The Crusades


#1

I’d like to know about the Crusades. I swear, anytime I’m arguing with liberals, somehow the Crusades gets brought up and they always tell me that the Christians slaughtered the Muslims because they weren’t Christian. The Muslims were innocent bystanders and the Christians invaded and tried to force Christianity on the Muslims.

I know it’s not true. In fact I know we were the ones trying to free them from their oppressors. But yeah, I don’t know what to say to these people since I don’t know much about the Crusades. I need a history lesson. Are there some good interesting unbiased books anyone knows about? Maybe someone can just give me a history lesson right now? :o :smiley:

Thankies,
Sarah


#2

**Why don’t you start your history lesson around the year 600 AD when Islam swept out of the desert and conquered the middle east and North Africa by the sword, convert or die. **


Also the history of their attempt to work their way up the Spanish peninsular towards southern Europe. Also the end run the tried when they where knocking on the gates of Vienna. Look up how they captured Constantinople the capital of the Eastern Church. Then ask why the Crusades.


#3

Sarah there are some good books on the subject. One is “A Concise History of the Crusades” which is not a cement block sized book as are most of them. It does not soft pedal the less than admirable behavior on the part of SOME individuals. For example one noble decided to take advantage of the call to Crusade by slaughtering some Jews and taking their property.

OTOH there were several Crusades and in most cases they were attempting to retake property that had been taken by Muslims. Frankly while there are no angels in this play, the Christians were no more or less barbaric than non-Christians.

Further, isn’t it AMAZING how, in order to debase Christianity, the ONLY thing these people can come up with are incidents that happened over a thousand years ago? Good grief, as Ann Coulter said when asked this question, “Is it time to move ON?” Compare the current barbarisms by Islamic radicals NOW. Not even on the same radar screen.

Lisa N


#4

What’s wrong with the Crusades?

Personally I think it’s time to beat the shears into swords and get going again.


#5

[quote=Trelow]What’s wrong with the Crusades?

Personally I think it’s time to beat the shears into swords and get going again.
[/quote]

Right on. Couldn’t agree more.

Deus Vult


#6

There were atrocities on both sides. But let us not forget that the Muslims made it all the way up to Tours, France in the early 700s. Made several attempts to destroy Byzantium until being sucessful in 1452; barely threw off a massive Muslim invasion via sea at the Battle of Lepanto and so on and so on. This MYTH of Islam being "Oh so good and nice and a religion of “Peace” is drecht (a great old Anglo-Saxon/Germanic word). As Western Christians, our biggest attrocity was our sacking of Byzantium during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 - not against the Muslims, but against our fellow Christians. Our mindset is not of Crusaders today but the Muslim minset is still stuck in the Middle Ages.


#7

I believe Hillare Belloc’s book on the Crusades is available through Catholic Answers.

When the Crusades are brought up by the liberals, the question always has to be, what’s your point? 99.8% of the time they are making a complete non sequiter

Scott


#8

[quote=Batgirl1415]I’d like to know about the Crusades. I swear, anytime I’m arguing with liberals, somehow the Crusades gets brought up and they always tell me that the Christians slaughtered the Muslims because they weren’t Christian. The Muslims were innocent bystanders and the Christians invaded and tried to force Christianity on the Muslims.

I know it’s not true. In fact I know we were the ones trying to free them from their oppressors. But yeah, I don’t know what to say to these people since I don’t know much about the Crusades. I need a history lesson. Are there some good interesting unbiased books anyone knows about? Maybe someone can just give me a history lesson right now? :o :smiley:

Thankies,
Sarah
[/quote]

I tell my friends all the time that the Church needs another crusade. What you describe the liberals say is a common argument from the ones who are ignorant and well like to bash the CATHOLIC CHURCH.


#9

It’s a good idea to learn as much as we can before Kingdom of Heaven comes out:

What the Crusades Were Really Like (Part 1)

What the Crusades Were Really Like (Part 2)


#10

Well in order to win at any debate, you must understand their POV and then attack it. And the point they are bringing to the table is true. Its true that there were atrocities done by “christians” thruout middle ages and even today. Its also true that “christian” tribes unneedly invaded other countries to conquest them. So once you acknowledge there point as true, you need to bring the big picture of the story out. You need to show that it was not a religuos conquest at 1st, it was the defense against Islamic hunns. The Church only played a part becuase there was no real soverign nation, just estates persa. So the pope asked all christians to helpo drive back the Islamic hunn invasion, did some go to far? Of course, but that human nature.


#11

Here’s another link to Dr. Madden, an article that appeared in Crisis magazine. This is a pretty good condensed version of a counter argument you can use that challenged the erroneous assumptions of the people who are preaching to you:

crisismagazine.com/april2002/cover.htm


#12

[quote=Jermosh]You need to show that it was not a religuos conquest at 1st, it was the defense against Islamic hunns.
[/quote]

The Crusades were charged from the first by religious ferver. Christian militancy and the practice of granting indulgences for military action had undergone a complex process of evolution since the eighth century, and those who participated in the first Crusade were well aware that they were going to war because “God willed it.”

Modern western peoples look with disgust on such an attitude. They can’t imagine going to war for religious belief. However, such modern attitudes are extremely recent in their appearance, and they definitely are not shared by a substantial proportion of the world’s population today (i.e. certain circles in the Muslim world). Modern western people also seem to overlook the simple fact that the bloodiest century of human history was the 20th century, marked by acts of barbarity fueled by secular ideologies.


#13

You make valid points. But the thing that needs to be conveyed is that the crusades were a baisc act of defense, not a act of conquest and destruction. Not stateing that did not happen of course because it was that on certain terms and times.


