group that on matters of war andnpeace, Central America and justice fg>rnthe domestic poor and hungry runsncounter to what a majority of AmericannProtestants, CathoHcs—and possiblynevangelicals as well—believe.”nThe President’s vision of Americanmakes religion “essentially a personalnrelationship to God” and seeks forn”government noninterference in religionnand family life.” These positionsnmirror “the fundamentalists’ own entrepreneurialnstyle of religion,” in contrastnwith the Democratic hopes for “angovernment with the soul of anchurch.” On the other hand,nNewsweek (17 Sept. 1984) also characterizednthe Religious Right as supportersnof “causes—school prayer, abortionnand financial support for parentsnwho send their children to parochialnschools—[that] all require governmentnaction to alter what they see asnthe permissive status quo.”nOn Seeing Rednby Roy TrabandnRed Dawn is not a particularly goodnflick, as we used to call motion picturesnin my day. But your reviewernmisses some of the underlying reasonsnfor its immense success.nNothing so rankles our elitists today,nespecially one on the NY-DC-LA Axisnof Media, as the thought that a gagglenof hillbillies could come boiling out ofnthe hills to challenge a UN kind ofnworld order. Yes, the very concept ofnprivate ownership of small arms isnanathema to them, those who sit atopnour channels of communication generally.nTo resist Afghanistani style is alsonunfathomable to the New Elite RednGuard in Media. Eric Hoffer, the latenSF forklift philosopher, and HermannKahn, the late futurist, saw the inherentnweakness of the intellectual fascist!;nand, therefore, they were not given thenJournalistic casuistry is even morenbaffling at The Nation. There the leftnhand that permits Mr. Ribuffo to reflectnon the injustice of editorial assaultsnon fundamentalist politics isncountered by a right hand that allowsnHans Koning in the same month tondecry the “wave of obscurantism . . .nsweeping the Western world” becausenof conservative religious attitudes fosterednby people like Mr. Reagan andnMr. Carter. “Beliefs … are purelynprivate matters. . . . They have beennprivate matters since the last publicnburning of a heretic, which is not thatnlong ago. We want to keep them private.”nBut in March 1983, The Nationndefended the very public stances of thenNational Council of Churches on “aidnto the poor, development, and socialnjustice in the Third World, racial integration,nand minority rights” againstnattacks by 60 Minutes and the Reader’snDigest. A year later, though. The Na­nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnadulation afforded the shallow TVnanchorperson Frank Reynolds whennall three died at about the same time.nAn audience of West Coast critics, itnis reported, applauded the film’s beginningna la the announcement of anMexico ruled by Marxists; the jeeringnwent on when the firearms registrationnlists were utilized in Colorado tonround up weapons (European stylencirca World War II); and there wasnsnickering when it was uttered thatnAmerica would always be free. So, thenentire thing from beginning to end wasna litmus test on varying cultural attitudesnto fighting tyranny.nThe film is a classic case of why allnmedia in the U.S. now are on suchnparlous times. With the worst yet toncome. ccnRoy Traband describes himself as ansubscriber and armed citizen.ntion (8 Sept. 1984) was attacking Reagannfor asserting that “religion rightlynbelongs in every section of Americannpolitical life”:nGod may indeed prefer Reagan tonMondale . . . but there is no goodnway of knowing, beyond thenclaims of self-proclaimed prophets,nwhether in purple robes or threepiecensuits. Diderot, after all, hadna point: ‘Mankind shall not be freenuntil the last king is strangled withnthe entrails of the last priest.’nWell, until N.C.C. officials becomenthe last to provide The Nation’s editorsnwith the weapons for regicide, thendifficult task of adjusting the “mutualnrelations and cognate workings” ofnpress and clergy will proceed. Carlyle’snallowance of only “some centuries” fornthe task now seems optimistic. ccnMr. DragashnReplies:nnnMr. Traband makes a valuable pointnabout Red Dawn, one which I mightnhave addressed but did not largely fornreasons of unity: there is only so muchnthat can be discussed in a brief review.nI share much of Traband’s sentimentnon the right of self-defense, so muchnso that I am tempted to apply it tonassaults on my mind as well as mynperson. As Voltaire might have written,nI agree with everything you say,nbut 1 will oppose to the death yournright to say it. ccnC. P. Dragash maintains an armednvigil from his ivory tower in NewnRome.nMARCH 1985/37n