The Battle For Jerusalem
It is telling that religion is a place where often the insane find solace for crimes that could never be justified in any reasonable way. Here we look at a few horrific moments in history and the quotes by clerics, up to their knees in blood, that are unintentionally and ironically hilarious.
The Crusades were the ultimate imprecation of religious intensity as a source for genocide. We all know that intense beliefs create intense activity. Human beings all like to believe that they have a monopoly on the truth. This foible is the precursor to all war, I believe. Yes the fight for resources of course is one of the reasons human beings kill each other. However when there is food in abundance, religion then prods people to spoil the day.
Comedian Bill Maher makes the claim that Islam is the most dangerous religion in the world and it is Jihadists that we have to fear. It’s an odd comment from such a smart man. History tells us that every epoch has an extraordinarily odious religious dogmatism that stifles freedom and kills people. Historically the Roman Catholic Church has probably caused more war and bloodshed and torture than any one religion. You could argue that jihadists killing six people in a market in France and then 20 people in a bus in Karachi makes Islamic Jihad a great problem. I wonder who counts the dead when a Russian jet bomber hits a market in Syria trying to knock out rebels. I wonder who separates the threats from the collateral damage? Capitalism ( the fight for resources) is the largest impetus for war, and religion is the largest mask for it.
That all said churches have been particularly hard on Jews. In 1095, the First Crusade was launched. Deus Vult, God wills it, the call went out. The rationale went out with that as well. Before the Christians went into the Holy Land, they decided to mundify the infidels amongst themselves. They began by dragging thousands of Jews from their homes, and burning them to death or put them to the sword. One French Cleric wrote: “In the temple of Solomon, one rode in blood up to the knees and even to the horses’ bridles, by the just and marvelous judgment of God.”
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux launched the Second Crusade: “The Christian glories in the death of a pagan, because thereby Christ himself is glorified.”
During the Third Crusade Richard the Lion-Hearted captured Acre in 1191. He ordered 3000 prisoners, many of them Jewish women and children slaughtered. He also had their bowels opened and their entrails examined to see if they had swallowed any jewelry or gems.
In 1298 German knight Rindfliesch led mounted soldiers on an expedition that exterminated almost 150 defenseless Jewish communities in under a year.
During the second Crusades rumors held that Jews were crucifying Jesus again by stealing communion wafers and driving nails through them. At this accusation, thousands of Jews were burned at the stake in 1243 in Belitz, Germany
John Chrysotom, an early Church Father spoke of Jews this way:
“But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them aside and were at great pains to reject them. The morning Sun of Justice arose for them, but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness. We, who were nurtured by darkness, drew the light to ourselves and were freed from the gloom of their error. They were the branches of that holy root, but those branches were broken. We had no share in the root, but we did reap the fruit of godliness. From their childhood they read the prophets, but they crucified him whom the prophets had foretold. We did not hear the divine prophecies but we did worship him of whom they prophesied. And so they are pitiful because they rejected the blessings which were sent to them, while others seized hold of these blessing and drew them to themselves. Although those Jews had been called to the adoption of sons, they fell to kinship with dogs; we who were dogs received the strength, through God’s grace, to put aside the irrational nature which was ours and to rise to the honor of sons. How do I prove this? Christ said: “It is no fair to take the children’s bread and to cast it to the dogs”. Christ was speaking to the Canaanite woman when He called the Jews children and the Gentiles dogs.”
Genocide is almost the natural conclusion to people who feel this way. Anyone can cherry pick the Bible or any bible for any religion and find cause to make war. You can also find passages like “Thou shalt not Kill” and take it to heart.