.

  89. elina August 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    I want to post the story of their heroism, but this version of that story, at least, seems to exploit a terrible massacre in order to gain attention for gay rights (another very important issue). There is something kind of distastful about that – something that I have a feeling would not do justice to the bravery of these incredible women.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

      The story is not being exploited, it’s being reported. How do you possibly tell these women’s stories without linking it to the event that they saved people from?

  90. pooty August 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    incredibly courageous what these women did. immense kudos to them. on the other hand i haven’t heard ANY stories, other than this one, about people who responded to this massacre, let alone their sexual orientation. i can’t imagine anything less relevant to this event. turning something like this into community college womyn’s studies agit-prop demeans both the horror of this and the brave women who saved those lives.

  91. Laura August 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    I am so grateful to this brave couple, they saved children without a thought to their safety. They should be commended.

  92. Jeff Smith August 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    On the topic of whether the shooter was a Christian, here is the absolute best analysis and discussion I have yet to find on the topic:

    http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Confessions-of-Anders-Breivik-Patton-Dodd-08-01-2011-

    One of the best observations is on page 2 of the article: “And anyone—left or right—who suggests that the fact that Breivik is a Christian somehow condemns Christianity is as much of a bigot as those who said that the fact that Osama bin Laden was a Muslim proved anything about Islam as a whole.”

  93. toppertje August 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I think you are belittling the bravery these amazing women have shown by making this story your own cause. Regardless of what you think of your local media.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      I’m not “making” this story anything. I’m telling it when very few others have. You keep failing to read or comment on the follow-up post I wrote about why it’s important to tell this story in-full – if you disagree, so be it. Write your own version of it where the heroes are genderless, relationshipless robots. I don’t really care – my interest is in telling their whole story.

      • toppertje August 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

        And what about the interests of the couple? It is after all their story to tell.

        I’m sorry Jamie, but I’m afraid your story comes across as a cheap grasp for attention for the LGBT community.

      • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

        I’ve been trying to contact them, but not being a native speaker I’ve had issues getting in touch. They allowed a beautiful photo of them to be taken and have spoken to the press somewhat in Norway, so I don’t think it’s really a big deal to them.

        I’m sorry you feel the way you do. I can’t help but wonder if you thought the same way about the African American community celebrating the election of Barack Obama as the first African American president. I’m sure claiming he is black is just a cheap grasp for attention by the African American community.

  94. YOMTVRAPS August 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    There’s a lot of repetition in here lol. “He’s not a christian!” “His actions are not christian! “Facts matter!” Calm down before jumping into a discussion (argument) so that your outrage doesn’t disregard what has already been said. Also, thank you to the ladies that risked life and limb doing this courageous act. It’s not as if journalism has changed their approach to news. Sensationalizing media is one of the keys people use in order to bolster the message that is desired to be received. And to those who will probably say, “But being incorrect is the first faux pas in news!” people make mistakes, deliberate or otherwise.

  95. Kimberly August 2, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    If anyone read the manifesto this individual (the killer) wrote, they could quickly distinguish he was not in any shape or form a Christian. As I have not heard any reports of acts of heroism by any news outlet I am not sure if it is the fact that they are gay or the fact that it has not been heard about at all. I cannot wait for the day when who you love is not as important as how you love. These women, gay or not acted out of pure bravery. Simple as that. I don’t care what they do in their private life. I agree with the individual that stating that they are gay is really unnecessary and seems like an agenda boost than a human acknowledgment.

  96. JustAnotherSoldier August 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Ok, all I’m hearing is a lot of bashing. He was a terrorist, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, etc. Two women, regardless of their status, saved 40 people, regardless of their affiliation. Kudos to the women who had the intestinal fortitude that did what was right. It is not the value of the person, but the weight of their acts that made them heroines in their own right. And what does it matter if they were soldiers, civilians, homeless women, etc. A lot of extremist are “religion oriented”, either they’re all for it or completely against it and want it gone, if they didn’t come forward and tell their story, then so be it, they are humble and I can appreciate that, no one knows all sides to anything, why are you all arguing over pety things? 40 ppl were saved, kudos to the 2 that did it.

  97. Ravenpuff August 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    In Norwey, many people helped saving kids from that massacre. Many boat owners set sails out into the heavy rain to help the young people who in desperation tried to swim their way to the mainland nearly drowned.

    THAT got plenty of mentions. People who helped and did their good deeds.

    WHY should ONE could be treated differently? If only one homosexual couple gets the attention for their help and no futher mentions about the heterosexual or single people who helped too, does that mean only that one couple’s deeds count?

    We got no reason to treat people differently, not even that way. Helping people in need got nothing to do with your secuality.

    In fact, if it really should be treated like a big thing if a lesbian couple helps like that, isn’t that like insulting them? We have to blow it up, as if it’s needed to proove homosexuals can do good deeds too?
    They were people who helped people in need, just like all the other people who helped too. Why should there be a difference?

  98. Kris August 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Herioc women save lives in Norway tragedy.

    Why isn’t that good enough?

    • Kris August 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Heroic….sorry for the misspell.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Kris, thanks for visiting the blog. Please read the follow-up post to see why we believe it’s important to tell the whole story:

      http://talkaboutequality.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/hege-and-toril-why-we-write/

    • Pat August 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      You do feel that it’s important to mention that they’re women, but you’re against mentioning that they’re married?

      I don’t understand. Why are people so insistent on which facts *aren’t* mentioned?

  99. Jeff Kee August 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    Great job, commendable.

    The fact that our society still has to emphasize that this was a “Lesbian” couple shows the discrimination still going on, or it shows our acceptance of such distinction. May a world come where we don’t brand people as a “Lesbian” or “Interracial” couple – we’re just all “couples” who love each other.

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

      Amen to that, Jeff. I don’t know if we’ll see that world in our lifetime but isn’t it ironic that to get to the place where we can remove labels, we have to highlight them so?

  100. toppertje August 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Of course not, that was an amazing and historical day filled with happiness and pride and not just for African Americans or even just Americans but for EVERYONE! However that event is not connected to the horrific events in Norway and never should be, not even in a comment thread.

    For the record I was thrilled when Iceland recently elected the very first gay prime minister, I didn’t see this is a cheap LGBT grasp for attention, it marked a landmark in the fight for global equality.

    My point here I guess is about choosing your battles and knowing when it is appropriate to fight them.

  101. Emily August 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    AWESOME JOB LADIES!

  102. James August 2, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Is the implication that their story was NOT told because they are lesbians? Is their homosexuality pertinent to the story? Does it make them more heroic than someone else? I’m sure there were plenty of other heroes that day whose stories were not told and will never be told. Did they seek the spotlight? The people who seek it out usually get it. Did they actively engage if mainstream international media tried to engage with them? If they hesitated even briefly, even just to tend to someone or steel themselves, the media is going to move on. I’m not sure it can be implied that the media went “Oh no no no, we are not going to report on heroic lesbians.”

  103. Katie August 2, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    So touching. It pains my heart that I am just now hearing of such heroism and bravery from these two incredible women. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

  104. RoughAcres/RL McKee August 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    They went back FOUR TIMES.

    I wanna hug these women, I truly do.

    Brava! Brava! Such bravery.

  105. Helen Kember August 2, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    stories like this give me faith that the world is not as terrible and cruel as it seems.

  106. Zack Waugh August 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    lesbians??? i think they should be called heros. who cares if they are gay. these women did such a great deed. and to be overlooked because of their sexual preference is completely deplorable! thank you for shining the light on these two great people.

