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On the Crusades

Jan 20, 2015

If there is a constant and major objection raised to Christianity, it is the topic of the Crusades. Critics claim that this was a terrible blight on Christianity, and demonstrates that this is an evil and bloody religion, just as bad as Islam or other evil movements.

But as is often the case, we tend to hear a rather biased and distorted picture of what the Crusades in fact were all about. Here I want to offer a few remarks challenging much of the mythology out there. Of course much ink has been spilt on this topic, so I can only hope to offer the briefest of commentary here.

I begin with the words of historian Thomas Madden whose very important volume The New Concise History of the Crusades needs to be in the library of all those concerned about this topic. He begins his incisive study by saying, “The crusades are today one of the most misunderstood events in western history. That fact is all the more lamentable given that in the last fifty years legions of scholars from around the world have produced an enormous amount of research on the subject.”

crusadesWith this in mind, let me offer a few historical details. There were seven major Crusades, beginning in 1095 when Pope Urban II called the first Crusade. The crowd responded to this with the words, “God wills it!”. In July 1099, after a bloody battle, they took Jerusalem. This may have been the only “successful” Crusade. The final crusade finished in 1291.

Looked at one way, the Crusades were simply the reaction of the Christian West to more than three centuries of Islamic expansion, mistreatment of Christian populations in the Holy Lands, and harassment of religious pilgrims. Islam was on the offensive, and the Christian West needed to respond.

Indeed, for the first 100 years Islamic expansionism showed no signs of being halted. Muhammad died in 632 and in the next century his followers broke out of their small enclave to take over much of surrounding territory. In the first few decades Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Persia had been conquered, and at the time of the battle of Tours in 732 Islamic expansionism extended from Spain to Persia.

By the time of the first Crusade Palestine had been under Muslim occupation for almost four hundred years. Christians were often prevented from going on pilgrimages to visit the holy places, and many were killed when they tried to do so. Christians in Jerusalem often suffered terribly under Islamic rule. Christians therefore wanted to reclaim the Holy Land from the Muslims, and reclaim it as part of Christian Europe.

Another very important work on this subject is God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Rodney Stark. This is must reading for anyone wishing to get some mastery of the topic, and to disabuse themselves of all the mythology that is out there. I said the following in my earlier review of his book:

Stark reminds us that Muhammad told his followers, “I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god but Allah.’” Therefore a century after his death vast swathes of territory hung under the bloody sword of Islam.
And what of the conquered Christians living under Islamic rule? They, along with Jews, were known as dhimmis. While revisionist historians and Muslim apologists speak of Muslim tolerance here, the “truth about life under Muslim rule is quite different”.
Indeed, the subject peoples had few options: death, enslavement or conversion were the only avenues open to them. Dhimmitude was no picnic. Death was the fate of anyone who dared to convert out of Islam. No churches or synagogues could be built. There was to be no public praying or reading of Scripture. They were at best treated as second-class citizens, and at worst, punished and killed.
And massacres of Jews and Christians were quite common in the centuries leading up to the Crusades. In 1032-1033 in Morocco alone, there were over six thousand Jews murdered. Jerusalem fell to the Muslims in 638. The Dome of the Rock was built from 685 to 691, and churches and synagogues were levelled in the ensuing centuries.
The condition of Christians in Jerusalem was pretty appalling during this period, as was the plight of penitent pilgrims seeking to enter Jerusalem. They suffered much persecution, and risked their lives simply to travel to the holy city. The destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – along with thousands of other Christian churches – under the bloody reign of Tariqu al-Hakim at the end of the first millennia simply served as the climax to all this misery and outrage.
It is in this light of six centuries of Islamic conquest, bloodshed and tyranny that the Crusades must be viewed. They were not always pretty, but life in general back then was not pretty. If Crusader excesses took place, this was just par for the course, as excesses by Muslims and others were more than commonplace.
As Stark reminds us, “Granted, it was a cruel and bloody age, but nothing is to be gained either in terms of moral insights or historical comprehension by anachronistically imposing the Geneva Convention on these times.”

