The recently published book, God and Man at Yale (Regnery, $3.50), written by William F. Buckley, Jr., a 1950 graduate of Yale University, is a savage attack on that institution as a hotbed of "atheism" and "collectivism." As a believer in God, a Republican, and a Yale graduate, I find the book is dishonest in its use of facts, false in its theory, and a discredit to its author and the writer of its introduction.
The American Idea: A Proposition (November 2007)
"Ours are loyalties to an ideal, not to a revelation."
Aweigh (July/August 2004)
A master and commander decides, after a lifetime on the water, that he will no longer go down to the sea.
Bush for President (October 1988)
Employment is up; inflation is down; and success as a social ideal now commands prestige. Why repudiate the politics that have brought us to this felicity?
Mr. Buckley's thesis rests on two propositions: first, that Yale is currently anti-Christian and anti-capitalist; and second, that Yale's alumni have a right and duty to insist that it teach "Christianity" and "individualism" as he defines them. Let us consider the method and evidence with which he tries to establish these notions.
Beginning with religion, Mr. Buckley asserts that Yale has a weak department of religion, a high degree of apathy in the student body, and a number of un-Christian and anti-Christian lecturers in other fields. Even if all this were true, it would not make Yale anti-religious, for the weakness of religious teaching has been a national phenomenon for decades, and so has religious apathy among young men. And it is well to note that on Mr. Buckley's strict definition of a Christian such men as Jefferson, Emerson, Lincoln, and Yale's own William Howard Taft would fail to qualify.