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JPL Employee's Firing Wasn't Due To Intelligent Design Advocacy, Says Judge

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the does-not-play-well-with-others dept.

NASA 477

SternisheFan writes with an update to a story from earlier this year about a lawsuit in which David Coppedge alleged he was fired from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for his advocacy of Intelligent Design. Now, a judge has ruled that Coppedge was legitimately dismissed for performance reasons. From the article: "n 2009, he apparently got a bit aggressive about promoting these ideas at work, leading one employee to complain. The resulting investigation found that he had also aggressively promoted his opinion on California's gay marriage ban, and had attempted to get JPL's holiday party renamed to 'Christmas party.' ... Coppedge was warned about his behavior at work, but he felt it was an infringement of his religious freedom, so he sued. Shortly after, as part of a set of cutbacks on the Cassini staff, he was fired. In court, Coppedge and his lawyer portrayed him as being targeted for promoting an idea that is, to put it mildly, not popular with scientists. But JPL's legal team introduced evidence that his aggressive promotion of it at work was part of a pattern of bad interactions with his fellow employees that dated back at least five years earlier."

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First (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865033)

Religious people are fucking stupid, delusional idiots anyway.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:First (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865067)

Yes, I completely agree.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:First (-1, Troll)

iMadeGhostzilla (1851560) | about 2 years ago | (#41865129)

Including Einstein, I presume?

What I find common in aggressive atheists and aggressive Christians is they both believe the only option for religion is the, well, aggressive Christians' kind. That's a very narrow view of the world and its history.

Re:First (5, Informative)

ranton (36917) | about 2 years ago | (#41865163)

There are still people out there who believe Einstein was religious?

Re:First (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 2 years ago | (#41865221)

Yes, Christians post his picture and a quote about knowing God on facebook all the time.

Re:First (3, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#41865419)

Yes, Christians post his picture and a quote about knowing God on facebook all the time.

Made-up quote you mean.

Einstein on Religion (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41865283)

Einstien's view on religion (Wikipedia): d Beliefs Albert Einstein, 1921. Albert Einstein's religious views have been studied due to his sometimes apparently ambiguous statements and writings on the subject. He said he believed in the god of Baruch Spinoza, but not in a personal god, a belief he criticized. He also reportedly called himself an agnostic, and criticized atheism, preferring he said "an attitude of humility." [1]

"In a letter to Beatrice Frohlich, 17 December 1952 Einstein stated, "The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve." [8] Eric Gutkind sent a copy of his book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call To Revolt" [9] to Einstein in 1954. Einstein sent Gutkind a letter in response and wrote, "The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text."

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein#section_2 [wikipedia.org]

Re:Einstein on Atheism (5, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41865349)

Einstein rejected the label atheist, which he associated with certainty regarding God's nonexistence. Einstein stated: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being." [1]

According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views." [16]

Einstein had previously explored the belief that man could not understand the nature of God. In an interview published in 1930 in G. S. Viereck's book Glimpses of the Great, Einstein, in response to a question about whether or not he believed in God, explained: Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things. [17]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein#section_2

Re:Einstein on Religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865463)

He also slept with his cousin.

Re:First (3, Informative)

Keith Mickunas (460655) | about 2 years ago | (#41865199)

Einstein wasn't religious. In fact he did not believe in a god. Religious people like to pull select quotes from him to make him appear to be religious, to use as an argument from authority against atheists, but there is a detailed letter that he wrote in which he categorically denied believing in god.

Re:First (4, Insightful)

Oroka (1644579) | about 2 years ago | (#41865281)

But Einstein was not a fanatic trying to force his believes on others. Religion is fine if kept polite. The bible states 'neither cast ye your pearls before swine'. Dont waste your time on those not willing to listen. Freedom of religion is fine, freedom of speech is great. You dont walk into the center of the opposing opinion and start shoving your ideas down their throats and expect open arms and high fives. Bible thumpers can be a bit nuts, but atheists can be equally nuts. JPL justly fired a nut.

Re:First (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865521)

This, ever so much.

I personally do not believe in a god.
My workplace however is full of religious people, primarily christian I believe.

My boss, whom is self-adamantly religious, is one of the nicest, kind and generous people I've had the pleasure of meeting. My boss is also the founder and one of three owners of the company.

Other than as side effects, the fact he is religious has never once come up. The fact that I am not has never once come up.
He has mentioned in conversation details that indicate he is, such as "a friend from church" and such. He has never once pushed anything religious on me or anyone else that I'm aware of.
In fact I have no idea if he is even aware of my own beliefs.

Recently I spoke with him about hiring another person for my department. He took my requirements list and went to make a posting on a job site.
The next day he came back with a resume, saying this was a friend from church he's known for some time who he wanted me to consider.
This was the first time religion was ever discussed between us, and then it was only to state flat out that I shouldn't base my hiring decisions on the fact this is his friend, or that he is from his church. I should base it on nothing but his qualifications just as with any other resume sent in.

What matters about a person is not what religion they are, if any, but if they are the kind of person that does not force their ideals on others.
People who can't take the hint that you don't want to talk about a subject, and especially so after being told, are the problem. People who force whatever ideal they have on others out of context are the problem.
As you say, the ones that are nuts.

