President Obama said something, which invariably means he’s the anti-christ,and the right-wing will have to appear on every Fox News program to let that be known. I’m referring, of course, to the 24-7 manufactured outrage machine going berserk and totally misunderstanding the very basic point of President Obama’s comments. Moreover, his comments regarding ISIS and insane people using religion to further their crazy ends. I personally find all religions crazy (sometimes it’s the crazier the hat) and rife with outdated customs and hypocrisies, but that’s not what President Obama was talking about.
Addressing a gathering of people this past Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama said that we have seen “professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good but twisted in the name of evil.”
“From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith – their faith – profess to stand up for Islam but in fact are betraying it,” he said.
“Slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” he added.
“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place – remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” the president said. (Fox News)
Surely all the god-fearing, sanctimonious Christians at Fox News understood that President Obama was merely trying to point out how religion has been perverted throughout history to justify some pretty evil crap. That would be fantasy! All they see is the Kenyan socialist Muslim and hear Christianity and deduce that Obama hates christianity. Moreover, it served as yet another attempt to take a cheap shot at Obama as demonstrated by the comments on The Kelly File’s Facebook page.
Indeed, while the crusades were waged more than 700 years ago and people aren’t presently being slaughtered or beheaded in the name of Christianity, we still have the KKK and the Phineas Priesthood, a known Christian terrorist group. And then there’s the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, which is notorious for committing massacres. Not that those numbers are comparable to the vast amount of people killed by muslim extremists, but actual numbers have little to do with it. Moreover, two or two million…it’s the fact that religion is being used to justify these acts of wanton violence. So right-wingers mostly just saw it as an opportunity to engage in Baracknaphobia
So how did those wacky Crusades begin?
According to PBS:
The Crusades began in 1095 with a call by Pope Urban II to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslim Turks, sparking two centuries of conflict between Christian armies from Europe and Muslims in the present-day Middle East. Tens of thousands of people were believed to have been killed in the bloody wars between the various armies, which also included mass killings of Jews and other civilians by crusading fighters.
And while conservatives are momentarily pretending to give a crap about history instead of trying to revise it for their own personal benefit, like what’s going on now an AP history course, an episcopal priest was quite apt in pointing out some really rotten and unprovoked things Christians did during the Crusades. For example, the story of the Cathars — a Christian sect deemed heretical in the 13th century and savagely butchered by Christian Crusaders in France. In all honesty, if it weren’t for Google and if someone asked me who the Cathars were, my mind would probably go to that place where Sarah Palin’s mind always goes.
At any rate, the Episcopal priest offered a very succinct examination of them in his blog for the Huffington Post:
The Pope ordered a crusade against the Cathars in southern France. He said any crusader who answered the call would be given the same rewards as a crusader who went to the Holy Land. This was an absolution of all sin.
In the Launguedoc, on the 22nd of July 1209, a force of about 30,000 Crusaders arrived at the walls of Beziers bearing the cross pattee to mislead and create ease among the Cathars, thinking they were friend, not foe, and demanded that about 200 Cathars be surrendered.
The people of the town who were mostly Catholic, said that rather than turn over their friends and family, “we would rather be flayed alive.”
A mistake by the defenders of Beziers let thousands of attackers in and Arnauld Amaury made the famous quote “Kill them all, God knows his own” on being asked how to tell who were Cathars during the assault. Everyone in the town was killed, some while taking refuge in the church.
It is guessed that 20,000 were killed, many of whom were Catholics and not Cathars at all. The crusade became known as the Albigensian crusade after the town of Albi. Ordered by the Pope to continue until the whole South of France was controlled and all Cathars were dead, in 1210, they attacked the fortress at Minerv and built “the first great bonfire of heretics” — beginning the practice of burning at the stake that would continue in the Inquisition of the Counter-Reformatio
So there you go, Fox News–Christians did so some awful and unprovoked sh*t during the Crusades, even though specifics really weren’t the president’s point. Hence the reason why he mentioned a whole slew of events throughout history, including contemporary history. Let’s just be glad that he wasn’t wearing a taupe suit at the breakfast.