I own this entire episode on DVD and it’s one of my favorite things. If you couldn’t tell by Buckley’s overbloated, sort of insincere introduction, these guys really, really don’t like each other. Later in the interview their body language gets super passive aggressive. If you can’t guess who I side with, then you really don’t know me much at all.
Coffin: Do you know the story of Sodom and Gommorah?
Buckley: Yes, I remember.
Coffin: In the book of Genesis…
Buckley: It hasn’t changed at Yale has it?
Coffin: No, no, but its not as virulent as when you were there. Do you remember “had there been 10 righteous men the City would’ve been saved?” Well, for many years now I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that there were 10 righteous men but their righteousness wasn’t relevant. And I think that’s the great problem of the church today. For instance, we’re so concerned with free love and so indifferent to free hate. Now, in a world that’s threatened with a destruction as immanent and as complete as Sodom I think it’s high time the church became more relevant. So one thing I would say in answer to your question in as far as I understood it is one of the great roles of ministers these days is to try to get the righteousness of the church to be more relevant–to have a greater sense of priorities. The blood brother of apathy is an incapacity to give priority to what’s important. And I think the church has suffered from that.