I too have had the displeasure of knowing such an atheist, which might have been a little worse as he assumed I would be a kendered spirit and help push his arguments or something.
I couldn't stand being around him any more than the religious nuts who do the same thing.

It really shouldn't be this hard to keep your personal crap personal, and can't understand why so many people feel such a strong need to piss off others and make them hate your cause by proxy of your poor behavior. It's like enticing someone with pain and stabbing instead of cookies and chocolate. But they can't grasp all humans are not clones and do not believe the same things.

The world would be such a better place if we could round up all the nuts and fling them off into the sun :/

Re:First (0, Flamebait)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#41865687)

Recently I spoke with him about hiring another person for my department. He took my requirements list and went to make a posting on a job site. The next day he came back with a resume, saying this was a friend from church he's known for some time who he wanted me to consider. This was the first time religion was ever discussed between us, and then it was only to state flat out that I shouldn't base my hiring decisions on the fact this is his friend, or that he is from his church. I should base it on nothing but his qualifications just as with any other resume sent in.

Yeah, sure - here's a tip. Get your own resume in order if you don't hire his Jesus bud.

Re:First (0)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#41865429)

Religious people like to pull select quotes

Misattribute quotes, and make stuff up as well.

Re:First (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41865227)

Einstein wasn't religious.

Newton was, but I think most people would be comfortable labeling him delusional :P

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865325)

"Newton was, but I think most people would be comfortable labeling him delusional :P"

I don't know if he was delusional (more than anyone else). He was merely a heretic who didn't believe in the divinity of Christ [wikipedia.org] . If Christians bring up Newton's religious nature, it's always a bit fun to discuss that detail :-)

Re:First (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#41865377)

Yeah, but that alchemy thing >_>

Re:First (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41865447)

Im still not really clear why anyone should care about the religious beliefs of Newton or Einstein.

Re:First (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865589)

When religious people try to back up their (bogus) scientific arguments, they like to cite religious scientists as if it the existence of scientists who are religious makes the arguments more compelling. "Famous scientist X was religious, so shouldn't you accept my religiously-motivated supposedly scientific arguments too?" It's basically an argument by authority.

It's irrelevant, of course.

Einstein was not religious. (1)

microbox (704317) | about 2 years ago | (#41865387)

Including Einstein, I presume?

Einstein was not religious. A bunch of morons are trying to rewrite history, complete with made-up quotes. Look it up.

Re:First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865215)

Furthermore I am a pantie waisted nancy boy!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Imagine that.... (4, Funny)

wkcole (644783) | about 2 years ago | (#41865037)

An advocate of Intelligent Design who wasn't competent to work in a scientific organization? I'm SHOCKED!

Not really....

Re:Imagine that.... (5, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 2 years ago | (#41865097)

An advocate of Intelligent Design who wasn't competent to work in a scientific organization? I'm SHOCKED!

OK, your sarcasm is on point, but... I wonder... Think about this: is it possible that the level of aggressive misbehavior exhibited by this person was fueled by cognitive dissonance? Was he trying to convince his coworkers or himself?

(Either way, firing him was the right thing to do and he deserves whatever mockery and sarcasm we can dish out.)

Re:Imagine that.... (4, Insightful)

Jessified (1150003) | about 2 years ago | (#41865389)

Also, could a religious organization not fire someone who is promoting ideas contrary to the church? Why should a secular organization have to tolerate religious fanaticism if a religious organization does not have to tolerate other views?

Re:Imagine that.... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41865743)

I would guess that issue is much more muddled at JPL because they're working on government projects using government money.

The private religious university I attended has a strict rule about accepting public funds because above some threshold, determined by law, you are subject to a lot of federal non-discrimination laws that would preclude things like firing a professor for his religious views.

Re:Imagine that.... (3, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | about 2 years ago | (#41865569)

Was he trying to convince his coworkers or himself?

Himself. Exactly the same as everyone else who "believes" in Intelligent Design.

Re:Imagine that.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865273)

Where does it say he was incompetent? It says he was fired because he kept bothering other employees with his ideas.

Re:Imagine that.... (3, Insightful)

wkcole (644783) | about 2 years ago | (#41865601)

Where does it say he was incompetent? It says he was fired because he kept bothering other employees with his ideas.

I know it violates /. tradition and may even be deemed "cheating," but there's at least one link in every /. post leading to a direct source article, which YOU CAN ACTUALLY READ ALL BY YOURSELF! In this case the referenced article links to another more detailed and specific AP article that details the bozo's workplace failure.

It is worth noting that for support staff (in this case a "computer specialist" on the Cassini project) not being a nuisance to co-workers is a critical and fundamental job skill. So is maintaining the respect & trust of the people doing the core work of the organization. JPL was correct in providing evidence of Coppedge's bad attitude and workplace evangelism as part of the argument that he was cut for perfectly sound reasons. Working well with others is a perfectly legitimate job requirement and failing to do so is a competence issue in many jobs.

