James Edward Johnson

my thoughts from right to left

Kingdom of Heaven

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I saw a preview for Kingdom of Heaven, a movie about the Crusades, this weekend. The preview implies that it will glorify the Christian conquest in Jerusalem. I could not find contradictory evidence on the movie’s website and the site opens with a large cross. There is too much for either a libertarian or a Jew to say if the implication is correct. The short version: The Crusades were evil and the destruction of European Jews by Christians on their way to/from the Crusades is parallelled in its evil only by pogroms and the Shoah.

Update: An unofficial site notes this, “Kingdom of Heaven is a story about a peasant blacksmith named Balian of Ibelin (played by Orlando Bloom) who rises to knighthood to protect the Holy Land of Jerusalem from foreign Christian invaders.” However, it also shows a picture of Bloom wearing a uniform with a large Christian cross emblazoned on it.

Update (2): About.com has this description of the Crusades. At September 20, 1187, you will see the likely description of the events of the movie. If these are the events of the movie, it likely glorifies Christian actions, though probably the defensive actions taken against the Kurdish ruler Saladin (whose physician was Maimonides) after Jerusalem was under Christian control. Of course, it is important to remember that in those days, a Jew was much more likely to be tolerated in the relatively liberal Muslim states than it the relatively fascist Christian ones.


Written by JamesEJ

Monday, February 7, 2005 at 1:34 pm

Posted in other

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