Monday, June 13, 2016

Three Religious Warriors: Richard I, Saladin, & Charles Martel (Additions to "The Apology Box")

              Richard I’s Sonnet

Christ is my only standard. As he drove
The money changers from the temple who
Profaned it, I in imitation strove
To save God's temples from blasphemers, too.

If smaller groups of money changers must
Be driven out, much more so should we drive
Out hordes of unbelievers.  I was just
Therefore in how I chose to reign and live.

Although great men have critics and I'm not
Immune, I'm confident the worst they’ve said
Of me is I craved men and therefore led

Men East.  If true, such charge condemns me not.
In judging right and wrong, Christ is the test.
I've read his words.  The topic's not addressed.

               Saladin's Round
            (By a Kurdish hero)

There is no God but God and he is Lord
Of every atom of creation.  He
Is thus by his own essence rightfully
The Lord of old Jerusalem and all
Her Asian territories rather than
Someone whose agent sits in far-off Rome.

Someone whose agent sits in far-off Rome
Abstractly drinking blood and eating flesh
With wine and broken bread in temples there
Has brokered more than mere abstractions here.
This broker's swords have broken men and spilled
Real blood and gore throughout God’s Holy Land.

Real blood and gore throughout God’s Holy Land
Required response and we have given aid.
We’ve had to use swords doing that though we
Preferred the use of reason.  Though we’ve won
Upon the field, our greater victory comes
Through favoring mercy over death instead.

Through favoring mercy over death instead
Of other attitudes, we’ve followed God
And done his work.  Though evil trembles at
Such simple logic, we find rest in it--
God favors mercy and believers know
There is no God but God and he is Lord.

                Charles Martel’s Sonnet

Though God is three in one, it’s blasphemy
To tolerate an earthly trinity
Of Christian, Jew, and Muslim. There can be
Just one true faith since Christianity

Alone is scriptural.  Of course God knew
Martel means “hammer” and called me to do
The labor.  Although just a bastard to
That beast Plectude, great battle plans I drew

For plated men and beasts.  At Poitiers,
Design met field.  There my troops held at bay
The foreign hordes our armor drove away
From Christendom forever.  Lord, I pray

For Heavenly inclusion having fought
For God and Christendom as scriptures taught.

© Harold Anthony Lloyd 2016
The current contents of "The Apology Box" can be found here.

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