Re:Imagine that.... (4, Insightful)

damienl451 (841528) | about 2 years ago | (#41865335)

Never doubt the ability that people have to compartmentalize their thinking. You can actually have a lot of technical skills, and even a lot of science knowledge, yet hold fairly bizarre views that are directly contradicted by the evidence that you know. It's kinda hard to do if you actually have to use the principles that directly contradict your beliefs (i.e., you usually won't find young-earth creationists doing research in evolutionary biology), but most scientific fields are broad enough that you can easily specialize in something that won't threaten your bizarre beliefs.

Re:Imagine that.... (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#41865579)

The way I see it is that someone with a personal belief will try to get a measure of authority by earning a degree in a related field of science.

Remember that getting a degree does NOT mean that you agree with the material. Only that you have mastered the material.

Then they write books about their beliefs and make sure that their degree(s) are included in their author bio.

Maybe they'll find a job with some real research firm or something. But that is a bit difficult after their first book is published and anyone looks up their name on Google.

Re:Imagine that.... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41865701)

Remember that getting a degree does NOT mean that you agree with the material. Only that you have mastered the material.

Unless you get it from Liberty University.

Re:Imagine that.... (3, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about 2 years ago | (#41865577)

Let's try to keep facts straight. The articles that I have read did not bring his professional competence into question. His professional competence would only be an issue if he was unable to perform his duties (due to his religious beliefs or otherwise).

The issue was that his conduct in the workplace was interfering with the function of that workplace. If he said that he believed in intelligent design and left it at that, there probably wouldn't have been an issue. Yet he upped the ante by being aggressive about promoting those beliefs. Since the promotion of individual beliefs is outside the scope of most workplaces, it is outside the realm of religious freedoms.

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865051)

Heh

you can't act however you want at work (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865075)

In other words, he had been acting like an asshole at work for years, and when cuts came around, they decided to get rid of an asshole. Guess what? If you act like an asshole at work, you MIGHT GET FIRED.

That's what happens... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865091)

If you don't adapt......

Re:That's what happens... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865245)

Is this what you would have told gay and lesbian co-workers 20 years ago?

Defending the rights of those you disagree with is the hallmark of true freedom loving people. Its pretty clear "bad interactions" as the reason for firing him was based on the fact a lot of folks disliked him because of his personal religious beliefs - we call this sort of behavior discrimination.

Re:That's what happens... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865299)

Is this what you would have told gay and lesbian co-workers 20 years ago?

Defending the rights of those you disagree with is the hallmark of true freedom loving people. Its pretty clear "bad interactions" as the reason for firing him was based on the fact a lot of folks disliked him because of his personal religious beliefs - we call this sort of behavior discrimination.

Having beliefs, opinions, a personal life is one thing. Getting harassed for those beliefs is discrimination and should be avoided.

Harassing your co-workers with your beliefs is also to be avoided. This fellow was fired for a pattern of harassing his co-workers, a pattern he was asked to avoid, which he refused to do. The firing was justified.

It doesn't matter what those beliefs were, it is the harassment that was the reason for the firing.

Re:That's what happens... (3, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41865407)

"I belive in the 11th Commandment. Keep thine own religion to thineself!" - George Carlin

Re:That's what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865435)

I don't know of the details of this case, but it is quite possible it is more of an attitude or action issue than a belief issue. I've worked in physics research and had known some colleagues that were quite religious, and even a few ID... but they got their work done well and helped others get work done. They didn't push their beliefs on others. They weren't muted either, and would give polite (although possibly energetic) opinions when the topic being discussed went to moral issues or religious beliefs. Although this was pretty much during lunch or down times, not brought up out of the blue, or when people needed to avoid distraction. They were even aware of the idea that maybe a topic change should be in order, where due to agreeing to disagree, or because it was time to get back to work at the end of a break.

However, the only person I've ever filed formal complaints against, actually had very similar beliefs to me as far as atheism and political views. He just didn't know when it as appropriate to stop discussing such things and actually got in the way of getting things done. It crosses the line when his priority was to get signatures for some petition instead of helping with a tight deadline.

This isn't to defend religious people as saints and opposing side as problem makers, or visa versa. Some people are just assholes, or lazy assholes, and they can have the same or opposite beliefs from you. When you work someplace with a busy schedule and are not much of an asshole yourself, you can quickly separate those you disagree with from those who lack self-control and priorities to get stuff done and help others get stuff done.

Re:That's what happens... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41865459)

It wasn't his personal religious beliefs, it was the fact he wouldn't keep them personal. No employee, not even a government employee has an absolute right to proselytize at work. You are requires to maintain standards of decorum and behaviour, and if there are repeated complaints by coworkers and warnings from management you will likely end up being fired.

Re:That's what happens... (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41865483)

None can love freedom heartily, but good men... the rest love not freedom, but license.
--John Milton

Re:That's what happens... (1)

supercrisp (936036) | about 2 years ago | (#41865749)

And that Milton quote is just dripping with irony, given his politics. Milton was like many of us, he wanted freedom for himself but was happy to set that and freedom for others aside when it came to the Cromwell government.

Re:That's what happens... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865291)

If you don't adapt......