  107. whyaskwhy August 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    Exactly how did their lesbian training help them save the kids??

  108. Derek Harper August 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Great job :) I praise your heroism.

    i feel somewhat offended about the christian part :/ I mean i’m christian but i don’t see myself killing people, In fact, i’m bisexual and my parents are christians too, they don’t think badly of anyone. Not even my family (who don’t know)

  109. mon August 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    autostraddle wrote about it

    http://www.autostraddle.com/on-the-tragedy-in-norway-102373/

  110. Cindy August 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    But you just wrote about it. So that title no longer works. And why does their sexual preference matter? Good people and good people. Acknowledge that, not their orientation.

  111. Tommy August 2, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Your story would have more credibility if you used only FACTS. The freak was not a Christian Fundamentalist

  112. Tommy August 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    Your story would read better if it only included FACTS. They have already said the freak was NOT a Christian Fundamentalist… that was a media hype rumor only

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 2, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

      False. If you actually read the whole post, youd are that it was the Norwegian police that reported he was a Christian fundamentalist

      • Moo August 3, 2011 at 2:59 am #

        See, the thing is, if the author of this piece had excluded two (false, controversial) words, then the focus would be on the couple, and not on the authors mis-statement of facts. Or if the author removed those words.

        Attacking Xtians is not reason enough to detract from the point you’re making.

  113. Hanya August 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Many times heroic acts do go unnoticed, but I doubt if they were noticed, that they were UNacknowledged because they were not appreciated or for any other reason. I think MOST people would expect another human being to do whatever they could to save another persons life and especially if they are NOT putting their own lives in grave danger to do so (and perhaps shooting has ceased, fire is out, etc.), but in contrast, I think NO one expects another human to be killing an innocent person(s), and especially when beliefs as a Christian puts their behavior to do such a thing in complete contradiction. I did hear about a few people and how they saved others…but obviously, there was no mention of their sexual behavior, straight, homo, bi, poly, beast, pedophile, whatever…as their sexual behavior did not need any kind of of highlighting regarding helping another person in trouble.

  114. bsmooth August 2, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    To all those saying he was not a Christian and that it goes against everything both Christianity and the bible teach, remember that there are multiple teachings in the bible that state non believers shall be killed. Just read Deuteronomy 17 to enlighten yourself or refresh your forgotten Christian teachings.
    So he was following the true tenants as written in the bible.
    But of course the Christians and their pundits have to argue this point because it would nullify their whole argument against Islam based on the actions of muslim terrorists who make up a very, very small percentage of the over 1 billion followers of Islam in the world.

  115. Simperium Buffonery August 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    You know what’s worse than the Norway massacre is your blog’s grey text on a white background.

  116. Sharyn August 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Heroes are people who risk their own lives to save other people’s lives.
    Thank you to these two brave women.

  117. Emerson August 2, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Gender is variable in it manifestation and unique to each individual. It really has no bearing on the other characteristics that are connected to the decency of a person. Just as I cannot relate to the attractions and desires of someone who’s gender is different from mine, I also cannot relate to persons who judge one’s character using gender as having an effect on that character. Those who connect gender to character need to be recognized as being wrongheaded and predjudiced. We should base our feelings for people whose gender varies from the so-called traditional norms on the qualities that are actually connected to character.
    Obviously these are two brave women who would be celebrated in a more just world.

  118. Gay Broaddus August 2, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    My hat is off to the two wonderful women that saved so many lives. Most people would have turned their back and run. Being a lesbian myself I am very proud of there heroic acts. And what a wonderful feeling after the fact they must have for saveing so many lives. Bravo to them.

  119. Jill August 2, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Good job! You truly are brave heros. Bless you both.

  120. Gary DeVaney August 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    I’m Gary DeVaney. First, I salute these courageous women. Second, shame on the big media editors and owners for, again, for not doing their job. You have been caught and exposed for all to see. Regards, G

  121. Sammy August 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    First!

  122. Andy August 2, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Two things:

    1) Who those ladies have sex with behind closed doors is none of my business — wed ur unwed. If they were ignored, then they were ignored as individuals, too, not just because they’re homosexuals (unless you can prove there was discrimination).

    2) That Anders guy was NOT a Christian Fundamentalist, but thank you for the disclaimer, anyway. He said he did not believe in a personal God and is not particularly religious. Furthermore, he does not acknowledge Jesus as God. That makes him anything but a Christian, but don’t expect NYT and CNN do understand that very rudimentary fact. They are very religiously illiterate.

  123. Moji August 2, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Unbelivable- the fundamentalist Christans have taken from this article is the shooter is not a Christan & we dislike Queers & the number of dead are off & you are wrong. I took from the story Queers are dismissed and made to feel invisible by uptight people the majority of comments are validated by Christians right here.
    These Women are truly Good Samaritan’s they heard the call to help. Instead of staying @ their campsite watching…I wonder how many Straight
    Couples stayed @ their campsites to finish eating… listening to screams? I wonder how many are Christans too..

  124. Marc August 2, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    Nowhere in the new testament scriptures does Jesus, or any other apostle, disciple, etc condone the use of violence. The entire message of Christianity is that Christ used nonviolent means to offer salvation to the world by willfully giving his life as a sacrifice. To even use the term Christian anywhere near this man or this story proves the media’s total and complete ignorance on the subject. Read the freaking new testament, don’t be lazy.

  125. Forest Leonard August 2, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    While these two women ARE heroes (since it is a sexless term I am not trying to use the improper word Heroin and thought with the current temperament of the posts I thought a quick explanation might get me a flame or two less), I am not sure I understand your point in this article. I read about these amazing women and read at least three articles on them from at least CNN, perhaps CNN iReport and I believe Foxnews.. but that last one is a stab in the dark, I don’t know if it was actually Foxnews.

    I appreciated the article… I don’t believe there is anything wrong with asking if you believe that the US media wasn’t giving this as much “air” as you think is appropriate. You are a customer of their news. If we as customers want real news we need to stop following the sensationalized personal lives of people who are not beholden or responsible to us and let them know we want news and that includes telling us about remarkable people who selflessly saved people they didn’t know while a crazy with a gun might have taken shots at them for all they knew. Regardless of the sexual orientation. It is only when we as customers stop clicking and viewing irrelevant things and ask them to start reporting news substantive articles that we will up the business of clicks and links.

  126. Judy Ann Hamblin August 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    God Bless them..and Thank God for them.

  127. r4 ds August 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    If you are worried about equality you should be thrilled these two amazing women are being defined by their acts of bravery and not their sexuality.

  128. Ding Dong... August 2, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    What if…according to the post…and I quote…”The Finnish capital city’s largest daily newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat, published this account…”
    Then, did no one write about it?

    BTW, kudos — bigtime — to the rescuers! Heroism. Sexually / politically / religiously >>> irrelevant. Humanly, heroism. Defined. Thank you.

    The Enemy wants you distracted and divided. Guess he’s got you by the short hairs — whatever genitalia you prefer.

  129. Karoline Fritz August 2, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Haven’t read any comments – but is it possible that it’s not news over here because the story is being reported in the native language as just “more good people doing the right thing” instead of “here is proof that we don’t have to fear those gay folks out there”. Our media loves hero stories but our country has moved on from the Norway tragedy. This story likely just got swept into the bucket with all the other heroic moments – and the gay thing just didn’t enter into the equation. I really, really REALLY hope that’s what it is. Anything more sinister is just… well I guess I’m still naive enough to be disgusted by that.

