August 25, 2007

CU Does Away With Team Chaplain, Allows Spirituality; Other Teams Have "Life-Skills Assistant"

CU Coach Dan Hawkins hasn't banned religion or spirituality, but the team is without a chaplain for the first time in many years:
Buffs players will have to work a little harder to communicate with the Lord this football season.

For the first time in years, the University of Colorado football team does not have a chaplain — at least not officially.

When former Buffs player Mike Spivey left as the team's chaplain at the end of last season, coach Dan Hawkins didn't seek a replacement for him.

It's not that Hawkins — a Catholic — isn't spiritually minded, but the second-year CU coach said he simply didn't see a need for a full-time chaplain this season."I think it's very important, but I also think there are different avenues for that, different places for that and different times for that," Hawkins said. "We want to make it available to those who want it, but don't want to make anyone do anything they don't want to do."

Instead, the coach is allowing Chip Simmons, a chaplain with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, to have a limited presence with the team.

But don't call Simmons the Buffs' chaplain, Hawkins said.
Normally this sort of personnel/team decision wouldn't elicit much response--however the moonbats are calling for the "separation of church and state", even on football teams:
Yet Simmons' unofficial status with the team is still too much for William Corn, a retired public accountant and longtime Boulder resident, who said there should be no official ties whatsoever to religion on a public university football team.

He faxed two letters to Hawkins this summer asking that the Buffs do away with its chaplain program, claiming it violates the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Corn said simply changing the job title and removing a few responsibilities from the post doesn't alter the fact that the team is choosing to retain a connection to a Christian religious figure.

"These guys who want to bring religion in, it's a scandal," Corn said. "You cannot have religion in a public institution. Whose religion should you have?"
The local ACLU chapter was quick to chime in:
Judd Golden, chairman of the Boulder County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said public universities have to be careful when drawing religious leaders into school programs.

"The idea that football has some transcendental need for spiritual guidance that is different than what other students at the university need is constitutionally flawed," Golden said. "Football should be treated no differently than an English class."

He said giving a Christian spiritual figure special access to the players runs the risk of excluding nonbelievers or players of other faiths.

"When you're trying to recruit Jewish athletes, Muslim athletes, atheist athletes, do they feel that this is their place?" Golden asked. "This is a state school, this is not Brigham Young University."
The ACLU/moonbat solution?

"Life-skills assistant."

I guess we won't be seeing any "Hail Mary" passes this season.

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