(75) Wed 17 Aug 94 10:37
By: LARRY SITES
Re: Crusades defended
From: firstname.lastname@example.org file: CRUSADE.OBJECTS Other such jewels via
internet mail commands INDEX and HELP. Enjoy, Larry
By: Humbert Of Romans
OBJECTIONS TO CRUSADES ANSWERED!
Christian History Magazine, Page 20,21.
Did people speak out against the Crusades? Yes, but as historians Louise
and Jonathan Riley-Sith explain, "Criticism of crusading ... was much less
wide spread ... than is often believed." And when objections did arise,
they could be forcefully answered, as shown in the following treatise.
Humbert of Romans, a former leader of the Dominican Order, wrote this
"closely argued tour de force" in about 1272. Here are brief excerpts,
translated by the Riley-Smiths:
AN EXPERIENCED CRUSADE PREACHER DEFENDS HOLY WAR.
THERE ARE SOME men given over to leisure who avoid all labor for Christ and
are in the habit of condemning the measures the church has undertaken
againist the Saracens, like people, to use Jerome's words, who always pass
judgments on everything and can think of nothing to do themselves. These
people are like those spies who disparaged the task of gaining the Promise
Land, and frightened the people, and therefore were destroyed in the
CHRIST AND THE SAINTS DID NOT SHED BLOOD.
OBJECTION: Some of these critics say it is not in accordance with the
Christian religion to shed blood in this way, even that of wicked infidels.
Fo Christ did not act thus; rather, "When he suffered, he threatened not,
delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly," as Peter says. The
saints of old did not teach this either. One should conclude, therefore,
that the Christian religion, which ought to adhere to the example and
teaching of Christ and the saints, ought not initiate wars of any kind
ANSWER: Who is so stupid as to dare to say that, were infidels or evil men
to desire to kill every Christian and to wipe out the worship of Christ
the world, one ought not to resist them? It is clear in the teaching of
Christ himself, who says, "He that hath no sword, let him sell his coat and
buy a sword." What the Lord said to Peter, "Put up again thy sword," etc.,
applied to Peter on that particular occasion. It must be held without
that it is not incosistent with the Christian religion to wage war
to circumstances against Saracens, extremely wicked men and particluar
enemies of Christendom.
WE SHOULD DEFEND BUT NOT ATTACK.
There are those who say that, although we have a duty to defend our selves
against the Saracens when they attack us, it does not seem that we ought to
attack their lands or their persons when they leave us in peace.
I would reply that the Saracens are so hostile to Christians that they do
spare them whenever they have chance of defeating them. This is why the
Christias attack them on their own territory to weaken their power. If the
Christians had not done this, the Saracens would already have overwhelmed
almost the whole of Christendom.
It is not against God and apostolic teaching for Saracens to be killed by
Christians, because they have a law which forbids them ever to hear Christ
spoken of. They are the fig-tree from which there is no hope of bearing
fruit. And so, if such a fig-tree ought to be cut down, according to the
saying, it is obvious that those people ought to be removed from the world.
But it must be said in addition that the lands the Saracens now hold were
th hands of Christians before the time of Muhammad; they seized the
opportunity of taking them away from the Christians, and they never had a
just cause to occupy them. So when Christians invade the lands in which
live, they are not invading other people's territory but rather intending
regain their own.
WE DON'T ATTACK OTHER GROUPS OF UNBELIEVERS.
Others say that if we ought to rid the world of Saracens, why do we not do
the same to the Jews, and why do we not treat thje Saracens who are our
subjects in the same way? Why do we not proceed with the same zeal
any other idolaters who still exist in the world?
As far as the Jews are concerned, it hs been prophesied that in the end the
remnant of them will be converted; as far as the conversion of the Saracens
is concerned, no one has any reason to expect it, according to the judgment
of hell, because no man can reach them to preach the gospel to them. They
[the Jews] must be tolerated because there is hope that they may be
converted, just as not does not immediately cut down a tree from which
is still hope of fruit. The same reasons for forbearance apply to the
Saracens who are subject to us. For they, whether they like it or not, can
be forced to listen to preaching, by which some are sometimes converted.
ATTACKS DO NOT CONVERT MUSLIMS BUT ANGER THEM.
Other people are asking, What is the point of this attack on the Saracens?
For they are not roused to conversion by it but rather are stirred up
the Christian faith. When we are victorious and have killed the, moreover,
we send them to hell, which seems to be against the law of charity.
When we get possession of the Saracens, the filthy practices of their
damnable worship are driven out, and the true veneration of God, the Holy
Trinity, Jesus Christ, and his saints is introduced in them. And this is
spiritually fruitful in three ways: it leads to the honor of God, the
salvation of Christians, and the extensions of the church is so far as God
In reply to the point made about sending them to hell, it would be said
it is not the Christians' intention to do this but to deal with them as is
just, like a judge dealing with a thief. May they see for themselves where
they are going when they leave this world.
***** FUNDI logic alert [LGS] ******
Nevertheless, divine providence
treats them kindly, because it is better for them to die sooner rather than
later on account of their sins, which increase as long as they live.
[Maybe some fundi can explain just exactly why it is better to die young
and go to hell early, rather than to live a long life before spending
eternity in hell. Larry Sites]
IF THE CRUSADES WERE GOD'S WILL, HE WOULD PROTECT US.
Others say that it does not appear to be God's will that Christians should
proceed against Saracens in this way, because of the misfortunes which God
has allowed and is still allowing to happen to the Christians engaged in
business. For how could God have allowed Saladin to retake from us, almost
a blow, nearly all the land which had been won with so much Christian blood
and toil, if this kind of proceeding had been pleasing to him?
People who speak like this do not understand at all well how God acts. Not
only do trials befall good and evil men alike; no, sometimes, what is more
extraordinary, they befall more frequently the good rather than the evil.
it is written about the wicked, "They spend their days in wealth," etc.,
about the good it is said, "All that have pleased God passed through many
tribulations, remaining faithful."
Sometimes these misfortunes happen to our men on account of our sins.
Sometimes misfortunes occur because we are incautious and rash. And there
are other hidden treasons flowing from the vast depths of the judgments of
But these considerations ought not to give rise to the criticism I
before, but to other good things. For the hammer of this kind of adversity
does not usually destroy good men, but instead makes them stand more
as is sung by the Psalmist: "All these things have come upon us: yet we
not forgotten thee: And our heart hath not turned back."
* WR # 398 * No evidence, no belief; know evidence, know belief.
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