Pulpits and thenPressn”The grand Pulpit is now the Press,”nThomas Carlyle argued a century andna half ago, adding that “the truenChurch of England, at this moment,nlies in the Editors of its Newspapers.nThese preach to the people daily,nweekly; admonishing kings themselves;nadvising peace or war, with an authoritynwhich only the first Reformers, andna long past clan of Popes were possessednof” “How,” Carlyle wrote,n”these two Churches and Pulpits (thenvelvet cushion one and the metal-typenone) are to adjust their mutual relationsnand cognate workings: this is anproblem which some centuries may bentaken up in solving.”nMore than a century after Carlyle’sndeath, the adjusting of “the mutualnrelations and cognate workings” of editorsnand ecclesiastics is far from finished.nThe last three decades havenseen some curious twists in the relationshipnbetween the churches and thenmedia. During the 60’s and 70’s whennmany clergymen became involved innthe civil rights and antiwar movements,ntheir relations with the pressnwere usually harmonious. In Apriln1971 Newsweek sympathetically discussednclergymen and religious journalsninvolved in criticizing the Viet­n36/CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnTYPEFACESnnam War without consulting anyncritics from the other side. Three yearsnbefore. The Nation published “No Portnfor the Phoenix,” by a member of anQuaker group defying U.S. law byntrying to deliver medical supplies tonthe Red Cross of the Vietnamese NationalnLiberation Front and to antiwarnBuddhists.nThe New Republic likewise allowednEdward Duff, S.J., the use of theirnpages for a 1971 article expressingnsympathy with the Berrigan brothers.nDespite doubts about “the ease withnwhich gospel truths are translated intonconcrete political programs” by thenBerrigans, Fr. DufiF lauded the radicalnbrothers for their destruction of draftnfiles and for other illegal acts.nThree years before the DufiF article,nTNR praised clerical activism in thencivil rights and antiwar causes in annunsigned editorial, “Clergy and Politics.”nThe editors lamented that “mostnclergy have traditionally shied awaynfrom such participation.” But in anshort article published in TNR about anmonth later, George Higgins questionednthe magazine’s endorsement ofnclergymen in politics:nClerical involvement in partisannpolitics . . . will almost inevitablynlead to certain consequencesnwhich, upon further reflection,neven the editors of TNR mightnconceivably wish to forestall.nA decade and a half later, after the risenof the Religious Right and the Rightto-Lifenmovement, the editors of TNRnand many other national publicationsnare beginning to agree with Higgins.nSome journalists have even begunnto sound a bit like Edmund Burke,nwho believed that clergymen betrayntheir sacred trust when they cease tonspeak with the “voice of soothingnChristian charity” and venture intonpolitics. The New York Times, for example,nwarned in 1980 that “whennministers preach to 30 million parishionersnthat only one brand of politicsnhas God’s approval there is a terriblennndanger of intolerance.” The BostonnGlobe spoke in similar tones the samenyear when it denounced antiabortionnbishops for bringing “all sorts of unleashednbigotry” into politics.nThese reversals in journalistic attitudesntoward clerical activism have notngone unnoticed. Writing in The Nationn(Nov. 1980), Leo P. Ribuflfo detectedna “double standard” and editorialn”snobbery” in media treatment ofnpolitically active evangelicals and antiabortionnCatholics. Observed Ribuflfo:n[Jerry] Falwell has a point whennhe complains that his critics nevern’accused the National Council ofnChurches of mixing religion andnpolitics.’ It is ironic that theologicalnconservatives are now urged tonwait quietly for the Antichrist bothnby theological liberals, who traditionallyndenied any distinction betweenngodly work and work-inthe-world,nand by secular radicals,nwho rightly maintain in otherncontexts that the personal is thenpolitical.nThe New Republic (11 Oct. 1980)nlikewise found “more than a trace ofninconsistency, even hypocrisy,” in denunciationsnof conservative clergymennby “liberals [who] have never objectednto Catholic bishops speaking out innfavor of civil rights or New Englandnministers protesting the arms race.”nStill, as Higgins predicted, TNR wasnnot delighted by “the political organizingnof the fundamentalist right, andn. . . the Catholic Church’s campaignnagainst aborUon.” Such developmentsndemanded “renewed political energynon the left and among believers in anwoman’s right to abortion.” Disgust atnthe hypocrisy of the newly criticalnattitude of many journalists towardnclerical activism, however, did notnprevent TNR from publishing an articlen(2 Aug. 1980) on “The Danger ofnBorn-Again Politics.”nNewsweek is also worried that Reagan’snreligious views derive from “thennarrow agenda of a single religiousn