Monday, March 12, 2012

Christians Can Forget Having Any Career at NASA

David Coppedge, an evangelical Christian employed as a NASA mission specialist who was demoted and subsequently fired for believing that God created the heavens and the earth, is challenging the government in court for employment discrimination.

For background, read Obama Energy Dept. Boots Conservative Scientist over Homophobia and also read Christian Fired for 'Hate Speech' by Univ. of Illinois (see list of articles at bottom)

-- From "Former NASA specialist claims he was fired over intelligent design" by The Associated Press 3/11/12

David Coppedge, who worked as a "team lead" on the Cassini mission exploring Saturn and its many moons, alleges that he was discriminated against because he engaged his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and handed out DVDs on the idea while at work. Coppedge lost his "team lead" title in 2009 and was let go last year after 15 years on the mission.

Opening statements are expected to begin Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court after two years of legal wrangling in a case that has generated interest among supporters of intelligent design. The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge's case.

"It's part of a pattern. There is basically a war on anyone who dissents from Darwin and we've seen that for several years," said John West, associate director of Center for Science and Culture at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. "This is free speech, freedom of conscience 101."

In the lawsuit, Coppedge says he believes other things also led to his demotion, including his support for a state ballot measure that sought to define marriage as limited to heterosexual couples and his request to rename the annual holiday party a "Christmas party."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Opening Statements in NASA Intelligent Design Case Begin Monday" by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor 3/12/12

William Becker, Coppedge's attorney, says his client had a reputation around JPL as an evangelical Christian and other interactions with co-workers led some to label him as a Christian conservative . . .

Coppedge's lawyers have also pointed out that no action was taken against other JPL employees for expressing similar views in opposition of intelligent design. "Employees shouldn't be threatened with termination and punished for sharing their opinion with willing co-workers just because the view being shared doesn't fit the prevailing view in the workplace," Becker argued.

Coppedge has claimed he was never told by a co-worker that his discussion of intelligent design was unwelcome or disruptive to their work. But his supervisor has stated that other employees complained about his actions, alleging they were harassing in nature and disruptive to the workplace, and Coppedge received a written warning prior to his demotion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

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