The Crusades: Just and Reasonable


#1

The Crusades (in particular the Nobles Crusade) were just and reasonable wars and I’m fed up with people acting as though the crusades were the result of a power-hungry and bloodthirsty Church.

There were three noble reasons the crusades were declared: Defend Europe, help our Byzantine ally, and protect Christians in the Middle East.

First off, the crusades were strictly defensive in a sense. Islamic armies had been menacing Europe for hundreds of years and many Europeans had been butchered by Mohammedan swords. Catholic Spain was actually under Moslem control at this point. Syria, Iran, and North Africa had all been heavily Christian areas until Mohammed’s generals brought the sword with them and converted the populace by intimidation, deception, and force. Europe was next on the Moslem hit list. Spain had already been captured and the Moslems had already tried to attack the rest of Europe through France (though they were stopped at Tours). Something had to be done, and fast! The crusades were the answer that could halt this pending Moslem invasion. Had the crusades not been launched the Moslem militaries would have kept building up and they would likely have overwhelmed Europe. Millions of innocent Europeans would have died and the Catholic Church would have been savagely abused.

Secondly our separated Byzantine Christian brothers were being harassed by Moslems and they begged us for help. As fellow Christians, it was the Catholic duty of Europe to aid these separated Christian brothers in the East. Had the crusades not been launched the Greek population would have suffered a horrible fate at the hands of Moslem pillagers.

Finally, the Seljuk Muslims were commiting unspeakable atrocities against Christians in the Middle East. Christian women were being raped ontop of altars, pilgrims robbed and beheaded, Churches burnt to the ground (including the Holy Sepulchure), ect. The final blow came when the Seljuks banned Christians from entering Jerusalem under pain of death in 1095. Jerusalem was a sacred city where Our Lord had walked and to allow the savage Seljuk Moslems to defile it and persecute Gods people was unthinkable.

I’m sick of revisionist secular historians claiming the Moslems were the “good guys” during the crusades and the crusaders the “bad guys”. Films like “Kingdom of Heaven” promote this perverted viewpoint. Everyone convieniently forgets the Moslems butchered 100,000 civilians in Antioch. Everyone forgets how Saladin ordered the beheading of all captured Knights at Hattin. Everyone forgets how Saladin butchered Europeans constructing a settlement. Everyone forgets how Saladin enslaved those in Jerusalem who couldn’t buy their way out of the city. Everyone forgets how Saladin stole a priceless relic: a possible piece of the True Cross.

Certain crusaders themselves certainly did some evil things: the massacre of Jerusalem, sack of Constantinople, ect. These vile actions were not ordered by high crusader leadership however. However those actions still cannot be excused nonetheless. Certain rotten actions doesn’t change the fact that the crusades themselves were a reasonable war against a savage enemy though.

Our brave crusader ancestors fought the same enemy we fight today: RADICAL ISLAM! We should start to honor our heroic crusader ancesotrs instead of scorning them.


#2

I concur.


#3

I agree. We should be proud of the Crusades - except in the atrocities committed in them that are unfortunately committed in any war - we should not be embarrassed in the slightest!


#4

Pax vobiscum!

I agree as well. Although, as the nitpicky historian that I am…it is crusades with a lower case c except when talking about a specific crusade, like the First Crusade.

In Christ,
Rand


#5

People forget, too, that the Arabs, both Christian and Muslim were not that pleased with being ruled by the Seljuks, Khwarzmians, Mamluks or Ottomans; all Turkic people from Central Asia, and all ferocious. The Crusaders’ political structure was much like that of the resident Arabs; a feudal society. It was a benign form for its time. Ordinary people lived with it fairly well, because a resident feudal lord protected his peasants from brigandage and invasion; encouraged productivity, and could not exact too much from the peasants because if he did, he would have no peasants left to support him the very next year. History reflects that during the Crusader period, Muslim feudal lords often allied with Christian Crusaders to obtain protection from other Muslims. The large scale conquerers like the Seljuks, Mamluks and Ottomans were centralized, and did not care particularly whether any given locale prospered or withered. One of the least known, but most telling of the stories of the Crusades, is that the Arab chieftains very nearly allied with the Crusaders in an effort to repel the Mongols. Before this could be made a reality, the Mamluk Turks who had seized the Arab Muslim Caliphate of Egypt, drove the Crusaders from Palestine entirely and conquered the Arab feudal lords in the bargain. The Mamluks defeated the Mongols, but shortly thereafter, Timur emerged from Central Asia at the head of another horde, conquered the whole and so devastated the Middle East that it never really recovered. Later conquest by the rapacious Ottomans finished the job of turning a formerly productive land into a desert of poverty and ignorance. Had Mulim Arabs and Europeans been sufficiently strong and coordinated to unite against the various invaders, including the Turks, history would have been very different.


