RE: History Channel's Propagandist Piece on the Crusades

From: Tjalle T Vandergraaf <>
Date: Tue Nov 08 2005 - 16:24:33 EST

I did not watch that program on the History Channel, so my comments may be
off the mark. Last summer I picked up a copy of "A brief history of the
Crusades" by Geoffrey Hindley (the paperback was on sale and I had visions
of actually finding the time to read it). Anyway, even though I'm only part
way through the book, it's becoming clear that going on a Crusade was not a
"walk in the park." There was a lot of deprivation, and the Crusaders left
a lot of damage in their wake. I don't think that "this was their finest
hour." I'm sure that the intent to liberate Jerusalem was noble, but the
execution left a lot to be desired.

We need to be careful to judge people through 21st century glasses. Life in
the 11th century was, in most likelihood, short, brutal, and nasty. Maybe
ten centuries from now, if the Lord tarries, our actions as Christians will
be judged in the same way we judge those of the Crusaders. Imagine
Christians being instrumental in depleting our natural resources, allowing
the termination of life at both ends and, in some countries, removing the
option of criminals to repent from their sins.

Good thing the shadow of the Cross is able to cover all our shortcomings.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Pim van Meurs
Sent: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 12:10 PM
Subject: Re: History Channel's Propagandist Piece on the Crusades

--- wrote:

> In a message dated 11/8/2005 11:18:56 AM Eastern
> Standard Time,
> writes:
> Did anybody see that vile piece on the Crusades
> Sunday Night? I had to turn
> it off. It was a politically pile of propagandist
> crap attacking the Crusades,
> the Christian Church and heroizing Ilsamic fanatics.
> [snip] ~ Janice
> Pim replies:
> Thanks, I just ordered the DVD. Seems that the
> History Channel did an
> excellent job at portraying the crusades. As
> Christians we have to realize that past
> behaviors of fellow Christians have not always been
> exemplary. The importance
> is really: What can we learn from their mistakes?
> No, what you have to ask yourself is: is this
> factually correct?

Of course

> Why assume
> Christian wrongdoing?

I am not asuming Christian wrong doing, I am observing
Christian wrong doing. thousands of inhabitants of
Jerusalem, Christians, Jews and Muslims were
slaughtered during the first Crusades.

> If I'm not mistaken the Moors
> would have taken all of
> Europe except that Charles Martel stopped them when
> they came over the Pyrenees.

Was the argument not that the Muslims were
slaughtering Christians which led Pope Urban II to
proclaim the first crusades? Or was it the growing
influence which worried them?

> They held Spain for 700 years. Was there any
> wrongdoing by the Moors? Was
> there any wrongdoing by the Jews who encouraged the
> Moors to enter Spain and
> encouraged the Muslim massacre of Christians during
> the Muslim expansion? If you
> learn by the mistakes of each of these involved
> groups rather than just the
> mistakes of Christians you'd have a balanced
> picture.

I'd hope that the same lesson applies to all...

> A question to ask yourself: who benefits from
> portraying Christians so badly?

Who portrayed the Christians so badly? I saw the show
last night and all sides looked pretty bad at times.
But I was commenting on what we can learn as
Christians from how Christians behaved during the
Of course we can also learn from others.
These are important lessons to be learned.

History helps us understand how we came to be where we
are today. The various Muslim factions, the animosity
between (some) Christians and (some) Muslims. History
is very helpful also in how we may learn from it and
avoid future mistakes.
Even the present situation in Iraq can be better
understand in this light.
Received on Tue Nov 8 16:27:02 2005

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