A belief in moral absolutes should always make us more, not less, critical of both sides in any conflict. This doesn’t mean that both sides are equally wrong; it means that since we all fall short of moral perfection, even the side whose cause is truly righteous may commit terrible acts of violence in defense of that cause — and, worse, may feel quite justified in committing them. That is the difference between being righteous and being self-righteous. Moral standards are absolute; but human fidelity to them is always relative.

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