Clergy and Laity Concerned
The Clergy and Laity Concerned Organization was formed in 1965 by the National Council of Churches and operated out of New York, New York. The organization first became widely known in 1967 when it cosponsored a White House demonstration in conjunction with the Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a coalition strongly influenced by Communists and found by the House Committee on Internal Security in 1970 to have "operated from its inception with significant international Communist support" through the World Peace Council. CALC's former leader, Rev. Richard Fernandez, served on the New Mobe Steering Committee.
As at March 1982, CALC's co-director, John Collins, was an endorser of the U.S. Peace Council's November 1981 national conference. On February 17, 1982, CALC released an "open letter to Congress" signed by 400 religious activists and leaders opposing U.S. aid to El Salvador. With the American Friends Service Committee, CALC sponsored a U.S. speaking tour by nine European disarmament leaders. According to the Zill report,
- "[CALC] has been most active in the formation and nurturing of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign, participating on the steering committee and involving a number of the 42 CALC chapters in the Freeze Conferences... There is a new CALC chapter in Amarillo, Texas, (home of Bishop Matthiesen and the Amarillo Pantex Plant, DOE's assembly plant for all war-heads), and it is serving as a center for job references, [and] counseling of the former atomic workers who have left their jobs on principle, and for a conversion study and vigils."
Other program areas include South Africa and the "politics of food". CALC provided the initial U.S. coordination for the campaign against the Nestle Corporation's infant formula.
As at Jan. 1970 the goals of the organization were as follows:
- "what we are about today is not simply an end to the war in Vietnam, but a struggle against American imperialism and exploitation in just about every corner of the world... Our task is to join those who are angry and who hate the corporate power which the United States presently represents, and to attempt, in our struggle, to liberate not only black, brown and yellow men in every corner of the world, but more importantly, to help liberate our own nation from its reactionary and exploitative policies."
The following is a partial list of the founding members of Clergy and Laity Concerned:
- Dr. John C. Bennett
- Fr. Philip Berrigan
- Rev. William Sloane Coffin
- Rabbi Abraham Heschel
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The following were staff of the organization as at March 1983:
- Prof. Ronald Freund, Midwest Regional Coordinator
- Robert Stein
- Norman Watkins
- Fr. Andrew Skotnicki
- Wesley Uemura, Intern
- Sue Ann Bonhivert, Intern
For information about the Chicago chapter go to: Clergy and Laity Concerned, Chicago Chapter
For information about the Schenectady, New York chapter, go to: Clergy and Laity Concerned, Schenectady Chapter