William Sloan Coffin, a Patriot, is Gone…
April 13, 2006
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William Sloan Coffin, former Chaplain at Yale University and Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in NYC, died yesterday. Coffin was the darling of the active Left, but my respect for him had its source in his amazing talent for preaching and, even more, his understanding of what true Patriotism is all about.
Today’s New York Times has a superb write-up of his life.
Taken from the above article is this quote from a sermon he preached in 2003 at Riverside Church.
He told the congregants that there was a “huge difference between patriotism and nationalism.”
“Patriotism at the expense of another nation is as wicked as racism at the expense of another race. Let us resolve to be patriots always, nationalists never. Let us love our country, but pledge allegiance to the earth, and to the flora and fauna and human life that it supports – one planet indivisible, with clean air, soil and water; with liberty and justice and peace for all.”
I heard Coffin preach at Riverside about 25 years ago. It was a short, overpowering message. He was one of a kind.