Us Versus Them

Us Versus Them

Corey WilsonWednesday,11 February 2015

We see it everywhere: books, movies, comics. The plight of Good versus Evil is so engrained in our culture, that it has assumed a position of absolute truth. Of course this is how the world works, there are the Free Peoples of Arda, and the Others who live beyond the Wall. Even children know this. That’s why when Obama went and compared radical Islam to the dark past of Christianity, those who fight on the side of Good wouldn’t dare ignore that slight.

What did he say? Well, you won’t believe it, and maybe it’s not appropriate to post, but if you promise me you’ll make your kids leave the room, you can scroll down.

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” ~ Obama

You don’t understand? Yeah, neither did the rest of us. But hey, the talking heads of the American right-wing can complain about anything, especially when they perceive it to be a slight against one of the two things they love best: Jesus, and guns. But the issue here isn’t that they were complaining, but that their rebuttals were so head-achingly stupid, that it would be morally wrong to ignore them.

Now, there was a lot of uproar, but I found the stupidest commentary to come from Jonah Goldberg, who among many others, is desperately trying to paint the Crusades (and the Inquisition) into the Mona Lisa.

“For starters, the Crusades — despite their terrible organized cruelties — were a defensive war.”

Nope. Uh, nope. Now, I’m not a historian—then again neither are you—but I know more than what we all learned in school. And while I despise “Guilt by association” or in this case, “Stupidity by association,” when you’re throwing out conjecture that also flowed out the mouth of Anders Breivik, the Christian extremist who killed 8 in Oslo, Norway, you need to stop, think, and go authenticate those sources.

While it is true that Muslim armies had clashed with Eastern Orthodox Christian armies in and around Byzantium, and had expanded into once Christian territories in Southern Europe, in no fucking way were the Crusades a defensive war.

When the Christian armies spawned into the first Crusade in 1096, their HUD displayed one, clear objective: capture the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Not: recapture lost territories from the Muslims. The end of the First Crusade makes it even clearer. In 1099, after conquering Muslim armies, and capturing Jerusalem, the campaign was considered a success, and people started going home. That’s it; they captured Jerusalem, slapped a big victory banner on one of their aircraft carriers and called it a job well done.

You see, if you want to rewrite history, you should just start burning books. It’s faster, easier, and it avoids the one thing you suck at: research.

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Hat Tips:

Huffington Post, National Review, Image Credit: Flickr

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