Or as Patrick Sookhdeo wrote in The Challenge of Islam to the Church and its Mission, “sadly both sides fought according to the norms of the time, shocking though it seems today.” But just how successful the whole endeavour was, and how much can be reconciled with Christian teachings is of course an important set of considerations here. As Sookhdeo said,

many recognize that there was a need to defend the vulnerable Christians of the Holy Land. Thus the First Crusade was an understandable (possibly justifiable) belated response to the initial Muslim aggression in the first expansionist jihad which conquered and subjugated vast Christian regions and which posed a continuing threat to Christians in the Middle East and to Europe itself. Subsequent Crusades were, however, less easy to justify.

Or as two former Arab Muslims, E. M. Caner and E. F. Caner wrote in their helpful volume, Christian Jihad, which examines just war theory and the Crusades: “Though the First Crusade ended in victory, it represented a quantum shift in the theology, thought, and ethics of the Christian community. For the first time in history, an army was gathered under the aegis of the cross of Jesus Christ, sanctified by the pope to kill in the name of the Lord.”

Indeed, the move away from a biblically acceptable just war position to a sort of Christian holy war was always going to be problematic. There were often bloody massacres which took place as a result of the Crusades. And it was not just the Muslims who were targeted. Sadly it was often Jews who were slaughtered along the way. And sometimes other Christian bodies (eg, Eastern Christians) were attacked as well.

Now I believe that a case can be made for just wars, which are primarily defensive in nature, and for Christian self-defence, both of which I have argued for elsewhere. See for example:
billmuehlenberg.com/2005/08/10/a-review-of-between-pacifism-and-jihad-by-j-daryl-charles/
www.billmuehlenberg.com/2012/12/20/self-defence-and-scripture/

It should also be pointed out that in the Crusades there was a mixture of religious and secular motivations – good and bad reasons. Some were good reasons, as already noted above. But some were bad reasons. One of the worst was the promise of salvation if one fought and died in the Crusades. And often there was the desire for adventure, for wanderlust, to get wealth, etc.

Some wanted just to leave home and head out on a new life. Some were bloodthirsty and just liked to kill, and so on. Thus there was a mix. Some had very selfish motivations. Others had highly righteous motivations. As Madden says however, overall there were good motivations: “For medieval men and women, the crusade was an act of piety, charity, and love, but it was also a means of defending their world, their culture, and their way of life.”

Mention can also be made of the myth that the Crusades have burned in the minds of Muslims for centuries, and have been part of the rationale for things like 9/11 and ongoing jihad attacks throughout the West. Says Stark, this is clearly not the case: “Muslim antagonism about the Crusades did not appear until about 1900, in reaction against the decline of the Ottoman Empire”. Or as Madden puts it:

Westerners may be surprised to learn that Muslims in the Middle East have only recently learned of the crusades. . . . Muslim perceptions of their own history changed in the twentieth century. Rescued from obscurity, the crusades were discovered and given a place of importance that they had never enjoyed before. The “long memory” of the crusades in the Muslim world is, in fact, a constructed memory.

And what about the equally horrific Muslim offensives, such as the sack of Constantinople in 1453? While we constantly hear Westerners today apologising for what we did so long ago, one hardly ever hears Muslims apologising for this event, or the massacre of the Armenians from 1915 to 1917, or dozens of other major Muslim atrocities. Where is all the hand-wringing over these acts? Why are only Western shortcomings highlighted?

In sum, the Crusades were a mixed bag in terms of motivation, outcome, and conformity to biblical morality. Certainly from a New Testament perspective, we have no warrant for killing in the name of Christ. We do have biblical warrant however for such things as just war and self-defence. See more on this here: www.billmuehlenberg.com/2006/09/11/is-it-ever-right-to-kill/

But as is so often the case, the rewriting of history by those who hate Christianity must be challenged. For too long far too much nonsense and just plain falsehoods about the Crusades have been allowed to circulate. Thus seeking to get closer to the historical record is incumbent upon all of us.

billmuehlenberg.com/2009/10/11/a-review-of-god%E2%80%99s-battalion-by-rodney-stark/

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24 Responses to On the Crusades

  • Thank you for all your research and for clarifying everything, Bill. I first found you via google when I was seeking more information on a biblical and historic topic and your explanation was as good then as it is now.

