Note: This post uses religious symbolism for secular purposes. It is not a tool of proselytization.
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version (NIV)
Now, there are times when a line in the sand needs to be drawn. There are moments when a spade needs to be called a spade and alleged attempts to invoke nuance are nothing more than shady displays of selective moral relativism or cowardly smoke screens. It’s not always easy to know when absolutism needs to be employed, but nothing about the narrow path is easy.
We saw an example of this not so long ago. After the horrors of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, President Trump attempted to create a moral equivalency between non-violent counter protesters and white supremacists. The latter had blood on their hands by the end of the rally. The world watched while Trump clumsily attempted to maintain his pride and minimize the outrage, but after multiple media appearances, he made it clear what he thought: both sides were at fault. No. That was not the case. There is nothing beneficial that can be gleaned from white supremacists that chant “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil,” a common call to arms of the Nazi party. While the First Amendment does and should protect their right to utter such filth, the moral leader of the free world should call a spade a spade.
There are times when situations aren’t nuanced and the world actually is black and white. They’re rare occurrences, but they do happen. False equivalencies are obvious attempts to stay on the broad road of cafeteria morality.