Wednesday, May 11, 2005


A new movie is out, The Kingdom of Heaven. It stars Orlando Bloom. I haven't seen it yet, but will. It's subject: the Holy Crusades - a period of about 300 years (11th-13th century) when Christendom went completely mad and thought that possessing the Holy Land, which meant killing thousands, was their mission on earth. From the write-ups and radio spots I gather that in this movie, they try to make sense of it all and give heroic status to at least some of the Crusaders. No wonder the Islamic world sees Christianity as their enemy - in the Crusades, Jesus is pictured as a conquistador - slaughtering all who will not submit to Him.

Like I say, I haven't seen the movie and this is not about that - it is the irritation of being misrepresented. I am a Christian and have been for over fifty years. I know that the Crusades did not in any way represent the ministry of Christ on earth (many don't). I also know that today, those who claim to represent Christ on earth; speaking daily through sattelite transmissions on TV - do not necessarily represent Him either. What it seems to me that they are doing is waging their own modern Moral Crusade. Their strategy: to blot out anyone who disagrees with them. Their narrow interpretation of the Bible and their brand of Christianity is much like the feared fundamentalist factions of Isalm - its main tenant is intolerance. Any and all who disagree with them, must be crushed.

In the last few years, these right-wing fundamentalists have been able to win considerable influence in the government of the United States and now that they are in power, they hope to undo many of the freedoms of expression gained in the last century. They want to re-establish and legitimize discrimination and hate as a way to deal with the homeless, abortion, homosexuality and illegals aliens - and call it "morality" and do it in the name of Christ. They play on the uncertainty of those who are less judgmental - using fear to bring them up as supporters of their Crusade of "morality."

Liberals, for the most part seemed stunned by the exuburance and vitality of the right-wing fundies. Though they were evidently taken off guard, I hope they wake up soon before too much damage is done. It is my hope and belief that the American people, who generally believe in "live and let live," will finally grow weary of judgmentalism and will recall the Crusaders next opportunity.


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