#6

I too am sick of liberal revisionist history by those who hate the West.

We should be PROUD of the Crusades (as a whole). Not that abuses didn’t occur…but that happens with any endeaver, military or otherwise.

Sometimes I really wish that the Pope would call another…


#7

My bad!


#8

I´m from Spain, and I say:

Let´s kick some asses! :stuck_out_tongue:

We have to retake the Holy Places :slight_smile:


#9

Well perhaps we should be embarrased because we lost. :smiley: Funny how some Muslims will decry the Crusades and forget this point. We won AND we are oppressed victims. :rolleyes:

Scott


#10

Begin with Constantinople? :wink:


#11

Speaking of Constantinople, thats another thing the atheist revisionist historians seem to forget. They always mention how a “crusade” (it was already excommunicated) sacked Constantinople. Yet they forget how in a few hundred years the Moslems brutally sacked it and butchered the innocents inside.

When the 4th “crusade” attacked Constantinople, Pope Innocent III was enraged and condemned the action. But when the Moslems sacked Constantinople, the Moslem leaders rejoiced to Allah. Big difference in attitude the revisionist historians forget.


#12

You already tried that one once in 1204. Orthodox aren’t going to be to happy to see you back after last time - when you forced conversions upon us and martyred many.

But otherwise go on with a crusade, just be sure to target Islam.


#13

The sack of Constaninople in 1204 was not right. I’m not justifying it.

However, the Orthodox were not totally innocent themselves. They were making alliances with the Moslem savages at one point. Their plan was to decieve the army of Barbarossa into marching into a Moslem ambush. Thankfully Barbarossa found out about this utter Orthodox treachery and avoided the Moselm ambush.

Also at one point Orthodox preachers instigated an anti-Catholic riot that killed many innocent Catholics staying in Greece. One of the Popes cardinals was even beheaded and dragged through the streets. The bloodthirsty Orthodox mob sold many Catholics as slaves to Moslem heathens.

The Orthodox were not entirely innocent people.


#14

Couldn’t copy the piece of a prayer at the bottom. But, it bears a striking resemblance to the Gaelic Hail Mary, as I learned it. Might not be the Hail Mary, but I think it is. However, I learned it differently, which might simply be a difference in dialect. The following is the version from the Pale. My grandfather’s parents were from the Pale (County Leix and County Ofally). My grandmother’s parents were from County Mayo. Their respective pronunciations were different to my ears as a child. Anyway, the following is what I understood as the Pale version. Well, first, the Sign of the Cross.

In anim n’athair, agus am mhic, agus am Spiroid Naomh, Amen.

Is e o do beathe Mhuire
Ata lean da ghrastha,
Tean tiarna leat.
Is beannaithe thu idir mna,
Agus is beannaithe toradh do bhroinne Iosa.
A naomh Mhuire, a m’athair Dia,
Guigh orainn na peaceag,
Onus agus ar oor ar 'mbas.

Can you tell me if your prayer is, indeed the Hail Mary, where it came from and the whole of it? I would consider it a great favor.


#15

The Battle of Tours was in 732. The first crusade was in 1096. That does not sound very fast to me. :wink:

On the positive side of the Crusades, I would rather include the massive influx of Arab knowledge into the west, which bootstrapped our ancestors out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance, than the deaths of scores of thousands of civilians and conscript soldiers on both sides in pursuit of other people’s goals.

I will call it a ‘good war’ when it involves the leaders of the two nations alone in an arena.


#16

This has often been the propaganda used to justify it. The Crusaders, marching through Orthodox Christian lands were not impact-free. The fact that the 1st, when it got to Jerusalem lead to the creation of a satellite western state wouldn’t have pleased the east; the formation of a Catholic kingdom in an area with an Orthodox presence wasn’t good.

However following the crusade the West didn’t just take-over, but began forcing conversions.

The Pope also condemned this crusade.

However without wishing to side-track this thread onto this particular crusade, I agree that Christianity had a right to defend itself against Islam.

Being Orthodox I don’t approve of military priests, but in absolute terms I agree that Islam were the aggressors, and needed to be stopped. Most people who are relativists/modernists think that the Crusades were the aggressive move and ignore that Islam was war-like from the time of Muhammad.

