The Jesuit administered College of the Holy Cross is actually considering changing the historic name of its football team, as the term Crusaders might be offensive to the followers of Mohamed. There is no indication that any Muslim, whose community comprises one percent of the U. S. population, has registered an objection to the name. The initiative comes from politically correct, culturally conforming liberals from within the college, who despise the very memory of Christendom, and who believe they have the right and the duty to secularize Catholic education, dispossess Catholics of their institutions and their heritage, and enforce subservience to bourgeois ideology, which they characterize as “21st century values.”
The Latin derivation of the word crusader comes from “taking the Cross,”—the crux—referring to the Cross of our Savior, after which the college is named.
If the Church, and the Society of Jesus, were healthy, such a malign proposal, which combines odium fidei with secularist presumption, under the guise of appeasing the enemies of the Cross, would be dismissed, out of hand. Sadly, the corruption in Jesuit education is pandemic, and worsening. What would, two generations ago, be treated as an absurdity is now the subject of impassioned debate. As events in France in the 1790’s remind us, collective insanity is one the consequences of revolution.
None of this would be possible without the mixture of historical illiteracy and anti-Catholic bigotry which pervades modern higher education. The Crusades were just wars of liberation waged in response to unjust wars of aggression, which saw a peaceful and homogeneously Christian Middle East invaded and conquered by Mohammedan fanatics.
The immediate catalyst for the First Crusade was the cry for help from the Eastern Roman Emperor Alexius I Comnenus, whose territory was being overrun and whose citizens were being slaughtered by Seljuk Turks. The robbery and murder of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, and the destruction, earlier in the eleventh century, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by the Muslim Caliph, were longstanding grievances against the Saracen occupiers of what had been, for nearly 700 years, Greek speaking provinces of the Roman Empire.
The idea of vigorously defending, rather than submissively apologizing for Catholic history, has now, tragically, become an alien concept in the contemporary Church.