America’s history, which is in part thenhistory of the Americas. Western culturentook centuries to seek roots here,nand the settling-in is not yet complete.nA short visit to the region teaches onlynthat a rich heritage is at stake, as communistnencroachment continues and increases.nFour hundred years of nearlynunrelenting violent changes have taughtnCentral Americans to look at the futurenwith fear and doubt. The visitor learnsnhow to think that way, and departs thisnvernal, rugged land, with its dark,ncloud-swept peaks, wondering somberlynif, on returning, anything will be thensame. DnThe American ProsceniumnReligion & PoliticsnWhen a priest heads a strike committeenof California grape pickers and initiatesnhis church’s prayers for theirncause—this is not mixing religion withnpolitics.nWhen a bishop asks his diocesans notnto vote for a self-avowed supporter ofnabortion—this is mixing religion withnpolitics.nWhen a Catholic priest stole andnburnt government documents to promotendefeatism during the VietnamnWar, and exhorted other Christians tondo the same—this was not mixing religionnwith politics.nWhen an evangelical Christian tries,nwith the help of the ballot, to restorenin public schools what he believes isndecency and normalcy—this is mixingnreligion with politics.nWhen a Brazilian prelate, a LebanesenGreek Catholic clergyman and thenProtestantNational Council of Churchesnopenly support, with sermons andnmoney, either the Communist Party ornthe murderous terrorists and guerrillanmovements in Latin America, Africanand Asia—this is not mixing religionnwith politics.nWhen an American presidential candidatenpromises tax relief to parochialnschools and mentions his personal preferencenfor singing Christmas carols innthe classroom—this is mixing religionnwith politics.nThis is what we have learned duringnthe last electoral campaign in our country.nIt was an edifying lesson. It taughtn48;nChronicles of Culturenus that what the American liberal acceptsnas democracy is a sociopoliticalnarrangement in which only his moralnprinciple is good and democratic. Somenwould call it a double standard. We callnit totalitarian liberalism.nNothing illustrates (perhaps inadvertently)nthe cynicism of the liberalnmind better than a story on CBS’s “60nMinutes” program, in which Mr. DannRather interviewed some evangelicalnChristians who had turned to politicsnto defend their values. Mr. Rather, havingndifficulty concealing his own instinctualnhostility toward those Christians,nthrew in their faces accusationsnlike smug indifference for the needy,ncallous unconcern for poor people, etc.nJesus, Mr. Rather pontificated, hadntaught about compassion and responsivenessnto material misery, while Mr.nRather was unable to find traces ofnChrist’s teachings amidst the currentnevangelical struggle against pruriencenand homosexuality. One glimpse wasnenough for anyone—with even less thannMr. Rather’s touted quick-wittedness—nto ascertain that the interviewed, photographednand televised evangelicals werenprecisely poor people, particularly inncomparison to Mr. Rather, who is anmillionaire, and hardly fit to lecturenimpecunious Americans about how theynshould feel and what they should treasurenin life. If they choose to defendnspiritual riches above economic concerns,nMr. Rather has no moral right toncriticize or scoff at them. If Mr. Rathernhad attempted to examine the intellectualndimension of their simplistic anxi­nnneties and mistrusts, his professional andnpersonal arrogance might have beenntempered. But how could we ask thenRathers of the liberal American televisionnuniverse to use intellectual analysisnwhen being an ignoramus reaps so manynrewards?nDuring the electoral controversy, annultraliberal Southern Baptist pastornfrom Atlanta told a reporter: “Whennchurch and state go to bed together,nthey do not make love or produce offspring.nOne always rapes the other.”nThe profundity of his thought is in directnproportion to this cleric’s all-consumingnpassion for chic verbiage andncorrelates well with his mental incoherence.nFor having a Christian mind,nhe seems strangely ignorant of the circumstancenthat going to bed togethernimplies free will, which rules outnrape.nHistorical FootnotenDuring the Gdansk drama the worldnwatched with suspense as Polish workersnwaged an imposing struggle againstnMarxist-Leninist tyrannical mega-orthodoxy,nand everybody waited for Sovietnintervention—which did not mater^^”nize. The question was: Why? *«nThe feeling in Poland at that timenwas that the Kremlin power center preferrednCarter to Reagan. As a rule, thenKremlin prefers Republican presidents:nthey do not make wars, and they are notnso given to international idealism andnmoral sloganeering as the Democrats.nHowever, Carter appointed CyrusnVance, the Kremlin’s most beloved secretarynof state in recent history. Vancenhad left by then, but his people in thenupper echelons of the American foreignpolicynestablishment stayed. Carter’snerratic and shallow bellicosity was lessnof a problem to the Soviets than the possiblendisappearance of all those who,nover the last four years, had smoothednthe way for the execution of Soviet designsnin Asia, Africa and Latin America.nSuch insurance apparently was worthn