William Sloane Coffin : A Lover’s Quarrel with America


For half a century, Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin has stood as a force for progressive religion in America and in the world. Now, when power and fear tempt the U.S. to pursue a foreign policy based on world domination, he speaks with the voice of the prophet in calling us to confront the true “axis of evil”—environmental degradation, pandemic poverty, and a world awash with weapons.


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For half a century, The Reverend Dr. William Sloane Coffin has stood as a force for progressive religion, social justice, and peace and sanity in place of war and nuclear madness. At a time when power tempts the U.S. to follow a foreign policy aimed at world domination, he speaks as a contemporary prophet in calling us “to listen to our better angels.”

In this 30-minute conversation and profile, Bill Coffin addresses:

  • the ethics and politics of the war in Iraq and U.S. Middle-East policy,
  • current plans on the part of the U.S. to develop new nuclear weapons, and
  • a National Security Strategy that would have the U.S. rule the world by force.

With characteristic eloquence and clarity, he reminds us:

“The axis of evil is not Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. A much more formidable trio is environmental degradation, pandemic poverty, and a world awash with weapons. It would be very good American policy, for the sake of our national security, to wage war against global poverty. If we waged war seriously against global poverty, it would be very hard to recruit new terrorists.”

“We have a major responsibility to be faithful to God. Faith is a matter of being faithful, and faithful Jews, faithful Muslims, faithful Christians have a lot in common; and together, we could actually save the world.”

Broadcasts PBS and cable stations in the U.S.

How to use this film

William Sloane Coffin: A Lover’s Quarrel With America is part of our Prophetic Voices series. As such, it sheds light on some of the ethical and philosophical challenges of our time, summoning us to a broader view that redefines our values, our priorities, and our place in the larger world.

The film is ideal for use in seminaries and theological schools, as well as in college and high-school courses on history, religion, philosophy, and political science. It encourages discussion of political, social, and economic issues from the standpoint of global justice.

The following organizations offer resources on nonviolent solutions to conflict at every level:

Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Center for Nonviolent Communication

Council on American Islamic Relations

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Jewish Peace Fellowship

Muslim Peace Fellowship

Peace Alliance Foundation


Additional information

Price Levels

Consumer/Home Video, Public Library/Secondary School, Synagogue/Church/Mosque, University/College/College Library, Public Performance/Screening License


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