  • Another great article Bill and yes it’s something I have read so many times lately by muslim sympathisers who clearly know nothing about what they are talking about. They almost give permission for Islamists to do what they are doing – like we almost deserve it because of history. Christianity so often gets the blame, and every time I want to scream THIS IS NOT CHRISTIANITY! If only people knew Christ, they would clearly see this.

  • Many thanks Bill for equipping me to defend our faith against the example of the Crusades in the name of Christianity, being just as brutal as Islam.

    i would like to comment on your opening paragraph where you give three areas where Christianity is under attack; I would like to add a fourth. Evolution is used to explain our existence without God and it has been suggested that its indoctrination into young minds at High school and Universities is the main reason why greater than 60% of young people leave church, never to return.

    Of course evolution is a lie and it is not supported by science. I have written a large book (190 pages) and have a website where I argue the falsity of evolution from a scientific perspective.

  • Thanks Gary. Yes there are plenty of areas in which Christianity is under attack. I listed these three together since critics always bring them up whenever we discuss Islamic or atheistic violence: they claim Christianity is no better. But as I seek to explain in these three articles, there is no moral equivalence here at all. When Muslims and atheists kill, they do so in the name of their ideology. When Christians wrongly kill, they do so against the clear teachings of the new testament. The other two related articles are found here:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2015/01/20/on-the-spanish-inquisition/

    billmuehlenberg.com/2015/01/19/on-the-witchcraft-trials/

  • The general reasoning for the Crusades was good, since it was to defend previously Christian lands due to Muslim aggression, but the execution of it wasn’t always good and in fact quite disastrous at times. The thing is that we haven’t learnt from the past and currently we are giving up on Muslim aggression far too easily.

  • Thanks Bill,
    I find the recent brutal horrors of ISIS / ISIL put the Crusades a bit more in context.
    Jeremy

  • Bill

    You are on fire, happy new year!!. Great articles, the deceit and nature of sound bite society makes it so difficult to get quality research into the public domain. Perhaps you need to create a Bill Muehlenberg APP with quick reference library that we can access on the phone to access knowledge at our finger tips!!
    God Bless

  • Yes, many times I have come up against, “those nasty cruel crusaders, killing those peace loving moslems, who were minding their own business and doing no one any harm”.
    I suppose we have to sheet the blame back to the History dept’s in schools and uni’s.
    They were a delayed response to moslem invasion of Christian lands in the middle east and north africa is my usual reply, to politically correct, airbrushed history.

  • thanks for this great article Bill. Yes the Crusades were a mixed bag and it is something Moslems refer to all the time. Yet the collective amnesia of Moslems as to why the Pope called forth the Crusades is amazing-the protection and the recapturing of the Holy Sites of Christendom .
    The Dhimmitude of and appeasement by the unrepresentative elite to Islam is hypcritical. They make fun of Christians but don’t dare draw attention to the failure of the Islamic leadership in this Land for radicalization of Islamic youth.

  • Hi Bill

    I want to challenge you on one point. You said “One of the worst was the promise of salvation if one fought and died in the Crusades.”

    Theologically killing for Christ is not condoned by scripture. However in the Book of Joshua Joshua leads an army to attack the tribes living in the Promised land. The book of Joshua mirrors the book of revelation where Jesus leads an army to defeat the antichrist.

    From a military stand point it makes sense. The British under the Duke of Wellington created the law stating “The performance of a duty of honour or of trust, after the knowledge of an offence committed by a soldier, ought to convey a pardon for the offence.” American had a similar system where convicted criminals were given a choice between prison and military service, however this may no longer apply.

    Crimes commited against the church and state could be forgiven under this system. There was a need for troops to defend Christians in the holy land and Medieval knights were not perfect example of christian morality. Part of the discusion for the would be how to take the holy land and how to motivate people to take up the cross.

