Beginning this week I will be featuring articles written by a fellow researcher and writer on the dangers of Dominionism in America today, Susan Cardoza. You may have read her post here last week on the Constitution Party. We have decided to begin a “Saturdays with Susan” series and I am very pleased to have the help by adding another voice to this discussion. Thank you, Susan for stepping up to this task!
Today’s article is about a story that is getting very little attention. It is about a disgruntled worker (it would seem on face value) that is suing for wrongful termination claiming that he had a right to proselytize to his co-workers whether they wanted to hear his sales pitch or not about Intelligent Design and anti-gay marriage rhetoric.
This case that is now being heard in a California courtroom, while on the surface may appear to be a wrongful termination suit, is really about attempts by the Discovery Institute to win a battle of Creationism v. Science in the courts.
An Unintelligent Defense in the Jet Propulsion Law Suit
By Susan Cardoza
This is the case of David Coppedge, a Creationist v. Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL) law suit. The Discovery Institute and Mr. Coppedge are claiming a civil rights violation, but it is really about religion. David Coppedge was let go from JPL as a result of budget issues along with approximately 200 other employees. The fact that he had been counseled about proselytizing prior to the layoff, the staff at JPL insist was not a factor in his dismissal.
The trial started in March 2012 and Judge Ernest Hiroshige will be hearing testimony sans a jury. In a quick review: David Coppedge, a former systems administration lead on NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn, claims he was unfairly terminated from his JPL job for discussing religion and for giving employees DVDs promoting intelligent design.
Intelligent design is the theory that life and the existence of the universe are best explained as the result of the influence of God or an intelligent agent. Point of fact, his supervisors explicitly warned him what he was doing was disruptive and amounted to proselytizing. The warnings were a result of complaints from co-workers who were at the receiving end of his “enlightenment” of creation and religion in general.
“Eugene Volokh, a professor of First Amendment law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law says that while the case has attracted interest because of the controversial nature of intelligent design, it is at its heart a straightforward discrimination case.
“The question is whether the plaintiff was fired simply because he was wasting people’s time and bothering them in ways that would have led him to being fired regardless of whether it was about religion or whether he was treated worse based on the religiosity of his beliefs,” said Volokh. “If he can show that, then he’s got a good case.”(from the Human Resources Journal)
Unfortunately, Coppedge and his friends at the Discovery Institute are more than likely not going to let this stand as a clear cut civil rights case but rather hide behind the civil rights issue to further their Creationist beliefs on a public stage. Especially when Coppedge himself has raised the question of his ideas regarding his termination, specifically he claims he did not “coerce” or “compel” anyone and that he was singled out because of: “his religious convictions generally, and specifically for his belief in God as the creator of the universe.
Adding to his Intelligent Design promotion was his open support for California’s Proposition 8, which was adopted by voters in November 2008 (striking down the rights of same-sex couples to marry), and his request that JPL’s annual “holiday party” be renamed the “Christmas party,” as it had been called in the past” also added to the troubles he has experienced in the workplace. When you demand a workplace adhere specifically to your religious beliefs, it violates the rights of the faith of others.
Dominionists have been fighting this fight in venues around the country for years now. They have fought it in the classroom, in politics and now in the workplace.
Based on their history on the subject and their tactics in other areas, it would not be a huge surprise to find out that David Coppedge, at some point, became a “stealther” for the Discovery Institute. A “stealther” is a person placed in a specific area of influence to push a certain point of view and attempt to “convert” people over to their belief system, in this case, The Discovery Institute or Dominionist teaching. You might wonder why I use the term “stealther”. If you have studied the activities of these Dominionists, you have learned that this is a tactic promoted by their leaders. I am providing a few examples here so you understand their method of operation and how Mr. Coppedge might have been a stealther for the Institute.
“I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.” –Ralph Reed, The Hill, December 17, 1997
“What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians…and Christian values.” –Ralph Reed, Los Angeles Times, April 1990
And from one of the leaders of the Dominionist Show, johnny Enlow – author of “The Seven Mountain Mantle”, had this point to make:
“The goal is not just to have Christians in high places, but rather to have Christians who are called to be in high places step into that role. And wearing a ‘Christian’ label on our sleeve isn’t the point. We need to learn to be ‘as wise as serpents and harmless as doves’ and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition.”
