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Discrimination and the Parallels Between Frank Turek and David Coppedge

Anika Smith

This story is becoming too common for a free society. Blogger Max Andrews reports on the Frank Turek discrimination case:

Dr. Turek was hired by Cisco back in 2008 to train in leadership techniques and team building for their Remote Operations Services team. Dr. Turek “was fired as a vendor for his political and religious views, even though those views were never mentioned or expressed during his work at Cisco.” What happened was one of the managers in Dr. Turek’s program Googled Turek and noticed that he had authored a book, which advocated a particular position on marriage that this manager, a self-identified homosexual, disagreed with. A complaint was filed against Dr. Turek for not having values consistent with Cisco.

If this story sounds like you may have heard it before, it’s because there’s a trend. Andrews notes:

This whole situation is strikingly similar, perhaps even worse than the wrongful termination of NASA’s JPL information technology specialist David Coppedge…
Coppedge was terminated for allegedly “pushing” intelligent design upon his coworkers. JPL associated this with Coppedge’s “religious beliefs” and so Coppedge sued on grounds of religious discrimination. (I suggest reading the articles listed for a full account). Cisco meets a sub-par standard of internal consistency and had a knee-jerk reaction to, well they didn’t really know what it was they were reacting to.

Thought crimes have filtered down from academia into the workplace. Regardless of what you think of Dr. Turek’s views, that he should be fired merely for having them is alarming, and everyone who values academic freedom should be watching this closely.