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Saturday September 21st 2019Tim Candler9

 

     In the early part of the 1200's a boy in Germany or Northern France began to preach. He'd had a vision in which Jesus had directed him to lead a peaceful crusade to convert the Muslims to Christianity. The whole idea caught on big time and up to 30,000 children marched south to Port Towns in the Mediterranean where they expected the sea to part as it did for Moses, enabling them to reach the land of the Muslims. The sea didn't part, but Port Towns have ships, and many a merchant promised the children passage. Accounts vary, and according to some, a great number of those children having embarked upon ships ended up being sold as slaves. Ever since, Historians, Psychologists and a bunch of others have been combing the sources to separate truth from fiction, and in the process many have suggests answers to why the children embarked upon their peaceful crusade. One answer, when you grow up, you disappear into a cynicism that feasts on division, hatred and anger, then die pointlessly, the world well rid of you.

Past

    But some argue, the crusade wasn't just children, it was mostly people trying to escape the misery of their everyday lives into a religious 'end of the world' millennialism. In the early 1200's a growing number of people in Europe were shunning earthly things, wandering from place to place, relying on charity and doing a little preaching in return, which was a practice that resulted in them being excommunicated by the Pope, the Papal argument being they should have joined a reputable, properly affiliated monastery. As well back then there were no shortage of teenage boys who were well engaged in warfare, they grew up young, a very different world compared to the cosseted life of a more modern teenager. There's also a suggestion that the crusade inspired the story of The Pied Piper of Hamlin, blowing his magic flute so that rats would follow him out of a rat infested township and when he wasn't paid the agreed amount he blew his flute and the town's children followed him out of the town, never to be seen again. And you got to pretty much worship Greta Thunberg: "We demand a safe future, is that really too much to ask?" It's a damn good question.

 

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