Chivalry is the consecration of fighting ability to the uses of the church. The ideal knight came to be thought of as preferably a celibate, even tonsured, who spent his life fighting the infidel or engaged in other "just" wars. This directed the fighting propensities of the nobility, to some extent, into channels sanctioned by the church.

War was a game, to be played according to the rules. We may think of these medieval knights as making war upon each other in the spirit of the modern amateur in sport. They would assume the ancient and royal obligations of protecting the poor and weak, including women. The knight set forth under the banner of Christ becoming a war leader and king, to wrest the "land of his birthright" from the infidels; if he fell, he had his reward in heaven, if he conquered, he won renown, and estate of earth and the kingdom of heaven besides.

When loyalty became a Christian virtue, it increased respect for women and probity in the poor. Honor became the password of chivalry - a sort of moral institution imposed on feudalism. The social habits of educated laymen were made gentler by the warm contact of chivalry, and courteous manners spread far and wide. Wore chain mail in the first crusade rather than plate armor. Chivalry taught Europeans that it is right and fitting to kill and destroy in the service of Christian ideals. The immediate sufferers from this belief were Jews and heretics. The long range sufferer was European society as a whole. Nor has belief in killing and destruction in the service of a higher cause suffered any diminutation in the 20th century.
[76, 42, 46]

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