19 August 2013

The Crusades Have Returned

13 Elul 5773

Excerpted from The Crusades:

What were the Crusades?

The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched by the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens. The term 'Saracen' was the word used to describe a Moslem during the time of the Crusades. The Crusades started in 1095 when Pope Claremont preached the First Crusade at the Council of Claremont. The Pope's preaching led to thousands immediately affixing the cross to their garments.... The Crusades were great military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Mohammedans.

What was the Cause for the Crusades?

The reason for the crusades was a war between Christians and Moslems which centered around the city of Jerusalem. The City of Jerusalem held a Holy significance to the Christian religion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem commemorated the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial and was visited by Pilgrims. In 1065 Jerusalem was taken by the Turks and 3000 Christians were massacred starting a chain of events which contributed to the cause of the crusades.

What were the Objectives of the Crusades?

The Objectives of the crusades was at first to release the Holy Land, in particular Jerusalem, from the Saracens,....

Fast forward to the year 2001 and the beginning of the 21st Century Crusades:

Blackwater is a corporation that provides mercenary soldiers and supporting security personnel to the US government.

Erik Prince, the founder and owner of the now infamous US corporation, Blackwater, hails from Holland, Michigan where his family was both powerful and prominent in two institutions – (1) the Republican Party and (2) the evangelical Christian Church. After scandals hit his large and lucrative firm, Prince ordered a curious rebranding that changed its name to Xe.

X is an archaic form of abbreviation for Christ and/or Christian that was derived from the cross and the Greek Alphabet. X or Chi is the Greek letter that is the initial of “Christos” – X – which at the same time served as a symbol for the cross. Sometimes written Chi-Rho, (Xp) is another abbreviation for Christos and his followers, the Christians. From the perspective of medieval Christian symbology, ‘Xe’ is a combination of the Christic cross and the Greek letter, Epsilon, the first letter in the Greek word, Evangelion, glad tidings or gospel. From the perspective of a modern member of the Knights Templar, Xe is immediately recognizable as it symbolizes Christian Evangelism.

...[in] an excerpt of an article about Prince that appeared in The Economist:

In an affidavit lodged with a court in Virginia, one of the witnesses said that Mr Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.” The statement continues

To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy, knowing and wanting these men to take every available opportunity to murder Iraqis. Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.

Now, we must ask: What impact did the early crusades have on the Jews and what might it portend for us today?

The major watershed of Jewish history in the medieval world is the First Crusade.

The Crusades changed all of Jewish life in Europe. It changed the attitude of Christians towards Jews and Jews toward Christians… and even Jews towards Jews.

...the new Pope, Urban II, saw a golden opportunity. ...His idea was to raise a Christian army that would be under the command of the Pope. The Pope would send the army first to Turkey to defeat the Muslims and then onward to Jerusalem to capture the holy places from the Muslims and make Palestine a Christian country.

...In the Middle Ages, people were always wondering why there was so much trouble in the world. A preacher named Peter the Hermit said that all the troubles were rooted in the fact that the Holy Land was in the hands of non-believers, the Muslims. If somehow that situation could be rectified the world would settle into peace and tranquility. Therefore, he preached the Crusades and the Pope gave it his blessing.

How is this different from the idea that the dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians over Jerusalem is the source of all terrorism in the world? Essentially, it's not.

Now, tell me, would it shock you at this point to find out that an Israeli, former IDF soldier married to a missionary's daughter who is himself a Xian, would incite no less than the descendants of the Inquisition to launch a new crusade for Holy Jerusalem???

It's a very strange world we're living in, but somehow the more things change, the more they stay the same.