The Transylvania Times -

The Crusades


June 29, 2017

The Crusades took place between the 11th and 15th centuries. They were sanctioned by the Popes in control of the Roman Catholic Church during that period. Contrary to their originally stated aims (creating a path for Christians to Jerusalem), Crusaders often pillaged and killed innocents as they traveled, and their leaders retained much of the conquered territory.

By the time the 13th century rolled around, the Crusades aimed not so much at toppling Muslim forces in the Holy Land but combating any and all of those seen as enemies of the Christian faith. Though the Church organized minor Crusades with limited goals after 1291, such efforts disappeared in the 16th century, with the rise of the Reformation and the decline of papal authority.

Christendom as we know it today was transformed by the Protestant Reformation that started with Martin Luther in 1417. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 dates the end of Christendom’s papal authority and the rise of Protestantism.

The teachings of the caliphs, imams, and mullahs, after Muhammad’s death in A.D. 632, kept the Muslim world knowledgeable about Western Christendom and its connection to militarism. The Crusades reinforced Muslim teachings about the ongoing battle between Christians and Muslims. Muslims learned that Christians were dangerous. Some Muslims, angered by the teachings of their leaders, have become opposed to anything Western. Now, in 2017, referred to as radical Islamists, they are driven to reestablish the Muslim caliphate across the world.

Today the West is militaristic when necessary for defensive purposes. But this stance is totally opposite the militarism inspired by the papal authority before and after the Crusades. Unfortunately, too many people define today’s Christianity and militarism as being the same as that practiced before 1648. It is not. Although contemporary Americans support the creation of defensive military forces, they did not create the Crusades nor would they now condone them.

No matter your political leanings or your circumstances, take the time to recognize that in America we are free to read, study and gain truthful knowledge that clarifies our lives.

Al Mercer



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