Chivalry is dead; long live chivalry!
February 20, 2013 § 336 Comments
And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more. – Luke 12:48
In my previous post on chivalry we learned that there are two quite distinct traditional concepts of chivalry. The Catholic Encyclopedia takes a dim view of female-focused “court” chivalry: I’ve attempted to put this dim view in contemporary terms by expressing it more or less as “don’t be a beta orbiter, not even just for a day”.
However, chivalry as a warrior code of honor still echoes down the centuries, and what it represents is a basic moral relationship between the powerful and the powerless: between strong men and the weak and vulnerable. Powerful men have a moral obligation to use their strength to defend the weak and vulnerable. Powerful men who use their strength purely for selfish advantage, neglecting the vulnerable, condemn themselves:
There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen; and feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, 21 Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table, and no one did give him; moreover the dogs came, and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. 23 And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom: 24 And he cried, and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame. 25 And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazareth evil things, but now he is comforted; and thou art tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, cannot, nor from thence come hither. 27 And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father’s house, for I have five brethren, 28 That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments. 29 And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.31 And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead. — Luke 16:19-31
Our world is filled with weak men, men without chests; and “empowered” women, harlots of Babylon. The problem with chivalry, real chivalry, is not that it is dead. The problem is that it brings into sharp relief how many modern men and women are in rebellion against what they are supposed to be.
 Actually more than two; but two which are of interest in the current post.