VIEWSnArt Is Always Political When the GovernmentnStarts Giving Grantsnby George Garrettn”In the background of the entire tedious debate over thenNEA, the First Amendment has loomed, misunderstood andnabused as usual, claimed by some as justification for theirnright to express a preference for causing pain to othersnduring the sex act and asserted by others as the basis for anconstitutional right to receive federal grants.”n—Raymond SolokovnSpeaking of the subject of censorship and the arts inngeneral, and, more specifically, the whole affair in thesenrecent months (filling many newspaper pages) about thenproblem of the American taxpayer and the government’snsupport or nonsupport of the arts; speaking of freedom andnof censorship, then, particularly, here and now, representednGeorge Garrett is Henry Hoyns Professor of English atnthe University of Virginia. His latest novel. Entered Fromnthe Sun, is due out this fall from Doubleday.n18/CHRONICLESnnnby the ways and means, the action and inaction of thenNational Endowment for the Arts, hereinafter called thenNEA; speaking of these things — and why not? Everybodynelse is — I do, in fact, have a few things to say.nFirst ofF, I need to admit honestly to the angle from whichnI view things, the point of view with which I bear witness.nBesides being a part-time writer and a full-time teacher, I amnby now listed here and there as a Democrat and annEpiscopalian. A Democrat of New Deal origins and versions.nAn Episcopalian who is happier with the language andntheology of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, but who, fornthe time being, is obedient to the wit and wisdom of ournbishops.nAs a Democrat I can hardly pretend to argue against anynand all kinds of government involvement with the arts. As anRoosevelt/Truman Democrat, however, I am inclined, indeednrequired to trust the people in their wisdom, to honornthe thoughts and feelings of what has now come to be calledn