In response to a letter from the Catholic League regarding the University of Michigan-Dearborn using $25,000 of student fees to install footbaths for use by Muslims students, many legislators suggested that the board of regents is best able to account for how such money is spent. Bill Donohue sent the following letter to members of the University of Michigan Board of Regents yesterday:
As the president of the nation’s largest Catholic civil rights organization, I wish to see religious groups accommodated on college campuses whenever it is possible and within reason. However, I heartily object to government sponsorship of religion. This is why I was troubled to see that the University of Michigan-Dearborn plans to use $25,000 in student fees to built foot-washing stations for use by Muslim students.
Do you and the other members of the Board of Regents think it is appropriate to use fees provided by all students for the promotion of a religious ritual performed solely by Muslims? If you believe this $25,000 project to be merely accommodation of religion, rather than sponsorship, are you open to suggestions about how to use student fees to make it easier for Christian students to practice their faith?
If you are in agreement with me that this planned installation of footbaths constitutes special privileges for members of one religion, I would like to know how you plan on remedying this situation.
I look forward to hearing from you.
We will keep readers abreast of the responses we receive.