Had enough of the Crusades kerfuffle? I didn't think so!
Trevin Wax posted on the topic, President Obama and the Problem Of Religious Conviction, and he hit on the key point. There was a lot wrong with President Obama's speech but the Crusades comment wasn't the real issue. The really telling statement was that for the President and a lot of modern religious progressive pontificators, what they really dislike is confidence in your faith or as Trevin writes: For President Obama, faith is not the enemy, but confidence.
Our society is moving to a place where the only sin is believing too seriously. As Trevin also points out, believing in Christianity too seriously, being too confident was not the problem of the Crusades. Rather they were not Christian at all.
My point is this: you don’t deal with violent expressions of faith by pretending that confidence is the problem and content doesn’t matter.
And yes, sinful humans have committed atrocities in the name of Christ, but in each of these cases, the problem was a failure to be true to the content of the Christian faith. It wasn’t certitude and confidence in Christianity that led to the Crusades, but the idea that Jesus could be coopted by a political and military endeavor. The crusaders weren’t “holding too tightly” to the content of Christianity; they weren’t holding tightly enough. How else can we explain the transformation of a Savior suffering for His enemies into a warring king charging into foreign lands?
Thank you, finally someone who doesn't feel the need to respond by claiming that the Crusades weren't all that bad and after all those darn Muslims started it! Just because something has a cross on it, we are not obligated to defend it when the actions are antithetical to the Gospel.
This event has exposed a serious flaw in our thinking as the church and it is long overdue that we stamp it out. The more serious we are about out faith, the less willing we should be to use the means of the world rather than following the way of the cross.