Careful, bucko. That is exactly how proponents of Sharia Law think.

I got your humor but it's a dangerous line to toss about without much thought.

Re:That's what happens... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865755)

Witch hunts are great fun. We should all get on-board and burn this guy.

How many of us clamoring to burn the witch have actually considered looking at press which is friendly to him, and not just the press which agrees with our own biases?

Maybe there's more to this story than we're getting from the press that shares our own biases.

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/04/portrait_of_a_h058171.html

Religious freedom = the right to oppress others (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865125)

That's really the whole point of it, when religitards are saying "religious freedom".

Re:Religious freedom = the right to oppress others (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41865733)

That's really the whole point of it, when religitards are saying "religious freedom".

Right. Notice that his position in the lawsuit was that he was being persecuted.

My religious freedom to conduct an inquisition! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865179)

I demand it, because you are the truly intolerant one who won't let me scourge the land of the heretics and unbelievers.

See, my freedom is greater than yours.

Don't you get it? Didn't that Blunt Amendment teach you anything? The right to DENY contraceptive coverage for religious reasons is FAR more important than people having the CHOICE to get what they want.

Which would be to murder babies in gruesome ways, so you know I'm really doing what's right.

Besides if they didn't want to get pregnant, they wouldn't. Their bodies have ways to shut it down.

Re:My religious freedom to conduct an inquisition! (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41865505)

Way to get strawman of the day award. The only reason that people oppose abortion is because they believe that that which is in the womb is a person fully deserving of legal and moral protection. If they are correct, "choice" doesnt come into it, and your post, with its sarcastic "my freedom is greater than yours", demonstrates WHY it should be forbidden.

When are religious people going to grow up?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865257)

These folks let their childish belief in fairytales get in the way of everything, including perceiving reality as it is.

It wouldn't be so bad if they didn't insist on forcing this crap on others-- taking over school boards, taking over government, generally being really fucking annoying repeating their talking points again and again without listening to counter arguments that completely destroy their fairytale beliefs.

This guy was trying to force others to his irrational, and stupid beliefs. If he had been fired for that, he got what he deserved. We should fire all Christian teachers too, since you just can't trust them to not try to indoctrinate children (tons of examples of Christians breaking the law to try to brainwash the children in their care).

JPL should watch it... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865279)

Give you an example: A neighbor woman of mine worked for a car dealership. She is an avowed atheist (I am not, but I let people think & believe what they wish, though she & I had some "intense discussions" about it, not angry, just objective ones). The dealership is owned by "hardcore" Christians. She voiced her opinions on it & it got her "canned"... guess what?

She collected enough in a lawsuit to buy a new home next to mine (nice place, brick house, good shape, etc.) & iirc, she collected around 50 grand (which she had for the home in mortgage, tax escro, etc./et al).

* It seems to be "the reverse" in this case with JPL though...

Personally speaking - Yes, I believe there IS a God, and yes, that he created everything. Something HAD to have, & anything that's capable of THAT, is "GOD" to me... & yes, I believe in this:

"GOD DON'T MAKE NO JUNK!"

That said, I think that evolution goes "hand-in-hand" with Creationism - in that God, being perfect, WOULD create organisms capable ot adaptation to WHATEVER circumstances...

APK

P.S.=> Anyhow/Anyways - JPL was not that smart on this one - This is an area that can cause ANY BUSINESS, hassles... legal hassle!

... apk

Re:JPL should watch it... apk (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41865489)

If he was fired simply for his personal belief in ID, that would be discrimination. But he wasn't, he was fired for repeatedly harassing staff. Again, you do not have a right to proselytize at your place of work.

Re:JPL should watch it... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865627)

Of course you are responding to a guy who will spend hundreds of page long posts responding to someone obviously trolling him, all to proselytize the greatness of hostname files or some other trivial BS. I am not sure he has any perspective n when and where it is appropriate to proselytize.

Rinse, Lather, & Repeat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865703)

We were having a nice, on topic discussion, but you had to go back to your usual habits AC troll:

---

1.) You continue to deny the utility of the hostname file despite having your knowledge been proven to be wrong many times over.

2.) Troll, harass, & stalk with off topic (and usually ad hominem attacks that are illogical in & of themselves) ac posts

3.) You continue to fail to use proper grammar and spelling.

---

You can't win at this and will fail and be shown to be wrong every time, especially when you make it so easy to do so.

APK

P.S.=> You fail, and you must LOVE punishment... especially self-inflicted ones, having to go off topic (& worse, use unjust downmods) - hey, you are only do this to yourself...

... apk

Re:JPL should watch it... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865493)

Thank you for registering your belies with Slashdot. They have been recorded and filed, and you can now stamp them with "Slashdot registered." Although we both know this isn't necessary, since the point of just injecting random beliefs is that it gets broadcast to the world, so that seal of approval would be quite redundant.

Trolling again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865587)

Thank you for registering your belies with Slashdot. by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, @01:21PM (41865493 [slashdot.org] )

I also believe that belief is spelled with an f. But you're poor grammar makes me laugh and just serves to make it obvious you are the same AC troll that has been stalking me. You always make it so easy.

