Since 1999, Rev. Chette Williams has been the chaplain over the Auburn Tigers. Now, 16 years later, a letter filed to the university from the Freedom from Religion Foundation is asking for his removal.
“Coercing either directly or indirectly on to these student athletes into any type of exercises whatsoever, and that’s the problem we are having with the chaplains at these schools,” said Andrew Seidel, Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Auburn University Athletic Dept. issued a statement in response…“Chaplains are common in many public institutions, including the US Congress. The football team chaplain isn’t an Auburn employee, and participation in activities he leads are voluntary.”
The foundation argues the chaplain has too much access to the team
“No matter what they call the chaplain, no matter how they pay the chaplain he is being given unrestricted access to these players, because of his religion, and to promote his religion and for no other purpose,” said Seidel.
We asked Auburn students for their opinions. Sophomore, Wesley Thomas said he might be a little bias because of his Christian beliefs, but does not see any harm in it.
“I think it is way too politically correct, they come into contact with so many different things, and just this one thing Christianity. I don’t see how it could negatively impact any of them,” said Thomas.
And with countless religious organizations on campus, sophomore, Carley Strickland said everyone has their own free will.
“It is voluntary, if they don’t want to be a part of it, then they don’t have too. Chaplains are just good to bring people together, not necessarily to put views of anything. So, I don’t have a problem with it at all,” said Strickland.