Archive for April, 2015

 

In the era of modern democracies I grew up in – the thought of defending religious freedom has not come up much since World War II. Then the Nazis decided Jews and other peoples were inferior and proceed to eliminate them. I remember once as a youth telling a Jewish acquaintance a joke in very poor taste and getting admonished about how it could happen again. I took her point to heart but it had not occurred to me – that jokes and other verbal attacks against a people/religion could eventually be seen as ok and the first step to attack a culture or group of people at large.

 

When I was a kid I heard about religious martyrs and thought they were a thing of the past. A religious martyr is one who is persecuted and killed for their religion in the simplest of terms. So if you decide to attack a people because they are a different faith than yourself – you have the makings of martyrdom. Yesterday I heard about an Islamic terrorist group that went into a college and rooted out the Christians and killed them – while letting the Muslims live. We in the USA realized the Islamic extremism was a threat to us since the first attack on our soil in the 1993 World Trade Center bomb attack and subsequent 9-11-2001 attacks.

 

It seems so strange to Americans that in other parts of the world – not everyone has the freedom to practice whatever religion they want without fear of persecution. Our country was founded on this principle and for a long time our oceans have protected us. But in many places in the world one cannot be a true secularist and ignore the issue of faith and power. Even here in the USA, we have liberal media and special interest groups constantly attacking religious people and moral tenets so I’m guessing eventually Christianity take on more of a defensive posture.

 

So without trying to solve the moral dilemma’s of today – I will delve back a bit into history to how Christian’s attempted to defend themselves while making pilgrimages into the Holy Lands. In a nut shell Christians have always lived in the Holy Lands (or Middle East) ever since Jesus. But in the 11th century the Turks and Arabs were raiding Christian pilgrims – necessitating a self-defense response – the Crusades! There was a lot more going on and according the historical revisionists (many Muslims and strangely enough some Christian Protestants), the Crusaders were the bad guys. You can research yourself but the premise of those arguments seem to be that the pilgrims were not attacked and the Crusaders where treasure hunters and immoral people.

 

In this post I am going to speak a bit about the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon – the Knights Templar, who were at the heart of conflicts after the first Crusades and I will contrast these with some similar attacks going on today.  But first here is the beautiful Templar chant – Da Pacem Domine (translation here)

 

 

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