Thursday 14 August 2014

Crusading for Christ

In years to come, will the secular world speak of sending military aid to Iraq as a repeat of the Crusades? And if they do not, why not? If Muslims are ousting Christians from their ancient Christian homeland at the point of the sword and we Western nations take military action to end this, are we doing anything less than was done during the Crusades?

The Crusades are often misrepresented as an aggressive act of Western Christendom (specifically, Catholic Christendom) when in fact they were about defending Christians and regaining holy Christian sites taken by Muslims. Is there not a parallel in the current situation in Iraq? I stand to be corrected but I think the comparison can be made. It is surprising that those who so willingly vilify the Catholic Church for the Crusades are not vilifying Western nations for doing the same in Iraq today. A more honest appreciation of the Crusades as acts of defence (before they went astray...) is necessary.

Personally, I suspect military intervention by the West will remain very limited not only because of our respect for national sovereignty, but our need for oil and, perhaps, because Western leaders living in fear of antagonising Muslim extremists in their respective Western countries and causing more events like 9/11 and 7/7.

Meanwhile, I contend that those who call the Crusades a blight on Christianity have an opportunity to develop a perspective that views them as a defence –either that, or they must affirm their position on the Crusades as acts of aggression and call for the absence of military intervention by the West in Iraq.

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