There will be many people who knew Bill Buckley far better than I who will attest to his personal kindness and grace over the years. And many people will pour forth with testimonies about Mr. Buckley’s monumental role in the history of modern conservatism. I simply want to recount his role in my own pilgrimage of faith.
When I was a young Christian, I happened to come across a re–broadcast of a Firing Line episode in which Mr. Buckley interviewed the British journalist and author Malcolm Muggeridge. The subject was Muggeridge’s Christian faith. I had never heard of “St. Mugg” before — but as I watched the interview, I was utterly captivated by the conversation. It was a remarkable, intellectually serious, uplifting, and even moving discussion between two close friends, united in common purpose. That interview became a kind of touchstone for me, one that I still return to (via videotape) from time to time. Years later, I corresponded with Mr. Buckley about this interview, and about faith more broadly. He was as gracious — more gracious — than I could have hoped for.
William Buckley was many remarkable things. But he was, perhaps above all, a good and faithful servant of the Lord. And now he is in the company of his Lord and his beloved wife Pat, in a place where there is no more death or mourning, crying or pain, and where every tear has been wiped away. And with Messrs. Buckley and Muggeridge together again, the conversation has gotten even better, even richer.
God bless William F. Buckley, Jr.