Maybe the Bible has it right about creation and the human species.

New research discovers that something “big” happened to the human genome, beginning some 5000 to 6000 years ago.

Most of the genetic quirks people carry today popped up within the last 5,000 years or so, researchers report online November 28 in Nature.

Link

Editor’s note: The six thousand year time frame coincides with the ancient’s world view, which dated the beginnings of human civilization to approximately six thousand years ago. This link explains how the 5th  century Catholic Church pretty much understood things to be.

Myth #1 about the Crusades

Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and even a cursory chronological review makes that clear. In a.d. 632, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa, Spain, France, Italy, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica were all Christian territories. Inside the boundaries of the Roman Empire, which was still fully functional in the eastern Mediterranean, orthodox Christianity was the official, and overwhelmingly majority, religion. Outside those boundaries were other large Christian communities—not necessarily orthodox and Catholic, but still Christian. Most of the Christian population of Persia, for example, was Nestorian. Certainly there were many Christian communities in Arabia.

By a.d. 732, a century later, Christians had lost Egypt, Palestine, Syria, North Africa, Spain, most of Asia Minor, and southern France. Italy and her associated islands were under threat, and the islands would come under Muslim rule in the next century. The Christian communities of Arabia were entirely destroyed in or shortly after 633, when Jews and Christians alike were expelled from the peninsula.6 Those in Persia were under severe pressure. Two-thirds of the formerly Roman Christian world was now ruled by Muslims.

What had happened? Most people actually know the answer, if pressed—though for some reason they do not usually connect the answer with the crusades. The answer is the rise of Islam. Every one of the listed regions was taken, within the space of a hundred years, from Christian control by violence, in the course of military campaigns deliberately designed to expand Muslim territory at the expense of Islam’s neighbors. 

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Why Is Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral In Al Qaeda’s Crosshairs?


While one doesn’t expect radical Islam to be familiar with Marian Apparitions or Catholic eschatology, it does appear that elements of radical Islam takes this all very seriously. Now some may say doesn’t Islam give great reverence to the Blessed Mother? Yes this is true. However, we have to look at the theology of the radical. In addition to being an Apostate faith, Christianity was in their eyes a failed religion. The rhetoric of Al Qaeda increasingly reflected a radicalized Muslim world. While the academics loved to reminisce about Islam’s cerebral side, the radicalized Islamic world quoted form the more militant parts of the Koran. They loved to remind the unbelievers of how Islam spread the faith with the sword farther in one century than Christianity had with kindness and love for seven centuries.

Dr Yossef Bodansky provides us with an interesting glimpse into this mindset. Dr Bodansky refers to a January 7, 1994 speech given by former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani. The former Iranian president stated that Christ’s message had failed, because Jesus had been incapable of bringing man to God, so God had to send Muhammad to get the job done. In other words, the Islamic Conquest of the Middle East, North African and southern Europe was necessary, only because Christianity had failed.

This is an interesting statement because although Rafsanjnai is a Shiite and Al Qaeda is Sunni, the message is the same; Christianity failed and conquest was needed to bring man to God. However, even in their defense of the Islamic Conquest, these two radical wings of Islam are forced to admit that Christianity was alive and well in the Middle East and North Africa centuries before the arrival of Islam. One of the familiar themes on any Al Qaeda tape is the plea to remove the infidel from Islamic lands.

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Polish King John Sobieski and the first 9/11

Retouching the Egregious Distortions of the Crusades

godswar

Retouching the Egregious Distortions of the Crusades

Review: November 2007 By Philip Blosser. Philip Blosser is Professor of Philosophy at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina.
God’s War: A New History of the Crusades.  By Christopher Tyer­man. Harvard University Press (Belknap). 1040 pages.

The Crusades are generally viewed today as the historical Western equivalent of the jihad — only, in this case, against Islam — a series of holy wars instigated by power-crazed popes and fought by religious fanatics. They are thought to have been the epitome of Western arrogance, self-righteousness, and intolerance — a shameful skeleton in the closet of the Catholic Church and the Western world. By their rampaging incursion into Palestine, Crusaders are supposed to have introduced proto-imperialist Western aggression and barbarism into the peaceful Middle East and debased the enlightened Islamic culture, leaving it in shambles. From Sir Steven Runciman’s classic three-volume epic, History of the Crusades, to the BBC/A&E documentary on the Crusades hosted by Terry Jones several years ago, one needn’t look far for variations on this theme. These pass for standard Western histories these days, even though they are as appallingly inaccurate as they are entertaining.

