The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

Crusades, part of history but not relevant in attacking Christians today.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 845 times Debate No: 37727
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




My opponent, con, must have the stand point of the Crusades can be used to argue with a Christian that the Christian religion is "bad" or that Christians are responsible for the Crusades
I will argue why it isn't relevant in context.
1st round acceptance
next three rounds are debate periods.

1. Be civil, no snarky remarks.
2. If any bible verses are to be used must be kept in the context of the passage it is in.
{Please use the NKJ or NIV version if you do use it. )

Violation of these simple rules mean that you forfeit the debate, and voter should keep in mind when voting.


Greetings to my opponent.

I accept the debate format and intend on proving both of his contentions as stated previously:

1) Christians were responsible for the Crusades,

2) That the occurance of the Crusades played a large role in the "bad" aspects of Christian history, and is relevant to criticism of Christians and their theology today.

As I expect this to be a primarily historical debate, I doubt I will need to quote Scripture; however, I do not object to your use of the Bible as a source should you choose to do so - though I reserve the right to question its objectivity and accuracy without being called intolerant.

Furthermore, your characterization of "bad" is a tad ambiguous, so I hope you will not object if I supply a definition:

bad: "morally objectionable : evil".

If you don't agree with this definition, please supply an alternative, though I'm sure this wont be a problem.

Good luck!

Debate Round No. 1


Thank you to my opponent for entering into this debate with me.
I suppose I should have clarified my position and definitions better. Thank you for supplying a definition, I do not oppose it.
I should state my position better though before we continue farther. I am coming from the position that the crusades were Bad under your stated definition, and the so called Christians of that day under their Pope (Urban II) are responsible. However, I believe that it is irrelevant in an argument against a Christian today if you are trying to say that their religion is bad, as Dawkings and the New Atheist movement claim.
I realize now in my sleepy state last night when I posted this debate I was not so clear. I apologize for that.

1. The Christians of THAT time are responsible.

2. It is a part of Christian history, however it is not something I would say is relevant to attack Contemporary Christians.

The reason I would state this is irrelevant in an argument, debate, attack, Etc. Is that it comes form the point of presupposition that what a Christian today believes or follows is the same as that of that time. The Christians of the Crusades were primarily Christian Catholics following the Pope, who of the older times as history will attest was power hungry and corrupt. Where as thanks to the Reformation today there are other Christian positions and views.
If you were to use this in an argument with me today I wouldn't feel the weight meant by it as I had nothing to do with it, also I believe that with accordance of the scriptures there was no Biblical base for the crusades.
Pretty much all Christians I have meet in this day and age believe that the Middle Ages were not a good time period for the Christian Religion. It was lead by corrupt peoples over a society who did not know what their own religion was all about. This is because they were illiterate and could be easily swayed to do something in the name of God if that's what the person they were told was closest to God was saying.
Now days Christians for the most part read the Bible and can say that a crusade such as that is not right. Though it is a part of our history, as slavery is a part of American history, it is not something you can pin on a contemporary that recognizes the mistakes of past generations and no longer follows that school of thought.


Although I entered into this debate intending to argue different aspects of Pro’s stated resolution, I will continue to debate his sole contention that “It [The Crusades] is a part of Christian history, however it is not something I would say is relevant to attack Contemporary Christians.”, as I believe this is the true spirit of the resolution.

The main contention of Pro’s argument is that the theology of Christians in the Middle Ages has evolved so much that all modern Christians would not support or recognize the motivations of their predecessors with regards to the Crusades. I must point out that thus far, Pro has simply stated he believes this to be true, and has not offered any factual evidence that shows a major, relevant revolution in thought – specifically, I would expect his rebuttal to demonstrate a change between the major religious motivations that started the Crusades and the theology we recognize today. Furthermore, Pro has stated that Medieval Christians were “power-hungry” and “corrupt”’; however, thanks to the Reformation that is effectively no longer the case. I find both of the claims to be unsubstantiated and await Pro’s defense.


As Con, I will show that: (1) the theological motivations that started the Crusades can still be found in modern Christian dogma; (2) that these beliefs often have negative and “bad” consequences, and (3) that finally these beliefs and other underlying theological motivations can and should be used to criticize Christians.