And my beliefs are quite relevant and on topic to those story. The reason I know of my neighbor's story is because we can discuss it while visiting and sharing a beer. I expect to talk to her about it this afternoon, actually. It is quite enjoyable to get along with one's neighbors. Maybe you should try that AC troll instead of spending all of your time posting on Slashdot.

APK

P.S.=> You manage to blow it on even random topics that have nothing to do with your failure to understand how computers and networking work...

...apk

Re:Trolling again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865691)

But you're poor grammar makes me laugh

lol

Put the shoe on the other foot (4, Insightful)

sideslash (1865434) | about 2 years ago | (#41865293)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage. Would that be offensive as well? Be careful about piling on with "serves him right" when somebody is fired for what amounts to political incorrectness in the workplace. Without more detail I am skeptical of the accusations that he was "too aggressive" with this stuff or that it was a serious dereliction of his job. In my experience, many atheists are offended even by any public display of personal religious belief and practice, or any religious people engaging in discussion with others about it. They think religious people should be forced to maintain an appearance of secular belief when in public places, which is actually absurd and offensive in its own way.

As a religious person who works professionally with a diverse bunch of colleagues, I have experienced offensive pushing of personal beliefs from atheists much more often than from religious colleagues. And frankly, it's my habit to just smile and get along. I don't think my colleagues should be fired for promoting atheism, gay marriage, abortion, or what have you.

Of course you do. (3, Informative)

khasim (1285) | about 2 years ago | (#41865365)

... I have experienced offensive pushing of personal beliefs from atheists much more often than from religious colleagues.

That makes sense because you already share the same beliefs as your "religious colleagues". So why would the "personal beliefs" be "offensive" to you?

Since you do not share the same beliefs as the "atheists" then their beliefs are more "offensive" to you when they interject them.

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage.

Are they being an asshole about it? Because those don't seem like work-related subjects.

Would that be offensive as well?

You don't seem to be understanding the situation.

It isn't the nature of the beliefs.

It is the asshole pushing them in an asshole'ish fashion and INSISTING that his "freedom" is more important than anyone else's freedom to NOT have his religious beliefs inflicted upon them AT WORK.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865391)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism

Aggressively promoted atheism.

complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party

I as an atheist would also be offended if someone tried to rename Christmas. To some it might have religious meanings, to me it has none: it's just a name based on history.

and suggested that California allow gay marriage

Aggressively promoted gay marriage.

Would that be offensive as well?

Yes.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (3, Insightful)

nine932038 (1934132) | about 2 years ago | (#41865393)

If you're a religious person, would religious colleagues push their opinions on you?

Agreed with you on the other point, but one caveat: you're at work to work, not to preach. At some point, common courtesy indicates that a subject be dropped. Otherwise it's disruptive to everyone.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865431)

It's called confirmation bias. You don't experience other religious people pushing their personal beliefs because when another religious persons says something like "god guided me to a solution," you think, "yes, god is good." But when a non-religious person says, "there is no god, we have to do this on our own," you think, "wow, pushy!"

And yes, if a coworker spends a lot of time promoting religous or political issues at work, I want them to stop, even if I agree with them. I'm there to work, not to debate philosophy or current events. And if this goes on for years, with management asking them to stop, then they should be on the short list. Even if I agree 100% with what they say.

I may not agree with you, and I will defend your right to speak your mind, but in an appropriate forum. Not in department meetings, not in team meetings, not when I'm trying to focus on my job.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865445)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage. Would that be offensive as well?

Of course it would. And you'll note that absolutely no one here has suggested it wouldn't. It's a matter of aggressively prosetlyzing his beliefs to the point of being a nuisance in the workplace, where professional behavior is required as a condition of employment, not his beliefs.

You're just another theist trying to carve out special privileges for your beliefs and deserve mockery for the latter and, since we're not currently in a workplace setting, the former.

Confirmation bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865465)

Maybe there are relatively equal amounts of pushing in most directions (we're all human and like to share our opinions) and you just happen to notice the kind which is offensive to you more?

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865477)

Except Coppedge never claimed anyone was pushing their viewpoints or issue on him, he just took upon himself push his beliefs on others even after his colleagues complained to supervisors and told him to stop.
  A bespectacled, white-bearded man, Coppedge never hid his embrace of intelligent design. He maintained a website dedicated to it and sat on the board of Illustra Media, which produces intelligent design DVDs. He tried to get his co-workers to watch at least two of them: "Unlocking the Mystery of Life" and "The Privileged Planet."

In 2009, one co-worker balked. She said Coppedge's DVD had a sticky note that listed fellow colleagues and, next to one name, the phrase "try again." She complained to a supervisor, who told Coppedge to "stop pushing your religion," Coppedge said. "Imagine if employees were told, stop pushing your gay agenda or stop pushing your feminist agenda, your civil rights agenda," Becker told Judge Ernest M. Hiroshige, who will decide the case. Both sides agreed to forgo a jury.