  130. carmen August 2, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    The killer is anti marxist,catholic,right extreme,a crazy

  131. Shelly August 3, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    I honestly don’t think being gay is the issue, or that these ladies are married. I think the news isn’t interested in heroism anymore. It doesn’t pay to be a hero anymore, gay, straight, white, black or pink. I remember when People magazine used to have such delightful stories about hero’s now it’s all about the latest celebrity train wrecks.
    This should not be a story about two married gay women, it should be a story on two brave, gutsy women who werent afraid of acting and doing! Hurray for their courage ladies! I applause your heroism because you are you

  132. sf August 3, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Hey!… All ye Christians who are saying this guy wasn’t a Christian Fundamentalist!… When you say you want to resuscitate the Knights Templar, guess what? You’re a Christian Fundamentalist.

  133. henry walker August 3, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Being lesbian doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you human. If a black man had rescued the children I hope they wouldn’t say a black man rescued the children. When do newspapers ever say a white man rescued a group of kids? If I ever save someone I hope newspapers don’t give me a personal lable like “man who drives Mazda” or “over weight short man” saves children. I think every story here is treated as a conspiratory. I think they would still claim conspiratory even if a headline read something like” Gay man eats gay hamburger and has a gay day.”

  134. your mother August 3, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    in 2008 a large scale dry lightning storm brought wildfire to my county. over 100 fires were started. i saved my friends home by cutting fire lines around their home along with at least 15 other people. i worked along side a group of gay men and a few lesbians.

    i am straight. nobody wrote a story about me.
    they were gay. nobody wrote a story about them.

    as a matter of fact, there was no stories AT ALL in regards to the private people who saved their friends homes that summer. only about the fire departments.

    heros go unseen every day, no matter what sex, race, or sexual orientation they are.

  135. Kiracam1991 August 3, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    Quoting Jim Aitkins from a previous post: “In time, we may learn other aspects of the story… aspects that had been held back because those who disseminate the news to the masses don’t know how to make it fit into one of the few templates they want us to be fed. Who knows.”

    Please let us remember the important part of this story — 2 individuals (religion, nationality, marital status, sexual preferences and all other things aside) saved the lives of 40 other individuals (age, religion, nationality etc…aside once again) by jumping into an incredibly dangerous situation with no thought of the danger they might themselves face instead of standing safely by the way-side.

    My awe and respect go out to Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen. You may never get the media respect/attention you deserve but I’m sure there are 40 families who are beyond grateful for your actions.

  136. David Reid August 3, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    I find it interesting the number of people wetting their pants because this person is being referred to as a Christian Fundamentalist. I’ll wager that these same people have no problem what-so-ever with the phrase Muslim Fundamentalist when used in association with terrorism. I wonder how “real” Muslims feel when Christians use that phrase to describe terrorists who have a political agenda as opposed to a religious one? Do unto others…

  137. Jon August 3, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    OK. Then could we agree on say four things:
    1) The perpetrator was not actually a “Christian” by his own admission, and certainly not by his actions, which, needless to say, violate every precept of Jesus’ teaching.

    2) The use of the term “Christian Fundamentalist” here is not accurate, and was merely cynically used for journalistic sensationalism.

    3) Regardless of the number of victims, which could still even change, let us pray for this savaged nation, who has suffered so much through this great tragedy.

    4) Let us thank these dear Lesbians for being the true “Good Samaritans” when most of the rest us, both Christian and otherwise, would have just skedaddled. “Thank you. And God bless you.”

  138. TeMorehu August 3, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Amen Mark

  139. Bob Harvey August 3, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    I just fail to understand the reference to sexuality when it comes to a rescue.

    As I understand it, quite a lot of people rescued various groups of people, and hardly any of them have come to the attention of the international media. Which is, of course, quite normal: they didn’t do it for publicity, and the media are interested in dead people, not survivors.

    But to claim that lack of attention is because of the rescuer’s lifestyle is special pleading of the most reprehensible kind. I find the idea of piggybacking on this story to make a political point about gender politics quite disturbing, and lacking in any empathy.

  140. mrtrmn60 August 3, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    It does not matter if these women were gay or not. That should NOT even be brought up in this. The ONLY thing that should be brought up is the fact that they risked their lives and saved a lot of people. Hero’s they are for what they did, not for their sexual choice.

  141. Keyffo Baggins August 3, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    Oslo Bomb deaths his action, Utoyan deaths his actions so what was the actual total of innocent lives he had no right to take. Please do the arithmatic again for me and remind me.

  142. Susan Hawthorne August 3, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    If you are a lesbian and do something great, no one mentions your act or that you are a lesbian; if you are a lesbian and do something bad, then you are called a lesbian and bad (and you are nothing else). That’s how the silencing and invisiblising of lesbians is continued.

  143. Brian August 3, 2011 at 7:22 am #

    In times where Christians openly practice and proclaim their faith to further their aims to win public office and when Christian public officials discuss the religious basis for many of their civic actions, I am not sure it is fair to draw such a black and white line separating Christianity and politics. Christianity and Christians, not alone among religions, have been working diligently for years to further their political agendas. You really cannot have it both ways.

    And brava to this couple. Good role models.

  144. Jeremy Poynton August 3, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Hamid,

    This was a one off by a man who didn’t practise Christianity, but said his culture was Christian. As is mine, an unbaptised Englishman of 60. With regard to acts of Islamic terrorism, however, whether or not we ascribe these to Allah, the simple fact is that this is a major problem world wide.

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#attacks

    Note – I lived happily in a largely Muslim part of Bristol for may years. Most Muslims are moderate – however, Islam, sadly, is not and never has been “moderate”.

  145. Tom-Daniel August 3, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve seen an interview in Norwegian media with those, as of many of the rescuers. But know this people, the Norwegian media doesn’t highlight so big that they were lesbians cause in Norway that’s perfectly fine being gay. Hell, even our National Chief of Police is married to a guy and they have two kids together…. Media simply put (if memory serves me right) “The couple, Hege and Toril, was nearby the the attack started”. So since it’s isn’t a big thing in Norway, maybe that’s ONE of the reasons foreign media haven’t mentioned it?

  146. The Truth August 3, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    Are all those Catholic Priests that bang little boys Christians?

    You bet they are.

    And so is this mass killer, a Christian!

    Live with the facts!!

    • Lewis August 10, 2011 at 12:55 am #

      So riddle me this. What is a Christian? only facts though not opinion

  147. Marianne Kuiper Milks August 3, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    The only thing that bothers me is the separating / issue between gay and non-gay people. That will still take time. Another 100 years for some?
    What a crying shame that this still has to be an issue. “A wonderful couple, two courageous women, rescued many young people….etc etc.” should be sufficient and perfectly acceptable.
    Were they courageous because they are lesbian? Ergo: all lesbians are courageous? Non-gay people are not? Should the next article read “Non-gay people courageously..etc etc” Good Grief! Let’s just accept people’s choices without having to, still, make an issue, ok? (That message meant for those who just don’t get it yet!)

  148. Mr-DJ August 3, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    If the heroine couple had done something wrong, you had better believe it not only would have made front page news, but it would be plastered everywhere that it was a “Lesbian Couple”. So it’s a matter of balance. Until there is equality, and those labels no longer matter, you reap what you sow.

    The killer states he no longer practices his Christian up bringing. But I will bet you 1,000 to 1 odds that those people objecting to him being called a “Christian Fundamentalist” are the same poeple who do NOT HESITATE to use the term “Muslim” terrorist rather than just “Iranian” or “Egyptian”, etc… Those religious fundamentalists are not really practicing thier TRUE religion either are they, but you’d be quick to condemn their entire religion.

