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    U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Per this article in the Detroit Free Press Wayne County news briefs Avalos should abandon the privately-funded chaplain issue and focus his efforts on a state-funded effort to provide footbaths for Muslim students headed for prayer on an University of Michigan campus.

    The University contends that there is no separation of church and state issue because they are not promoting one religion over another and are providing a service that many of our students need and value.

    I don't know any of the players on the football team but I have seen or read items that would lead me to believe that Chizak, Moses, Meyer, and Blythe would "want and value" the services of a chaplain. The fact that the chaplain would be privately funded is a bonus.


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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by IsUaClone2 View Post
    Per this article in the Detroit Free Press Wayne County news briefs Avalos should abandon the privately-funded chaplain issue and focus his efforts on a state-funded effort to provide footbaths for Muslim students headed for prayer on an University of Michigan campus.

    The University contends that there is no separation of church and state issue because they are not promoting one religion over another and are providing a service that many of our students need and value.

    I don't know any of the players on the football team but I have seen or read items that would lead me to believe that Chizak, Moses, Meyer, and Blythe would "want and value" the services of a chaplain. The fact that the chaplain would be privately funded is a bonus.
    Can I use the footbaths whenever I want? If not, I'm offended.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    I have to agree - that seems inappropriate.

    Edit - Ok, after reading the article, this might be a good thing. Washing their feet in the sinks in public restrooms. That might just come down to a hygene/safety issue.


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 06-05-2007 at 10:54 AM.

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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims



    I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.

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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    I have to agree - that seems inappropriate.

    Edit - Ok, after reading the article, this might be a good thing. Washing their feet in the sinks in public restrooms. That might just come down to a hygene/safety issue.
    I would agree if the University claimed that as the reason; but they didn't. Considering the liberal and litigious nature of Detroit area I would have to assume that hygiene/safety is not considered an issue.


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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by IsUaClone2 View Post
    I would agree if the University claimed that as the reason; but they didn't. Considering the liberal and litigious nature of Detroit area I would have to assume that hygiene/safety is not considered an issue.
    Probably not, I'm just thinking from my own viewpoint of walking into a bathroom and seeing a bunch of guys washing their feet in the sink. Yuck.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    now now... no peeing the in the footbaths.


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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    I think the same of this as I do any religion including christianity which I consider myself a member. The government should not be in a place to fund or support one religion or religious agenda over any other or we risk a country that pushes a religious agenda making us no better than iran, israel, palestine, etc. Keep religion in the private sector.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by everyyard View Post
    I think the same of this as I do any religion including christianity which I consider myself a member. The government should not be in a place to fund or support one religion or religious agenda over any other or we risk a country that pushes a religious agenda making us no better than iran, israel, palestine, etc. Keep religion in the private sector.

    Israel is a secular state. Other than that, I agree.

    I would have no problem with this if payed w/ private funds.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by IsUaClone2 View Post
    Per this article in the Detroit Free Press Wayne County news briefs Avalos should abandon the privately-funded chaplain issue and focus his efforts on a state-funded effort to provide footbaths for Muslim students headed for prayer on an University of Michigan campus.

    The University contends that there is no separation of church and state issue because they are not promoting one religion over another and are providing a service that many of our students need and value.

    I don't know any of the players on the football team but I have seen or read items that would lead me to believe that Chizak, Moses, Meyer, and Blythe would "want and value" the services of a chaplain. The fact that the chaplain would be privately funded is a bonus.
    Doesn't the fact that the article acknowledges that some people are opposed to this and that the school has to defend the action blow out of the water the claim by some that only the Christian stuff gets repressed .

    Its also kind of funny that from what I've read, its some conservative bloggers that are in a huff about this.

