Big Government Do-Gooders Blinders to Inherent Danger

Barb Wire

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim 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.” – C.S. Lewis, “God in the Dock”

If there is something more vile than oppressive government, it must be do-gooders who would apply oppressive government’s powers to do their good deeds.

In a recent Facebook exchange with a no-doubt well-meaning do-gooder, yours truly was lectured on the moral imperative to help others when they are in need. How unchristian it would be, was the implication, were anyone to refuse to gather up and bring home to the United States refugees fleeing danger in the Middle East.

As often is the case, the well-meaning do-gooder’s singlemindedness left him blind to the details, and to their ramifications.

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Even after being advised of the logical red flags, not the least of which being the inherent danger to others not party to the scheme, the do-gooder was unpersuaded.

“You’re focusing on the risk of danger of accepting refugees, and I’m focusing on the imperative to help those who clearly need it,” the do-gooder lectured. “This isn’t an open borders argument, this is political asylum. And simply pointing out that there’s risk doesn’t trump all other considerations. … It’s a question of degree of risk. And on a probability basis, what’s the risk here?”

The do-gooder commits the trendy logical fallacy of ad misericordiam, an appeal to pity. His emotional plea is cloaked in self-righteous piety. In contrast, I weighed realism against the absurd notion that all and any who suffer must be admitted to my country at my countrymen’s expense and potential deadly risk, even without the hosts’ approval. In the real world, that’s an absurdity.

There are any number of more reasonable ways to find help for any of those who may truly be in need among these hordes of largely military-aged male “refugees” without imposing the cost and risk on my country. Establishing temporary camps in or near their homeland is the most obvious. Making the do-gooder’s moralistic case to the “refugees’” own religious kin in Middle East nations is another.

But to ignore the immorality of using the power of government to impose the costs of housing, feeding, clothing, medicating and otherwise providing for thousands of refugees with little likelihood of employable skills, let alone an ability to speak English, is just the beginning of what C.S. Lewis described as “torment.”

Then there’s the far larger issue of exposure to the real risks of welcoming countless strangers from a land where death to infidels, aka Christians, is practiced as a holy rite.

There is nothing imperative in any Christian sense about imposing such costs and dangers on others, particularly against their will.

The logical extension of the do-gooder’s argument is to open our borders and bring in every ailing, fretting, needy soul from all around the world, all 3 billion or more of them. When the criteria are merely feeling their pain and satisfying do-gooders’ felt needs, where would you logically draw the line? Touchy-feely knows no limits.

That the do-gooder had to ask, “What’s the risk here?” shows a detachment from reality. First, he has to ignore the indisputable facts that false IDs are easily bought and sold, that ISIS has announced its intent to hide among “refugees” in order to infiltrate and do their dirty work and that the FBI admits they have zero assurance of vetting any Middle East “refugee.” Who are they going to check with? Assad?

Then, if only 1 percent of 10,000 un-vetted supposed “Syrians” turns out to be a violent Islamist in disguise, that’s the equivalent of 100 of the ilk that committed the recent butchery in Paris that we would import to do the same in a couple dozen U.S. cities they’ve already announced as targets. Now multiply that by 10 because that’s what bleeding heart democrats are insisting we bring here and you get an inkling of “what’s at risk.” That doesn’t even account for the displaced Muslims who won’t assimilate (because they refuse to) who later turn to jihad, as the Somalis in Minneapolis demonstrated.

What’s at risk? Really?

On this basis the do-gooder assumes the moral high ground in this debate? Really?

He forfeited that position when he presumed to decide for millions of Americans what THEIR responsibilities are and how much THEY must pay and risk. That isn’t Christian mercy. It’s totalitarianism.

As one C.S. Lewis commentator put it, “tyranny is waiting in the wings, if it is not already upon the stage, when the power of government is used to force people to do or be good.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Mark Landsbaum
Mark Landsbaum is a Christian husband, father, grandfather and journalist who has written for a living for 43 years, ever since discovering he had no particular talents. He can be found on Facebook, Linkedin, and in the archives of the Orange County Register where he wrote another column for 10 years. He can be reached at

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