    If you are going to label people when they do bad, then you damn well better relegate the same moniker to them when they do good. If they are Gay when they are bad, then they are just as Gay when they do good. It’s about balance and equality.

    And Extreme Radical Fundamentalism is the same whether it is Christian or Muslim. They both terrorize for political or personal gain. If you insist on using it for one group, you damn well better use it for the other. It’s about balance and equality.

    Thank you Hege and Toril for your unselfish bravery and heroism!! And while I am sure you do not seek it, I think you should receive whatever kind of National Heros Award is available in your country.

  149. NSRob August 3, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    An interesting addition to the story. Well spotted.

  150. Brianna Lynn Michaud August 3, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    this was a very good story and i think the press should keep things like this hidden just because they are a lesbian couple… lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are just like us… a human being.

  151. Brianna Lynn Michaud August 3, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    shouldnt i meant

  152. Brianna Lynn Michaud August 3, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    this was a very good story and i think the press shouldn’t keep things like this hidden just because they are a lesbian couple… lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are just like us… a human being.

  153. kountryking August 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    I read about several rescuers in several articles and not one mentioned their sexual preference. Why should anyone care if these two women are in a sexual relationship? What does that have to do with their degree of heroism? Please get off the gay crap. No one cares about other people’s sex lives in relationship to a news story.

  154. Liv-Bunny August 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Who the hell cares if they are lesbian or whether or not this is a fact on whether this is a religious or political act?
    My issue is that they are decent people who stuck their necks out to save the lives of 40 people. that should be good enough right?

  155. Kego August 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    It’s irrelevant that they’re lesbians. They’re just brave

  156. Brian Nightingale August 3, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Simply spoken it sounds so wonderfully humane, lesbian marriage had nothing to do with it AT ALL !!!
    Homosexuals follow their prey like any other animal, as wolves in sheep clothing the hide behind religions, political parties and humanitarian projects. Homosexual priests have destroyed more children’s lives “total” than these two simply human women saved in a day.
    It makes me ill to think “The Homosexual Agenda” will stoop so low as to usurp simple humane morality to boost their cause.
    The so called Christian Fundamentalist was a sick mentally disturbed person/wolf in sheep clothing deranged and hiding inside a religious group, PERIOD.

    Will this be posted, I do after all request tolerance and acceptance in the world, If one writes about it, will it be heard….. I hope so.

    Brian E. Nightingale. A Man of Contrast, Not Contradiction.

    • Emu August 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      You’re not a man.

      • Brian Nightingale August 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

        I am a Human Being, a Person and a Man in that order. For you to deny me that, you must be neither man nor woman. A psychological hermaphrodite would best define you, a quasi-person. After all that is what you called me. An ad hominem criticism of my comment, and still yet my comment is reproved by your comment, thank you.

  157. Dee August 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    He said he was a christian. He wrote 1500 pages about how christian he is and about how anyone who is not should be killed.
    If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s a duck.
    He is as much a Christian as those who committed the acts of 9/11 are Muslim.
    I’m so tired of all the double standards.

    • Jess Suggs August 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      It just sad that when you first heard reports about the whole thing everyone just assumed it must it was some how linked to the Taliban. I won’t call them Muslims the same way the KKK aren’t Christians. If you hate for no reasons then obviously you aren’t of God, for God, or having anything to do with God. So whether he was or wasn’t a Christian is besides the point. Once he got this insane and devilish idea in his head, he stopped being of God. I think the majority of people who are up in arms about why he called himself a Christian is because it could be a common link between him and you. It’s understandable. I’m not saying you are (the same that is), you are just outraged that some one who was once a member of the same faith could behave this way.

      As for the one person who posted ” That’s why I hate the gays. They always put their sexuality above everything else”….They don’t we do. We do in society, and in the media. I’m sure they are two perfectly normal women out an a date, who would have loved to keep bedrooms acts in the bedroom, but in this day and age what they do in the bedroom makes them a minority. I can imagine someone like you 50 years ago saying “That’s why I hate the blacks, they put there skin color out there before anything else.” If you hate the gays and gay culture and they way they act, don’t become one…It’s that simple. And if you want to live in your White suburban neighborhood where their aren’t any scary gays or minorities then we don’t want your judgement out there to cloud or color ours. I am happy to be a member of the human race where if you want to get married to your gay lover and make things legitimate in your life you can. So hooray for the two lesbians that saved those young lives.

    • Brian Nightingale August 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      Have you ever heard of a liar ?

  158. Karl August 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    The sexual orientation of those who rescued people is absolutely, totally irrelevant. No discussion.

    It is simply not true that the story of these two women has not been told in the media. It was told by several online newspapers in Norway as early as the day after the attacks. But the Norwegian news media didn’t make a point of the couple being lesbians, because (again) it was totally irrelevant – the important thing being that the people helped to save lives. Now, I don’t know if this has been reported in international news media or not, but what I do know, is that such stories of people saving others tend to surface little by little. Some of these stories need a few days to get known. That doesn’t mean that they have been ignored for any particular reason.

    It seems very unlikely that the news media would ignore the story of these two women because they happen to be lesbians. It is much more likely that this particular story didn’t get a lot of international attention at first because it drowned among all the other dramatic news about the horrible killings.

  159. Brandon August 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Hitler was Catholic but used Norse/Germanic Paganism in his campaigns. So now everyone thinks Norse/Germanic Paganism followers are evil and racist…We all know Hitler was neither he was an evil person who used whatever he could to hurt millions of people. Religion does not make someone good or evil their actions do. I am proud to say I am Norse Pagan. I do not judge a person by their religion. I have really good Christian friends and really good friends of other varying religions and they are all good people. I have nothing against people who choose to be gay, I believe if they are happy then no one should be able to tell them what to do or that they are wrong. What happened to honor and respect these to women saved lives and that is very honorable and respectable. Who cares about religion or how many died. People died by the hands of an evil person and that is ALL that matters. Good people saved lives and that is ALL that matters. The man will pay for his crimes and justice will be had. I send my thoughts and energy to those families who lost children and siblings in this tragic event.

    • Norm October 3, 2011 at 1:12 am #

      Hitler was Jewish, which is like being Catholic but with better food.

  160. Cubby August 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    ‘the heavy hitters who usually kill for hero stories like this, have remained silent.’

    these so called heavy hitters aren’t referred to as the Lame Stream Media for nothing…….

  161. kyle August 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    Thanks for the article.

    I still take issue with the “Christian Fundamentalist” term being used for Breivik. I have no issue with him being labeled a “Christian”–that is a loose term, and describes everyone from the Westboro’s to the Catholic Workers Front. However, there are tenets to Fundamentalism, as laid out in “The Fundamentals,” a book by a Princeton Theologian, BB Warfiled, from which Fundamentalism derives it’s name. It’s pretty simple; if one doesn’t subscribe to the fundamentals, one isn’t a Fundamentalist. This is something which seems to have been completely overlooked by the media in all the furor about what to label Mr. Breivik. Call him a Christian, call him right-wing, conservative, Western, a bigot, etc. All of those things are accurate. He is factually not, however, a Fundamentalist. Thanks again.

  162. Poppy August 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    I can tell you this much; if the shooter had been gay you would have heard about it.

  163. Emu August 3, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I think that’s a stereotype the LGBT community can be proud of. I have never seen a group so concerned about society. They are always ready to do what is right.

    Big news in Europe is finally picking up on the story. US news are not ready yet. We will see this evening.

