He talks here about WASPs (and Catholic-WASP hybrids like the Kennedys), but I believe there is a Catholic parallel. I think immediately of Robert Hughes, Gary Wills, and Wilfrid Sheed... Raises a whole set of thoughts and questions about Modernity, Education, and Affluence. Especially this:In a 1984 C-SPAN interview with Brian Lamb, Alsop good-naturedly smokes through half a pack of cigarettes while admitting the WASP ascendancy is over, perhaps for the best. In his final days before dying in 1989 he repeatedly asked listeners if God exists. His funeral at a historic Episcopal D.C. church concluded with a hymn that had always concluded his family reunions in his youth, “God Be with You till We Meet Again.”
Alsop’s religious doubts were evidently common among the Georgetown Set. Phil Graham, during his ongoing collapse, had sought spiritual solace from New York Times columnist James Reston, mistakenly believing him to be devout. Reston could not help. The Set, along with the larger WASP elite, lost their confidence and prominence partly because they had lost their own faith, only periodically celebrating rites at tasteful Protestant sanctuaries. Alsop’s stepson, after his own spiritual crisis, became a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Our own Guy Noir - Private Eye, referring to Mark Tooley's "Triumph and Decline of America’s Protestant Ascendancy" (American Spectator, February 3, 2015), writes: