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The Bible and Suicide

History of Religion and Philosophy
April 2006
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Events which occured at some point during the month of April:

Tariq ibn Malik, a Berber officer, crosses the strait separating Africa and Europe with a group of Muslims and enters Spain (al-Andalus, as the Muslims called it, a word is etymologically linked to "Vandals"). The first stop in the Muslim conquest of Spain is at the foot of a mountain that comes to be called Jabel Tarik, the Mountain of Tarik. Today it is known as Gibraltar. At one time the Berbers had been Christians but they recently converted in large numbers to Islam after the Arab conquest of North Africa.

The first of the four planned Crusader armies arrives in Constantinople, at that time ruled by Alexius I Comnenus.

Baldwin I negotiates a deal with Genoese merchant similar to that attempted by Godrey de Bouillon with Venetians the previous year: they could take a third of any city they help capture plus trading rights throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem if they support him against political rivals. With the Genoese aid, Baldwin is able to capture the cities of Arsulf and Caesarea.

Second Battle of Ramleh: Thinking that they would face an Egyptian scouting party, Baldwin I rides out with Stephen of Blois and Stephen of Burgundy. This time, though, they faced an Egyptian army twice the size of the previous. With a mere 500 knights or so, the Christian Crusaders are unable to achieve victory a second time. Most are killed and a few escape, including Baldwin who manages to reach Arsulf.

Fifty-two warships from Pisa arrive at Tyre to aid in the city's defense.

The population of Cyprus revolts against their rulers, the Knights Templar. Richard I Lionheart had sold Cyprus to them, but they were cruel overlords known for their high taxation.

Simon de Montfort's Crusader army in southern France is reinforced, allowing him to initiate a series of quick and devastating strikes against Cathar positions all around Toulouse.

Raymond of Toulouse is forced to flee to England.

The Fifth Crusade is proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in the bull Quia maior. Innocent does not want European leaders to go off on the Crusade because in the past they had managed to mess things up by looking out for their own interests more than those of the church. Instead, Innocent hopes that individual Christians will answer his call and gather under his own command. Every crusader is promised an indulgence for their sins, even if they simply help fund the expedition and don't enter into any danger themselves.

Raymond of Toulouse and his son, both Cathar heretics, return to southern France, raise a large force from the various Cathar towns that had been captured by the Crusaders, and begin to strike back.

The Inquisition launches a ruthless campaign against the Cathars, burning any that they find and even digging up bodies to burn.

Ottoman sultan Mehmed II has a fortress built in Ottoman territory just north of Constantinople. Finished in six months, it threatens to cut off the city's communications with Black Sea ports and becomes the launching point of the siege of Constantinople a year later.

A Turkish attack against the Hospitallers in Rhodes is unsuccessful - not because the Hospitallers are superior fighters but because the Janissaries go on strike. Mehmed II orders that they not loot any cities they capture so that he could have all the booty for himself. The Janissaries balk at this and simply refuse to fight.

Joseph Smith, having escaped from jail in Missouri, joined other Mormons in the town of Quincy, Illinois. Smith renamed the town to "Nauvoo," which he claimed was Hebrew for "beautiful location".

Friedrich Nietzsche was promoted to the rank of lance-corporal in the German army.

Friedrich Nietzsche became a Swiss citizen and settled in Basel, where he continued to teach for as long as his health allowed.

Friedrich Nietzsche published an essay on David Strauss, "Untimely Meditations I".

Friedrich Nietzsche moved to Turin, Italy.

Wilford Woodruff is elected the fourth president of the Mormon church.

At the San Remo Peace Conference of Allied Powers, French and British control over the Levant (former Turkish territory) was affirmed. Britain was given the mandate in Palestine, Transjordan and Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq, a territory created out of the Ottoman provinces of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul). France was given a mandate over Syria and Lebanon to France as well as 25% of the proceeds from Iraqi oil.

The American Lutheran Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches merge to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America - the fourth largest Protestant denomination in America.

The Vatican approved of the use of female altar servers during mass, emphasizing that the gender of altar services is a pastoral question rather than a doctrinal question (as is the case with female priests).

Delegates at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted down a proposal to eliminate language in church law that declares homosexuality to be "incompatible with Christian teaching."

The Maine Supreme Court rules that a voucher program uses to pay for tuition to religious schools in the Raymond School District violates the U.S. Constitution.

Do you have any suggestions for additions to this date? If so, you are encouraged to write and say so - the more information that can be added, the more complete and informative the calendar will be.

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