The passing of William F. Buckley last week at the age of 82 produced an outpouring of remembrances that continued through the weekend with Michael Kinsley’s “Tales from the Firing Line” in the New York Times. National Review Online has assembled some of the best here, of which one of the best of the best is William McGurn’s “God and Man and Bill” originally published in the Wall Street Journal.
Christianity Today also republished a fascinating 1995 interview with Buckley on the subject of Christian political activism. In “Conversations: W. Buckley: Listening to Mr. Right” Buckley tells interviewer Michael Cromartie this about the growing influence of conservatives in politics:
What we see here is a mobilization of people who are properly horrified by what they see going on in Hollywood, in the growth of single-parent families, and so forth. They’ve figured out that our foundations need restoring, and I have never doubted that those foundations are religious. So this is how they reach the general public, as religious people rather than as political people. Their affinity is much closer to conservatives than to liberals for the obvious philosophical reasons.
I’m not frightened by it. But I think it’s important to keep the matters discrete and to know when you are talking about one thing and when you are talking about something else.
See also this exchange between Buckley and Cromartie on the publication of Buckley’s Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith, in 1997.
Ave atque vale