Rev. William Sloane Coffin - Clergyman, Freedom Rider, War Protestor

Rev. William Sloane Coffin - Clergyman, Freedom Rider, War Protestor--has died today April 12, 2006.

Coffin said many Americans like Bush "because he’s direct and decisive. But more important than being decisive is to make the right decisions. It’s better to be thoughtful. I think deep down he’s shallow."

From NOW with Bill Moyers
William Sloane Coffin served as chaplain of Yale University from 1958-1976. He also served as chaplain at Williams College. He was senior minister of Riverside Church for over ten years. Throughout his years as chaplain and minister, Coffin has hosted such world leaders as Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Rose Styren, Olaf Palmer among numerous others. He has been presented with over 30 honorary degrees from Universities, Colleges and educational institutions throughout the country.

Coffin initially became famous at Yale University in the 60's for his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was jailed (the first of many times) as a civil rights Freedom Rider," indicted by the government in the Benjamin Spock conspiracy trial, and is president emeritus of SANE/FREEZE: Campaign for Global Security. He fought in World War II, worked for the CIA for three years, and has been immortalized as Reverend Sloan in the Doonesbury comic strip. He is a prolific writer and has penned several books including ONCE TO EVERY MAN: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, THE COURAGE TO LOVE, LIVING THE TRUTH IN A WORLD OF ILLUSIONS, A PASSION FOR THE POSSIBLE, THE HEART IS A LITTLE TO THE LEFT and CREDO (Westminster John Knox Press, November 2003). He credits Arthur Miller and his English professor at Yale for helping him hone his writing skills.

Yale University has recently announced the William Sloane Coffin Scholarship through their Divinity school for Peace and Justice. Union Theological Seminary has established a scholarship in his name and recently presented him with the Union gold medal of honor. Yale University Press has just published a biography of Coffin by Warren Goldstein called WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN JR.: A HOLY IMPATIENCE.

* Listen to an interview with Rev. Coffin about his experiences as a Freedom Rider from NPR
* Read a transcript of an interview with Rev. Coffin on defense issues from the Center for Defense Information
* Read Coffin's eulogy for his son Alex
* Relive the past with Rev. Sloan from Doonesbury
* New Documentary: WWilliam Sloane Coffin: A Lover's Quarrel With America