Our President, Barack Obama said in a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, the following:
“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,… In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
OK then… since I look upon it as being my duty to keep you – all of my readers well-informed whenever these historical parallels are invoked, let me PLEEEASE do so now:
The Crusades = 1095 – 1291
The next three sections were taken directly from “Wikipedia”….
The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages and Late Middle Ages. In 1095 Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade with the stated goal of restoring Christian access to holy places in and near Jerusalem. Following the First Crusade there was an intermittent 200-year struggle for control of the Holy Land, with six more major crusades and numerous minor ones. In 1291, the conflict ended in failure with the fall of the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land at Acre, after which Roman Catholic Europe mounted no further coherent response in the east.
Eight hundred years after the Fourth Crusade, Pope John Paul II twice expressed sorrow for the events surrounding it. In 2004, while Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople, was visiting the Vatican, John Paul II asked, “How can we not share, at a distance of eight centuries, the pain and disgust.” This has been regarded as an apology to the Greek Orthodox Church for the terrible slaughter perpetrated by the warriors of the Fourth Crusade.
So yes, atrocities were committed in the name of Christ.
The Spanish Inquisition = 1478 – @ 1700’s officially 1834.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition (Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition, which was under Papal control. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. Hideous forms of torture were used throughout the Inquisition to force nonbelievers to confess to heresy.
The Inquisition was originally intended in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Judaism and Islam. This regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave. The body was under the direct control of the Spanish monarchy. It was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II, after a period of declining influence in the previous century.
So yes, once again atrocities were committed in the name of Christ.
Jim Crow Laws = @ 1890 – 1965
The Jim Crow laws were racial segregation state and local laws enacted after the Reconstruction period in Southern United States that continued in force until 1965 mandating de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern U.S. states (of the former Confederacy), starting in 1890 with a “separate but equal” status for African Americans. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that were inferior to those provided for white Americans. It institutionalized a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.
So yes, injustice was practiced, frequently in the name of Christ, and much of that is discussed in this Blog.
“ISIS” (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) = RIGHT NOW
According to a U.N. Report released today, the Islamic State group is systematically killing, torturing and raping children and families of minority groups in Iraq, and it is calling on government forces there to do more to protect them. In a report issued Wednesday in Geneva, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said it has received reports of “several cases of mass executions of boys, as well as reports of beheadings, crucifixions of children and burying children alive.” And of course we have the be-headings of foreign journalists, and aid workers, and yesterday’s news of the burning alive of a caged Jordanian Air Force Pilot. And all of this happening NOT in the 13th Century, nor the 15th to the 18th Century, nor even 50 years ago, but RIGHT FREAKING NOW.
I just thought that a little historical prospective was called for…