Frederick Eberstadt, a New York friend who was a classmate at Millbrook, says, “It sounds funny, but Bill’s biggest interest was kidding around. He was very Catholic, though. He had a little shrine in his room, a Madonna inside this kind of stone box. [sic] He asked me what I thought of it, and I said it was kitsch. He said, ‘You don’t understand.’ I said, ‘What don’t I understand?’ He said, ‘It’s the mother of God.’ Even at that age, to his thinking, it could not be kitsch, because it was the mother of God.”
Mr. Buckley perhaps thought it was more important that it represented the Mother of God than that it might be regarded as kitsch.
(via Douglas LeBlanc at Get Religion)