But I got this review from Ted Baehr today and it means I can go into the film edumacated:
CHRISTIANS GET A BAD RAP IN ‘KINGDOM OF HEAVEN’
By Dr. Tom Snyder, editor of MOVIEGUIDE®
HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) -- “Kingdom of Heaven,” the new movie about the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in 1187, falsely blames Christian leaders for bringing the Muslim army down on the city, says Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®, a non-profit Christian publication for families.
“In reality,” notes Dr. Baehr, “Jerusalem had been a Christian city for three centuries before 638, when the Muslims first conquered the Holy Land and began destroying Christian and Jewish holy sites. Christian soldiers took back the city in 1099 and held it until Saladin and his ruthless Muslim armies began trying to conquer the Holy Land again in about 1174.”
Added Dr. Baehr, “Many people make the mistake of thinking that Jerusalem is a holy site for Muslims, Jews and Christians. When Mohammed founded Islam in the seventh century, however, Jerusalem was only considered a holy city by Christians and Jews.
“We would do well if we remembered these facts when we debate the political future of Jerusalem.”
(c) baehr, 2005
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Baehr's no diplomat! But I do appreciate his reviews.
The Crusades were a big mistake, as far as I'm concerned. They showed just how earthly minded the supposedly heavenly people of God can be. But I say this, not knowing much at all about them. So they're on my list of things to research. I'm particularly looking forward to reading Christian Jihad, a history of the crusades written by two ex-Muslim Christians. What a perspective!
Update, May 9th
Just read this article in Christian History, which explains some of the motivations the Crusaders may have had. Very interesting!
Another update, May 16th
Another, more detailed look at Balian, the real man behind the movie's main character (portrayed by Orlando Bloom).
In search of the Real Balian