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November 18, 2014

There is a persistent claim that the early Christians were pacifists—in the strong sense of being opposed to all use of violence—and that it was not until the time of the Emperor Constantine that this began to change.

After Christianity became the official religion of the empire, the Church embraced the use of military force, with St. Augustine playing the part of the enabling villain, who came up with the idea of the just war.

This story plays with well-worn tropes: the fall...

July 15, 2014

Today marks the 915th anniversary of the liberation of the Holy City of Jerusalem by the warriors of Christendom on the First Crusade. Those who entered the city in that summer of 1099 had endured three years of battle, starvation, and disease in order to complete their armed pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre of the Lord. Eighty percent of their brothers in arms who marched from Europe with them were dead, missing, or had deserted. Those few who remained succeeded in accomplishing...