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Judge Rules NASA Employee Not Fired For Religious Beliefs

JPL Says Computer Specialist Let Go For Poor Attitude, Lack Of Skills

A Los Angeles judge has handed down a temporary ruling in favor of NASA's JPL in a case involving a former employee who claims he was fired because of his religious beliefs.

David Coppage said he was fired because he expressed his views about intelligent design in the workplace. He filed the wrongful termination suit saying he was demoted and eventually fired for engaging co-workers in conversations about intelligent design, and handing out literature and DVDs at work as well. Coppage is a self-described evangelical Christian, and worked on the Cassini mission for 15 years.

The Associated Press reports that in the interim ruling, Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige said that he was more inclined to believe JPL's assertion that Coppedge was combative and did not stay up to date in his professional skills. JPL attorney Cameron Fox said that Coppedge was stubborn, and chose not to get additional training even knowing that computer specialist positions associated with the Cassini program were being eliminated.

Coppage remains active in the Intelligent Design arena. He runs a website that looks at science through a lens of Intelligent Design, and is also a board member for a media company which produces the DVDs he was reportedly distributing at work.

FMI: www.lasuperiorcourt.org

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