  • Thanks Bill. I submit this post by your invitation, with which I am happy to comply.
    I will make an all-in-one response, and try to keep it as brief as possible, although in this I will probably fail.
    First, the witch trials. I will confine myself to the Salem trials in Puritan America, which many today understand as maligning the whole of the Puritan era in America, but salient facts are often overlooked, as follows:
    1. In general, in Mediaeval and early modern times witch-hunts were instigated more by popular agitation driven by folklore and superstition than from Inquisitorial investigation by any official Church, Puritan or otherwise.
    2. In the case of the Salem trials of 1692, which have become proverbial, the same basic pattern emerged: a Caribbean slave-girl attached to the household of a Salem minister attracted impressionable children with her tales of voodoo dolls and mysterious animals. Word spread, and popular hysteria over a smallpox outbreak plus other factors led to the arraignment for witchcraft of in all 140 women. The trials involved interrogation, and investigation of “spectral evidence” (where the accused person’s spirit was supposed to appear to a witness and give testimony), and on the basis of this a verdict was pronounced.
    3. Twenty were convicted and executed, but it was in fact Puritan clergy who managed to intervene and stop the trials, notably Rev. Increase Mather (grandson of the pioneer John Cotton), who cast doubt on the validity of “spectral evidence. Increase Mather preached a series of sermons essentially telling the judges and populace of Salem to “cool it”, and that innocent people were being convicted through dubious procedures; meanwhile his son Cotton Mather also questioned the judges’ methods, yet admittedly he could have done more to stop the trials than he in fact did. By late October rising criticism had struck home, public support for the trials had consequently waned, and so they were stopped.
    4. The whole episode became notorious precisely because it was exceptional. Furthermore, the Salem affair about sums up the issue of witchcraft in Puritan America; there is little evidence of anything else in this regard during the C17th.

    As a footnote to this episode, we must point out that while Puritan America believed and practised a theocracy, and appealed to OT texts such as Exod.22:18 and Lev.20:27 requiring that occult practitioners be executed, Puritan clergy in general believed that Gospel preaching should be the means of eliminating mediums etc., rather than the strong arm of state sanctions and penalties.

    The Inquisition
    I do not want to say much here, as it involves Protestant versus Catholic issues. Suffice it to say that while the joint sovereigns Ferdinand and Isabella administered the notorious institution, the blame sheets back to Pope Sixtus IV who issued a bull in 1478 giving full sanction to this infamous tribunal, while the local bishops, with Torquemada at the helm as Inquisitor-general (Isabella’s former confessor, whom she appointed in 1483), were deeply complicit in the trials, tortures, burnings, and imprisonments. While one can argue about figures, I do not, and will never, acknowledge this whole hateful episode as in any way remotely Christian. Protestant “heretics”, Jews, Moors, and to a lesser extent occult practitioners suffered unmercifully. If Torquemada was a Christian, then so too was Joe Stalin, who at one time was a trainee priest.

    Finally, the Crusades.
    Modern Muslims often bring this up, but as you point out this is a recent phenomenon. A couple of points need to be made here:
    1. The Crusades were a very belated response to four and a half centuries of Muslim aggression. Jerusalem had fallen to Muslim forces in 638 A.D., after which it was ruled first by the Umayyads (until 750), then by the Abbasids in Baghdad. Christian pilgrims in droves descended on Jerusalem in A.D. 1000, expecting the Second Coming, but after that episode the Muslim rulers decided to crack down on Christian pilgrims. A decisive battle took place at Manzikert in Eastern Asia Minor in 1071, which sent shock waves through Eastern Christendom, since it now seemed only a matter of time before Constantinople was captured. The Byzantine emperor sent a desperate SOS to the pope, Gregory VII, but he had troubles of his own at the time and so the papacy sat on the plea for another 25 years or so. Urban II, in 1095, after yet another plea from Emperor Alexius I, was more favourable. He summoned a council at Clermont and argued that (i) a crusade would be an act of love to Eastern Christians, and (ii) for Western soldiers to “take the cross” would be a pilgrimage, and win forgiveness of sins. So pursuant this council, in 1098, 460 years after the conquest of Jerusalem, the first Crusade began. The following year the Crusaders, to their own surprise as much as anyone’s, actually captured Jerusalem.
    2. The war aims of the Crusades were always limited: to liberate the holy sites for Christian pilgrims, and to stop harassment of these pilgrims by Muslim soldiers and local residents. The aim was never a wholesale conquest of the Bible lands for Christendom, nor was it to extirpate or expel Muslim occupants.
    3. Leaving aside the whole issue of the Mediaeval doctrine of merit in “taking the cross”, for Crusading soldiers the motive on the whole was for high and holy principles (as they saw them), following Urban’s stipulations. Yes, there were some who had baser motives, but these should not obscure the essentially pure considerations which moved the mainstream soldiers.
    4. Although the Crusading movement was effectively over by 1291, and was in the long term a failure, the enterprise was a success in this respect: it bought valuable time in the battle of Western Christendom versus the forces of Islam. It was not to be until the takeover of the Seljuk Turks by the Ottoman Turks, and the accession of Suleiman the Magnificent in the early C16th that Islam embarked on its Second Jihad into Eastern Europe, aiming at Vienna, but ultimately this too was defeated, but only after 150 years of struggle.