If he presented evidence that other JPL employees were "pushing agendas", then he might have a case for discrimination. However, he made no complaints with the HR department, so he has no basis that JPL favored allowing one set of beliefs to be "pushed" and others blocked. In fact, the lawsuit is just desperate show trial by Christian zealots:

Coppedge found his lawyer, William Becker, through the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian group that's also helping fund Coppedge's defense. Becker has also worked with the Discovery Institute, a prominent intelligent design group based in Seattle and a key force in helping portray Coppedge as a victim of religious bigotry.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (2)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#41865765)

Coppedge said. "Imagine if employees were told, stop pushing your gay agenda or stop pushing your feminist agenda, your civil rights agenda,

OK - and my imagination said they would be fired as well if they were being assholes about it.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41865499)

As a religious person who works professionally with a diverse bunch of colleagues, I have experienced offensive pushing of personal beliefs from atheists much more often than from religious colleagues.

insert pic of 'help, help, we're being repressed!' here.

you folks have been the VERY vocal majority since, well, the beginning of your religion. don't you think its fair that others get to try to balance the scales just a wee bit?

right, its an attack on christianity. knew you'd be thinking that, if not saying it.

for 10's of centuries, its been a life-risking thing to even admit you are not part of the 'mainstream' religion. for once, this era and this country is finally allowing some open dissent.

just shut up and realize that you have been the oppressor for way too long. those of us would like the public to know about alternatives. and we don't (usually) have to fear for our lives anymore for having such views.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (5, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#41865537)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage. Would that be offensive as well? Be careful about piling on with "serves him right" when somebody is fired for what amounts to political incorrectness in the workplace. Without more detail I am skeptical of the accusations that he was "too aggressive" with this stuff or that it was a serious dereliction of his job. In my experience, many atheists are offended even by any public display of personal religious belief and practice, or any religious people engaging in discussion with others about it. They think religious people should be forced to maintain an appearance of secular belief when in public places, which is actually absurd and offensive in its own way.

Promoting atheism is just as offensive as promoting theism. Religion has no place in the workplace, unless your workplace happens to be devoted to religious study of some sort. As long as you're not hurting anybody, I don't give a flying fuck what you choose to believe. It's not my concern, as long as you recognize that I have a right to believe differently.

That being said, renaming the Christmas party to the Holiday party is about inclusion... all 3 of the Abrahamic religions have holy festivals around that time of year, not to mention a large number of other festivals associated with the solstice. Almost every religion in the world does something that time of year, and calling it the "Holiday" party instead of the "Christmas" party acknowledges that those other religions have value. It also acknolwedges and includes people who don't follow any specific religion. (though the word "holiday" itself is a bastardization of "holy day", which kind of excludes the atheists)

Allowing gay marriage, similarly, is about inclusion. I can't believe I even have to make the argument here, but the only consequence of allowing gay marriage is that gay people will get married. The world will not blow up, cats will not start having sex with dogs, it will not suddenly start raining fish, the sun will not turn purple, and you will not hear 7 trumpet blasts. It's about extending the same rights to gay people that heterosexual people enjoy, pure and simple. And if your religion doesn't endorse gay marriage, then don't fucking perform it. Gay people can just as easily have a civil ceremony before a justice of the peace, or go to one of the churches that *does* support gay unions. It is *not* about people with an agenda trying to force their beliefs on others, it's about people wanting to have the same rights as everybody else. Of course, opposition to extending these rights to the queer community is about people forcing their beliefs on others....

Now... if you'd bothered to read the articles linked, it would be quite clear that this guy was a douche. He had a reputation for being pig-headed, and refusing to negotiate on anything... it always had to be his way that things got done. He had been spoken to as early as 5 years before he was dismissed about his unprofessional behaviour, and even admitted during his own testimony that they had been asking him for years to smarten up. There are plenty of religious people working for JPL who don't have any problems at all, and his religion had nothing to do with his having been laid off. And yes, it was a lay-off... they let 200 people go at the same time as him, because there was a funding cut. This is a complete non-story, and the only reason it's getting any press at all is because a number of zealots are trying to incorrectly paint this as an attack on religion.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865543)

It's not that he is religious, it's that he's an ass. Lots of people are religious without being asses, lots of atheists aren't asses either. But there those (religious or non-religious alike) who are major pains and will not play well with others. I've worked with lots of people of different faiths (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, non-religious) and got along fine with them. Why? Because they left their personal beliefs in their personal lives.

Whether a person won't stop pushing their views on religion or operating systems or food choices (I'm looking at you, vegans), it gets annoying and makes for an unpleasant work environment.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (3, Interesting)

mewyn (663989) | about 2 years ago | (#41865547)

Well, if an atheist were going around the way that Coppedge is reported to, yeah that would be trouble. You just should act like a dick. Civil discussion is fine where it's appropriate, but being a pushy dick isn't. Coppedge does have the right to say whatever he wants, and as the results of this court case shows, he was not fired for that.

