Was Jesus an Advocate of Bloodshed?

Either we serve the Unconditional or some Hitlerian monster will supply an iron convention to do evil by

W. H. Auden , "Christmas, 1940"

World history is filled with atrocities committed in the name of Jesus - the Crusades, the pogroms against the Jews, the current strife in Northern Ireland. Yet, we must ask: Is this what was taught by the teacher of divine love? Was Jesus an advocate of bloodshed? In the savage Wars of Religion that followed the Reformation, Christian thinkers were confronted with a profound existential crisis. The wars were raging, and neither side seemed prepared to concede. Those who understood themselves as Christians were killing other Christians. Did Jesus come to bring a message of love or had he come to bring a sword? As we struggle to understand the atrocities committed because of ethnic and religious differences in Kosovo, we ask again: Is this what was taught by the best of Teachers?
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

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