    Do I have regrets about the Crusades? Apart from the undoubted atrocities perpetrated by some of them (e.g. at Acre in 1191), which we would all deplore, in the light of what is happening now across the world my one overarching regret is that they were not more successful!!

  • As always, many thanks for your helpful remarks Murray.

  • Thank you Murray, this is really useful information.

  • Golly gee Bill
    How can you contradict that ‘grate’ (spelling is correct) foreign minister, Julie Bishop, who denies there was any genocide, by the Turks, against the Armenians.
    How two million Christians, in 1915, became 388,000 by 1922 remains a mystery. Perhaps they went on holidays?
    But ‘Jules’ hasn’t confided her superior knowledge on that.
    Nothing like being a good appeaser!

  • No mention of the 4th Crusade? Why is that?

  • Thanks Justin. Of course if you actually read my article you would find your answer. I did say at the outset that this was only the briefest of looks at a complex issue, and it was more of a general apologetics approach, instead of a detailed historical assessment requiring tens of thousands of words at the very least. And of course I did mention this when I spoke of how Orthodox Christians were badly done by. As I said, the Crusades were a mixed bag, and not everything was good about them by any means. But not everything was bad about them either, which was the main reason for writing this.

  • Thanks for the query, Justin.
    I thought of dealing with the Fourth Crusade in my own post above, but as it was already very long I elected to leave it out. However, if you read Madden’s book, “The New Concise History of the Crusades” (Roman & Littlefield, 2005), ch.5, pp.97-120, you will find a fairly detailed discussion of the Fourth Crusade, and how it spiralled completely out of control and ended up damaging and destroying the very people the whole endeavour was intended to help. Madden on the whole gives a different (and necessary, in my view) picture of the Crusades as a whole from say, the more traditional view of Runciman and his acolytes; but that said, he has no brief in favour of what the Crusaders did at, and to, Constantinople in 1204. It was a reprehensible episode by any assessment.

    So there is no ‘conspiracy of silence’ in regard to to the Fourth Crusade, either by Bill or myself, as your query seems to imply.

  • Thanks for this article. You are correct about the issue of those who hate Christianity wanting to rewrite history so they can justify their hate.

    And it’s predominatly the progressive Left who push this hate of Christianity, as well as anything the West stands for.

    The progressive Left and the Islamists both share a hate for anything to do with our Judeo/Christian based culture.

