Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The real history of the crusades

Old Blind Dog left a link in a comment to this interesting article written by Thomas F. Madden, a medieval history professor and co-author of a book about the crusades.

So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword.

I guess the whole "Christianity is evil, look at the Crusades" mantra is actually another example of liberal self-hatred for Western culture.


Charles said...

Oh this is gonna start some funny stuff up! You mean to tell me that the whole problem with the world today can't be directly traced back to white Christian Europeans? That all of us would be better off under a strict Muslim hierarchy that stopped contributing to the world around the 1500s? Yer too much, LG!

R said...

Oh, sure, Christianity isn't evil, per se. I mean, sure, the medieval church forced every citizen to give 10% either money or goods every years; baptisms had to be paid for, as did marriages, and burials; oh, and in order to go to heaven, you had to be buried on holy ground.

Additionally, if you were told a loved one was in purgatory, the only way you could get them up to Heaven was to purchase prayers for them. How many prayers it took to get them out of purgatory? We'll tell ya when it happens.

No, it wasn't evil, it was just really, really good at swindling the populace. Which is why it was immensely wealthy.

Paul Snively said...

Which is why there was a Protestant Reformation. The problem wasn't Christianity; the problem was a Christian monoculture. Once Luther applied libertarian thinking to Christianity, the worst of the problems were resolved relatively quickly. Unrelated, but helpful events such as the use of the Gutenberg printing press to disseminate the Bible in German—an extremely controversial move at the time—further eroded the Catholic church's monopoly on the beliefs and behaviors of the congregation. Thank God.

carsick said...

Wow. Do you really only need ONE "expert's" opinion to base your final opinion on?
If that's the case then I've got a tremendous investment opportunity for you. I swear I've reviewed all the important information so all you need to do is send me a check.
Think of it as your retirement account and send as much of your paycheck as you can each month.

carsick said...

By the way, I also heard that a Moor, an "old black ram" once had the temerity to "tup" a "white ewe".
I think the 'christians' already justly avenged that aggression though.

Old Blind Dog said...

carsick said:

"Wow. Do you really only need ONE "expert's" opinion to base your final opinion on?"

History, like science, does not respond well to consensus opinion. It only takes one scientist or historian to be right. So the answer to your question is, "Yes!"

Thanks for the plug, LG. This is my blog for those that don't know about it. Lots of controversial stuff there.

delagar said...

So Christians weren't aggressors during the Crusades. All the Jews they slaughtered on their way to take out the evil Muslims will be glad to know that.

Phoenician in a time of Romans said...

Interesting how they undertook the Crusades to "protect" Christianity - and wound up sacking Constantinople...