Protest Public University Plans to Install Football Chaplain

The Des Moines Register (Controversial chaplain plan still in the works,” June 13, 2007) reports on plans to make a chaplain available to Cyclone football players at Iowa State University. Protests by faculty, led by Foundation member and professor Hector Avalos, have been lodged, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation has formally complained, yet the University persists in advancing the scheme.

Action Alert!

Protest the unconstitutional proposal by Iowa State University to adopt a Christian football chaplain for the Cyclone football team. Despite a petition signed by about 120 faculty members, and FFRF’s strongly-worded letter of complaint, the University plans to proceed, possibly by hiring a volunteer clergy, but not calling him a “chaplain,” and saying his job description would be to “find existing faith resources in the community,” rather than “delivering faith services.”

Students and student athletes have plenty of access to clergy and churches already. This proposal unconstitutionally places the power and prestige of a public university behind religion, showing a preference for religion over non-religion, for Christianity over other religions, and for religious counseling over secular counseling. Making the position “volunteer” does not mitigate the violation. Imagine if the University proposed “adopting an atheist” to travel with the team and “facilitate” counseling, and justified it by saying the atheist was a volunteer!

Dr. Gregory Geoffroy, President
Iowa State University
1750 BDSHR
Ames IA 50011-2035

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., is a national association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics) that has been working since 1978 to keep church and state separate.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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