View Poll Results: Were the Crusades justified?

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  • Yes

    45 21.63%
  • Yes, but many of the acts committed during the Crusades were not

    71 34.13%
  • No

    92 44.23%
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Thread: The Crusades

  1. #46
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    ok then Turks. The point is the pope didnt wake up one day and say. I feel like killing some innocent muslims and have not done anything. The Turks were taking Christian land and needed to be stoped.
    actually, ericthered,

    that was probably fairly close to what the guy was thinking. the muslim turks (and arabs, earlier) had been fighting the byzantines for quite a while now; suddenly, the pope decides to get "holy" and wage a just war for christianity?

    more like the invasion gave him the perfect opening to consolidate his power, and give him the opportunity to give the knights in europe something to do other than civil war and tournaments.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    that was probably fairly close to what the guy was thinking. the muslim turks (and arabs, earlier) had been fighting the byzantines for quite a while now; suddenly, the pope decides to get "holy" and wage a just war for christianity?
    The pope doesn't just decide to "get holy." One must remember the mindset of the time. The Pope personifies "holy." And a cause espoused by the Pope is a "holy" cause. 1095 was a bit before the power of the church was questioned in any meaningful way.

    more like the invasion gave him the perfect opening to consolidate his power, and give him the opportunity to give the knights in europe something to do other than civil war and tournaments.
    While in part the case, it wasn't entirely. The original crusades were designed by the Pope to establish catholic control over the Holy Land, which was an important religious and temporal cause for the Church (and had been ever since the schism). It wasn't until the 13th and (especially) 14th centuries that the need to get the knights out of Europe became extremely pressing. The "companies" that were given so much sway during the Hundred Years war had acquired too much power and needed an outlet other than looting the peasantry.

    I think that far too much high nobility (and too many kings, for that matter) went on the first few crusades for them to simply be a matter of "getting the knights out of Europe." While waged for a number of reasons, initially at least some of the main motivation was religious.

  3. #48
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    lwarmonger,

    The pope doesn't just decide to "get holy." One must remember the mindset of the time. The Pope personifies "holy." And a cause espoused by the Pope is a "holy" cause. 1095 was a bit before the power of the church was questioned in any meaningful way.
    certainly, altho i meant as in the pope's own mindset. no doubt he was moved by religion, but there is no question in my mind he was concerned, first and foremost, by the opportunity to expand his secular powers.

    obviously it's a fool's errand trying to argue that religious motivation had nothing to do with the crusades. but what i would like to mention- and what is far less covered upon- is that the crusades were certainly not motivated solely by "pure" ideals of religious fervor, but more on down-and-dirty power-plays.

  4. #49
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    450 years prior to the Crusades the Muslims attacked and massacred Christian cities of the Byzantine Empire. Muhammad told them to. Once they took over the cities they removed the right to freedom of religion. The Pope at the time did want to defend himself, but he was in a competition for power against the emperor. Between that period of time until the crusades Christian city fell one after a time and there was no retaliation. Then a bunch of Muslim turks came down from the North and slaughtered or tortured to death every Christian in the middle east. Then they decided to have the crusades and take back their land that the Muslims stole.

    I am not defending the Crusades because they were fought without honor or morals, and shear corruption, but the Crusades were not unprovoked. The Muslims caused the Crusades to happen by attacking first. The Muslims always lie on that subject.

    Again it must be noted that the Crusades were at the time that the Catholic Church as extremely corrupt (11th-13th centuries). No action can be taking as a true action of Christianity since no one really cared about what the Bible said at that time.
    __________________________________________________ _______________


    No one can really take any action done by the Christians in the middle ages as true Christianity, simply because of the corruption of the papacy. The Popes were the only ones with Bibles at the time and said whatever they thought was necessary to the people to get them to do what he wanted. The people could only pray he was telling the truth. The Catholic church killed Muslims, Jews, Pagans, and Christians. Christians during the middle ages that actually read the Bible and pointed out the many wrong doings of the pope, backing it with scripture, were quickly put to death. Some of the popes were even known to call upon the powers of heathen (Devil-like) Gods to help them win gambles. With Devil worshippers in the church that were only out for selfish gain and not to spread the word of God, as Christian’s claim their mission is, there was no doubt wars would break out.

    The Protestant reform fixed these problems of the pope having total control. The Doctrine of Christianity never changed throughout the reform so Christianity did not have to change, but they had to break away from the corruption of the Catholic church. I searched through the doctrine of the Catholic church and found that it is regarded as demonic according to the Bible.
    I did a study of the Crusades and these two posts I made earlier are basically what I found out. The Pope didn't even care about what the Bible said, he just acted as if what he was saying was straight from the Bible to get the people of Europe to do what he wanted. I say that everyone has the right to defend themselves.

