Our last post on this topic was David Coppedge Ponders His Next Move. If you’re new to this, for background on David Coppedge’s lawsuit against Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and & Caltech, see David Coppedge v. JPL & Caltech — He’s Fired!
The only news we can glean from the court’s docket is that Coppedge has requested leave to file an amended complaint and for a continuance of the trial. The request, presumably unopposed, was granted on 14 February. There’s no indication that the amended complaint has been filed yet. Otherwise, the start of the trial date has been moved from 15 June to 19 October of this year.
There’s one other bit of news we can report, and this is on the public relations front. There’s an article about the case appearing at the website of something called World, which describes itself as follows:
We like to report good news but we don’t make it sticky-sweet. We also report bad news because Christ’s grace becomes most meaningful when we’re aware of sin. … We stand for factual accuracy and biblical objectivity, trying to see the world as best we can the way the Bible depicts it. Journalistic humility for us means trying to give God’s perspective.
Their article on the Coppedge case is Design flaw? A fired NASA employee says he was let go because of his belief in intelligent design. It’s sympathetic to Coppedge’s side of things, which is understandable because there’s nothing else available. JPL and the other defendants have been silent about their version of the facts.
The one thing we found interesting in their article is this description of Coppedge’s behavior on the job. As you read this, bear in mind that World‘s information is probably coming entirely from Coppedge and his lawyers. They say, with bold font added by us:
Back in California, where Coppedge worked, he would occasionally offer to loan DVDs about intelligent design to co-workers. “I would only approach people I was friendly with, not strangers” he said. “I tried to be sensitive, and if somebody was not interested, I stopped.”
This continued once or twice a month for about a decade. Then, in March 2009, Coppedge’s manager called him into his office and told him to stop. “He claimed that I was pushing my religion,” Coppedge said. “It came out of the blue.”
That is what Coppedge or his lawyers admitted to World. We have only silence from the defendants, so let us be magnanimous and assume that Coppedge’s creationist outreach activity on the job occurred only twice a month for a decade. That’s probably 240 instances of what we assume was creationist proselytizing. But let’s not get carried away. We’ll be conservative and say it’s only 200 separate incidents. Only 200! Think about it.
We can imagine the reaction of the JPL science staff (the mildest of which may have been: “Get lost, you creep!“), so our guess is that Coppedge wouldn’t have done this to the same person more than once. Therefore, being fair about the numbers, we assume that there were 200 separate people who were affected by Coppedge’s behavior. This estimate comes from what he himself or his lawyers admitted to World magazine.
The Discoveroids have an article at their blog about the piece in World: World Magazine Reports on the David Coppedge Case. They refer to it as:
… an excellent report on the David Coppedge story with new insights into his background — and new reason to do something about the discrimination he’s suffered.
Obviously, opinions vary. Your Curmudgeon’s opinion is that if those facts are the best that Coppedge has in his favor, the outcome of his trial is unlikely to be to his liking. But we’ll have to wait and see.
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