Written by Fumo Verde
Proselytize: To convert or attempt to convert (someone) form one religion, belief or opinion. Advocate or promote (a belief or course of action) – The New Oxford American Dictionary
Where did anyone get the idea that it was all right to kill in the name of God? This question was being asked by director Oren Jacoby while the country was rushing off to war. Meanwhile, author and former priest James Carroll was on his own painful quest to understand how the religion he loved and was a part of could have slaughtered so many people all in the name of God. Constantine’s Sword is the coming together of question and quest. Like two detectives digging up old cases to find their relevance that matches patterns happening today in our county, the evidence is overwhelming. Even in our own military and at those academies which produce the officers who control the weapons, cadets and soldiers alike are being proselytized too. This is a dangerous sign.
As this documentary opens we learn of the lawsuit brought about by some Air Force Academy cadets who are not Christian, or as so gently put, non-believers. They were constantly being harassed and persecuted not only by other cadets but also by teachers and staff. Carroll, who lived on the Academy grounds as a kid because his father was a high-ranking Air Force General, had to go there and find out himself. Following Carroll’s journey, we learn why he became a priest and why he left the religion he loved but never lost his faith. For him, the church back then stood for values that would make the Christian Right in America today scream treason.
This movie looks deeper into the Christian past, starting with Constantine’s fateful vision of the cross and the battle for Rome which he won and attributed it to, and then working its way through the Inquisition and Crusades all the way up to the Nazi occupation of Europe. As Carroll came to realize during this journey, those ideals he thought Christianity stood for back in the ‘60s, were a quick flash of hope in a world trying to break free from the fear and oppression of which this religion endorses completely.
The Gospels teaches the Jews killed Jesus so they became the enemy of every Christian, and deep down every Christian knows if the Jews don’t convert they too must suffer the wrath of God. When I say convert, I means accepting Jesus as their Lord and savior. The Inquisition was set up to does just that, and nations who wanted to stay in favor with God followed suit. Soon throughout Europe, Jews and non-believers were slaughtered.
Yes, then there were the Crusades, which look to have started all over again; these battles were mainly to keep powerful landowners from fighting amongst themselves. The Pope, who has more money than God, but needs armies to protect it, paid his fighters to stop fighting amongst each other and to go take back the holy land from the Muslims.
Let us not forget about the in-house fighting among those who consider themselves Christian, along with the conversion of savages in the Americas and Africa. Christians themselves don’t always get along. Violence between Catholic and Protestant was alive and heating up to the latter part of the 20th century, including Hitler who called himself a Christian and said he was doing the Lord’s work by killing the non-believing Jews. The church at this time, epically the Pope didn’t do a thing while trainloads of Jews were hauled off to concentration camps. The Christian world said nothing, because remember, the Jews killed Jesus. We think it’s just Islam who will kill you if you don’t convert, well, their brother religion here has a lot more blood on its hands, and not just because it’s been around longer.
A film like this must be watched for it proves to the viewer this religion of love is being used as a religion of hate, and this hate is pouring out into the American landscape. American history is trying to be re-written as if the Bible was and is the only cornerstone of our nation, and that the Constitution was designed after the Bible and the Ten Commandments, which is a lie. Constantine’s Sword reminds us why governments and religions should respectfully stay separated as it says in the First Amendment. This documentary lays out the facts like a history book and, unlike The Da Vinci Code and Fox News’ “War on Christmas” this documentary is true with facts and evidence. There is no denying the reality of what is happening in this country today with almost a new mega-church popping up a day. Rev. Ted Haggard even took time from doing meth and having gay sex to let us know of this good news. He said that saving everyone was every Christian’s mission, no matter whom it is or where they are at.
Non-believers like myself will find this interesting and kind of scary, and though we think we live in an age of logic and reason, of science and math, there are those who wish to go backwards in time, to forget theories learned and freedoms won. They do this for reasons beyond they’re own comprehension, but yet follow it blindly with no questions asked. Me, I love to ask questions; this is one reason why I don’t believe. As for the lawsuit against the Air Force Academy, the court dismissed it because there was “no bodily harm” done. You know, nobody was crucified or thrown to the loins.
This is Fumo, looking over his shoulder a little more often now.