VATICAN CITY — For the first time in seven centuries, support for a new Crusade topped all other economic, religious, and foreign policy concerns, according to yesterday’s Vatican/CNN survey of “self-identified” Christians in Europe and the United States.
Nearly 95 percent of respondents reported that they “strongly supported” the building of an army to place the entirety of modern day Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon under the banner of the Holy See. Those polled indicated that though they “sort of” enjoyed the basic tenets of democracy, the terror attacks in Belgium made them willing to cede all political and military power to the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Pope Francis.
Though enthusiasm for a new Crusade is exceptionally high, some Vatican historians wonder whether those survey were a bit overzealous.
"We've tried this before and it didn't go all that great in the grand scheme of things," noted Cardinal Carlo Vigano. "If you don't believe me, just Google the word 'Saladin.'"
The poll also indicated that many Europeans would be willing to enlist in either the Knights Templar or the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, should the Vicar of Jesus Christ (Pope Francis) give his blessing for yet another Crusade. Belgian Alex Moreau noted that "rage and fine beer" would provide "ample sustenance" should he join a Christian Army tasked with burning a trail of his Almighty glory across any number of Muslim countries.
Even war-weary American citizens appear willing to personally back another military engagement in the region.
Chris Dunham, a 30-year-old consultant living in Boston, is no exception.
"So what, I haven't been to Mass since I got married 5 years ago, but I'm still a Catholic. I will always fight for a good cause," said Dunham, who failed to join any branch of the U.S. armed forces after 9/11, adding that: "Hell, I've already changed my Facebook profile picture to show the Belgian national colors."
Though the poll did not survey individuals living in the Middle East, Duffel Blog correspondents spoke with residents to gauge their reactions.
"Another military intervention?" Iraqi shopkeeper Abu al-Mansour jokingly asked. "I can't wait. Just don't pussy foot around with all that counterinsurgency stuff this time. Those ISIS guys are real assholes."