    The Detroit chapter of the ACLU is OK with this saying that anyone can use these. At first this sounds hypocritical because you could argue that Muslims could use the chaplain at ISU as well. However, I think there is a distinct difference. If a muslim FB player wants someone to talk to at a tough time in his life, he's probably going to look for a muslim advisor to talk to. The FB staff could help him find one. However, the Christian FB is familiar with the Christian chaplain and it could be argued that he gets preferential treatment because there is someone right with the team all the time (it could be argued, I personally don't have a problem with it). With the footbath, anyone who might want to wash their feet would use it. A Christian student that wants to wash his feet is not going to want a Christian footbath or feel uncomfortable using the ones they install and have to find another one.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    I think it's fine that the university is accomodating the Muslim students with a foot bath, just as I believe it's fine for ISU to have a chaplain available for their football players. In neither case is the school promoting one religion over another.


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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by clone52 View Post
    The Detroit chapter of the ACLU is OK with this saying that anyone can use these. At first this sounds hypocritical because you could argue that Muslims could use the chaplain at ISU as well. However, I think there is a distinct difference. If a muslim FB player wants someone to talk to at a tough time in his life, he's probably going to look for a muslim advisor to talk to. The FB staff could help him find one. However, the Christian FB is familiar with the Christian chaplain and it could be argued that he gets preferential treatment because there is someone right with the team all the time (it could be argued, I personally don't have a problem with it). With the footbath, anyone who might want to wash their feet would use it. A Christian student that wants to wash his feet is not going to want a Christian footbath or feel uncomfortable using the ones they install and have to find another one.
    I guess I don't buy it. You are arguing the foot baths might have a secular purpose. There really is no secular purpose for washing your feet in public on campus. Is there any other University in the USA that has similar foot baths to accomodate the general student population?

    The ACLU looks really bad not opposing this. I don't think they want the reputation of being soft on Muslims and hard on Christians. Shame on them.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by clone52 View Post
    The Detroit chapter of the ACLU is OK with this saying that anyone can use these. At first this sounds hypocritical because you could argue that Muslims could use the chaplain at ISU as well. However, I think there is a distinct difference. If a muslim FB player wants someone to talk to at a tough time in his life, he's probably going to look for a muslim advisor to talk to. The FB staff could help him find one. However, the Christian FB is familiar with the Christian chaplain and it could be argued that he gets preferential treatment because there is someone right with the team all the time (it could be argued, I personally don't have a problem with it). With the footbath, anyone who might want to wash their feet would use it. A Christian student that wants to wash his feet is not going to want a Christian footbath or feel uncomfortable using the ones they install and have to find another one.
    First, your argument does not seem to apply. The ISU FB chaplain is (apparently) being funded by donations or private dollars from those who want their money to go to that purpose. The footwashes are being funded with public tax dollars.

    Secondly, it doesn't just sound hypocritcal, it is hypocritical. This is as blatant a violation of the supposed "Separation of Church and State" clause as there can be. These footwashes are being installed for no purpose other than to support a practice required by the Muslim faith. The administration of the University isn't even trying to hide the fact that these devices are being installed, at state expense, to accommodate the Muslim faith. I would venture to guess that we could count on one hand (or maybe both hands and both feet) the number of Christians or non-Muslim students/staff who practice footwashing at UM-Dearborn.

    I don't have a problem with the footwashes being installed. As y'all probably know, I think the "Separation of Church and State" concept as interpreted by the courts today is errant anyway. If the university wants to spend their money as such, so be it. As DaddyMac pointed out, the footwashes probably solve a practical hygiene problem.

    However, I do have a big problem with the hypocrisy of the ACLU. They wholeheartedly support "Separation of Church and State", and they should be all over this like _____ on _____. The Detroit chapter of the ACLU is OK with this because the religion being supported by the state isn't Christianity...


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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by Incyte View Post
    I guess I don't buy it. You are arguing the foot baths might have a secular purpose. There really is no secular purpose for washing your feet in public on campus. Is there any other University in the USA that has similar foot baths to accomodate the general student population?

    The ACLU looks really bad not opposing this. I don't think they want the reputation of being soft on Muslims and hard on Christians. Shame on them.
    I went to Iowa State. I forget what its called, but there is that building near the library that has bathrooms and vending machines and such. If it had foot baths, I could see them being used by non-muslims at times. Lets say there is a game of ultimate frisbee going on on central campus. When its done, the players could use the footbath to wash the grass or mud off their feet before putting their shoes on. Just because its primarily used by muslims, doesn't mean its exclusive for them.

