Paving the Way to Hades by Synova
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth.
Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
—C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock
A wave of sentiment seems to be sweeping our nation that no action that is taken the name of opposing evil can possibly be bad. Or if it IS bad, that we’re supposed to be understanding of the sentiment that led the person to that place where they would hurt other people for good reasons.
I had a long conversation with a gentleman who couldn’t understand that accepting bad outcomes when the people creating those bad outcomes had pure hearts was not the loving position to take.
So it’s not even that the ends justify the means… excusing efforts to strip us (and it would be *all* of us) of our constitutional protections because it would lead to a good end, but even if it led to a bad end he couldn’t understand how a person would object when those involved were so clearly motivated by goodness in their hearts.
Bad “means” + bad “ends” + noble motivations = something that people should support?
You’d think that when stated that baldly, that the message would get through that this is simply unsupportable for any person who gives the least thought to other human beings and making a “Hell of earth.”
And I know from experience that the lofty goals, the loving hearts, the pure souls of the tormentors does not soften the abuse, but amplify it. And there is a reason that CS Lewis’s famous quote holds so true to me because I had an abuser given “approval of their own conscience.” In fact, I was a *project* of my 5th and 6th grade teacher.
I don’t blame anyone but her, because there’s no way that anyone could have really known how unrelenting she was in her constant attention to me. And 5th and 6th graders have no real way of knowing what is reasonable or not. Other students likely enjoyed her because she planned activities and fun things regularly. But if you were her project student, the one that she truly focused on to help you, your life was hell. I got through 5th grade by repeating a constant mantra that they could not give me the same teacher twice and when the year was over I would be saved. In 6th grade I found that she personally and specifically requested I be transferred to her classroom to save me from the German Battle Ax that taught the other 6th grade class. Terrified and timid, I mustered the strength to refuse to walk through her door. My parents were summoned to the school and the principal and that teacher told me how wonderful she was, she told me how much she liked me and how wonderful she was. The lesson learned, before I ever had the vocabulary to understand CS Lewis, was exactly what he described. The truth was there, I just needed the words, and up until my mid-20’s I would break down in shaking and tears if I started to discuss what was absolutely and utterly two years of focused abuse with the absolute best of intentions.
The German Battle Ax could have been expected to occasionally let me alone.
Now, across my social networks from innumerable voices, I’m told that it’s right and good and necessary to simply disregard our hard won rights and protections. People who have been given permission by their own consciences are arguing that it’s okay, or even necessary, to destroy the despised minority by all means possible for all of the very best reasons, because *this time* they are despised because they’re evil and our motivations are righteous.
As if that makes it better, instead of worse.