Though sourced from a rather unusual quarter, in this excerpt from a fictional letter sent by the archangel Lucifer to his brother Michael comes an argument defining the dangers posed by liberal progressives:
Certainly, in hell there is no free will, for the damned relinquished it on their worlds. This torment has been denied them by me. Therefore, they cannot will to climb to Heaven by self-denial, by contemplation, by worship, by dedication, by acts of faith and charity. These attributes shriveled in them during their lives, or were rejected scornfully by them in moods of risible sophistications. They can desire to possess them now, but I would keep them safe and warm, as Our Father never kept them so! So, they can will nothing. They can only accept the pleasures -and the pains – I bestow on them.
In Heaven, however, free will is fully released. The ability to reject, to deny, remains with archangels, angels and the souls of the saved. The gift of repudiation is still with them and the possibility of disobedience. Is that not most frightful? What insecurity! What danger! My damned remain with me in eternal slavery because in life they desired only safety, and lacked the fire of adventure, though, God knows, they protested enough on their worlds! But what did they protest? Inequality, which is the variety of God. Instability, which is the light of the universes. Uneasiness of mind, which is the soul of philosophy. Apparent injustices, which are the goad of the spirit. Vulnerability to life and other men, which is a charge to become invulnerable through Faith in God. The presence of suffering or misfortune – but these are a call for the soul to put on armor and serenity. They demanded of their rulers that they remain in constant cocoons, silky and guarded by earthly authority. They did not ask for wings to soar into the sunlight, and the ominous threats of full existence. They rejected freedom for hell. Certainly, they cried for freedom on their worlds, but it was freedom only to live happily without the freedom to be divinely unhappy.
I have satisfied all these lusts of men. Strange, is it not, that my hells, though the ultimate success of the dreams of men, are filled with weeping? And strange, is it not, that they still do not believe in the existence of God? But then, they never did; they believed only in me. They cannot will to believe in God. They see absolute reality about them now, which was their will in life. I will not pretend that I do not understand them, for was it not I who promised them all without work and without striving?
But lately I asked of a newly descended soul which had much acclaim on Terra: “What was your greatest desire on your world, you who were applauded by rulers and admired by your fellowmen?”
He replied, “Justice for all,” and put on a very righteous expression.
That was admirable, for who does not admire justice, even I? But I probed him. He declared that in his earthly view all men deserved what all other men possessed, whether worthy or not. “They are men, so they are equal, and being born they have a right to the fruits of the world, no matter the condition of their birth or the content of their minds, or their capacities.” I conducted him through the pleasures of my hell and he was delighted that no soul was lesser in riches than another, and that every soul had access to my banquets and my palaces, no soul was distinguishable from another, none possessed what another did not possess. Every desire was immediately gratified, he discovered. He smiled about him joyfully. He said, “Here, justice is attained!”
Then he saw that no face was joyful, however mean or lofty its features. He remarked, wonderingly, on the listlessness of my damned, and how they strolled emptily through thoroughfares filled with music and through streets wherein there was not a single humble habituation. He heard the cries of pleasure over my laden tables, and then heard them silenced, for there was no need now for food and where there is no need there is no desire and no enjoyment. He saw that the poorest on earth were clothed in magnificence and jewels, yet they wept the loudest. He was no fool. He said, “Satiety.” True, I answered him, but satiety can only live in the presence of total equality. He pondered on this while I led him to the seat of thousands of philosophers, and he sat down among them. But, as there is no challenge in hell, and no mystery, there can be no philosophy. That night he came to me on his knees and begged for death. I struck him with my foot, and said, “O man, this was the hell you made, and this was the desire of your heart, so eat, drink, and be merry.”
He attempted to hang himself in the manner of Judas, and I laughed at his futility. I meditated that above all futility is the climate of hell.
He said to me, in tears, “Then, if you are, then God exists.”
“That does not follow,” I replied to him. “But, did you not deny Him on Terra? Did you not speak of supra-man and man-becoming, and the ultimate glorification of man on earth, without God?”
“I did not see God among men,” he said, wringing his hands.
“You did not look,” I said. “You were too dull in your human arrogance and too enamored of humanity. You never denounced your fellows for their lusts and their cruelties. You told them they were only ‘victims.’ You refused to look upon their nature, for you denied the infinite variety and capacities of nature. To you, one man was as good as any other man, and equally endowed, for the foolish reason that he had been born. You saw no saints, and no sinners. It was only a matter of environment, though the proof was all about you that environment is but a mere shading or tint on the soul, and is not destiny. You denied that men have gifts of the spirit, often above those of other men. In truth, you denigrated those gifts of striving and wonder. You denied free will. Everything evil that happened to a man was only the result of his fellowmen’s lack of justice. You denied the reality of good and evil, the ability to make a choice. In short, you denied life, itself.”
“Then God in truth does exist?” he asked, after a moment’s miserable thought.
“That you will never know,” I said. “But rejoice! All your dreams are fulfilled here. Delight yourself. Behold, there are beautiful female demons here, and banquets and sports and pleasures and soft beds and lovely scenes and all whom you had wished, in life, you had known. Converse with them.”
“There is no desire in me,” he said. “I want nothing.”
“You are surely in hell,” I replied, and I left him weeping.
Dialogues With The Devil, Taylor Caldwell, 1967.