"Reports say radical Muslim jihadists killed thousands of people in the past few months alone. And yet when you take Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever, their combined killings in the name of religion----well, that would be zero."
The most inept (and illiterate) historians came out of the woodwork the days after President Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.
"Lest 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," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ."
Gasp!! Here was the President telling people that Christianity had actually committed crimes!! How blasphemous, how horrendously untrue, how ... accountable.
At this point, I wish to issue a disclaimer of sorts about my bias: one of the reasons I abandoned the Catholic faith is because of its whitewashing of its own history. Only within the last few papacies have there been a trifling mention of the atrocities carried on in the Name of God. As a student of history (sometimes erstwhile, but most times sincere, certainly more than David Barton), I became appalled at the crimes perpetrated from the second century on. Millions of murders had been swept underneath the rug of history - much like one of today's Texas textbooks.
The response was swift - and predictable:
"The president's comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I've ever heard a president make in my lifetime," said Jim Gilmore, the former Republican governor of Virginia. "He has offended every believing Christian in the United States."
"Why does he feel the need to go back 800 years?" This stupid, left-wing moral equivalency.
There are, in attendance, thousands of Christians of one denomination or another. Fundamentalists, evangelicals, Protestants, Catholics, the whole gamut. Why would you insult them? Why would you attempt to downplay militant Islam.
Not every Christian was "insulted" of course, just the self-righteous ones - the ones he was talking about being on our "high horse."
It Never (Really) Happened!!
When bloviators tell us what is history and what is fiction, it may be wise to think about the agenda of the bloviator. Rick Santorum, for example: (OpEdNews)
"The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical. And that is what the perception is by the American left who hates Christendom. They hate Western civilization at the core. That's the problem."
Beyond this misstatement, is the one by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (who, btw, demanded a full apology from Obama) claiming that the Inquisition was largely a myth.
Christians never killed in the name of religion. The Crusades were not prompted by religion. The Inquisition was mostly fictional. These were the kind of comments which earlier prompted me to dig up my own research which I called the Christian Crimeline. The crimeline published was partical, leading up only to the 14th century. Afterwards, however, was when the real blood-letting happened, but it all somehow escaped the history books read by people like Eric Bolling.
According to people like Bolling, the great Library of Alexandria was never burned (with pagans in it), the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre never happened, the Defenestration of Prague (bringing about the calamitous 30 Years War) never occurred and Christopher Columbus never enslaved Native Americans.
Wing Meltdown: A Study in Paranoia
It was all so wrong on so many levels, but it was the fact that the President even mentioned Christianity next to ISIL that got to them. The responses were paranoid pieces right out of Glenn Beck's book. Context? What context? Note what he said after the infamous comment:
"There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith," he said at the breakfast.
But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge -- or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. 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, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism -- terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.
Calling ISIL a "death cult" was, apparently, not enough.
The Truth Hurts
For all the Christian Crime deniers, there is one undeniable truth: Christianity definitely had a hand in heinous acts throughout history. From Patheos.com comes the first-hand chronicle of the First Crusade. It is a sickening, self-righteous chronicle of blood lust:
Wonderful sights were to be seen. Some of our men (and this was more merciful) cut off the heads of their enemies; others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers; others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. It was necessary to pick one's way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon, a place where religious services are normally chanted " in the temple and the porch of Solomon, men rode in blood up to their knees and bridle reins. Indeed it was a just and splendid judgement of God that this place should be filled with the blood of unbelievers since it had suffered so long from their blasphemies.
Hyperbole in victory is common, but if even one tenth of the
chronicle is true, then the Crusaders made ISIS look timid in comparison.