Ok, just read the scene yesterday afternoon, and I don't know if it really would count as an Author Tract
. I think it was more for the purpose of the comparison between the "fundie farmers" and the Soviets, though I'm not sure why
the comparison was made. First published in May 1985, so I think odds are against it being anything related to "see, they're not so different" due to Glasnost and whatnot in 1989.
I suspect that somewhere, someone did a full analysis on the scene, invoking the fuck out of Death of the Author
and any related tropes, but I'm not crazy enough to dig for it.