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Kingdom of Heaven | jonmower.com

Kingdom of Heaven

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200px-KoHposter.jpgTonight we watched Kingdom of Heaven (2005,R) (ScreenIt! Review). From the Wikipedia entry:

The story deals with the Crusades of the 12th century, and involves...a village blacksmith who goes on to aid the city of Jerusalem in its defense against the great Islamic leader Saladin, who battles to reclaim the city from the Christians. The script is loosely based on the life of Balian of Ibelin. Professor Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University was the film's chief academic consultant.

So much violence. So much battling of God's enemies. So many cries of "God wills it." From both sides. I give it 3 out of 5.

Coincidentally (before I started watching Kingdom of Heaven, I didn't realize that it was all about war between Christians and Muslims), today I also watched the Fox News special Radical Islam: Terror in Its Own Words (on the recommendation of a relative). I thought it was instructive in emphasizing the danger, in giving more full attention to what we usually only hear in brief soundbites...the chants of "death to America", the way children raised to be martyrs. Much emphasis was made that the special was addressing radical Islam, not its moderate relative, but that moderate Islam is too reticent in condemning the radical fringe. I guess these are all points that have some validity.

This violent, radical Islam is not something that human society should tolerate. But the coincidence of watching these two things today reminded me again of the obvious parallels between then and now. A battle between a Christian king and a Muslim general from Tikrit. The infamous reference by king George to crusades. The spiritual significance tied to death as a crusader...to death as a Muslim martyr. It's tempting to think that we have progressed so far since then but that they are still stuck in such a primitive place, but many of us still think of what we've been doing lately as going to war in God's name, with his blessing. I was brought back to the feeling of how important it is that we not sink to the level of these murderous extremists...not to torture, not to trust in nor embrace violence. Not to allow our enemies to draw us away from the things that are so noble and wonderful about our country.

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re: Kingdom of Heaven

"I was brought back to the feeling of how important it is that we not sink to the level of these murderous extremists...not to torture, not to trust in nor embrace violence."How would you suggest we fight radial islam whose sole purpose is to end life as we know it because we are Christian and that is so radical and violent?P.S. I'm so glad you watached the program.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

The blog about this movie is very dangerous for the following reasons:1. The author assumes that Christians are as violent and radical as the Islamist. The Christians are protrayed in comedies as mindless idiots and in movies such as these as terror-minded monsters led by a monster God who should destroy everything through his followers.2. It is assumed that Christians would be terrorist-minded as much as the radical Islamist.The above are both myths and simply prove how ignorant the general "unbelieving" masses are of what Christianity is. Certainly there are people who go off in left field, and certainly there are those who are hypocritical and off base in yet other directions. There are lawyers and politicians with a belief system so far out of wack they actually think that man (here in the U.S. only mind you) who are responsible for the changes in climate. How preposterous is that? and people are buying into it. After all they are THE POLITICIANS and the SCIENTISTS who know all, hear all, and see all. No,that is not true and they are not "gods", they are just people who are capable of making big mistakes, just like those you have placed in the "Christian" box are able to make. There are a lot of very well educated people with degrees of M.D., PhD, etc behind their names who are well-grounded solid citizens and Christians. And... they have very solid reasons why evolution does not work. What do the left extremitists think about that?It is statements like those by the author of the blog that can start all kinds of troubles even down to what happens in the streets and what happens to our children in the schools.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

jane,yes, the author of the blog is definitely dangerous, routinely starting all kinds of trouble in the streets and in the schools. in fact, he is of all things a scientist!As far as your other points go, I find them to be baseless. The author of the blog definitely does not assume that all Christians are as violent, radical, and terrorist-minded as Islamists. In fact, as he repeats over and over, he doesn't even think that most muslims are as violent, radical, and terrorist-minded as the Islamists.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

Robin,You want my plan for fighting radical Islam, eh? I don't spend a lot of time dreaming up military strategies. Generally, I think the military options of the US gov should be a last resort. I tend to agree with the muslim leader in the Fox special that much of the conflict is actually political in nature, not religious...thus diplomacy is critical. Symbolism is critical. I'm no expert on the strategy regarding locations of military bases, but I wonder about the wisdom of having permanent US military bases in the Middle East. I suspect they're more provocative than they are helpful. I think it probably was a wise move for the US government to go after the Taliban in Afghanistan, but I think it was highly tangential and counter-productive and not in our best interest to invade Iraq. I was opposed to that from the beginning, and the results confirm it. The Taliban is now resurgent in Afghanistan and Iraq is in chaos, a dream recruiting tool for the Islamists.My main point, though, is not to support or criticize any specific military strategies but to claim that in addressing this real threat we should not sink "...to the level of these murderous extremists...not to torture, not to trust in nor embrace violence."

re: Kingdom of Heaven

I didn't mean your strategies for winning the war. You watched the program yet you stated that we should not lower ourselves to their violence. I agree with that are far as homicide bombers and beheadings, etc, however, I think it is naive to think that radial islam can be fought without fighting and violence.I assume you are staying off the streets. :)

re: Kingdom of Heaven

I don't doubt that the threat and sometimes use of violence will be a necessary part of the struggle, but it isn't the ultimate solution. That's what I'm saying. I think the neocons got it right when they realized that the real battle is in the hearts and minds. Unfortunately, we're failing disastrously in that area so far.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

I too find the similarities between the radical Islamists of today and the Christians crusaders of the 11th-13th centuries interesting. A Christian crusader was even promised by the pope that he'd go straight to heaven if he died fighting to gain back Jerusalem from the Muslims. Sound familiar? I realize that was then and this is now.....but we certainly shouldn't act as if Christians have never stooped to violent/savage/terror-minded levels to further their cause.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

I don't doubt that the threat and sometimes use of violence will be a necessary part of the struggle, but it isn't the ultimate solution.And part of the problem is that this is often the first solution to a threat. A violent reaction to "the enemy" is often considered first, thought to be the best and most effective method of defeating the enemy. I'm not certain it's either.

re: Kingdom of Heaven

If someone is threatening me with a gun and saying they are going to kill me, I'm going to be inclined to fight back. If I don't I'm going to die.Greg said: "And part of the problem is that this is often the first solution to a threat. A violent reaction to "the enemy" is often considered first, thought to be the best and most effective method of defeating the enemy. I'm not certain it's either."Then I ask Greg what is the solution to the threat?

re: Kingdom of Heaven

Its a fact that religion is being used to spread violence and hatred but we must understand that it is not the religion that is at fault here but the people misinterpreting the religion and teaching it they way they feel is right..which obviously it is not. Radical Islamic school should be shut down because all they are doing is brain washing people. Islam does not in any way promote violence. Every time people look back at Islam they only talk about violence and terrorism have we forgotten how muslim scientist have changed the world? Why are muslims never given credit for all the good that they have done? I bet most people don't even know the contributions made my Muslims in all fields of science and maths. Please read the following artice to find out more :http://uberkoen.blogsome.com/2007/02/07/how-muslim-scientists-changed-the-world/

re: Kingdom of Heaven

I agree with you that people misinterpret religion and this has led to the problems we have today.However, I don't believe that Islam does not promote violence. Please check this website: http://www.blessedcause.org/Quran.htm that gives examples in the Quran about dealing with infidels. I'm no expert on the Quran, but this website seemed to have a lot of information.The Great Commimssion in the New Testament does not tell us to kill people who don't convert. We are to spread the good news to all. It is then up to the Holy Spirit to bring that person to belief in Jesus Christ.

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