    • Brian Nightingale August 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      You think that it is a stereotype the LGBT community can be proud of. you have never seen a group so concerned about society. They are always ready to do what is right as long as they stamp it with “gay”. Do heterosexuals stamp everything they do with a sexual denotation. Such as “Phil Donahue set the standard for the original interview show format, he is also a heterosexual”. The LGBT community can leave off their own stereotype of themselves and be just as ambiguous as the rest of our society, but wait you people must for some reason advertise for subscribers, another part of the Gay Agenda. Well I guess heterosexuals should be out and proud and we could have our own flag, lets use the black and white checkered flag, the one that is waved fro winners. I’m juss sayin youknow !!!!

  164. Megan August 3, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    The point is not that they did this because they are lesbians in a monogamous relationship. The point, and a valid one I think, is that if this had been a heterosexual married couple, their story would be all over the papers and t.v. as having been heroes. But this couple doesn’t fit the mass media’s ideal version of what a hero is. No one wants to discuss the gay marriage issue, etc., so they swept it under the rug. I seriously doubt this couple is angry because they aren’t getting enough attention. But I believe it’s valid to be angry about the reasons WHY they aren’t getting any attention.

    David Hernandez, Jr. was a 20 year old intern who absolutely helped save Rep. Gabrielle Gifford’s life. It was a proud moment for me as an American when his sexuality was mentioned with barely a glance as he was hailed as a hero. But it was mentioned, and I’m glad, because it’s time this stigma was lifted. Hopefully one day in the future, people really honestly won’t care what your sexual preference is, but until then, the best thing is for people to see that homosexuals are NORMAL, and often HEROIC people who deserve the same respect and rights as everyone else.

  165. Mike August 3, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Gay or not they were very brave and heroic. The fact that they are lesbian shouldn’t even be brought up because then it takes focus away from their actions and from the kind of people they are. Just saying.

  166. Amelia McGoldrick Photography August 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Disgraceful that this heroic act has been ignored by the media but sadly, I am not surprised.

  167. Alicia August 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    If they had been a straight couple, I have doubt that it would have been talked about in the papers/news. It would have read something like “Mr and Mrs Jones could hear the gunfire and the screams as they loaded their boat into the water and moved into, not away from, the line of fire. They are true heros.” The point is NOT that they are lesbians, the point is that people don’t want to hear about the fact that they are lesbians and they would rather hide it. If we have to start seeing homosexuals as persons with heroic qualities (just like there are heterosexuals with heroic qualities) then we might be forced to see them as human, treat them as such and afford them the same rights we afford everyone else. Wow, what a concept.

  168. Brad L DerManouelian August 3, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    So glad you cleared up the number of people killed. 77? Could have happened to anyone. 92? Total wacko. So glad the guy just had a bad day, not a complete maniac who killed 92 people.

    Wait, what was this article about? I’ve been so wrapped up in the finer points of language that I forgot that lesbian heroes were involved. So easy to overlook them.

  169. Craig August 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Thank those two for being “Human”, in a world all too “Inhuman.” I’m going to share this on facebook. Again, thank you!!

  170. Stevie T August 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Is there an article that tells this story as if these two people were perfectly normal human beings and the loon is just just a nutter?

    I’d really like to share that with my friends, but I’m not willing to share something that makes the fact that this couple happens to be gay anti-establishment/anti-christian/special or the fact that a nutter is a nutter despite their religious beliefs.

    I have some major problems with all religions, but some unbiased telling of stories wouldbe really nice.

  171. John M August 3, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    It’s sad that somebody would use the deaths of 77 people to promote their cause, Shame on them.

  172. Camilla,Norway August 3, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Hmm, does it really matter if they gay or straight? This story is covered in Norwegian media but not as a “lesbian heroism” story. Because it doesn’t matter. They are heroes, yes. But a lot of the kids on that island are heroes too – gay or straight. It’s beside the point in this terrible tradegy that happened in my country. I wish every country had our liberal views on sexuality and gender. Stand together and be strong. Love is always stronger than hate and ignorance.

    • Ross Goldstein August 3, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

      It’s nice to see so many interested in participating in this discourse using their minds and interacting with others. It’s too bad that people feel the need for arguing with others when there are two “tragedies” that have nothing directly to do with any of the arguers; the first one is that a man, whoever that man is, entered the peaceful space of innocent people, and decided to shoot them down like deer in a field. Those who died died like all of us. But, the problem is that so many lived and will relive that horrible experience. The second tragedy is that of the reality of just how concerned is the press about the image of their information service and how concerned they are about who will say what about who does and says what… Lesbian couples don’t sell papers if it doesn’t have anything to do with the legalizing of marriage of gay couples. There is a reality in mass media: What sells is generally straight, white, upper middle-class clearly of North Western European descent… I married lesbian couple cannot become the model of heroism outside of homosexual circles… That said, I’m not gay. But, yes, the hypocracy and the shallowness repeatedly exhibited in this 21st century modern human world is worrying… Fess up people. When it really comes down to it, if it doesn’t have anything to do with your socio-political movement or with a concern about affecting your personal comfort zones, it doesn’t interest you. Who knows about the 170+ Central Americans kidnapped and killed while crossing Mexico seeking “the American Dream” in the U.S.? Who knows about the 10,000 migrants kidnapped each year crossing Mexico? Do you care? They are very poor. They are of semi or complete indigenous origin. You don’t see them in your reflection in the mirror… In the name of Christianity, in the name of Christ, millions have been killed in much more horrendous ways. And they will continue being killed in the name of… If it isn’t religion, it is something else. Humans love violence; that’s what creates so many responses. The press knows that. The press knows what sells. I guess a Lesbian couple doesn’t sell. But this is a human issue. You guys will be barking at each other until the human race exterminates itself with it’s intentional and justified ignorance…

  173. Jilena August 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Thank god for women like these two heroes! So sad that it hasn’t brought more attention. Maybe facebook can make a positive difference.

  174. Gary DeVaney August 3, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    If “happiness” is the capacity to accept people, places and things the way they are, there are not too many happy participants on this link. I am not gay but as a therapist in the 1980s in Los Angeles, I view that everybody, who do not hurt others, have the right to live their lives as their genes permit them. Regards, G

  175. Greg August 4, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    I think that the point of sexuality being brought up is because of the polar opposites that exist in relation to christianity and ‘gay’. Christianity for at least a couple of thousand of years has portrayed ‘gays’ as being less than human. They have accused us of being just plain evil who cannot possibly have anything good to contribute to society or the world at large. The Christians in United States even go so far as to label all of ‘gays’ as child predators, bent on an agenda to turn the whole world gay. So when a story like this breaks it is a very big deal and should be a slap in the face to christianity that not only are ‘gays’ good people but they are also willing to sacrifice and exhibit compassion that they have largely been rumored to not have. This is a big deal as long as the world condemns ‘gays’ and insists that no good can come of them.

  176. Anonymous August 4, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    I personally don’t care if a person is homosexual. It doesn’t effect my life in any way whom a person sleeps with. If you are gay, good for you. Nothing anybody says, any religious doctrine, any federal law can change who you fall in love with, and anyone who says differently is an idiot. The fact that this story didn’t get reported by the bigger networks, if it was because these women are lesbians is bulls**t! This should have been reported everywhere and if the news was/is afraid of covering the story because of the nature of the relationship between the two women, all they would have to do is phrase it differently. Talk about how two women were having coffee across the river and heard the gunshots and went and rescued forty people… If they don’t want to report it because they are lesbians, just don’t report that they are lesbians… is it that difficult?

