An atheist group is attempting to force Auburn University to remove the chaplain of its football team.
The group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), claims that chaplain Chette Williams’ presence at the school is unconstitutional. The FFRF cites instances of Williams praying with students on school property and also carrying out baptisms.
The group is attempting to remove not only Chette Williams, but the entire role of the chaplain from Auburn, as well as 25 other public universities, according to The Blaze.
In a letter to Auburn president Jay Gouge, the group stated, “It makes no difference if the chaplain is unofficial, not school-sponsored or a volunteer, because chaplains are given access to the team as a means for coaches to impose religion, usually Christianity, on their players. Under the circumstances, the chaplain’s actions are attributable to the university and those actions are unconstitutional.”
Attorney for the FFRF, Andrew Seidel stated, “If the team wants to worship, they want to get together on their own and have their own organized worship, that’s totally fine. We don’t have any problem with that. We don’t have any problem with them praying in whatever way they see fit, what we have a problem with is the top down imposition of religion.”
The FFRF says it wants an open records lawsuit against the university. Whether Chette Williams will be removed from his position remains to be seen.
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Publication date: August 21, 2015
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.