Last fall, the Freedom From Religion Foundation issued a damning report claiming that “Christian coaches and chaplains are converting football fields into mission fields.”
They were highlighting the fact that a lot of public university athletic coaches don’t even hide the fact that they want to convert their players. They’ll bring chaplains on board, perform baptisms right on the field, or lead the team in prayers before a game. It’s not legal, but it happens everywhere.
Maybe that pressure’s finally working, because the University of South Carolina just got rid of its team chaplain:
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has cut ties with former football chaplain Adrian Despres.
Department spokesman Steve Fink says Muschamp wanted to have “multiple voices” instead of one person to help with a player’s spiritual side and development.
Given the ambiguity of the word “spiritual,” there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that — and it’s telling that the “multiple voices” won’t include the Christian chaplain who’s been there for 15 seasons.
While neither Muschamp nor Fink cited FFRF’s letter as the cause for letting him go, I’d like to think it helped. Let’s see if other universities follow their lead.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)