As I write, David Coppedge is in the midst of a courtroom battle regarding a discrimination lawsuit he has brought against his former employer, Jet Propulsion Labs. He had been employed at the lab for quite a few years and was an information technology specialist and system administrator on JPL’s international Cassini mission to Saturn. He was fired by the lab for supposed religious harassment after he filed suit to protect his free expression rights.
What was the nature of the harassment that the tax-funded JPL took issue with? According to David, his colleague had expressed interest in his viewpoints, so David loaned her some of his DVD’s on intelligent design.
Expressing an intelligent design opinion is not exactly what I would think harassment would look like. This is especially true in the context of the project he was involved in. The NASA probe was looking for evidences in our solar system for an evolutionary origin of life. Apparently for those committed to evolution, however, anything questioning evolution is construed as religious harassment since it must be challenging their religious beliefs.
Keep in mind, the coworker did not have to ask David’s opinion on the subject of intelligent design, and she did not have to take the DVD’s that she expressed a desire to view, since they were not forcefully placed in her hand.
I am certainly praying about the outcome of this case as it has a lot to do with the issue of free speech. I will keep you posted.
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