Executive Compassion

C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963), literature professor and Christian apologist, peered behind the “compassionate” actions of government and discovered instead threads of tyranny. He notes that the most benevolent ideas imposed on others through the rule of law can often result in the exact opposite of what is intended.

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely 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.”1


1 C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 292.

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