  • Thank you Bill
    I have found the following researchers helpful:
    1. “The Concise History of the Crusades (Critical Issues in World and International History) by Professor Thomas F. Madden, Professor of History and director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University.
    “What is the relationship between the medieval crusades and the problems of the modern Middle East? Were the crusades the Christian equivalent of Muslim jihad? In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance.”
    Madden places all of the major crusades within their medieval social, economic, religious, and intellectual context, Madden explores each crusade is recounted in a clear, concise narrative.
    2. “God’s Battalions: The Case FOR the Crusades” by Dr Rodney Stark – who launches a frontal assault on the dishonest “comfortable myths” that secularists who have popularized about the crusades.
    3. “The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision by Henry Kamen – a renowned historian here presents a new view of the notorious Spanish Inquisition, arguing that after his THIRTY YEARS OF RESEARCH, he himself has changed his mind (and exonerating Christianity). He explains that it was important that the world learns the REAL facts and DISCARDS the DISTORTED versions presented by ‘secularists’ as truth.
    4. Inquisition– April 14, 1989 by Edward Peters, who explores the legal procedures, personnel, and institutions that shaped the inquisitorial tribunals from Rome to early modern Europe; The Inquisition, and of the modern dishonest MYTH-making (and HOW THE DISTORTIONS AND “MANUFACTURED MYTHS” BECAME THE FALSE FOUNDATION FOR WIDELY-ACCEPTED “HISTORY FOR POPULAR CONSUMPTION”).

    This could also be a useful SUMMARY of what REALLY happened during the Crusades:

    We are continually fed MYTH after MYTH and the Crusaders are routinely portrayed as a horde of barbarians from a backward and superstitious Europe irrupting into the cultured and urbane world of the eleventh century Near East.

    BUT the authors above (part one) and Walter Leitsch (Professor of East European History, University of Vienna) describe how history has been cynically perverted to suit the POLITICAL crusades of POLEMICISTS who harbour irrational hatred against Western Civilization and the Catholic Church.

    These authors take head on myth after myth and dismantle them:
    Dr Rodney Stark dismantles myth after myth surrounding the Crusades, and makes the case that the Crusades not only had a place, but were in fact absolutely JUSTIFIABLE SELF-DEFENCE and were a response to very large Christian populations pleading for rescue from the aggressive Moslem marauders.
    Vast stretches of once Christian lands were now in Muslim hands. Alexius Comnenus now made his public plea to the Pope to liberate the huge Christian territories in Asia Minor that had so recently been brutally crushed, devastated and annexed by the followers of the crescent… Turks, who had also assumed control of Syria/Palestine, now imposed a brutal repression in that region; and perpetrated terrible sufferings on native Christian populations in that region. Christian kingdoms of Armenia, Georgia and Byzantium were threatened with extinction, and Muslim armies fought with Christians in Sicily and other Mediterranean lands.

    In a space of thirty-five years the Moslem aggressors had seized control of Christian territories larger than the entire area of France, and now stood poised on the very doorstep of Europe:

    By 1683 the marauding hordes were already at the very gates of Vienna. Never had the Christians found themselves in such a critical position of potential annihilation

    Were it not for Polish King, Jan Sobieski and his army, Vienna would have been comprehensively defeated.
    So this was yet another occasion when the Crusaders were actually provoked into action of self-defence.

    Contrary to popularised MYTHS, each Crusade was a SELF-DEFENCE response against invasion and brutal repression of Moslem invaders.

    NOTE Myth-makers and willfully ignorant bigots who have difficulty justifying the Crusades should (logically) then have even GREATER difficulty in justifying the Allies coming to the rescue of countries invaded by Hitler.

  • @Gary J Baxter

    Not to hijack the article too much, but Gary there are plenty of solid christian teachers and apologists who would disagree with you on the point you raise regarding evolution.

    Early Genesis passages are very difficult to grasp because they are written in some ways out of this world.

    That unto itself doesn’t mean they can’t be taken literally however, the following list of what I would call moderate theologians would either have some acceptance of an evolutionary understanding of the world or at least accept that things are simply more complicated than a literal rendering of the passages you are referring to:

    NT Wright
    Alistair McGrath
    JI Packer
    CS Lewis
    Timothy Keller
    John Stott
    John Lennox

    There are plenty of people on both sides of the fence here within moderate scholarship and I know that Bill often quotes from a few of those names mentioned and more.

    I think it’s encouraging that great minds and the rest of us (haha) can have differing views on that specific topic but still come together and worship the same Lord and God.

  • Thanks guys. As this post is on the crusades, we better stay on topic!

