It seems well established that, in spite of considerable posturing, OneNewsNow is not a news organization. Nevertheless, even they should realize that a story titled NASA’s confusion on intelligent design noted is going to subject them to some well earned ridicule. It seems reasonably safe to assure them, and American “Family” Association, that NASA has little confusion about creationism, intelligent design and the scientific fact of evolution.

Briefly (and you won’t read much about this except in Christian sources), in 2010 an employee of CalTech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (“JPL”), David Coppedge, sued his employer after a demotion. In 2011, the suit was amended to include wrongful termination. Coppedge alleges that he was terminated because, as he freely admits, he was distributing DVD’s promoting, among other things, creationism. Apparently, Coppedge’s attorney is a personal injury practitioner.  NCSE maintains an archive of the pleadings.

According to One News Now:

JPL filed a motion for summary judgment, and the court held oral
arguments, but reversed a tentative ruling. In a final decision, the
court denied the summary judgment motion, and a Los Angeles Superior
Court judge sent the case to a jury.

Actually, both sides moved for summary judgment. Then Coppendge’s lawyer made one of the most astonishing statements I have ever seen coming from a member of the bar (excluding the crackpottery of Orly Taitz).

The judge’s ruling on the summary judgment indicates that there are
some very strong arguments to be made in this case that JPL is acting on
biased reports from coworkers, who were claiming that my client
harassed them . . . . A jury would have to determine whether or not my
client was discriminated against on the basis of religion.

 Summary judgment is only applicable when a controversy is limited to issues of law     exclusive of issues of fact. The judge’s ruling only means that there are issues of fact to be resolved. It certainly doesn’t mean that there are strong arguments to be made one way or the other.

What these people never seem to get, as professional victims, is that we have the right to freedom from religion in the workplace. What would OneNewsNow do if they hired someone who turned out to be a Scientologist and that person was distributing L. Rob Hubbard DVD’s?

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.