Unlike Time magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger, at least some reporters in the Los Angeles courtroom where the David Coppedge trial is going on have grasped the most interesting angle to emerge. Brian Charles for the Pasadena Star-News leads with this:
Former Jet Propulsion Laboratory employee David Coppedge testified Monday that his co-workers at the science lab distributed political cartoons and freely expressed political and religious views during work hours.
Charles then notes: “Such privileges, according to Coppedge, were taken away from him by JPL due to his advocacy for intelligent design” and a couple of other politically incorrect views, such as the opinion that JPL’s holiday potluck party should be called a “Christmas Potluck Party.”
JPL’s “open culture” abruptly closed up tight when it came to intelligent design. And that is the point.
The bit about the holiday party, by the way, is one that we have not covered yet here at ENV. It came up in 2003 when Coppedge forwarded an op-ed article by Jewish radio host Dennis Prager to JPL/Cassini administrative assistant Carmen Vetter. Prager is supportive of calling Christmas parties “Christmas parties.” Ms. Vetter was still steaming about it five years later when she complained again in the course of the Human Relations investigation, “David has a religious agenda about Christianity.”
The charge was among those that would result in Coppedge’s demotion, leading finally to his being terminated.
As historians now recognize, advocacy of Christmas Potluck Parties is one of the factors that impelled the medieval Crusaders in their marauding drive across Europe to re-conquer the Holy Land.
Naturally Ms. Vetter could not just let that one go. More on Coppedge coming up.