Friday, April 17, 2015

Wretched of the Earth

Peasant Armies, Apocalyptic Prophecies and the Christian Atrocities of the First Crusade

In the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. Deuteronomy, 20:16

If the history of holy wars has taught us anything, it is that the most direct path to God is through rivers of blood. Despite the official line of pacifistic cheek-turning, violent conquest has been a fairly consistent feature of Latin Christendom since the time of Constantine. It’s a religious legacy shaped far more by the sword than the cross, and more accurately represented by barbarian warlords then the benevolent apostles of Christ. But the First Crusade, as blood-soaked in violence as it was, represented something different; something almost otherworldly in the carnage it unleashed.