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Opinion
Megan McArdle

Crusaders, Haters and Common Ground

It's easy to default to criticizing folks that you already don't like very much.
The trick is convincing those who already agree with you.

The trick is convincing those who already agree with you.

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Who knew the Crusades were such a live issue?

No, I don't think many people are contemplating whether to take up the cross and join Richard the Lionhearted on his quest to the Holy Land. But over the past few weeks, following President Barack Obama's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, there has been a spirited back-and-forth over whether the Crusades were a gross festival of barbarism, a just response to aggressive Muslim invasions of Christendom, or something more complex that doesn't make for good throwaway lines in political speeches.