I observed the movie entitled “Kingdom of Heaven. ” The story focused mostly on Balian, a man who had simple lifestyle in Southern France. When he was left by his child and wife who committed a suicide, he became filled with grief and sought redemption. It was an epic adventure story about the crusades of Christians during 12th century. Balian was a stranger to Jerusalem but he became one of the knights there.
The king offered him to marry his sister (Sybila) in order for Balian to take his place after his death, because he wanted to have a good leader to manage the place of the Holy Land, but Balian rejected the offer because of his conscience and respect to the expected husband (Guy) of Sybila. As I watched the film, it made me realized how Christians in the late century fought for their religion. It seemed so sad to know that fighting for their religion most likely meant taking others’ lives. They kept on killing people just to invade one’s place.
I have thought about what if Christians and Muslims during that century had just fixed that issue in a nice way; there’s no homicide happened, maybe now all of us are at peace. At that time, why did they have to kill people if their main purpose was to expand Christianity? Through their actions, they just destroyed the image of Christians. As what I have observed, Muslims were obsolete, but Christian armies did the first move to have a war against them. The bloody-war where most of the Christian armies died was when Guy took the place of being the King of Jerusalem.
Most of his decisions were not for the good but instead to start always a war against Muslims. That was one of the reasons the late king wanted Balian to be the king because he knew the capacity of Balian if he were in the position. The king knew that if Balian was the leader, he would not let Jerusalem struggle. He would protect the Holy Land and the people who were living there. Guy as the king was just profiteering and made the religion and position as a front self-advancement. He and his members were just using their religion for their personal needs and power against the people under them.
In fact, he betrayed the people living in Jerusalem and the people who were under Saladin. He was a kind of a leader who did not know how to manage his people. He had a small mind to decide things that were not necessary. I really hated Guy because he was the one who started the war. He didn’t deserve the position they had given to him. He was an immoral person who didn’t care for the sake of his people. He deserved what happened to him in the hand of Saladin a lot due to his unlawful actions.
If Balian only accepted the position offered to him, I think all that misunderstandings between the Christians and Muslims would not happened. But we cannot blame Balian because he placed himself where he supposed to be. Yet, he did not forsake the land of Jerusalem; instead he stood for it in order to save the people. I was amazed for the brave personality of Balian – he was more intelligent than Guy, because when the Muslims stroke their territory, even they did not have enough knights, and still he managed to protect their place.
Because of his righteousness, many people adored him, and he became the hero of their land even though at first he was only a stranger. He put on all his efforts and sacrificed a lot, but when they no longer had defense against their opponents, Balian surrendered the land of Jerusalem to Saladin, rather than to let people suffer more. He thought that when the war would continue, lots of people (both old and children) would die. He was not selfish, because he always thought about the welfare of the majority. Being a leader, we should follow the footsteps of Balian, and use him as inspiration as we go along to our journey in life.
We should not go for a decision that might cause bad results for other. We need to consider always others’ welfare before we go for it. As Christianity is concerned, what we need is to live out the doings of Christ when he existed in this world. He did not build Christianity for persecution purposes. We must learn from him what he did for us. What I have witnessed in the movie was that it was really a brutal doings and disgusting. If I were there, I would have rather committed suicide than to continue follow the higher ranks that were not worthy to follow like Guy.
In general, I learned so much about why Muslims and Christian people currently are incompatible with each other. I realized also that even if you are Christians, you should never underestimate the other religions since our ancestors were sinners. In ancient times, they kept committing homicide towards their co-knights. They were brutal and had no conscience when they were taking one’s life. They did not practice the commandments of God. I also noticed that when the ruler was not wise enough to govern his men, his administration would become wasted.
As an application to what I have learned, I must choose the worthy leaders that will govern our society; we must fight for our right being a citizen of this institution to have a good leader to serve us. A leader must not betray us and be brave enough to protect our country from other countries who want to take our territory. And as the religion is concerned, we must not force others to join the Christian society, but let their faith bring them where they should be. As long as we have one God, one faith and one hope there’s nothing to worry about.