For a week or more we’ve been ignoring news stories about allegedly creationist chaplains employed by universities who were preaching to their football teams. For some background, you can read Group wants USC to eliminate its football chaplain.
We originally decided that this wasn’t our kind of news, but today it’s starting to look different. Look what we found at the website of the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website”: If Colleges Allow Atheist Professors They Can Allow College Football Christian Chaplains, ACLJ Argues.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a crazy headline! Who is ACLJ? Be patient, dear reader, all will be revealed. The Christian Post says, with bold font added by us:
The American Center for Law and Justice has sent out a legal letter supported by 81,500 Americans defending football team chaplains from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s claims that they’re imposing their Christian beliefs on players. The ACLJ argued that if atheist professors are not considered to be posing an issue to students’ rights, neither should sports chaplains.
That’s the name of the ACLJ, but who are they? Wikipedia has an article on them, which says:
The American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ) is a politically conservative, Christian-based social activism organization in the United States. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and associated with Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The ACLJ was founded in 1990 by law school graduate and evangelical minister Pat Robertson.
Okay, now we know what we’re dealing with. Let’s read on, as the Christian Post quotes from the ACLJ’s letter:
The Establishment Clause does not compel the expulsion of sports team chaplains who serve voluntarily to meet the spiritual needs of student athletes, any more than the Establishment Clause requires the razing of university chapels that exist to meet similar needs.
Interesting way to phrase the issue. We continue:
FFRF [the Freedom From Religion Foundation] has sent out letters of its own to more than 25 public universities, warning them that chaplains do not have the right to impose religion on players. “Only 54 percent of college-aged Americans are Christian and many of the teams investigated have non-Christian players, but 100 percent of the chaplains investigated are promoting Christianity, usually with an Evangelical bent. These chaplains preach religious doctrine, including apparently Creationism, to the athletes,” FFRF said in its statement.
It’s a real battle for the hearts and minds of the athletes! Here’s more from the FFRF letter:
“Chaplains regularly lead the teams in prayer, conduct chapel services, and more. These religious activities are not voluntary, as the universities claim, because, as the report notes, ‘student athletes are uniquely susceptible to coercion from coaches,'” the atheist group added.
But it doesn’t stop there:
FFRF has said that Christian coaches and chaplains are “converting football fields into mission fields,” and called on universities to adopt policies that would address this problem.
Oooooooooooh — those coaches are converting football fields into mission fields! On the other hand:
The ACLJ has accused FFRF of making “outrageous claims,” and said that it is hoping its letter will “set the record straight.”
Yeah! Those universities have atheist professors, so what’s wrong with the jocks having creationist coaches?
Well, dear reader, that’s the news. This is shaping up to be a major controversy. How will it end? Stay tuned to this blog!
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