Obama and the Crusades
- The Catholic Teutonic Knights attack Russian Orthodox Christians during the Northern Crusades. Saint Alexander Nevsky defeated them in the famous Battle on the Ice
President Obama mentions how religion has been hijacked throughout history to be used as a weapon, with examples of the Crusades and the Inquisition. I think he was quite correct ....
But conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and the head of the Catholic League, were quick to criticize him and some to actually opine that the Crusades and Inquisition weren't really all that bad and were more a secular than religious thing. A BBC story states ...
Powerline Blog's John Hinderaker comes to their defence.
"There was nothing wrong, in principle, with the Crusades," he writes. "They were an appropriate (if belated and badly managed) response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Islam. Did marauding 11th century armies inevitably commit outrages? They certainly did. In fact, that still happens today. But the most unfortunate thing about the Crusades is that they failed."
- The Entry of the Crusaders into Constantinople by Eugene Delacroix
Oh really? I think the Christian victims of the Northern Crusades and the Christian victims of the Fourth Crusade and the Jewish victims of the German Crusade would be amazed to learn that the Crusades were all about saving the Holy Land from Islam. There really is no way to ethically whitewash the Crusades nor the Inquisition.
- Massacre of the Jews of Metz during the First Crusade by Auguste Migette
Further reading ....
- from the New Republic: Conservatives Have Stooped to Defending the Horrific Crusades
- from The Atlantic: The Foolish, Historically Illiterate, Incredible Response to Obama's Prayer Breakfast Speech
- from The Economist's Erasmus blog: In God's name, dismount