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mele said:
Which baffles me because from what I can tell, the Muslim religion is peaceful, as is Christianity.
Agreed. A distinction must be drawn between the doctrines of the founder of a religion (such as the teachings of Jesus Christ) vs. what people today 'interpret' those doctrines to be.

What makes me sick is when people attack religion universally and act as if it is somehow a bad thing: the crusades would have happened whether or not a bunch of white guys got to paint crosses onto their shields, so let's not pretend like Jesus had anything to do with it.

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I completely agree re: the separation of church and state, so we don't need to get into that.

AK said:
Crusades were predominantly a religiously-motivated war of conquest, then backed for more common reasons, resources and more land.
What makes you so sure of this? In history, when has a state ever found enough motivation to carry out any act lest there was a natural resource to be gained?

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AK said:
At this point in history, 11-1300, the Church WAS a State. They even had their own lands, and were capable of raising defense forces. And the Church (Particularly the Pope) had amazing political power.

What happened is that the Feudal system was burning itself out. There wasn't really enough land to go around to this number of knights and landowners and suchforth, so it then became critical to get more.
This, I believe, lays the foundation for the motivations of war, after which...

AK said:
During this process, they made contact with the "Sarceians" or "Eastern Peoples." Then the Pope found out:
"stuff. They don't worship the same God as I do. Let's take them out."
And everybody went:
"Sure thing Pope, just don't excommunicate me."
I'm still not convinced the pope thought, "Different God, a necessity for war!" but rather, "Different God, no one'll mind taking their things!" I still think that religion was the excuse, but had Europe been land-a-plenty, the pope wouldn't have cared that much 'bout the Muslims.

Do you believe the crusades would have occured had it not been for the dwindling land resources of Europe? This is what I fail to be convinced of (although I am open to it being a possibility).

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