Over on the Book of Face, a friend of mine quoted a passage from C.S. Lewis that I generally agree with:
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
The trouble is that passages like this tend, of late, to be seized on by the most selfish jerks in the US–butthurt white conservative Christians–to whinge that an oppressive state is hurting their precious feels by asking them to show a little consideration to other people during Pandemic.
Case in point: A former Washingtonian of my acquaintance and a classic MAGA Catholic responded to the Lewis quote with, “It’s why me and my family left Washington state. Sick of the way lefties want to unconstitutionally control everything. I’m so much happier in Arizona.”
It is utterly unsurprising to me that a MAGA Catholic would flee the “oppression” of common sense public health restrictions for a state with twice the infection rate, plus the blessings of wall worship, ICE concentration camps, and Sheriff Joe.
If I could have one wish granted, it would be to banish from the minds of conservative white American Christians the blinding fantasy that they are living under or about to live under “tyranny”. It has been the engine that has made them the self-pitying authors of the tyranny of others for years and has only been kicked into overdrive since they whored themselves out to the dimestore antichrist Trump, who taught them that they should be liberated from all consideration for others and live entirely for themselves.
Not that there aren’t oppressed Christians on US soil. They are brown and they are poor and the loudest champions of their oppression are butthurt white conservative Christians who, per Lewis’ warning, inflict their cruelties on them with the lie that they are doing it for their own good.
From kidnapping children from their parents at the border with the lie that they are “keeping them safe” to depriving poor kids of food to teach them “responsibility” to burning down black churches the other day in the name of “order” (while prating about “religious liberty” for themselves) to deporting unaccompanied children to countries where they did not originate (with no provision for them once they step off the plane) and calling that “rule of law” to trying to disenfranchise 20 million voters and calling that “protecting democracy” to selfishly helping to kill 300K Americans with pandemic because having to mask makes these sociopaths feel persecuted, the selfishness of this demographic pleading “religious oppression” is the greatest civic curse the US faces and a stench in the nostrils of God and man.
And the day is coming when the patience of their fellow Americans will run out and they will, through their own repulsive selfishness, bring down on their own narcissistic heads the persecution they have been imagining they suffer because they refused to lose their lives in order to save them.