espite what popular literature and apologists tell me about Christianity and it’s proclivity to foster peace throughout the world . Jesus’ arrival in the New Testament signaled a time of peace as Earth entered the age of Pisces. The character we are given as the anointed one, the savior of mankind, the Christ, was told to as a man with no taste for violence against ones neighbors. Christianity itself paints an altogether different picture. Assuming I may include the Old Testament along with the New Testament as a basis for Christian dogma. Exodus 15:3 states “the Lord is a man of war”, Mathew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword”, and Revelation 19:13, “And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God”. These quotes taken from both the Old and New Testaments, of which both books are abundant in, clearly show that Christianity is not a wholly peaceful religion, as some would have me believe. Biblical quotes aside, another obvious sign that Christianity does not foster peace can be found in the actions of its adherents throughout the last two millennia.
Since it’s inception, Christianity has been both victim as well as aggressor when it comes to persecution of other religious groups, and have been guilty of fomenting several wars throughout the western world. This essay is an examination of one of these wars.
The crusades, as they are referred to were battles fought between Christians and Muslims in an attempt to restore access to Christian holy places in or near Jerusalem. The people fighting in these battles, the Crusaders , those charged with the holy task of carrying out the churches directive, at first reading sound quite familiar to the inhabitants of the Mos Eisley spaceport on the planet Tattooine where “you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” Were these to be the ranks of Pope Urban II’s holy army? Clearly, this seems to be the case.
The First Crusade, 1095 – 9 started with the Peoples Crusade after the preaching tour of Pope Urban II. The Crusaders were not an organization of knights and foot soldiers as I would have imagined, but an agglomeration of men, women, and children made up of mostly peasants and low ranking knights. This rabble was piously moved by Pope Urban II’s speech and his promises of forgiveness of the penalties of confessed sins as well as other “indulgences”. I believe the synonyms for indulgences in the preceding sentence are spoils or plunder. Indulgence is exactly what the Crusaders received as they moved eastward toward the Byzantine Empire.
With God on their side, the horde cut a swath though central Europe like a swarm of ravenous locusts… locusts that have an intense hatred for Jews. As the crusaders moved along the Rhine they destroyed most of the Jewish communities they encountered. At the end of the Pogroms the Jewish population of Germany and Northern France had...