When Did Crusade Become a Dirty Word? (Opinion)
Nearly 50 years have passed since I was taught to sing Onward Christian Soldiers.
Today, the music would be considered politically incorrect.
This morning, I realized I don’t remember many of the words but the tune is still fresh. We sang the song at a Vacation Bible School and I can still remember the illustration in the book. Cartoon crusaders in chainmail emblazoned with the Cross of Jesus.
Today, the music would be considered politically incorrect. Revisionist history portrays the Crusades as evil and the Muslims as a heroic people defending their land (captured earlier from others). A decade ago a popular movie even had the crusaders spared when Jerusalem fell. Only a partial truth. One third were spared. One third were executed. One third were sold by the Muslims into slavery. The Christians were spared, killed or sold by lot.
About the same time I was singing the song, there was a TV commercial featuring a man watching a film about the Roman “games”. He’s shifting in his living room seat as he watches the Christians being gobbled by lions. A voiceover intones: It wasn’t always easy to be a Christian. It still isn’t.
A couple of recent stories caught my attention and raise a question. Is faith worth fighting for? Christianity really is the story of Western Culture. When a court demands a cross erected as a war memorial be removed, is it possible to nullify the decision of the judges? Secondly, the liberals behind the ruling may be working for a darker force.
What would a modern crusade resemble? Should we recede from the larger and increasingly godless culture? Should we resist attempts to tear down history and faith?