Friday, July 27, 2012

Five Myths about the Crusades

Steve Weidenkopf at Crisis Magazine laments the historical distortions and fabrications about the Crusades in the popular culture. He assays to set the record straight by debunking five myths in an article titled Crash Course on the Crusades. The five myths he takes on are these:
  • The Crusades were wars of unprovoked aggression.
  • The Crusades were about European greed for booty, plunder and the establishment of colonies.
  • When Jerusalem was captured in 1099 the crusaders killed all the inhabitants – so many were killed that the blood flowed ankle deep through the city.
  • The Crusades were also wars against the Jews and should be considered the first Holocaust.
  • The Crusades are the source of the modern tension between Islam and the West.
None of these is true, or at least the whole truth. I encourage readers to go to Weidenkopf's article and read what he says about each of these myths. As you might expect the actual history is much more complex and far less damning of the Crusaders than it has been portrayed by those who wish to grind anti-Catholic axes. For those looking for an excellent and very readable book on this topic I highly recommend God's Battalions by Rodney Stark.

Selective Indignation

You're no doubt aware of the brouhaha percolating through the media over the statement by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to the effect that gay marriage should be between one man and one woman. This view, a view that was shared by our president up until he evolved a few months ago, and is still shared by a majority of the country today, has outraged the leaders of two of our major cities.

The mayors of both Boston and Chicago subsequently announced that Chick-fil-A will not be welcome to do business in their cities due to their CEO's reactionary, out-of-the-mainstream views toward marriage.

Donning their most smugly self-righteous expressions, these Democrat officials declared that intolerance will not be tolerated under their watch. A Chicago alderman even stated that opposition to Same Sex Marriage violated Chicago's values. Well. How low does one have to sink to violate Chicago's values?

Anyway, here's a question for these august gentlemen. When the local Muslims - who make no secret of their religious aversion to the homosexual lifestyle which they deplore almost as much as they deplore Jews - apply for a building permit for a baklava business in your fair cities, will you deny it to them too?

Of course not. That's, er, different. Mr. Cathy is a Christian and Democrats have no qualms about bullying Christians. Bullying Muslims is a different kettle of chicken.

UPDATE: The Daily Caller has proclaimed the issue settled now that gay rapper Antoine Dodson has spoken out on it. I have to say that his argument makes a lot of sense, more than that of the Chicago and Boston pols, at any rate. Note the soda cup at the end. It's probably too big to be legal in New York.
There's a Chick-fil-A not too far from where I live. I think I'm going to start eating there. If it's good enough for Antoine it's good enough for me.