Thanks to the work of historians such as Jonathan Riley-Smith (Cambridge), Edward Peters (University of Pennsylvania), Donald E. Queller (University of Illinois, ret.), and Thomas Madden (St. Louis University), some of the more egregious distortions of this portrait are being retouched. Perhaps not all would go as far as Madden in describing the Crusades as defensive wars in direct response to Muslim aggression, but there is little question that the colossus of the medieval world was Islam, not Christendom. The Crusades were clearly attempts to meet the challenge of the Muslim conquests of Christian lands in the East. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that Crusading, far from being a lucrative undertaking, was notoriously bad as an economic investment. Many wealthy noblemen were practically bankrupted by mounting a Crusading expedition. Rather, as Peters shows, a spiritual purpose animated Crusaders: While killing was normally wrong, avenging the deaths of fellow Christians as instruments of God’s justice came to be seen as a positively redemptive undertaking. Crusading, as Riley-Smith has argued, was understood in this light as “an act of love” — articulated as a self-sacrificial ideal in Christ’s words, “Greater love than this hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:13). In Madden’s view, the two primary goals of the Crusades were, first, to rescue Christians of the East who had been conquered by Muslim invaders and, second, to liberate Jerusalem and the Holy Land, which had been made holy by the Incarnation and earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Oxford historian Christopher Tyerman is no stranger to the views embodied either in the textbook tradition represented by Runciman’s classic history of the Crusades or the more recent corrective — others would say “revisionist” — efforts represented by Riley-Smith and others mentioned above. Tyerman’s perspective is that of a self-consciously Western secular European, trying to offer as even-handed an account of the Crusades as possible. He does not cynically assume that the Crusades were motivated only by politics and economics, or that they were precursors of colonialism and racism. Instead, he respectfully corrects the errors and untenable suppositions underlying these earlier views of the Crusades, while also giving due respect to prior scholarship where it is warranted. He neither demonizes Islam nor engages in Euro-bashing. Rather than configuring the past as “comfortingly different from the present” or as a “mirror to the present,” he undertakes to explore the history of the Crusades “as far as possible on its own terms.”

Tyerman thus seeks to avoid two common pitfalls of historical interpretation. The first is seen in an attitude of “condescending historical snobbery” that dismisses our ancestors as less educated, less refined, more brutal, credulous, and hypocritical than we are today. This attitude is simply born of ignorance. The second is to presume direct causal connections between atrocities committed by Crusaders and terrorist acts committed by Muslim jihadists today, or direct parallels between U.S. strategies today and the medieval Crusades. Tyerman does not excuse the Crusaders’ slaughter or exonerate Christendom for its sanctification of it; neither does he vilify medieval Christianity.

Perhaps nothing so clearly illustrates Tyerman’s nuanced approach to his subject as his treatment of the Fourth Crusade and its notorious sacking of Constantinople, which is usually portrayed as an irrefutable indictment against the whole Crusading endeavor. By all accounts, excesses were committed in the sacking of Constantinople. However, as Tyerman writes, “the indiscriminate violence and pillage of the assault was reined in the day after the crusaders’ entry…. The sack of Constantinople was an atrocity, but in terms of the day not a war crime.” Tyerman repeatedly points out that a concern that surfaced during the Crusades was whether or not their battles met the criteria for a “just war.” The Crusaders did not view their own cause in every instance as being automatically just, but as one that frequently needed to be reviewed and justified.

No less unsparing is Tyerman in his efforts at even-handed and brutal honesty where it concerns memories painful to Christians, as in the Jewish pogrom of 1096. After a detailed account of forced baptisms and slaughter, he writes: “The lust for money alone cannot explain the consistent flouting of canon law and religious teaching witnessed by the repeated forcible conversions. Nothing in official Christian doctrine justified slaying Jews. Pope Alexander II had explicitly prohibited it….”

Crusading, of course, finally waned in European history. The last formal Crusade was the Holy League against the Ottomans in 1684-1699. According to Tyerman, it was the weakening of papal power and the rise of secular governments in Europe that finally doomed the Crusading impulse in Europe. This did not mean that the Crusading spirit died out altogether. “Crusading, far from an anachronism, provided one impetus for the European age of discovery,” he writes. “In presenting a spiritualized vision of reality, it recognized the temporal world and the actual experience of man while offering to transform both.”

Tyerman’s is a massive and monumental book. Many medievalists have hailed it as the single best book on the Crusades to date, as one that may supplant, if not surpass, Runciman’s three-volume classic. God’s War is truly encyclopedic, treating not only the conventional Crusades in the East, but the Albigensian Crusades in France, as well as the Crusades in Spain, the Baltic, and Balkans. It brings us to the summits to view the panoramic historical sweep and recollect the insights gleaned in the course of the journey.

Submitted by Doria2

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