    Wait a second you say, that last sentence could be used about the Chaplain and christians. Well, you're right, but I think there is a difference.

    Take the issue of a chaplain. If the football team has a Chaplain, anyone can use it. It'd be purely confidential I'm sure. If a player wanted to talk to the Chaplain, he could do so and the coaches wouldn't have to know that there is anything on the mind of the player. Players may be more likely to use this service if they didn't have to go through the coaching staff to find someone to talk to. That is a good thing.

    Now take the situation of a Muslim player or an atheist or just anyone on the team that is uncomfortable with talking to the Christian Chaplain. One could argue that the university is providing a service to Christian athletes and thus leaving out that help for non-Christians. The fact that this will be privately funded makes things murkier.

    With the foot baths, no one should feel uncomfortable washing their feet in the foot baths based on religion.



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    Re: U of M-Dearborn installing footbaths for Muslims

    Quote Originally Posted by jbhtexas View Post
    First, your argument does not seem to apply. The ISU FB chaplain is (apparently) being funded by donations or private dollars from those who want their money to go to that purpose. The footwashes are being funded with public tax dollars.

    Secondly, it doesn't just sound hypocritcal, it is hypocritical. This is as blatant a violation of the supposed "Separation of Church and State" clause as there can be. These footwashes are being installed for no purpose other than to support a practice required by the Muslim faith. The administration of the University isn't even trying to hide the fact that these devices are being installed, at state expense, to accommodate the Muslim faith. I would venture to guess that we could count on one hand (or maybe both hands and both feet) the number of Christians or non-Muslim students/staff who practice footwashing at UM-Dearborn.

    I don't have a problem with the footwashes being installed. As y'all probably know, I think the "Separation of Church and State" concept as interpreted by the courts today is errant anyway. If the university wants to spend their money as such, so be it. As DaddyMac pointed out, the footwashes probably solve a practical hygiene problem.

    However, I do have a big problem with the hypocrisy of the ACLU. They wholeheartedly support "Separation of Church and State", and they should be all over this like _____ on _____. The Detroit chapter of the ACLU is OK with this because the religion being supported by the state isn't Christianity...
    You are right in that they are different because the Chaplain would be privately funded. I'm not a huge fan of the Chaplain idea, but its not because of separation of Church and State. I think the private funding makes that a non-issue. I have other reasons to be a little skeptical about it.

    Where I see the difference between Chaplains and foot baths (if both publically funded) is that the Chaplains are possibly providing a benefit to Christian athletes that Muslim athletes couldn't take advantage of if they felt uncomfortable talkign to a Christian Chaplain about their problems. One benefit I see is that maybe more players would talk to the Chaplain if he was with the team since it would mean they wouldn't have to talk to their coaches about it. The alternative to have a Chaplain would mean the player would have to talk to the coaches to help him find someone to talk to. Many players might be uncomfortable with that. With a Christian Chaplain, you are still not providing that benefit to those who are uncomfortable with speaking to a Christian Chaplain. Its probably a % of players as most are probably Christian and those that aren't are probably OK with a Christian Chaplain, but its still there.

    Lets say the Chaplain is a Muslim. If I was a player and needed to talk about something personal, say my grandfather died and I'm having trouble dealing with it. Lets say that I'm a Christian, but I don't go to church often and don't really have a church at this university. All my Muslim teammates have a member of the staff they can go to. I don't really feel comfortable speaking about this with the Muslim chaplain, but I don't really know where else to go. Maybe I ask the coaches to help find someone for me to talk to, maybe I ask the Muslim if he has a Christian friend for me to talk to, maybe I keep it bottled up inside. Maybe I wonder why the school provides this service to my teammates that I just don't feel comfortable using.

    A foot bath is a foot bath. Anyone can use it for religious purposes or just if their feet get dirty. And anyone who uses it for religious purposes shouldn't care if someone uses it for non-religious purposes.



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