And, over-all I don’t look at the crusades as a defeat, but as a delaying action. But they crippled the Orthodox east.


#17

We say “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen” in a similar way

It is indeed the beginning of the Hail Mary in Gaelic. But it’s Scots-Gaelic, not Irish.

Fàilte dhut a Mhoire, tha thu lan de na gràsan;
Tha an Tighearna maille riut.
Is beannaichte thu am measg nam mnà,
agus beannaichte toradh do bhronn, Iosa.
A Naoimh Mhoire, Mhathair Dhè,
guidh air ar son ne na peacaich
a nis, agus aig uair ar bàis. Amen
lphrc.org/rmk/Pray/sco-hai.html

As you can see Irish and Scots=Gaelic are similar in places. I only did a year of Irish at the University of Sydney, and that was quite some time ago, but I remember a bit.

We both call Jesus Iosa
and Mother of God is similar
"Mhathair Dhè" for us and “a m’athair Dia” for the Irish

If you want to see it in all sorts of languages try
campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/flhm01.html
They render it in Irish as
Sé do Beatha Mhuire,
Tá lán do ghrást, Tá an Tiarna leat.
Is beannaithe thú idir mhná
Agus is beannaithe toradh do bhrionne Íosa.

A Naomh Mhuire mháthair Dé
Ghúi orainn na bpeacaí
Anois agus ar uair ár mbáis. Amen.

do chara,
Montalban


#18

I have read a book on the Fourth Crusade. It is quite a fair book. Here it is:

The Fourth Crusade And the Sack of Constantinople
By: Jonathan Phillips

I was astonished at the success of these Crusaders when they were doing such evil things. Their was only one explanation for this and it is made abundantly clear. When the Crusaders went bad and descided to take Constantinople God handed the city to them. Like The Jews were handed over to the Bablyonians. I agree and even make a further statement that if the Greeks did not have such a low opinion of their own western bretheren then this would have never had happened. People also seem to think that the Crusades were holy wars. They were not. Saint Augustine clearly forbid this. Pope Urban II defined the Crusades as an act of charity, and mercy towards their Christian brothers and sisters. I bet if the pope called for a Crusade today then their will certainly be more than 60,000 people taking up arms. I say at least a million would do so. Indeed some Crusades were not waged for the puposes that Pope Urban II stated and I do not consider them Crusades. Such as the Albigensian Crusade. I do not care if the pope sanctioned it. It was a war to convert people by the sword. The Crusades were just and would still be so if we had one today. But it will be on a massive scale. The moslems may have nukes soon and that won’t be too pretty if we have to fight them and they have nukes. The again Christian nations have nukes as well. God speed.


#19

This is the same argument Moslems make for their initial success; their god must have been on their side, or else Islam would not have succeeded so well.
It is a very Protestant argument too, that God shows his ‘pleasure’ (or Grace) by conferring gifts.

That’s right, the Greeks forced the Romans into a position where they just had to divert their attacks :slight_smile:

Any citation?
I was under the impression that Augustine came up with a justified war

Yes, again this is of course the case! Catholics just had to do good, and if a few people were accidentally killed, that’s not their fault

Which was called for by a different pope. And he undermined the whole crusader effort by doing so.

One was drawn to go on a crusade by the promise of certain meritous rewards for doing so. When the Albigensian Crusade was called, one could get the same reward for going on the short trip to southern France, as you could for going a year to the Holy Land to fight the Moslems. So naturally enough a lot of people chose the quick, relatively trouble-free crusade.

But he did!

It was to stop the spread of the dualist heresy then entrenched in southern France

More muddled waffle


#20

Pax vobiscum!

Why do the Orthodox keep bringing up the Fourth Crusade as an attempt to show wrongdoing of the Catholic Church against them rather than individuals who took part in the sack of Constantinople? Those soldiers that did it were ALREADY under excommunication for doing the same thing to an Italian ROMAN CATHOLIC city on an island off the coast of Italy. But then if they admit that, they couldn’t say that it was the Catholics that went and killed off the Orthodox, because those “Catholics” had already killed other Catholics as well. So when those soldiers arrived at Constantinople, every single person in the army had been excommunicated by Pope Innocent III, so they were not even Catholics when they did it. It’s not like they walked up to the walls with a papal bull telling them to kill off the Orthodox.

And Vigis, Augustine did write a just war document, and it is what our Just War Doctrine is based on. I have a copy of it.

In Christ,
Rand


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