The Norway massacre was a convenient moment for anti-Christians. They were able to supplement their endless repetition of "Look at Timothy McVeigh" with "Look at Anders Breivik". Since most of the media feels no need to actually report information, this was a boon to the politically correct "Muslim all good, Christian all bad" ideologues. And since there are a great many people whose approach to issues is to repeat a mantra that makes them feel good, anti-Christian acolytes took up the chant, unwilling to recognize that Anders Breivik had rejected Christianity just as Timothy McVeigh had, both living their lives with the cultural trappings but rejecting the actual teachings of the religion. Like the Unabomber, Breivik left a manifesto, one that shows an increasingly twisted and violent person who had planned attacks for more than a decade.
It's interesting that those who call Christianity a myth are themselves very quick to believe in myths and urban legends concerning Christianity. The myth of the Crusades is a particularly dangerous one, because it conveniently allows the dodging of a history that is very relevant to the world today. We've been here before. Only chronological myopia can turn that statement into anti-Muslim rhetoric. Rather, it's a recognition of the fact that many places in the world are already involved in the repeat of a dangerous history - a history as recent as 1699.
The myth of the Crusades as an unwarranted attack on innocent Muslims in the Holy Land is only about a hundred years old and is a product of the last gasps of an Ottoman Empire desperate to gain support. The armies of Islam had roared out of Arabia and conquered Jerusalem in 638 AD, northern Africa by 700, Spain in 711. Charles "The Hammer" Martel blocked the Islamic advance at Tours and Poitier in 732. But part of Europe and much of the Middle East was now under Islamic rule, including Jerusalem. By 1027, the Eastern emperor's negotiations with the Fatimid rulers of Jerusalem had brought relief to the Christians there, and pilgrimages had resumed. But then came the Seljuk Turks, with conquest in the name of Allah, not co-existence, as their goal. Christian communities were again threatened and besieged. And Muslim armies were once again driving for Christian Constantinople, the center of the Eastern Empire. Armenia was overrun; the Emperor's forces crushed at Manzikert. Only manipulation of Islamic disunity allowed the Emperor to fend off full collapse of the Eastern Empire and he appealed to the Pope for help. In 1095 the Pope responded with a call for a Crusade to liberate Jerusalem and bring relief to the Christians there.
The Pope and the Eastern Emperor knew that if Constantinople fell to the Seljuks the victories of Charles Martel would be meaningless and Europe would be open to Islamic conquerors. And so it proved once Constantinople fell in the fifteenth century. By the time the Ottoman armies were stopped in 1699 they had conquered most of Eastern Europe. To put that year in some historical perspective, by 1699 Jamestown, VA, had been in existence for 92 years, Plymouth, MA, for 70, and Benjamin Franklin would be born in less than 7 years.
For two years the Crusaders fought their way to Jerusalem. The army was of its time - a time when resistance brought slaughter and sack. The Papal Legate had restrained them for two years, but he died just before they reached Jerusalem. Without him, Jerusalem fell brutally. And brutality in war was tit for tat.
That evil was done in the name of Christianity during the Crusades is inarguable. But the Crusades began as a response to Islamic invasion and to free Christians who were suffering under Muslim dominion. It was not Christianity that rose up and invaded non-Christian lands, but rather an aggressive form of Islam that rose up and invaded non-Islamic lands.
The Crusader cry of "Deus volt!" may no longer be heard on a battlefield, but the cry of "Allahu akbar!" is once again reverberating around the world as Islam becomes an aggressive force in a nuclear age. Ignoring that is perilous and an invitation to a repeat of history.