Catholic Bashing at my workplace: Crusades- Impaled heads pleasing to God.

Hi. Has anyone heard of this quote, and did a Catholic Bishop/leader say this back then? I took a class on Critical Thinking at work. In the class the instructor used the below quote as an example of when not to blindly trust someone in authority. In this case he was referencing that the Popes/Bishops were currupt and supported the quote below regarding the Crusades: “This is an organized drive to convert people to a belief, or to stoke the fires of a devotion or faith. It is a violent action led by the highest leaders of the religion, some of which refer to impaled heads of their infidel enemies as a joyful spectacle for the people of God.” The only place I found this quote was on an athiest website.

And just what ignited the crusades except the treatment of Christians at the hands of those wonderful cuddly-wuddly peace-loving Muslims?

It’s still going on. Recently in Iraq (home of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, the Assyro-Chaldeans who still use Aramaic) Christian children are kidnapped and beheaded. One has its poor little body roasted and returned to the parents on a bed of rice. Ask your friend about THAT.

For further information, go to

God bless the Crusaders!

I would challenge them to come up with a name, a date, and a source for this “quote.”

Absolutely. It is amazing how many people “know for a fact” that ‘somebody said’ (insert quote of choice here) or 'know for a fact" that the REAL reason that Catholics did (insert accusation of choice here) was (insert undocumented assertation of choice here).

But ask them to show you the REFERENCE. . .well golly gee heck. It can’t be found in any reputable historical document. It ‘may’ be found as a ‘footnote’ in a document’ but again, with no actual verification of the putative ‘original’ to be found. It is most often found ‘referenced’ on a website, THERE most often ‘referenced’ to ‘other websites’. But even then, either “the Church destroyed it”, “covered it up”, “altered it”, or are somehow running everything in the world EXCEPT this particular group or website who have, at great personal danger from the hordes of Vatican secret service and spies, ferreted out “DA TRUTH” and are willing to let you into their secret, ‘really real’ knowledge.

An unauthenticated, unsubstantiated quote being used as an example of not following people blindly… in a critical thinking class… oh the irony.

If only the point of that exercise had been for someone to raise their hand and say, “Thinking critically, shouldn’t we anlayze the source of this information to determine its veracity before moving further in the discussion?”

From Fordham, a Jesuit university source:

The ‘joyful spectacle’ quote was written by the crusader and martyr Anselm of Ribemont to Archbishop Manasses II in February 1098, during the siege of Antioch. The quote appears at the end of the second paragraph of the letter.

Am I correct in assuming that this is a done deal? The horse has bolted the barn? If that is the case, then send a letter to your boss explaining the correct history and explaining the discrimination against you on a prohibited ground; copy to the instructor and copy to the Catholic League.

Whether the quote is real or not, it’s not appropriate for a course funded or mandated by a business. Would they try to get away with information that was critical of any other religious group? There was no need for the instructor to go there, lots of other less controversial topics could have illustrated the point.


Thank you, Mirdath.

Note that this was NOT a Catholic Pope or bishop, but a ‘man in the pew’ leader. . .espousing neither Catholic dogma nor doctrine, but presenting HIS opinion on an incident. . .

In a time frame, morever, where contrary to today’s so-called ‘enlightened society’, when ‘justice’ is readily available, ‘tolerance’ has been practiced for hundreds of years, few if any of us in our comfortable ‘western’ beds are threatened out of the blue to have our homes seized, our families killed, our livelihoods destroyed, women raped and brutalized, and our ‘right to worship as we pleased’ forcibly denied us as we are told, ‘convert or die’.

IOW, this man was writing, not comfortable, secure, and ‘safe’ hundreds of years AFTER THE EVENT, knowing only what INTERPRETATION has been given (and often revised) by people who have absolutely no idea of what it was like to LIVE THE EVENT and can only equate it with HOW THEY THEMSELVES THINK THEY WOULD HANDLE IT NOW.

And some ‘critical thinking professor’ decides to utilize, not the hundreds of documents available that actually present what it was like to experience this. . .but one event–which he then MISREPRESENTS AS BEING TANTAMOUNT TO OFFICIAL CHURCH TEACHING, and uses to 'CRITICIZE BLINDLY FOLLOWING ORDERS". . .

orders which in fact were NEVER GIVEN BY THE CHURCH. . .

How incredibly false and disingenuous this so called 'critical thinker is.

Hold on a sec here…

I’m looking right at the source document and here’s exactly what it says.

[size=][FONT=“Palatino Linotype”]“Our men, moreover, returning in victory and bearing many heads fixed upon pikes and spears, furnished a joyful spectacle for the people of God. This was on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of June.”

That certainly doesn’t match the quote you were given and wasn’t a pope. :shrug:

Tell them to get their facts right and “get up off” your faith. :thumbsup: [/FONT][/size]

Wait a second but the crusades and “witch” burnings of the past did happen yea? So someone in higher power had to have started it yea, I mean from documentaries and the like i had the general impression that it was something sanctioned by the institution of catholic faith at the time. And so some people would have blindly followed it… I have to ask if the popes/bishops of the time didn’t support the crusade did they do anything to denounce them?

