Laodiceans in Lotus Land: Moderate Liberals Today

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

Revelation 3: 15-16

“There is no wild wind in his soul,
No strength of flood or fire;

He knows no force beyond control,
He feels no deep desire.”

Edgar Vine Hall, “A Laodicean” (1906)

Christ does not like moderates and likens them to a lukewarm drink, which neither refreshes nor warms.  Christ said this when he appeared to John on Patmos, in reproof to the church at Laodicea, and by it meant to say that the Laodiceans were languid in both love and hate.  As the poet put it, they have “no strength of flood or fire.”  Desire does not sweep them off their feet; repugnance does not ignite their fervent wrath.  Laodiceans see good and bad in everything, and that is why Christ tells them to correct their blurred vision with “eyesalve.”

In social life it is often necessary to compromise and split the difference, but in spiritual life it is death.  This is why you must never let the palm-greasing, back-scratching, log-rolling spirit of democracy enter your soul.  In your soul there must blow a wild wind, blizzard or scirocco as the case be.  There must not play equable and shifting zephyrs, like those that soothed the moderate liberals who basked on the beach of Lotus Land.

“Straightway they went, and came to speech
With men of Lotus Land.
And for our comrades no ill turn
The Lotus-eaters plann’d,

But offer’d them the fruit to taste
Of lotus, honey-sweet,
Now whosoever had once learn’d
That flowery food to eat,

Cared to return no longer, nor
Send word his tale to tell,
But, all forgot, forever there
In Lotus Land to dwell.”*

*) Homer, Odyssey, trans. Isaac Flagg (East Aurora: Roycrofters, 1923).

10 thoughts on “Laodiceans in Lotus Land: Moderate Liberals Today

  1. So you would prefer the company of a woke liberal over a moderate liberal because the woke liberal is more extreme? Would you also prefer to debate with an extremely stupid or offensive person for the same reason? Does your quote from Revelation prove that Christ holds these views as well?

    • Moderate liberals are often great company. As I said, squishy compromise and splitting the difference are good at the social level. Moderate liberals are generally much more squishy on the left side, but I find them very easy to get along with. The problem with moderate liberals is at the spiritual level because a squishy spirit is just punky and rotten. I prefer not to debate stupid people of any stripe. The quote from Revelation suggests that moderation is spiritually perilous. Read the whole warning to the Laodiceans. A pagan or a sinner can “see” his paganism and his sin. A moderate Laodicean, who us half pagan and half sinner, cannot.

    • Winstonscrooge wrote:

      So you would prefer the company of a woke liberal over a moderate liberal because the woke liberal is more extreme?

      Yes, and no. “Yes,” not because (s)he is “more extreme,” but because (s)he is, or tends to be, *more genuine*. This is kind of a common theme within these precincts. I’m surprised you’ve missed it.

      No one *prefers* to debate an extremely stupid or offensive person, but, extremely stupid and offensive persons are ‘a dime a dozen’ in our extremely stupid and offensive times. So, there ya go. It is what it is.

      **See Carlos Cipolla’s essay on what constitutes the difference between simple human stupidity and the more extreme version thereof.

      P.S.: Glad we agree that human stupidity is a very real thing; can we also agree on the idea that, as such, it has no place in directing the future of our civilization? (This is why I’m a Southern Nationalist, btw)

  2. Nobody is debating the Bill of Rights; it has been fully implemented and found to be zero threat to government power. The government actually waxes fat off enforcement of increasingly extruded and rococco individual and procedural rights, including much-ballyhooed voting rights.

    winstonscrooge’s “moderate liberalism” isn’t actually staking out a position on anything. It’s like boldly declaring you’re in favor of truth and justice.

      • Exactly. The government has zero fear of individual rights. What it really fears is people being able to draw their own borders and telling the State they don’t need it any more because rights are now moderated by the market, not by the government. Thus the State must dream up civil and voting rights to justify its prolapsed existence.

    • theantignostic wrote:

      Nobody is debating the Bill of Rights; it has been fully implemented and found to be zero threat to government power.

      Hamilton’s fear is become reality; the government has discovered the “numerous handles” given the doctrine of constructive powers via “indulgence of an injudicious zeal for bills of rights.”

      I go further and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. … I will not contend that such [provisions] would confer a regulating power; but it is evident that [they] would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power. They might urge with a semblance of reason, that the Constitution ought not to be charged with the absurdity of providing against the abuse of an authority which was not given, and that the provision against restraining the liberty of the press afforded a clear implication, that a power to prescribe proper regulations concerning it was intended to be vested in the national government.


      What signifies a declaration that “the liberty of the press shall be inviolably preserved”? What is the liberty of the press? Who can give it any definition which would not leave the utmost latitude for evasion? I hold it to be impracticable; and from this I infer that its security, whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all, as is intimated upon another occasion, must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.

      -Hamilton, Federalist no. 84


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