He's been bleating about the David Coppedge trial for a few weeks now, only this time he's tried to enlist Martin Luther King. (On Martin Luther King Day, Consider This About Intelligent Design) At least this time he hasn't tried to turn Dr. King into an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am sure that's on the agenda eventually, after all Dr. King meets the only apparent criteria -- he's deceased. What klingy is doing is bad enough, he's trying to claim that Evolution is a civil rights issue rather than a scientific issue. In a word, No, it's not.
First off, where were Coppedge's civil rights violated? He was hired by people who were well aware of his religious beliefs. He was employed there for years without any adverse actions based on his beliefs, he was even given an additional administrative responsibility based on his seniority --regardless of his beliefs. What changed wasn't CalTech/JPL policy, but Coppedge's behavior.
Coppedge seems to believe that his beliefs would permit him to harass other employees multiple times. That his beliefs would protect his position and his job regardless of any complaints or reports of poor performance, and that his employers would take no action even though he allowed his skill set to lag behind the needs of the job. And . . . here is the best part . . . when he discovered that none of that was true, he sued for religious viewpoint discrimination. So, other than in his mind -- in the minds of his lawyers -- and in the DI's public relations department, where in all this were his civil rights being violated?
He was not let go because of his religious beliefs! He was not let go, as klingy would have you believe, for sharing his religious beliefs in a non-intimidating manner. He was let go primarily because of his lack of needed skills! So, one more time, klingy, where was his civil rights violated?
I will tell you whose civil rights were violated, the people whom Coppedge harassed over Creationism/Intelligent Design, CA Prop 8 (Gay Marriage) and the Holiday Party. Also the managers who tried to counsel an obviously belligerent employee. And if they had kept Coppedge and fired a more qualified employee, that employee's rights would have been violated for real instead of this imaginary violation against Coppedge. But no, according to klingy:
"Coppedge's right to dissent from Darwinian orthodoxy was crushed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the judge in the case accepted NASA's slickly constructed defense, rubber-stamped it, denying him the justice of what should have been total vindication."According to the trial transcripts and the decision rendered by the judge, Coppedge was not 'crushed' by Darwinian orthodoxy, but by his own unprofessional and harassing behavior and his lack of skills. He was given the precise justice he deserved. Coppedge, and the DI, are trying to use his religious beliefs as a shield to protect him from his own folly! Coppedge continues to enjoy the right to dissent from evolution. He ran, and I believe still runs, a creationist blog -- which he was running while he was employed by CalTech/JPL. As you can see by klingy's recent posts, Coppedge is free to grant interviews and make speeches. He has the same freedom of expression of every US citizen, including those less-than-stalwart fellows at the Discovery Institute.
What he does not have is the freedom to harass his co-workers. He does not have the right keep a job amidst validated customer and co-worker complaints. He does not have the right to retain a job when his skill set failed to match the requirements of the job. You cannot expect an employer to retain an employee like Coppedge?
In the post, klingy mentions "Cecil Phillips". Cecil's issue was a few years back and didn't impact his employment, just his membership in a private organization. Little klingy says this:
"For every Cecil Phillips, for every David Coppedge, there are countless other people who share their scientific doubts about Darwin, their openness to seeing evidence of design in nature, but who keep their views to themselves in a strategy of self-defense. They are teachers, professors, students, and other thoughtful open-minded citizens, who can't exercise their right to advocate a particular scientific view. They reasonably fear censorship and bullying."
What I do find interesting, in both cases, klingy can't seem to stick to the facts of the case. Klingy says Coppedge was fired for sharing his ID videos. . . he also says Phillips was kicked out for raising doubts about Darwin and Evolution. Yet the fact show Coppedge did a great deal more than just share his videos and did so in a harassing manner. Phillips didn't just doubt Darwin, he pushed for DI, a religious alternative to science. Gee, having trouble with the truth much, kilngy?
As for the rest of the folks klingy mentioned, they can certainly exercise their right to advocate a particular viewpoint, although I cannot call ID a scientific viewpoint with a straight face. What these 'countless' (yea, sure!) teachers, professors, and students cannot do is offer ID as a valid and viable answer to biological questions in a public school setting. After all, it's a religious viewpoint, as determined by Federal Court about 11 years ago, and re-affirmed every time the DI rushes to the defense of people like Coppedge and Phillips claiming some sort of religious viewpoint discrimination. Sure, ID's not religious, yet you rush to the aid of such religious arguments all the time. Plus you never seem to get the facts straight, it always boils down the religion with you. Check out those other 'heroes' of the DI Movement (Sternberg, Crocker, Gonzalez, Abrahams, and Davis), in each instance the facts of the case differ greatly from the DI's portrayal.
Bottom line is that according to the court transcript and the final decision, the employment decision to terminate Coppedge was not based on his religious beliefs at all. Every time klingy posts about Coppedge he's simply lying, as we have pointed out before, and here, and here. He, and the rest of the DI, just seems to think that if you repeat the same lie often enough, some people will accept it as true.