Friday, May 4, 2012

The Crusades: Ineffectual Response to Islamic Aggression

Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont (1095 AD): "Deus Vult"

Jonah Goldberg reminds the world of a few facts concerning the Crusades: they were defensive, since they were launched in response to Islam's conquest of 2/3 of Christendom, and they largely failed, since the Holy Land was recaptured only briefly.  The word "Crusade" itself, considered so offensive today that many schools and universities have dropped "Crusader" as a mascot name, did not gain currency until the 19th century, 600 years after the last Crusader had been expelled from the Holy Land.   More here.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, here is an excerpt from Pope Urban's address to the Council:

"...[Y]our brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory of Romania [the Greek empire] as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont, which is called the Arm of St. George. They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impunity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I, or rather the Lord, beseech you as Christ's heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends."

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