Secondly, this whole thing is a tactic that the Christian right of getting into scientific or academic positions, being loudmouthed about their beliefs, and finally getting themselves canned for other reasons and shout that they are fired for being Christian. They do this to try and promote the idea that Christians are being persecuted, and that they need more recognition. It's a scummy tactic that these evangelical groups are trying to use to gain power. No, evangelicals, you are not being persecuted in this country; just because someone tells you to be quiet in a place you aren't supposed to be mouthing off about anything doesn't make it an oppression of your religion; no, because something is offensive to your beliefs does not make it an attack on your beliefs, you have no right to be not offended.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (3, Insightful)

Ogive17 (691899) | about 2 years ago | (#41865549)

If the person is being an asshole and combative about it, yes.

Maybe you're in a different part of the country. I'm in Ohio, we get people trying to shove religion down our throat every day. I can't imagine having to live somewhere in the actual Bible belt....

I'm not going to trounce on anyone's beliefs but when you get up in front of the entire office (around 120 people) and ask people to pray for you because a home inspector is coming to your house this afternoon representing the potential buyers... well, you can just shut the fuck up. I'm sure as hell not going to waste any prayers on a greedy asshat like that.

But I digress... if the office is going to remain a professional environment, politics and religion really should stay out of it.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41865591)

I want Christmas to remain Christmas. I'm an atheist. I don't care for the name "saturnalia" or whatever else it may be called. There is history behind it and its practices and people respond to it with happiness and that's why I like it too. Don't change Christmas. But also, don't change Halloween. Don't change Easter. I liked the way things were. There's a lot of human heritage there.

Most "religious people" aren't really religious. I find that comforting and reassuring. Even people that claim to be devout just really aren't... they are merely selective about which rules they follow. I find that reassuring as well... knowing this keeps me comfortable in the face of even the most rabit of "religious" situations. But those situations bring out a kind of snarky pity from me... "I forgive you" is my attitude to those... it's what Jesus would do.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41865739)

restated, your view is 'lets just keep things the way they were, even if they unfairly favored one particular group of people'.

nice. in this day and age, we still have non-progressives arguing for things 'because they have always been done this way!'.

sigh.

I wish I was part of next generation or the one after that. this one is taking TOO LONG to socially grow in the wisdom and understanding department.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865637)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage. Would that be offensive as well? Be careful about piling on with "serves him right" when somebody is fired for what amounts to political incorrectness in the workplace. Without more detail I am skeptical of the accusations that he was "too aggressive" with this stuff or that it was a serious dereliction of his job. In my experience, many atheists are offended even by any public display of personal religious belief and practice, or any religious people engaging in discussion with others about it. They think religious people should be forced to maintain an appearance of secular belief when in public places, which is actually absurd and offensive in its own way.

As a religious person who works professionally with a diverse bunch of colleagues, I have experienced offensive pushing of personal beliefs from atheists much more often than from religious colleagues. And frankly, it's my habit to just smile and get along. I don't think my colleagues should be fired for promoting atheism, gay marriage, abortion, or what have you.

Politics doesn't belong in the work place. Anyone who can't save it for the after work happy hours should be fired.

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (1)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#41865653)

Let's suppose that somebody at JPL was promoting atheism, complained that the Christmas party should be renamed to the Holiday party, and suggested that California allow gay marriage. Would that be offensive as well?

Offensive? No, not to me at least. But in a workplace like NASA, at a time where many people are getting laid off. I would expect that if the atheist in question was evangelical enough and annoying enough -- he would be one of the first ones to be let go. And I say this as an atheist myself. In times of lay offs, you let go of the troublemakers (even the ones that are of the same group and the same religion as you are).

But the reverse is also true, in periods of growth, when there is nobody else to hire and train, the standards for screening out the troublemakers are much lower. Take for instance the military. In the military, it makes little sense to let go of the troublemakers right now (except, for the most extreme cases of course).

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865675)

Mr. Coppedge was fired for performance reasons (his own performance and the fairly massive layoffs at JPL). Perhaps you did not have a chance to see more detail, but the judge in the case did (Mr. Coppedge waived the right to jury trial). All of the reference to religious intolerance were a bunch of red herring introduced by the plaintiff to raise the profile of the case and try to get Caltech to pay up.

http://ncse.com/creationism/legal/coppedge-v-jpl

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (1)

damienl451 (841528) | about 2 years ago | (#41865713)

But that's exactly why we let courts handle such matters. It's impossible to have standards that deal with every possible situation and draw a clear line in the sand between innocuous lunch time conversation (so, what do you think about proposition whatever) and inappropriate behaviors. So, if someone thinks that their dismissal was unfair, they're free to challenge it. Then an unbiased third-party can decide if their conduct warranted dismissal or not.

The key here is that, while it's true that employees have the right to freedom of opinion, especially if they're employed by the government, employers should also have the right to dismiss them if their behavior in the workplace is a source of problem that can affect the smooth operation of the company/department. For instance, it would be a problem if someone's aggressive proselytizing made it difficult for other employees to work with them. This should of course apply equally to all worldviews: it's just as unacceptable for an atheist to constantly bother religious people on the job. This is not what they're getting paid for.