  • I remember being embarrassed at school ( year 8 I think) studying Roland in French. Especially when one passage was roughly translated
    “They were given the choice between becoming Christians or having their heads cut off and many fine Christians were made that day.
    Thanks for helping the next generation.
    Katherine Fishley

  • Sorry but I have to disagree with Murray Adamthwaite on the Inquisition.
    DANGER: How MYTHS have become the “Foundation” of History of the Inquisition:
    The meticulously-researched facts are revealed in –
    Book 1: The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision by Henry Kamen, a renowned historian with more than 30 years of research of original documentation, presents a new view of the notorious Spanish Inquisition, arguing that overall there was far less terror, bigotry, and persecution associated with it than has been previously believed. He dismantles many myths that erroneously persist to this day.
    Book 2: Inquisition – by Edward Peters April 14, 1989 describes legal procedures, personnel, and institutions that shaped the inquisitorial tribunals from Rome to early modern Europe; of the MYTH of The Inquisition, from its origins with the anti-Hispanists and religious reformers of the sixteenth century to its embodiment in literary and artistic masterpieces of the nineteenth century; and of HOW THE MYTH ITSELF BECAME THE FOUNDATION for today’s “HISTORY” of the INQUISITIONS.

    Both authors describe how these MYTHS were fabricated by enemies of the Church around 1517 to falsify history in an attempt to destroy the Church.

    To summarise, the courts of the Spanish Crown were responsible for the many deaths and mistreatment of prisoners. When the Church learned of the terrible injustices, it demanded to oversee the courts that dealt with alleged religious transgressions. The Church was eventually allowed to take over this category of courts. The Church instead found that most of the alleged transgressions were little more than petty jealousies and neighbourhood disputes that escalated into prejudice, bigotry and accusations of witchcraft based on false evidence, etc. which could be thrown out of court out of hand. No person died in the Inquisition held by the Church, but many died as a result of the Inquisitions held by the Spanish Crown.
    The reason why the MYTHS (perpetuated by today’s ‘writers’ intent of sensationalism to further their book sales), still have a hold on today’s ill-informed public is because of modern dishonest MYTH-making and further embellishments to the original “manufactured myths” and why they became the false foundation for the now widely-accepted “history” for popular consumption chasing the last dollar.

    These tactics to destroy the credibility of Christianity have ALSO been EXPOSED by the book “DISINFORMATION” by a former top Soviet KGB operative/whistle-blower Lt Gen Ion Pacepa whose directive was to “artificially provoke hatred and conflict between the West and Islam. The intention? … to have “enemies of Communism annihilate each other – at no cost to us – so that the Soviet Union would not have to waste a single shot and then simply walk in and take the spoils.”

    This was to be achieved by the “seeding” of deliberate lies and dis-information and historical distortions to the west and to Islamic countries, and by these methods, the recruiting of “useful idiots” to “do the dirty work for the Soviet Union” – eg by ‘journalists’ who were desperate for ‘headlines’ or the ‘seeding’ of potential novel-storylines to ‘writers’ in the west, some of whom also incorporated fallacious insistence that Christianity had close association with Western imperialism and greed.

    The authors above and Walter Leitsch (Professor of East European History, University of Vienna) describe how history has been cynically perverted to suit the POLITICAL crusades of POLEMICISTS who harbour irrational hatred against Western Civilization and Christianity. These atheist and secular polemicists often refuse to debate and even when they do, have no hesitation in viciously attacking with wild-eyed hostility anyone who would dare to disagree with them.

    Today, we are seeing the resulting intensity of hatred of extremist Islamists towards the west and the terrible price of beheading and persecution many Christians have now had to pay.
    The “manufactured lies” are STILL being perpetuated by a badly-informed public who have not understood the many underlying dealings by sinister forces who wish to destroy democracy and free speech. Even Richard Dawkins (who has no hesitation in dragging out “manufactured lies” to criticise Christianity) seems too intimidated to say anything that would upset extreme Islamists – effectively “shutting him down”.

    The world has become the battleground of ideas and Christians are REQUIRED to stand up for what we believe. The time is NOW! … before we lose our freedom of speech altogether!

    The world still has not yet learned that “for evil to triumph, all that is needed is for good men to do nothing”.

  • Thank you Mark, good research.

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