    Here is what the Bible says regarding others:


    “You shall not murder.” –Exodus 20:13

    “You shall not murder.” -Deuteronomy 5:17

    “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” –Matthew 5:44

    “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back in its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.’” –Matthew 26:52

    “Soldiers also asked him, ‘And we, what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.’” -Luke 3:14

    “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this earth.’” –John 18:36
    In Luke chapter 22 Jesus did tell his disciples to buy swords, so I believe he wanted them to defend themselves, but only if their lives were at stake. The phrase "Turn the other cheek" did come from the Bible as well.

    "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." -Matthew 5:38-42, NIV
    "Turn the other cheek" refers to an insult. Christians are called to ignore insults or still be friendly to those who insult them. In regards to treating enemies the Bible says:

    "A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself." Proverbs 11:17

    "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles." Proverbs 24:17

    "Do not say, 'I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay him back for what he has done.'" Proverbs 24:29

    "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,..." Proverbs 25:21
    By definition, the Crusades were not a religious war for Christianity. The Crusaders just followed the words of the Pope, who was out for seelfish gain and didn't care about the Bible. By definition, it was a religious war for Islam. The Muslims commited atrocities in obedience to the Quran and Hadiths, while the Crusaders commited atrocities in disobedience to the Bible.


    The Quran clearly states:

    2:216 “Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love athing whish is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.

    2:278-279 “O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers. And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger…”

    3:4 “… Lo! Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, their will be a heavy doom…”

    3:12 “Say (O Muhammad) unto those who disbelieve: Ye shall be overcome and gathered unto Hell…”

    3:28 “Let not the believer take disbeliever for their friends in reference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them…

    3:32 “… Allah loveth not the disbelievers in his guidance.”

    3:151 “We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no warrant hath been revealed. Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers.”

    4:37 “… For disbelievers we prepare a shameful doom.”

    9:5 “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”
    There are hundreds of more verses that support violence in the Quran. I don't have the time to waist going through them all, though.

    I say, yes, the Crusades were justified, but the atrocities commited there were not.
    Last edited by Insomniac; 13 Apr 06, at 03:13.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis
    obviously it's a fool's errand trying to argue that religious motivation had nothing to do with the crusades. but what i would like to mention- and what is far less covered upon- is that the crusades were certainly not motivated solely by "pure" ideals of religious fervor, but more on down-and-dirty power-plays.
    Oh, I have no question about that! Medieval warfare was never pretty. However that being said, at the time a blood soaked cause could still be a noble one... as long as the blood soaking it was that of the heathen. And if fighting for the holy cause led to land and plunder... well the heathens are not worthy of what they have anyways.

    The outlook of people in modern society has changed substantially in some areas within the last 200 years. With the advent of fully professional (and consistently paid) armies, the need for plunder to sustain one's soldiers has gone down considerably.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Insomniac
    By definition, it was a religious war for Islam.
    Then why did Christian and Muslim forces join together at points during the Crusades in order to better commit highway robbery?
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by shek
    Then why did Christian and Muslim forces join together at points during the Crusades in order to better commit highway robbery?
    Just like the Pope didn't care what the Bible said, there were some crusaders who didn't care if what the Pope said was coming from the Bible and they were only out for selfish gain. The same goes for some of the Muslims. They just figured they could start their own mafia together.

  8. #53
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    I voted, "Yes, but many of the acts committed during the Crusades were not."

    It is a clash of civilizations, what do you expect to happen? This ain't beanbag. I would suggest reading the following through the lens of a medeval westerner.

    I take the side of the West versus all comers and view the means used to defend the West as self-justified. Period.

    The forces of Islam had overrun the majority of the Eastern Roman Empire and Visigothic Iberia. The ERE had themselves to blame, due to the hash they had made of their rule in the decades before the muslims stripped them of those pesky provinces in the Levant & N Africa and brought the words "existential struggle" new meaning by investing Constantinople.

    Whatever the motivation on teh Crusades' participants, the disruption of muslim conquest and taking the fight to their lands was necessary and proper in the clash of civilizations.

    Now we get to the "...but many of the acts committed during the Crusades were not" part.

    Unfortunately, the West made a hash of it.

    To truly take land, you must defeat the existing powers, disperse/remove the local inhabitants sympathetic to the old regime, and plant your own people there as colonists. Most crusaders went a-crusading, killed a few mohammedians, and returned to Europe. No lasting victory and transformation of the facts on the ground could be achieved that way. More "Old Testament" and less "New Testament."

    Organization of the crusades was horrific. I leave it to others to recount the ways...

    Attacking the redoubt that protects the West from Islam (ERE/Byzantium) was asinine and set up Islam to be a-knocking at Europe's door.

    The wanton bloodletting was a terrific mistake, especially since they did not have the guts/foresight of the Romans to disperse the troublesome inhabitants. Perhaps Gibbon was right and Christianity is partly to blame Rome's and subsequent western failure to follow through.

