- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2007

‘Worldly’ editor

“[F]or all his patriotism, [William F.] Buckley is indifferent to American exceptionalism. Indeed, he is probably the most worldly American conservative since George Santayana. … Buckley’s first language was Spanish, which he learned from household servants. He did not speak English easily until he was 7 or 8. His famous prose style, with its ornate syntax and rococo vocabulary, conveys, at times, a subtle hint of ‘foreignness,’ like that of his friend Vladimir Nabokov.

“To this day, Buckley’s politics are grounded less in democratic values — ‘Democracy just doesn’t work, much of the time,’ he observed in a 2004 column — than in the twin virtues of Catholicism and capitalism, in that order. Broadly tolerant, Buckley extirpated anti-Semitism from the postwar conservative movement in the 1950s and has since jokingly proposed that Israel be made the 51st state. … In 1997, when he was scouring the ranks of talented younger conservatives to find a new editor for National Review, Buckley eliminated one prospect, his onetime protege David Brooks, a rising star at the Weekly Standard. In a memo to board members, Buckley reported that he had discussed Brooks with NR alum George Will: ‘I said that I thought it would be wrong for the next editor to be other than a believing Christian. He agreed and added that the next editor should not be a Canadian’ — a possible reference to conservative writer David Frum.”

Sam Tanenhaus, writing on “Athwart History,” in the March 19 issue of the New

Republic

Force vs. faith

“New regulations … aim to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services. … These regulations will force Catholic adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples and thereby go against the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church. …

“We cannot but sense that something sinister is happening. For the first time in the modern era in this country, the Catholic Church is facing the prospect of being forced to act against her faith and against her convictions, or else face legal challenge and possible prosecution. …

“I am convinced the Church needs to be prepared spiritually to face this new, unexpected and unwelcome threat to our freedom and well-being. … This unfortunate episode may well herald the beginning of a new and uncertain time for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom.”

Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley, Scotland, in his pastoral letter on “Religious Freedom,” posted Feb. 18 at www.paisleydiocese.org.uk

‘Last straw’

“This is the last straw. If Barbara Walters doesn’t fire Rosie O’Donnell from ‘The View’ over comments O’Donnell made on [Thursday’s] episode, then she never will. …

“O’Donnell said she feels bad for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). She doesn’t believe he’s responsible for anything in 9/11 or any of the 30-plus plots which he volunteered to American authorities. Among the worst of her comments, O’Donnell derided … [co-host] Elisabeth Hasselbeck … for calling KSM a ‘terrorist,’ saying, ‘So, calling him a terrorist robs him of all of his humanity?’ …

“This man planned the 9/11 attacks that murdered 3,000 Americans. And Rosie O’Donnell is worried we will ‘rob him of all humanity’ because we call him a ‘terrorist.’ …

“Attention, Donald Trump: I’m looking forward to your response to Rosie on this one.”

Debbie Schlussel, writing on “Outrage,” Thursday at www.debbie schlussel.com

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