The recent attacks in Paris have spurred the West into action. Is this turning into another Crusade? Who is right, who is wrong? Who can tell?
In the name of Christianity, a load of vitriolic attacks has been posted on Wikinut. The visitor traffic for one writer’s pages has been substantial, mostly in support. However, if you don’t agree, your comments are deleted immediately. Obviously, there is no common ground for discussion. “My way, or the highway.”
Ever since Constantine, when Christianity became the State religion, the image of Christ as a warrior has been used as a rallying point for the troops. He became the Sol Invictus.
“The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. In 1095 Byzantine Emperor Alexios I, in Constantinople, sent an ambassador to Pope Urban II in Italy pleading for military help against the growing Turkish threat. The Pope responded promptly by calling Catholic soldiers to join the First Crusade. The immediate goal was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy Land under Muslim control. His long-range goal was to reunite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom after their split in 1054 with the pope as head of the united Church. A complex 200-year struggle ensued.” (Wikipedia)
At around the same time the Knights Templar came into existence.
Onward, Christian Soldiers
“‘Onward, Christian Soldiers’ is a 19th-century English hymn. The words were written by Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865, and the music was composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871. Sullivan named the tune ‘St. Gertrude,’ after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer, at whose country home he composed the tune. The Salvation Army adopted the hymn as its favoured processional. The piece became Sullivan’s most popular hymn. The hymn’s theme is taken from references in the New Testament to the Christian being a soldier for Christ, for example II Timothy 2:3 (KJV):‘Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.’“ (Wikipedia)
Around the same time, another stirring hymn, The Battle Hymn of the Republic was being written. These two hymns are emblematic of the American Civil War, and still have the power to inspire.
War in the name of religion is why we are now in this mess with ISIS and other jihadists. We just don’t seem to get it, do we? Jesus’ words were never about violence or war. He even told us to love our enemies. But most of the West think that evil must be obliterated, regardless of who gets hurt. And so does the other side. “Who knows what evil lurks within the heart of man? The Shadow knows!”
Picture credits: Crusader Knight courtesy of http://www.freerepublic.com
Armor of God courtesy of http://www.heartlight.org
Onward Christian Soldiers courtesy of izquotes.com
Dear Humans courtesy of God@TheGoodGodAbove (via Facebook)