#14

More resources on the Crusades from Catholic Educator’s Resource:

catholiceducation.org/links/search.cgi?query=crusades&submit.x=18&submit.y=16


#15

[quote=Jermosh]You make valid points. But the thing that needs to be conveyed is that the crusades were a baisc act of defense, not a act of conquest and destruction. Not stateing that did not happen of course because it was that on certain terms and times.
[/quote]

Agreed.:thumbsup:

As Dr. Madden points out, the “superpower” of the Medieval world was the Muslim nations, not the Christians.


#16

Hi all!

As a point of information, we Jews have very bitter memories of the Crusades, specifically of the massacres of Jews perpetrated by Crusaders in the Rhine Valley & in Jerusalem. I am certainly not speaking against Pope Urban II & we certainly remember how Archbishop Ruthard of Mayence and Bishop John of Speyer (among many other senior churchmen) tried as best they could to protect us, but we still remember the Crusades very poorly. If you played a word association game with most orthodox Jews like myself, who know something about the history, and said, “Crusades,” we would probably respond with words like “Fire,” “Blood,” “Slaughter,” and the like.

See tinyurl.com/5rhu3 & tinyurl.com/4zjpg.

Dw & I took Da Boyz (Yohanan, who will be 8 in a few weeks & Naor, who just turned 4) up to the Galilee for a few days’ vacation this past August. We had a picnic lunch at the Goren National Park & enjoyed its spectacular view of the crusaders’ Montfort Castle accross the steep, wooded, valley of the Keziv stream (see gemsinisrael.com/monfortgoren.html). Yohanan asked about the castle & I told him that it was built by a group of Christians who were fighting with a group of Muslims over which one of them owned the Land. He thought that that was a real hoot: Christians & Muslims fighting over something that belongs to neither. :slight_smile:

(gemsinisrael.com/crusaders.html is a very good source for info on the Crusaders & Crusader sites in Israel. The view of the upper Jordan Valley, the lower Galilee, the heights of Gilead in Jordan & the Golan Heights from the Crusaders’ Belvoir Castle tinyurl.com/489fq is awesome. The castle at Yehiam tinyurl.com/5dj8h in the western Galilee is pretty neat too.)

Be well!

ssv :wave:


#17

[quote=Jermosh]You make valid points. But the thing that needs to be conveyed is that the crusades were a baisc act of defense, not a act of conquest and destruction. Not stateing that did not happen of course because it was that on certain terms and times.
[/quote]

The best one can say is that the crusades were launched with mixed motives. Some people were very idealistic.

But there can be no rewriting history, the facts stand on their own merits. To deny the mistakes that were made is to throw out our own credibility, the only people we fool will be ourselves.


#18

[quote=Hesychios]The best one can say is that the crusades were launched with mixed motives. Some people were very idealistic.
[/quote]

Actually the best we can do is look at the actual motive as stipulated by Blessed Pope Urban II:

For, as most of you ave been told, the Turks, a race of Persians, who have penetrated within the boundaries of Romania even to the Medeiterranean to that point which they call the Arm of Saint George, in occupying more and more of the lands of the Christians, have overcome them, already victims of seven battles, and have killed and captured them, have overthrown churches, and have laid wast God’s kingdom. If you permit this supinely for very long, God’s faithful ones will be still further subjected. Concerning this affair, not I, but the Lord – exhort you, heralds of Christ, to persuade all of whatever class, both knights and footmen, both rich and poor, in numerous edicts, to strive to help expel that wicked race from our Christian lands before it is too late.

–Fulcher of Chartres account of Blessed Pope Urban II’s call for Crusade.

This is the only official motivation provided. To speak of “personal motivations” is very unfair. We seldom speak of the personal motivations of individuals during the October Revolution, or the personal motivations of Castro’s compatriots who took part in the Cuban Revolution. We don’t call into question the personal motivations of various British generals who fought in the US’s War of Independance, even though there can be little doubt that these generals pursued careers as soldiers for many different reasons.

Usually speaking about mixed motivations in regards to individual Crusaders is an attempt to accuse them of greed and barbarity or some other equally ignoble defect. Such accusations have credence only in popularized and less than biased accounts, and seldom stand up to objective and critical analysis. At any rate, it is often difficult to evaluate the motivations of our contemporaries, let alone historical figures separated from us by a little less than a thousand years and radical cultural differences.


#19

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Hi all!

As a point of information, we Jews have very bitter memories of the Crusades, specifically of the massacres of Jews perpetrated by Crusaders in the Rhine Valley & in Jerusalem. I am certainly not speaking against Pope Urban II & we certainly remember how Archbishop Ruthard of Mayence and Bishop John of Speyer (among many other senior churchmen) tried as best they could to protect us, but we still remember the Crusades very poorly. If you played a word association game with most orthodox Jews like myself, who know something about the history, and said, “Crusades,” we would probably respond with words like “Fire,” “Blood,” “Slaughter,” and the like.
[/quote]

I seriously doubt that actual Crusaders ever made a habit of murdering Jews.

[quote=stillsmallvoice]Dw & I took Da Boyz (Yohanan, who will be 8 in a few weeks & Naor, who just turned 4) up to the Galilee for a few days’ vacation this past August. We had a picnic lunch at the Goren National Park & enjoyed its spectacular view of the crusaders’ Montfort Castle accross the steep, wooded, valley of the Keziv stream (see gemsinisrael.com/monfortgoren.html). Yohanan asked about the castle & I told him that it was built by a group of Christians who were fighting with a group of Muslims over which one of them owned the Land. He thought that that was a real hoot: Christians & Muslims fighting over something that belongs to neither. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Har har.


#20

[quote=Hospitaller]I seriously doubt that actual Crusaders ever made a habit of murdering Jews.

Har har.
[/quote]

I think habit is too strong a word, but murder isn’t.

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Study your history.

+T+
Michael, that sinner


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.