There I was sitting next to my husband as he perused the morning paper. He casually mentioned that he was tempted to get a babysitter so we could go see the new movie, Kingdom of Heaven. “Ooh!”, I said, surprised at the thought of a night out with my Knight. The next few minutes passed as we discussed how surprised we were that a movie about the Crusades was being touted as a HUGE hit…after all, let’s face it no-one could ignore that the Crusades were not politically correct according to todays standards. Well, not two minutes later, as said Knight read a description of the movie in the entertainment section of the paper he said, “Oh, never mind…I don’t think I want to see it now.” (We do love our history around here and are always on the lookout for GOOD historical movies). He then proceeded to tell me the first few lines of the review. Basically we have a movie created so that it does not offend anyone…the Christians and Muslims are portrayed as living peacefully together until a bunch of hooligan Christians ruin things. The Muslims only fight back when provoked. Now don’t get me wrong…I do not support the making movies that willfully denigrate others or are purposely offensive to people of other ethnic background than myself. However, we are talking about the Crusades…like it or not…Muslims killed Christians and Christians fought back…hey, sounds like current events. Well, the mornings topic just continued to get worse…you see as my husband was reading the entertainment section I was reading the comic section…hey, it’s not easy being “deep” in the wee hours of the morning! On the back page is a section reserved for teens. I happened to notice a review of the aforementioned movie by a student from one of the more prestigious schools in the region. I read in dismay a glowing review of a movie that the young man called a fantastic medieval epic (I am sure it is). The teen went on to explain that the movie was about the war between the Crusaders and the Saracens (this much is true)…now read carefully…here is what caught my attention…the young man pronounced that IF the depiction was true it (the movie) was a “great historical document”! “If” the movie depiction is true?… “Great historical document?” Oh my! This is a Ridley Scott epic we are talking about…I am pretty sure dollar signs not historical accuracy were on the minds of the Movie Big Wigs. Maybe my children and I spent WAY too much time studying the Middle Ages and the Crusades but even The Boy and Big Sis know what the Crusades were about. The facts are not pretty but true. And this from 2nd grade History…we are not talking thorough Socratic-type discussions on the “How” and “Why” and “Implications of” religious jihad. Just simple reading and narration about the Crusades. I am sure that what we learned in not PC, but at least it is the truth. And, I am confident that my children, knowing the truth, still respect people of other religious persuasions and do not condemn anyone for what their forebearers did. I am not so sure that the young scholar could say as much…but I will give him the benefit of the doubt…I lay the blame of his ignorance on the school system that allows things to be taught or not taught based on whether the truth might offend.

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