(1): The theological motivations that started the Crusades can still be found in modern, accepted Christian dogma.

The major theological motivations that sparked the First Crusade – and every Crusade after it for the next two hundred years – were laid out by Pope Urban II (1088-1099) in his speech at the Council of Clermont in 1095. In his speech, he stated that the Byzantine Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church had requested help as it had been besieged by the Seljuk Turks and lost much of its territory. Furthermore, he mroe importantly stated that infidels had occupied the Christian Holy Land and begun to desecrate it. Specifically, he states in his speech as recounted by Balderic Archbishop of Dol: “

"Of holy Jerusalem, brethren, we dare not speak…This very city, in which, as you all know, Christ Himself suffered for us, because our sins demanded it, has been reduced to the pollution of paganism and, I say it to our disgrace, withdrawn from the service of God...let us bewail the most monstrous devastation of the Holy Land! This land we have deservedly called holy in which there is not even a footstep that the body or spirit of the Saviour did not render glorious and blessed which embraced the holy presence of the mother of God, and the meetings of the apostles, and drank up the blood of the martyrs shed there…advance boldly, as knights of Christ, and rush as quickly as you can to the defence of the Eastern Church… Under Jesus Christ, our Leader, may you struggle for your Jerusalem, in Christian battleline, most invincible line, even more successfully than did the sons of Jacob of old - struggle, that you may assail and drive out the Turks, more execrable than the Jebusites, who are in this land, and may you deem it a beautiful thing to die for Christ in that city in which He died for us.” (1)

I highlighted the most relevant bold portion in order to not subject readers to any more melodrama than necessary, and to show that the major theological underpinning that provoked the Crusades was the belief that Jerusalem and the lands surrounding it – the “Holy Lands” – belong to Christians by divine right and their ownership over Jerusalem is necessary for the Second Coming of Christ. A simple Google search of the words Holy Lands and Jerusalem will reveal that this same belief which inspired the Crusades is still present in almost every Christian denomination and its importance is stated ad nauseum in every version of modern Bibles.

(2) These beliefs often have negative and “bad” consequences.

Both the modern and medieval Christian beliefs of divine right to the Holy Land have rather obvious negative effects. In the Middle Ages, this belief caused a series of wars that lasted over 200 years and killed anywhere from 1 to 9 million people (2). In modern times, these beliefs have contributed to the ongoing Israel-Palestinian Conflict and the Invasion of Iraq in 2003, naming only the most recent examples (3). I do not think I will have to explain how either of these conflicts are, in fact, bad. However if my opponent insists, I will do so.

(3) Finally, these beliefs and other underlying theological motivations can and should be used to criticize Christians

I believe the “Crusader” mentality that existed in the Medieval Christian theology, and that still exists in Modern Christian Theology, is an inherently negative theological belief that has led, and will continue to lead, to perpetual conflict. This belief in the divinity of a geographical location has been responsible for millions of deaths in the Middle Ages, and has killed hundreds of thousands in the late 20th and early 21st centuries alone. As such, since the divinity of Jerusalem and the Holy Lands is integral to both Medieval and Modern Christian theological practice, I believe the Crusades can be used to criticize this aspect of Modern Christianity. Indeed, any belief which promotes unnecessary conflict should be criticized, despite its age.

And lastly, it should be noted that the only Crusade that has ever been officially apologized for by the Papacy was the Fourth – in which Christian crusaders somehow managed to justify attacking other Christian crusaders in Byzantium. The other six Crusades against Muslims apparently do not warrant an apology and were not conducted in error – another blow to your contention that modern Christians disavow the Crusades.

(1): The First Crusade: "The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres" and Other Source Materials (The Middle Ages Series) – Edward Peters



Debate Round No. 2


oldman1990 forfeited this round.


Vigour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


oldman1990 forfeited this round.


Vigour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Mikal 4 years ago
I so want to take this but have to many debates
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's only point was that the dogma caused the crusades is no longer a part of modern Christianity, and Con showed it was. Pro also made several broad statements about the Medieval times which, true though they may be, were not sourced.