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In a day when the conservative point of view has been labeled as both the bane of an intolerant society and the boon of America's cultural rebirth, William F. Buckley, Jr.—the "patron saint of conservatism," as his biographer, John Judis, calls him—offers a measured assessment of some of today's most challenging social and moral issues.

Renowned for founding the conservative journal National Review, Buckley, 69, is the recipient of countless awards, including the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom. As the author of numerous books and plays, the host of the PBS series Firing Line, a distinguished thinker and lecturer, and a gifted harpsichordist, Buckley has earned a reputation as a true Renaissance man. But often lost in his elaborate vita is the fact that Buckley's work is informed by a strong Christian faith. In his memorable book "God and Man at Yale" (1951), Buckley reflected on the challenges of taking his Catholic faith into the secular arena.

Last spring, CT advisory editor Michael Cromartie visited Buckley at his New York office, where the two discussed the role of Christians in America's pressing, at times heated, debates about morality and civil responsibility. Buckley also shares some glimpses into his forthcoming book on Christianity.

THERE IS A LOT BEING WRITTEN NOW ABOUT THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES IN POLITICS. WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT?

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 ...

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CONVERSATIONS: W Buckley: Listening to Mr. Right
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In the Magazine

October 2, 1995

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