    To sum up, my reservations WRT the Crusades are in the execution, not the justification.


    Quote Originally Posted by Watcher View Post
    The sad thing is that the europeans claimed to fight against "barbarians", while the enemy culture was actually totally superior and more advanced than their own, as they still knew many things that the europes lost after the fall of the ancient greek and roman empires (thus the Dark Age) and were worlds behind their enemies in their science and education
    Well, now, if hte enemy culture was totally superior, just how did it manage to lose Jerusalem the first time 'round?

    Oh, there were several/many areas where the muslims had it over the christians. The claim of "total superiority" is unjustified, IMO.

    Point for Discussion (As all I have to back it up is speculation)
    Also, just how much was Islam responsible for the wonderfulness of their dominion? The lands they captured were, for hte most part, civilized already. The Arab Bedouin tribesmen did not bring much to the table, culture-wise. Greco-Roman civilization in the former ERE lands and Hellenized lands to the east still clinging to the legacy of Alexander the Pretty Darn Good.

    One could argue that the wonderfulness of medieval Islam was riding the legacy & coat-tails of Rome & Greece. That the more Islamicised the population became over the centuries, the less the population retained of their former Greco-Roamn and Hellenized civilization. The level of Islamic civilization starts to coast and then retards relative the West until the West overtakes Islamic civilization sometime after Lepanto or Vienna (after Sobieski's thumping of the Turks).

    Or...the sheer vitality of Islamic culture re-vitalized the Greco-Roman & Helleized cultures and breathed new life into them...life that slowly faded as Islam faded.
    Regards,

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  9. #54
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    Crusades are totaly unjustified. The real reason is that catholic church wanted more territories. And those crimes in the name of the Christ... It's a heresy. Barbarians from west against great arabic and byzantine civilizations.
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  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labud_NS View Post
    Crusades are totaly unjustified. The real reason is that catholic church wanted more territories. And those crimes in the name of the Christ... It's a heresy. Barbarians from west against great arabic and byzantine civilizations.

    It is quite plain that you know nothing about the reason for a crusade in the first place. Please consult a reputable history book. It should prevent you from displaying your ignorance on the forum.

  11. #56
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    I know the reason for the Crusades, because I'm learning it on university.
    Byzantine emperor Aleksije (Alex) I asked for a few mercenary units from the west to help him against the Seldjuk Turks. Pope Urban II used that to claim the Holy War against the ubelievers who conquered the Jerusalem. This army came to conqer someone elses teritory. They did many crimes during those wars, especialy in Jerusalem and Carigrad (Constantinopolis).
    I can hardly uderstand the first war, when they had an idea to liberate the Holy Grave (but not the crimes comited during it - crimes in the name of Christ). But, what connection has demolishing and robbing of the Byzantine empire with the liberating of Holly Grave?
    The Western Europe was in dark age and Byzatium and Arabs were the real civilizations.
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  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labud_NS View Post
    I know the reason for the Crusades, because I'm learning it on university.
    Byzantine emperor Aleksije (Alex) I asked for a few mercenary units from the west to help him against the Seldjuk Turks. Pope Urban II used that to claim the Holy War against the ubelievers who conquered the Jerusalem. This army came to conqer someone elses teritory. They did many crimes during those wars, especialy in Jerusalem and Carigrad (Constantinopolis).
    I can hardly uderstand the first war, when they had an idea to liberate the Holy Grave (but not the crimes comited during it - crimes in the name of Christ). But, what connection has demolishing and robbing of the Byzantine empire with the liberating of Holly Grave?
    The Western Europe was in dark age and Byzatium and Arabs were the real civilizations.

    To STUDY history, you need to do more than read a few books and memorise a lot of dates, my friend. You need to know what each side now knows about events, and what they thought to be the case then. Putting yourself into the mindset of the ancients is impossible, as human man has become much more sophisticated. If you research, I mean really research a period in history, you will realise that it is the work of a lifetime, and even then you are limited in the number of sources you can study. On any syllabus there is only so much time allocated to a student. It is not enough, hence the superficial 'gloss' of the modern undergraduate.

  13. #58
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    You don't need "to hold me a letter", as we said, just tell me reasons why the crusades are justified if yuo are an expert for crusades.
    With Faith in God,
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  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labud_NS View Post
    You don't need "to hold me a letter", as we said, just tell me reasons why the crusades are justified if yuo are an expert for crusades.
    I do not claim to be an expert on the crusades. I was attempting to give you some advice. Whether you take it or not is up to you. Your attitude is simply too juvenile for me to want to continue this correspondence.

  15. #60
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    Basic tenets. Europe was not in a dark age. That term was invented by an Italian, the first of the Humanists and has been discredited. The period of the crusades was a period of clashes of civilizations, the crusades were a small part of the ongoing wars between the states of Europe and the Caliphate. When you start to look at it from that perspective, your understanding increases.

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