I guess you could do the great political trick of denouncing them in higher powerful position and then accelerating it in lower positions so as to win both sectors of the public. Then the higher party can turn a blind eye to the crimes of the lower party…

Just correct me where I’m wrong it’s been a while since I’ve looked at anything to do with crusades and witch burnings but I’m a bit rusty. All i remember was it was a dark black hypocritical spot in the past of catholicism. Possibly even equal to the suicide bombings and jihad of today, the above paragraph could apply to that some denounce some support…

The quote the OP was given referenced this letter: some of which refer to…

[quote=Abaddon]Wait a second but the crusades and “witch” burnings of the past did happen yea?

Witch burnings were mostly a Protestant pastime.

Certainly, the Church has been responsible for some horrible things – the extermination of the Cathars, the various Crusades (in my opinion there really aren’t any full-on ‘good guys’ there, though), and so on – but still, it’s wise to keep things straight on what they did and didn’t do.

First, we can pretty much toss the “witch burnings” out of denunciations of the Church, since with burnings were a predominantly Protestant occurence. Although some did occur within “Catholic” Europe, they were fairly uncommon.

Second, the Crusades were not a “bad” thing, anymore than the Normandy landings in WW II were a “bad” thing, or the invasion of Iwo Jima was a “bad” thing. The Crusades were simply an episode in the series of wars between Christendom and Islam, in which Europe was successfully defended against Islamic invasion. The Crusades were a Christian offensive which attempted to reagin territory lost to Islamic expansion. The Crusades brought valuable breathing time for a Europe reeling from the triple assault of Norsemen out of Scandanavia, Mongols out of Asia, and Muslims out of Africa and the Middle East. Europe owes its existence today to the actions of the Church in her defense.

Now, say thank you.

Thank you.

Yes, Thank You, for you beat me to the punch. It would seem that most Catholic-bashers have a strong preponderance to misuse historical references to abuse the Church. Your statement is quite accurate.

It kills me too, RobHom, that people never pause to ponder what turn world history may have taken without the “evil” Catholic Church and her “diabolical” Crusades.

Oh I see now. But these were tactical maneuvers for land etc made by a governing country yea… Was war on people in the middle east etc… sanctioned/endorsed by the church? Were they given gods blessing to go commit war? I mean it’s perfectly normal for a country to pull such a maneuver but the real ethical problem would come if it was endorsed by a church that has such a pacifist teacher (Jesus, turn the other cheek etc…).This is all a bunch of questions btw not rhetorical I really don’t know…

In my personal opinion all wars are bad things you can’t justify there after effects … And preemptive striking is just bull and retaliation strikes simply ensue a circle of violence (look at Israel and Palestine). Theres nothing wrong of course with self defense, but it should be a last resort in case someone does something stupid. In my opinion.

Hohoho thank you for saving Europe? your joking right, for what coming to my old homeland (and many others) a few centuries later and raping pillaging and enslaving my ancestors along with destorying our heritage and culture and way of life? Yea a real big thank you…

Protestants still follow the teachings of Christ yea? I mean it’s not like morally they should be different from catholicism?

It kills me too, RobHom, that people never pause to ponder what turn world history may have taken without the “evil” Catholic Church and her “diabolical” Crusades.

It would definately be interesting, humans being humans i doubt it would be much better or much worst, it would be different. Now if Australia was a super power THAT would be intresting…

lol, I’m Australian and the average Aussie is too apathetic to really care about world politics all that much. However, Australia has a real “live and let live” philosophy. If someone believes too strongly in anything in particular, we’d call them a “nutter” (insane, a kook) which kind of limits any extremism.

A great thread. Learning lots.

I’d like to see Abbadon’s question answered. Did the Church sanction or promote war and bloodshed? Did the Church use an evil (war) means to a good end? I can see wisdom in defending Europe if it was under attack from the Muslims, but the Church is Christian, and in the new epoch Jesus told us to run. I realise that in the OT God promoted some wars and supported his people, but didn’t all that change with Jesus?

Bravo to the posters who have replied “Check your source” when it comes to critical thinking.

Actually, David, it’s a common misconception that Jesus ONLY said, “turn the other cheek” and that things ‘changed’ from OT to NT.

God is eternal and UNCHANGING.

And while we are to refrain from gratuitously seeking out revenge, and are encouraged in both ‘peaceful and prayerful protest’ as well as submission to that which might be inconvenient to us personally. . . we are NOT to refrain from lawful (and I’m talking the natural or moral law here) defense of ourselves and others.

Yea I’m an Australian to and it’s interesting to think of the country that Australia would become if it was a super power. I mean what does the world really know of us beside fkuncing kangaroos :wink: .

Actually, David, it’s a common misconception that Jesus ONLY said, “turn the other cheek” and that things ‘changed’ from OT to NT.

God is eternal and UNCHANGING.

Yea this is an interesting point though. The old testament is rather violent. David killing Goliath, killing of all first borns in Egypt, do not worship other gods for your god is a jealous god and eye for an eye tooth for a tooth etc… Where as the teachings of Jesus are very pacifist, I mean the guy is a legend he let him self get crucified for the greater good. Beside the market incident never really got angry and was a very good role model overall. Stoped stonings etc…

we are NOT to refrain from lawful (and I’m talking the natural or moral law here) defense of ourselves and others.

I completely agree with you there is nothing wrong with self defense and we should. But that does not include preemptive strikes nor does that approve revenge retaiation strikes. But true pacifism and from what i gathered from Jesus teachings also is where you die rather than fight and kill…

And finally really interested in the answers to the question in my post above… Cheers in response

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