  177. americanirishmom August 4, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    Did they Rescue the kids because they are Lesbian or did they do it because they are Human? If i am a white woman and i rescue someone does that make me better then a black woman who does the same?

    If i were to become a Hero tomorrow i am not going to say i did it because i am straight,gay white black or blind. I thought Segregation was over!

    Good job Rescuing those kids, that was Brave of you Woman to Woman.

  178. soulesurfer August 4, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    Bottom line… Just do these two woman the Justice that they as Human Beings Well Deserve!!!!! THEY ARE TRUE HEROES!!!

  179. Elve August 4, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Well, you want equality, right? There weren’t written alot about the other savers either. In Norway, and other countries, being gay isn’t something remarkable. People don’t treat you differently, so no one takes note if you’re gay or not.

  180. Dave August 4, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Score of members of the public helped the teenagers that day. Some were on boats, some were on shore; and 90% of the heroism was not reported on, whether they were gay, straight, black, white, upper class, lower class etc. What this lovely couple did was great, and many others did the same, but the fact that this couple have not previously been written about is nothing to do with their sexuality. Ironically, it would seem that this article exists because they are gay, whereas many other heroes are not reported on because there was no ‘angle’ from the reporter.

    • Connie August 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

      Amen Dave.

  181. dfafh dftyeyher August 4, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    who the fuck cares if they were lesbians?!?!? They saved many lives and all you people do is care that they are lesiban??? Something is seriously wrong with this society if we are judging two ladies of their sexual orientation….They should be honored and proud of themselves for what they done!

  182. Eric Treanor August 4, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    we must remain open minded

  183. Cory August 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    Wow Reading this whole story, this whole thing, and all the comments I have realized something. We as a human race are divided, there is no equality for anybody. We are all humans. Black, White, Yellow, Brown, Red, Orange, Purple Who the hell cares. Gay, Straight, Transgender, Bi-sexual, one leg, two legs, seven. Male, or Female. Catholic, Cristian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist Etc. We spend too much time, arguing who is better, who has rights, who doesn’t, wha, wha, wha. The important thing about this story is that people lived, it makes no difference who the killer was other then his name, what he did, and why he did this (only to learn how to improve our world) I am a white, male, Canadian, Catholic, of irish descendants. Now, you may not think this (as it seems I fit the profile of a hater, or dull in our growing diverse culture) but there are even haters towards all of that stuff thease days. I have many friends, of many different origins, and backgrounds. They should be blasted across the world as heroes!….But what if they are, and it is not mentioned what sexual orientation they are? What would the up-roar be then. Also would like to add that there should be news stories on all the heroes out there that save lives everyday, that risk their lives. Fire Fighters, Police officers, Doctors, Etc, are they not being reported because they are not of a straight orientation? Maybe it’s because they have saved more then 40 lives, some even put their own lives at risk not one night, but every night. Some risk having a live of their own, to be any I said above, how could you have a family, or a “relationship”, or go out to a cottage when you are committing your self everyday to others. People (all people, not just one race, gender, orientation) need to stop being divided as people, and realize it’s a hard life, shit happens, but we are all in this together. Look at all the people who fought for rights of many, too many to name just a few. When people mistreat others based on the fact they are not different, and when people whine about being misstreated as much as some do, they make those great, intelligent people who fought for our rights, who died for them, look like idiots, like they just wasted their time. We are all human. Grow up, stop bickering, and just live a happy life, and for “insert believe here” sake, do not disrespect others wishes, you have yours they have theirs.

  184. Mary August 4, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you, thank you for sharing this story. I’m simply stunned that it wasn’t covered in the mainstream press. I don’t care of these heroes are gay, straight, white, black, or any other “definable” thing…my God, they saved FORTY KIDS…they went to that island of hell FOUR TIMES, I can’t find the words to describe my admiration of these two fabulous, brave and wonderful women!

  185. livetleker August 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I wonder what you mean by this post. I’m sorry I haven’t read the comments, – there are too many of them.

    First of all, this have been mentioned in the newspaper VG, – Norways biggest newspaper http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/oslobomben/artikkel.php?artid=10080659 , but they were just refered to as partners, just as you sould say “her husband”.

    There are very few of the sivilians who helped at Utøya who have came forward in the newspapers, these two have. It might interest you that the head of the whole police force in Norway, an man I guess you have seen interviewed on this case, is married to another man. As far as I know, they have two children together. http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/norge/1.7650405

    It is 20 years since people could have legaly partnership in Norway, and now people can marry a person of the same sex. Homosexual couples are part of our everyday life, our colleagues, friends, teachers, politicians (among them a former foreigh minister). Why on earth should the newspaper stress that these two helpful women are lesbians? That isn’t a matter in this case. I do not know the couple, but my guess is that they would be embarrased by this post. This is Norway, and it is 2011.

  186. Kevin August 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    The ONLY way there is any validity to these articles I’m reading about this couple, is if the media decided something like “Oh! Here are two heroes! This is great, we have something good to write about…..HOLD ON A SECOND, they are Lesbians, we cannot and will not write about the story now.”

    However, I highly doubt this is the case. I think this story was discovered some time after the fact, and then it was realized they were lesbians, so the media is now sensationalizing the fact that they were lesbians and not written about.

  187. Moirika August 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    Seriously!!! No one goes around saying that a heterosexual couple saved lives. What was important about this event? That they saved lives or that they are lesbians. If you want equality behave equally!

  188. Ian Symons August 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I just have but one simple statement……
    Who cares? straight or gay, not all people get credit for the deeds that they do. To ask for it only promotes a ridiculous notion the someone did something WRONG in reporting it.

    i am straight, big deal. Other people are gay, big deal. If one wishes to be treated the same as another(which I am all for..) then maybe one should focus on the facts. Not the sexuality of who did what…………. or who is or is not gay. For instance:

    ” A story not being mentioned in the press is about two women that saved 40 lives that day……..these woman are to be regarded as heroes!……”

    See? credit given and no one said anything about being straight or gay, black or white or goat loving Pagan.

  189. Anna August 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    i saw one of these women being interviewed but no mention of her sexuality, why is it important that a big deal is made that they are gay, as that’s not important.

  190. Taz August 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm #

    It is a wonderful day in the world when anyone risks their lives to save someone. It is a shame that it has also opened a huge can of worms. I know many different Christian people and most of them would never consider using vilence against someone, I can say the same thing about the many Muslims and Hindu’s that I know. What I also know is that all three of the Abrahamic faiths (Chrisitan, Muslim and Jewish – since they all stem from the same begining) as well as many other faiths have had leaders within their communities that do not act in accord with their own teachings and support violence against others. The “fundies” as many refer to them are not a representative of their entire faith, as the extreem activists for any cause is not a representative for all that support that cause. I saw one post that implied the “Christians would never….” unfortunately I would have to tell you that yes, many of them do. After all, look at the Witch hunts of the middle ages, the multiple Crusaides to the North of Africa and the Middle East as well as the more recent attack on the Witches in Northern Africa supported by the Catholic Church. But you cannot judge and entire type of people based on the actions of a few.

  191. TC August 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    As long as women like this are ready to sacrifice and do what is needed, an entire community of gays will hold them high and refuse to do the same.

    “Look here! Gays are JUST AS AWESOME as non-gays! WORSHIP US!”

    No, see…YOU did NOTHING. THEY did it because they have heart.

    Gutless Gays of the World UNITE!!

  192. rosalind August 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Regardless if these women are gay or not they are what a true hero is. A true hero just reacts to what ever is happening and tries to better the situation, if it is saving several young teens from death or just warning someone of a fire. They are heroes, not just gay. I feel these women should be recognized for what they actually did, not their sexual preference.