The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian civil rights group, and the Discovery Institute, a proponent of intelligent design, are both supporting Coppedge’s case. No surprise there, both groups are actively involved with Dominionists in many areas of our culture. What they are trying to do here is to establish some new kind of constitutional right or employee’s freedom to promote their religious beliefs in the workplace and creationism is one step in that direction.
Casey Lusken of the Discovery Institute is advising Coppedge’s attorney, William J. Becker, Jr. who appears to be mostly a personal injury and worker’s comp attorney. Becker, however seems to be the Discovery Institute’s point man for the Los Angeles area as he has worked on another “creationism” case for the Institute in the past. This suit appears to be complementary to another suit in the state of California, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, where free speech with regard to Creationism was also fought. The ruling concluded that intelligent design is not science and contravenes the constitutional restriction on teaching religion in public school science classes.
It would appear as a result of this ruling they have no science, so they are approaching the subject from a Bill of Rights position. They have even requested the court to allow an expert on religion to testify to the lack of religious content in the DVD’s Coppedge was passing out. Luckily, the Judge was smarter than them and let it be known he could formulate his own judgment on the matter.
Basically, what they are trying to do is establish court precedents establishing the “right” to promote their Creationist nonsense in all public facilities. This facility and the Dover Area School District just happen to be convenient test cases.
You may be asking why do they continue down this path? They do so in order to fulfill the “Wedge Strategy” and they have benefactors funding them so why not? Phillip E. Johnson, the godfather of Intelligent Design and Program Advisor for the Discovery Institute is the author of the Wedge document and if it had not been mysteriously released, most in the secular world would not even known of it’s existence. Johnson is also author of “The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism.”
Unfortunately for the “Creationists” the Wedge Strategy is out there for the world to see and their consequent activities can be monitored such as this law suit in California by Coppedge. This proves, once again, why they fear knowledge – they know they cannot hide their activities from people who look for knowledge. (Or I guess you could say they never got over losing the Scopes Trial).
According to Wikipedia, “the Wedge Strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Institute manifesto known as the Wedge Document. This document describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consistent with Christian and theistic convictions. The strategy also aims to affirm God’s reality. Its goal is to change American culture by shaping public policy to reflect conservative Christian, namely evangelical Protestant, values.”
So the Dominionists have gone from Creationism to Intelligent Design in an attempt to insert their version of the origin of the species into daily life and have failed at all attempts. Now they will approach it from a Civil Rights/Bill of Rights perspective.
Wikipedia goes on to say, “the Wedge Document outlines a public relations campaign meant to sway the opinion of the public, popular media, charitable funding agencies, and public policy makers. According to critics, the wedge document, more than any other Discovery Institute project, demonstrates the Institute’s and intelligent design’s political rather than scientific purpose.
There are three Wedge Projects, referred to in the strategy as three phases designed to reach a governing goal:
- Scientific Research, Writing & Publicity
- Publicity & Opinion-making
- Cultural Confrontation & Renewal
Recognizing the need for support, the institute affirms the strategy’s Christian, evangelistic orientation:
“Alongside a focus on the influential opinion-makers, we also seek to build up a popular base of support among our natural constituency, namely, Christians. We will do this primarily through apologetics seminars. We intend these to encourage and equip believers with new scientific evidences that support the faith, as well as to popularize our ideas in the broader culture.”
The Wedge Strategy was designed with both five-year and twenty-year goals in mind in order to achieve the conversion of the mainstream. One notable component of the work was its desire to address perceived social consequences and to promote a social conservative agenda on a wide range of issues including abortion, euthanasia, sexuality, and other social reform movements.”
These people will never succumb to the “secular” so you will continue to see related cases such as this pop up in order to fulfill their plans. As long as you have judges that stick to the letter of the law, there is little chance these people will succeed. However, all it takes is one win for them to take it to the next level and conclude they have a “right” to replace current science with their Theocratic brand. In the meantime, they will continue to work the issue from your school boards, classrooms and laboratories creating situations they can use to file court cases just as they have done in this instance.
Admin notes: To add to Susan’s article, this is a classic effort in the 7 Mountains Mandate. This is the Business Mountain and they are training thousands of anxious supporters to go into the workplace and stir up trouble after which they claim victimization as persecuted Christians. Of course, ultimately they are being trained to take dominion over these “markets” as leaders. One of their most successful programs is run by a Senior Apostle named Os Hillman and is called Marketplace Leaders.
Yet another example of the Dominion Mandate at work right before our eyes.