Campus Massacre Forewarns of Global Crusade

Arturo Mari/Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

Campus Massacre Forewarns of Global Crusade

As press and public focus on the latest horror of campus massacres, a danger of far greater proportions looms across the Atlantic.

America experienced the horror of its latest, and by far most extreme, campus massacre on Monday. For a moment in time, this latest bloody affair will lead editors away from the news stories that they tend to grind out daily on media’s most popular themes of the times: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the perpetuating division in government, the fear of another terrorist attack, illegal immigration, and any whiff of scandal they can get their sullied hands on.

Sadly, within a couple of weeks, all the contemplation about “why did it happen,” while ignoring the plain and simple reasons staring us in the face, will be over. Then the nation will be off again, hell-bent on consuming as much as it can, living as high on the hog on credit as far as it can extend itself, voraciously swallowing all of the trash and garbage that in today’s age of mass inelegance is labeled “entertainment,” oblivious to the threatening cycle of history that is even now in process of repeating itself across the Atlantic.

But this is not so much recent history repeating itself on the continent of Europe. In fact, it is a history that tracks back to the old Crusades, the clash between Islam and traditional Christianity at a time when there was no “superpower” United States.

Having lived in the U.S. for the past 15 years, I can certainly attest to the vast ignorance that exists in this country on the reality of history. This leads in turn to a gross lack of appreciation of the fact that there are deep and abiding lessons to be learned from studying the habits of nations over eons of time.

As I was viewing a documentary on nuclear proliferation a few days ago, a statement made by one commentator made me literally shudder. Commenting on the rapid spread of nuclear know-how courtesy of Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, one analyst described the drive by Pakistan to acquire a nuclear potential in startling terms. He stated that the feeling among the Pakistani population, since extended to Iran, was that “the Christians have the bomb, the Jews have the bomb, the Communists have the bomb—why should not Islam have the bomb?”

Do you get the point? That analyst, himself a Pakistani Muslim, did not discuss particular nations as possessing nuclear military power. He pointed to specific ideologies—religions!

Was there ever a statement made that underpinned the reality that what geopolitics is all about these days is an arms build-up between competing religions!

What Samuel Huntington declared in his treatise The Clash of Civilizations?, of the prospect of a coming conflict between competing religion-based cultures, is rapidly becoming a reality. Yet Americans continue on their messianic drive to impose an unworkable model—Western democracy—on cultures that are historically antipathetic to such a foreign ideology. The plain fact is that most of the world does not think like America. Only Americans, comprising 4 percent of global population, think like Americans! But try telling that to an American!

The other paradox within American culture is that the U.S. really believes it is a religious country. That this is but a sham religiosity was clearly attested to by the fact that though the nation’s churches filled to overflowing immediately following 9/11, within three weeks of that mass slaughter, congregations shrunk to their pre-9/11 averages. Contrast this to the zealotry of the Islamists who were prepared to die in their perverse, warped cause of slaughtering the infidel in the name of Islam. As one of their imams has declared, “Our enemy is afraid to die. We are not!” That’s real religious zealotry, warped though be the thinking.

People will flock to the churches in Virginia over the next few weeks. Then, like 9/11, attendances will drop back to normal. This is simply a forgetful people. Forgetful of history by nature. In fact, the biblical name for the ancient tribe from which many of the pioneers of America sprang is Manasseh, from the Hebrew word meaning forgetful.

This failure to remember is destined to have repercussions far more devastating than the latest terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech. In fact, it is leading America, at present, to completely ignore the prospect of any impending threat at all from the very region of greatest threat to its future: the continent of Europe.

A handful of keenly attuned observers do see what is presently happening in Europe and connect the dots to a recurring pattern of history that has not played out at all well in the recent past. In fact, it is a pattern that ended with the massacre, not of 32 unfortunate souls, as has just occurred in Virginia, but multiple millions of innocents.

It is a pattern involving the joining of church and state in religious warfare. Historians call it the Crusades.

Almost a millennium has elapsed since Pope Urban ii called the First Crusade, often termed the German Crusade, against Islam. That First Crusade, led by the German Holy Roman Emperor Henry iv and Pope Urban ii, created a religio/political template in Europe that continues to affect geopolitics to this day. To quote a formidable student of religious warfare, Karen Armstrong, “The Crusades made the hatred of Jews an incurable disease in Europe, and Islam would henceforth be seen as the irreconcilable enemy of Western civilization” (Holy War).

