The Iowa Civil Liberties Union has weighed in on the idea of hiring a chaplain for the Iowa State football team. Ben Stone, the executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, says it is "problematic" and "inadvisable" to bring religion into the Cyclone football program.
"The idea of a chaplain is really appropriate in areas where the population that’s served does not have access to its own spiritual assistance," Stone says. "Members of the military, people in government hospitals — you need chaplains there because people can’t go out and find or have access to their own religious assistance."
That situation does not exist in Ames, according to Stone. "There’s plenty of opportunities at Iowa State and in the Ames community for all the football players to find their own type of religious or spiritual guidance," Stone says. "There’s houses of worship all over town."
Stone suggests that if the new ISU football coach is concerned with getting his players religious counseling, he should provide the team with a list of all the churches and religious groups in the area. "But leave the religious advising to the religious community," Stone says.
Stone would not comment on whether the Civil Liberties Union would sue if the university does decide to get a chaplain for the football team.