  193. Nick Perry August 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    This just goes to how that male supremacy is a phallus-y!

  194. gkgriffin August 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Interesting that people brought up Westboro Baptist Church… they happen to be planning a trip to Norway. Yep, you can guess the rest…

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/08/what-will-norway-make-westboro-baptist-church/40842/

    • Mic August 5, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      This might be a good thing. Maybe Norway will arrest them and put them in prison!!! We could get a break here.

  195. Melissa August 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Why does everything online always have to turn into a fight? It’s disgusting. Let’s get off the internet and go do something good for the world.

  196. jencorcoran August 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I bet the 40 teens and their parents could care LESS about their sexual orientation.

  197. Backslash123 August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Listen, praise God that these two women had the courage to run into chaos and save the lives of 40 people! I may not agree with their lifestyle, but their lifestyle is not the point. I would want them to save my life that’s for sure! But give God the glory for using them to save lives and preserving their lives in the midst of all that!!

  198. englischunterrichtsoestlenn Curry August 5, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    Really? Is this important? Or even appropriate? There are over 60 dead children and people want to make an issue over a couple of lesbians not getting mainstream media recognition? They are going to use this slaughter to grandstand? Really? I’m disgusted. How about this: Two human beings heroically protected and rescued 40 human beings. Would these two women have acted so heroically if they weren’t lesbians? Did they do what they did because they are lesbians? I fail to see what their intimate, sexual lives have to do with their heroism. In fact, this cheapens and reduces their heroism. The slaughter of children should humble and quiet us. It should remind us that our small differences are insignificant and those differences should fade in the face of so many dead children.

  199. meenakshi August 5, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    but this is good if this is follow and rare people follow i think people are not concious about.

  200. Hugh Oxford August 5, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    Why does a country like Norway with a below replacement rate of childbirth need same-sex relationships given equal legal status to marriage?

  201. Greg Zotta August 5, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    What does being a lesbian have to do with the rescue? Why do they feel they have to inject their sexual orientation/preference into the story? The Media did want to inject that the shooter was supposedly a Christian to attack those who are concerned with the threat of Islam.

  202. Lucinda August 5, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    God Bless them for their actions and courage. Regardless of what one believes is “sin,” we are all sinners and are called to love one another and leave the judging to the Father. God have mercy on those who ignore the teachings of Jesus about love and mercy but use “Christianity” as license to do horrible things. This person is truly sick in the soul. These two women acted much more Christian than he.

  203. Bronwyn August 6, 2011 at 1:59 am #

    Goodness, people, have some sensitivity. It seems to me that an effort has been launched to create more victims. The heroes who saved lives are “victims” because their story hasn’t been adequately told (allegedly on the basis of homophobic discrimination). Members of the Christian faith are “victims” because a murderer is being falsely labelled as a Christian Fundamentalist.

    Um, 77 people are dead. THEY are the victims. Period. Is this really the time or the place to start arguing social and religious agendas? Stop trying to hijack this tragedy as a platform for presenting your own subculture’s victimisation. This tragedy has enough victims already. Let’s just mourn for them and for their families. I think that’s enough.

  204. young but confused August 6, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    i see alot of banter and alot of opinions expressed over something good and something terrible, i may be incredibly naive but it seems like this has become kinda a repeat of how people blamed muslims for alqueda (forgive the spelling if its wrong) im young and i have a lot of learning to do but would blaming him for being a christian not just be the same as saying alqueda was muslim? and its a story about people saving people from a tragedy and yet its bombarded with negative talk either regarding homophobia facts being skewed etc etc. is it too much for people to say “hey good job saving those people that was amazing” and leave it at that?

  205. Ed August 7, 2011 at 1:54 am #

    This story is a complete myth. Several “mainstream” medias attempted to get the facts and all ended up at a dead end because the story is FAKE.

  206. marco August 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I think it has to do with minorities. When the news is about, or involves someone from an ethnic minority, or a social group that is not considered “mainstream”, the media feels they need to specify what the people involved are, even when it’s not relevant to the news per se. Their purposes can be different according to the kind of news… that way they can either draw attention to that group, or put a negative or positive spin on it or on the group. I realize that at times it’s not fair, but the media is rarely impartial.

  207. Neila August 7, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Thank you for this. I was aware of the story from a local publication, The Seattle Lesbian, and you’re right about the ‘big hitters’ in the U.S. Media ignoring it

    Perhaps if our political climate were more clement, this story (and others like it) would be ‘allowed’ through (into US mainstream ‘thought’, that wholly owned subsidiary of big biz)

    Real progressive change is never top down

    I’m reposting to my FB ✫◠.◠)/

  208. Estelle August 8, 2011 at 2:05 am #

    People are not referred to as the heterosexual married couple. There is no need to call them the lesbian married couple. They were wonderful human beings that showed great courage and are a blessing to have on this earth.

  209. Lewis August 10, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    I have had the chance to read some of the comments on here and felt that I would add my own. When I read the article the first thing that jumped out at me was the headline. Here is what I think. 1) their sexuality had nothing to do with the decision the help others so I am not sure how that was made a factor. 2) Was this not reported because they were lesbians by the “mainstream media”? I can’t say. I will say however that there are acts of heroism that occur fairly often that go unreported and unnoticed by both the mainstream and most everyday folk. I think the decision not to concentrate on the heroic acts of these women and others has more to do with the medias overall obsession with the scale of what happened and that tends to overshadow the bravery, selflessness and quick thinking of the many people who helped save lives. I am sure that there were many others who lent aid to the wounded and rescued others who’s story will probably also not be told. I’m not saying that’s right but just my thoughts. In the end I am glad that they were brave enough to help and I’m sure if you asked them they probably would say that they did what needed to be done to help others and that kind of bravery and selflessness has nothing to do with sexuality, coming out to others or who you sleep with but from a love and value of life that transcends Homo/Hetero/Bi-sexuality, race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background and the myriad other labels that we have been given or give ourselves. (sorry for the run on sentence)

    • kate August 11, 2011 at 9:52 am #

      I agree, but the bigger issue that so many straight folks do not understand is that they are always the majority. They are always seen. We hear about their wives, their husbands, see them being sexual all over the media. We have very little reflection of our existence, and this perpetuates violence towards us as being an acceptable thing. Most of the violence is under the guise of god ironically. Therefore it is important to notice that and acknowledge when a gay person is in the media. Otherwise people forget that we exist, and always seem to assume its okay to constantly put us down by not seeing us. Yesterday I was standing in a line listening to a group of teenagers (of color mind you) go on and on about how this and that is soooo gay. If you have not experienced what it is like to be gay standing next to these people while they are saying that stuff, you have no business complaining why we make such a big deal to say the hero’s were lesbians.

      • Lewis August 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

        Kate,
        I am not complaining at all; what I am wondering is why that aspect of their life was the focal point of the story.Before you are gay/strait/bi/black/white/American/German/doctor/lawyer/musician/Christian/Muslim/Agnostic etc. you are a human. Their bravery is not a reflection of any of those things mentioned but of their desire to help other human beings in need.

        Also, when you mentioned that the teenagers that you felt were being rude, were being rude (awkward way of putting that, sorry), why did you feel the need to mention they were of color? Would it have made what they said any more or less insensitive? Are all people of color bad now and hate gay people?

        Because there are stupid people out there who pervert and twist religion does that make all Christians/Muslims/Buddhist/Santariists (sp?) bad? Or somehow out to kill all (insert race/religion/nationality/gender/sexuality. etc) now?