So what has changed in 900 years?

Pope Benedict’s Regensburg speech last September clearly declared, if only by allusion, that Islam is still Christendom’s irreconcilable enemy. Events surrounding and subsequent to 9/11 clearly prove that so. Just as in Pope Urban’s time there was a cry for a revival of the Roman Catholic religion in Europe, both John Paul ii and Benedict have cried out for the same. Indeed, Benedict has gone as far as calling an EU without religious links to Rome as apostate!

Add to this the fact that persecution of the Jews is compounding annually in Europe. To take Armstrong’s perspective, “[S]ince Pope Urban ii called the First Crusade in 1095 … the hatred and suspicion that this expedition unleashed still reverberates, never more so than on September 11, 2001, and during the terrible days that followed. It is tragic that our holy wars continue …” (ibid.).

But if we are to make comparisons between the situation that presently obtains in Europe with that of the First Crusade, there is a missing bit to this equation that was a powerful part of the First Crusade. That piece is right now falling into place. Think tank Stratfor’s “Second Quarter Forecast” puts it this way: “… Germany has reawakened. For now, its interests do continue to parallel broadly those of its neighbors, but there are clearly changes in tone and objective that identify Germany as a European yes-man no longer. … Germany will formally take over as the leading political and economic power in Europe.” Stratfor points out that Germany’s current presidency of the European Union and the Group of Eight “enable Berlin to set the agenda both on a regional and global level.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel proved that Germany is prepared to ride roughshod over the EU to enforce its will on that 27-nation combine when she, together with the German head of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, with EU Commission President José Manuel Barosso playing the quiescent lapdog, drafted and signed the Berlin Declaration, committing the EU to settling its constitution by 2009 despite the knowledge that a number of EU member nations do not support it.

But Merkel is no Henry iv, although the geographic spread and collectivism of the EU that Germany now dominates closely parallels that of the old Holy Roman Empire that he led. Merkel leads an unwieldy coalition government, and coalitions in Germany are notorious for their short lives. Germany lacks a Henry iv at a time when, as the Economist declared at the time of the EU’s 50th anniversary, it is suffering from a “mid-life crisis” (March 17). Germany simply lacks a strong, decisive leader who can rise to the occasion and heed the pope’s cries for a great religious revival in Europe to unite the EU against the rising tide of Islam. That’s why the pope’s birthday celebrations on Monday intrigued us.

Who was first to visit Pope Benedict at the Vatican and offer his congratulations to the pontiff? None other than the redoubtable Edmund Stoiber, premier of Bavaria and a powerful supporter of the papacy. Accompanying him was conservative colleague Peter Harry Carstensen, a German politician and member of the Christian Democratic Union from the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Not present was state governor of Bavaria’s neighboring Catholic conservative state Baden-Wuerttemburg, Guenther Oettinger, originally slated to be present at the pope’s birthday celebrations in Rome to introduce the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra for a concert in honor of the pope. Oettinger’s absence was due to his being recently castigated by Chancellor Merkel for remarks made at a memorial service for a predecessor, Hans Filbinger, who had resigned from office in 1978 when it became known that he had served as a Nazi-era naval judge and had participated in cases that resulted in death sentences.

To the innocent observer oblivious of history, this may well seem to be unconnected to present trends in Europe. To those attuned to the continually repetitive cycle of history, the signs are increasingly ominous. In fact, when biblical prophecy is added to history and current events involving Rome, Berlin, Israel and Islam, the vision becomes quite bloody. Go one step further and include the prophecies relating to the immediate future of the English-speaking peoples, and Monday’s campus massacre, horrible as it was, pales into almost insignificance by comparison in terms of the mass shedding of blood that it predicts.

That great hope lies beyond this may seem implausible. But that is the reality.

As Karen Armstrong states, “The Crusades … show religion at its very worst.” Yet, the final crusade of the resurrecting Holy Roman Empire in Europe, showing the very worst that the religions of this world can mete out on man, will be one of the greatest signs of the imminence of the creation of the longest period of peace on Earth ever known to man. Request your own copy of The Wonderful World Tomorrow to gain a glimpse of that inspiring future that lies just beyond the dark days ahead.