FFRF asks Mizzou to end unconstitutional chaplaincy

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s blistering report on unconstitutional Christian chaplains in college football programs highlights the University of Missouri as one of the major offenders. FFRF wrote to Mizzou Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin asking him to abolish the chaplaincy and adopt the model policy in FFRF’s report.

Records from the University of Missouri show that Shay Roush and Nathan Tiemeyer, both of The Crossing Church, Columbia, Mo., receive per diem payments, travel on team charters, and stay in team hotels. Not only did the chaplains receive these benefits, but both of their wives received flights on the team charter, hotel accommodations, and per diems for meals at the Cotton Bowl in 2014. Mizzou’s per diem payments to the chaplains and their families for the Cotton Bowl totaled $840. In addition to the chaplains’ wives, six of their children were provided team flights to and from the Cotton Bowl.

Shay Roush and Gary Pinkel praying with players following the 2014 Cotton Bowl

Following the Tigers victory, Shay Roush can be seen leading the team in prayer. He has often tied sports with religion, once commenting, “When those guys are out there playing football at a high level, hopefully they’re feeling God’s pleasure.”

FFRF Co-President Dan Barker called chaplaincies and de facto chaplaincies at public universities “a serious violation of the Establishment Clause and of student rights of conscience.”

To view the full report explaining the depth of this problem in college football, go here.
To view the two page executive summary, go here.
To view the records FFRF obtained from the University of Missouri, go here.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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