        I am a Christian and I hear people speak negatively about Christians all of the time, plenty of non Christian things pervade the media. Many of us are painted out to be crazy Bible thumping people who spend most of our time judging others. So, should I go and mention every time that someone does something good or saves somebody if they are a Christian or not? Would it make the act of bravery any more or less brave. Should I get mad every time some “open minded” person denigrates Christians? Did you know there are gay Christians (yes openly gay and openly Christian) who are of color?

        Did you assume that because I asked why they concentrated on the fact that they are lesbian that I’m a strait? based on your last statement it looks like you did.

  210. Sammy August 10, 2011 at 4:59 am #

    It’s nice that people completely ignore their own generalizations and fallacious methods of thinking to further their own points and denounce the points of others. The one that gets me the most is when people say, “If this was two guys/a straight couple, it’d be front page news! The media just doesn’t like reporting on gays!” Um. What? How is that not a generalization in its own right?

  211. betz (@behets) August 12, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    Don’t get what their sexual preference has to do with this?

  212. Lydia the Norwegian August 12, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I hope you’re not targeting Norwegian media here, because they covered a lot where there was much to cover. One policeman died while saving kids on the island, one of the teenagers there, the leader of AUF, carried a girl with a broken ankle to safety and thus got himself killed. Many people did great deeds, and as some of the commenters mentions, one couple shouldn’t get more coverage than someone else because they are gay. It’s not such a big deal here. They saved 40 kids, they are absolutely amazing. Who cares about their sexuality? Can’t they just be two great people who acted heroic during a situation of great stress and danger?

    • Jamie McGonnigal August 12, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      I am not. When I refer to Main Stream Media, it refers to the American MSM. You can read the follow-up article for clarification.

  213. Mike Hudgins August 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Not sure I see the connection between lesbianism and heroism. People really need to get over themselves.

  214. Kai August 24, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    the ladies are heroes…period

  215. Chris September 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I don’t see why being gay has any bearing on this case 1 way or the other I’m sure if it was a heterosexual couples the news agency wouldn’t have gone into that in any detail 1 has nothing to do with the other it’s a case of pointing out facts that really don’t have anything to do with the story.

  216. janjanismyname September 30, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I was very encouraged to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    bébé

  217. Jake October 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    11/1/11 and this is the first that I’ve heard of this. So much for the liberal bias of our media…

    Everyone has the opportunity to recognize and end evil in the world. Every day…

  218. Jeany December 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    A bloody incident, I’m just so glad that there are people who were saved. And it takes so much courage to do what Hege and Toril did, and for that reason alone, we have no right to question their being gay. We are all equal in the eyes of our Creator, and it is our good deed that would matter. I salute you for this article and HS for publishing the story.

  219. Jamie McGonnigal April 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Reblogged this on Talk About Equality and commented:

    In light of the current trial of Anders Breivik, I thought it a good idea to share this story again.

    Why is it that while the stories of other heroes made it into the press around the world, this couple was ignored?

  220. Karan Altavilla May 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Great information :)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 40 Teens Saved by Lesbian Couple with Boat and Guts. - INGunOwners - August 1, 2011

    [...] them off in their boat while taking fire in the process (in at least 4 runs to the island): If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did … You are what you do when it counts. Period. __________________ Techres Appleseed Instructor Find [...]

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  9. Anonymous - August 2, 2011

    [...] Who cares who saves me, right? Ah. The "religious right" in the US? That's my guess too. If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did … __________________ Originally Posted by Martin Luther King Jr. I like your Christ. I do not [...]

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  21. Media silence on heroic couple who saved 40 lives | Lesbilicious - the web’s tastiest lesbian magazine - August 2, 2011

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  42. [Sexisme & Médiacratie] Silence médiatique : 40 ados sauvés par deux lesbiennes lors de l’attentat en Norvège – AgoraVox le média citoyen | Club de l'Europe - August 3, 2011

    [...] habituellement tueraient pour avoir une histoire de héros, sont restés silencieux« , se désole le blog Gay US « Talk about Equality ». En effet les grands médias tueraient père et mère pour une histoire aussi fabuleuse mais [...]

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  45. A Lesbian Couple Saved 40 Kids in Norway | - August 3, 2011

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  48. Media overlooks lesbian heroes in Norway shooting - August 3, 2011

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  49. Lesbian Couple’s Heroism Overlooked in Coverage On Norwegian Massacre. | Gaynews24 - August 3, 2011

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  50. Perspectives « Musings and Random Vitriol - August 3, 2011

    [...] This story has been doing the rounds of the ‘net lately.  Responses are interesting – either it’s clear evidence of a media/political/social conspiracy to discriminate against gay folk, or it’s a triumph for equality that someones sexuality is finally recognised as having bog all to do with an act of decency and humanity.  Equally interesting is that the originator chose to pick up on the “Christian fundamentalist” tag for Anders Breivik, rather than the “right-wing extremist” one more generally used (in the UK press at least). So the whole thing is instantly mired in prejudice and assumptions that generally mis-represent pretty much everyone and militate against any useful or constructive discussion. [...]

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  54. If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did it Really Happen? | Provocative Penguin - August 3, 2011

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  55. The Married Lesbian Couple Who Saved 40 Teens From The Norway Shooter « ElectroJelly - August 3, 2011

    [...] Found on talkaboutequality.wordpress.com [...]

  56. Tuerie en Norvège: La bravoure d’un couple de lesbiennes passe (presque) inaperçue | Yagg - August 4, 2011

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  57. Lesbian Couple saved 40 youngsters on Utöyan – but the Press did not report it? » LGBT Bristol - August 4, 2011

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  58. Être en ligne › Norvège: un couple de lesbiennes a sauvé 40 personnes lors du massacre d’Utøya - August 4, 2011

    [...] qui habituellement tueraient pour avoir une histoire de héros, sont restés silencieux », se désole le blog LGBT américain Talk About [...]

  59. News Media Ignore Story Of Heroic Lesbian Couple | HMS Friday - August 5, 2011

    [...] a motor boat and fetching them out of the water and safely dumping them on the mainland. Website Talk About Equality has the full details which include the following testimony by the couple: Hege Dalen and her [...]

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  61. [INTJ] Wtf!? - August 8, 2011

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  62. LGBT Outlets Praise Heroic Lesbian Couple in Norway; Mainstream Media Missed the Mark | GLAADBlog.org - August 10, 2011

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  63. LGBT Outlets Praise Heroic Lesbian Couple in Norway; Mainstream Media Missed the Mark | LGBT Human Rights. Gay News, Entertainment, Travel - August 10, 2011

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  64. If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did it Really Happen? | The Atheist - August 11, 2011

    [...] http://talkaboutequality.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/if-a-married-lesbian-couple-saves-40-teens-from-th… [...]

  65. Bring Me Your Gay Huddled Masses « Oh Dave! Now - August 14, 2011

    [...] newspaper about the attack by a lone gunman on a Norwegian summer camp. During the attack, a married Lesbian couple used their boat in four trips to ferry 40 kids off of the island to safety on the [...]

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  67. Ekphrastic Blog #12 « The Lewis Lit Journal's Blog - August 21, 2011

    [...] actual heroes, which didn’t seem to get any sort of credit. I am talking about two women, names: Hege Dalen and her spouse Toril Hansen. These two women should be an inspiration to the rest of the world. Just like the firefighters that [...]

  68. If a Married Lesbian Couple Saves 40 Teens from the Norway Massacre and No One Writes About it, Did it Really Happen? | tumblr backups - May 20, 2013

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