The Crusades and American Religious Mythology

We are strangers and pilgrims. This world is not our home. Our treasure is in heaven. There is nothing to fight over down here. The Kingdom of God is not of this world, if it were, the followers of Christ would fight for it. Followers of Christ don’t fight for earthly kingdoms.

Yet there is a notion in Christianity that God will bless our nation, or that God helped us rebel against the King of England (even though the Bible very clearly says to live in subjection to government leaders). There was a significant portion of the Church in America that resisted the Revolution.

Yet the myth continues, that America is the shining light on a hill and God blessed us over all other nations. Which created art work such as this:


The Crusades were started by religious folk who thought they needed to defend God’s territory on earth, primarily Jerusalem. They also thought God was on their side. Take a look at a picture of a crusader found in the Westminster Psalter from 1200:


So, yeah, I’ll just leave that right there.

Remember junior high history class learning about Manifest Destiny? Our God-given right to kill Indians and take their land?

Yup, very little difference between the crusades and any other secular war that has the veneer of religion.

Be careful out there. Not all things are as they seem.