Now, I also think that those who say "serve him well" have a point. It's unfortunate that Christians in the US are often the first to complain about discrimination, yet are completely silent when they are on the other side of it all. There have been over the past decade many cases of professors at Christian universities and seminaries being dismissed, against the advice of other faculty, because they endorsed evolution. And rank-and-file evangelicals find it perfectly normal, when they're not actively trying to get people fired. Because these institutions are religious institutions and the 1st amendment protects them, they're free to do so. But how is not hypocritical to then complain when something similar happens to you?

Re:Put the shoe on the other foot (3, Interesting)

supercrisp (936036) | about 2 years ago | (#41865799)

I'll match your anecdote with another. I worked in a natural history museum where we had a Christian nut who harassed one of our Jewish employees constantly, putting Jews for Jesus tracts in her box, giving her Christmas cards, telling her Jesus loves her, etc. It doesn't sound so bad, but it was unrelenting and drove the Jewish woman to tears quite often. Sadly no one had the guts to can the Christian lady. She eventually converted one of my co-workers, turning a perfectly good astronomer into someone who proclaimed that various laws of physics were impious deceptions thrust upon us by Satan. So, now, there's my anecdote, canceling yours out, unless of course I'm just making this up to persecute all the poor long-suffering Christians in the world.

The issue is the Supervisor like Mr. Sweet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865307)

There is classes for re-training behavior issues of what is/isn't acceptable. And, they don't fire on cutbacks, different word term is used during cutbacks. There should be special departments to handle employees issues. I've been to NASA's Christmas Parties, New Year's Parties, and NASA's family festival picnics. The employee should of been sent to these classes and if the supervisor is disgruntled with a few employees like Mr. Sweet. Then employees could of been sent to another shift and/or the supervisor could of been sent to another shift.

Stupid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865317)

Stupid motherfucking religious zealot, that wasted money could have gone towards science.

Freedom of opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865327)

In a free society, everyone should be able to hold their own opinion, no matter how stupid or wrong ... but pushing it on others is just rude, and he can enjoy his opinion on his own time.

Pattern of poor choices (4, Interesting)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#41865331)

Let's assume that he is even right for a moment on all his issues. He is in an environment of people who really don't like any of these positions; yet he keeps bringing them up and pushing them in others' faces. Can you imagine what this tool was like to work with on normal issues?

I suspect he was fired for not being able to read others and play well with others. In an engineering/science world this would be quite an accomplishment to stand out by having poor social skills.

I know a parent at a private school who was equally religious about her health-food lifestyle and was always pushing it down people's throats. The other parents suddenly had important texts to send when she showed up. Where she crossed the line was when she began to try an enforce her view on the other kids arguing it was unfair to her kids to have to see them eating junk food like milk, wheat based bread, and cheese. The school asked her not to enroll the next year.

There are people who don't understand boundaries and they can create a poisonous atmosphere.

It is like fat people being angry when skinny people eat donuts. Fat people aren't the problem, donuts aren't the problem, it is the fat people imposing on the skinny that is the problem.

Re:Pattern of poor choices (0)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41865555)

You're hitting a little close to home there chief. I'm sometimes a bit of a nutrition person. Problem is, I crave the bad food and resist it heartily. I think my resistence is a little off-putting to people at times. But society is unfair to people who are actually trying to lose weight. As a child, society was infair to people who wanted to breathe clean air because smoking was frikken everywhere. Fortunately smoking is becoming increasingly illegal and people are becoming increasingly more healthy. I hope for the day when so much of these bad foods also become increasingly illegal. Seriously. Salads and meats are just good. Why do I have so much grain based food everywhere?! It's cheaper... lasts on the shelf a lot longer. We know why they are everywhere without looking at the math behind it. Short expiration dates kill profit because not everything made gets sold.

So I'm reliving my horrid childhood again... but this time it's food. But at least people eating bad food doesn't affect my body, but when everyone as a majority eats bad, it's harder to eat good and that is a problem for everyone whether they realize it or not.

Re:Pattern of poor choices (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41865667)

Do what you want, eat what you want. People only have an issue when you get militant about it.

Re:Pattern of poor choices (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41865731)

Oh... I know... but every time I differentiate myself from the crowd by refusing or bowing out, I feel it... you know what I'm talking about.

Re:Pattern of poor choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865611)

People have a right to be angry there nothing wrong with that. Its when it becomes obstructive to there job is when management needs to intervene. This particular case sounds like a failure of management in not creating an atmosphere where people feel free to listen and respect other peoples opinions

Seriously... (1)

tangent3 (449222) | about 2 years ago | (#41865337)

Why the fuck is this case still in court and not already dismissed?

Religion and Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865345)

Two topics which shouldn't be discussed in the workplace (unless it relates to the business). Also, on a personal note, I think celebrity gossip should be avoided as well since, when I hear my colleagues talking about the latest news of all things Kardashian, I apparently fall into a fugue state and start talking incessantly about going back in time to stop Bruce Jenner. I have no idea what I'm supposed to stop him from doing, but it's kind disturbing nonetheless.

Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865379)

I do IT support at a mid-size engineering company and there are probably more than a few fundie employees. Some of them have inspirational quotes pasted to their monitors and religious calendars hanging on the wall. But they don't ask me if I accept the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior. They don't kneel and pray as I'm fixing their PC. We get along fine.

Except for one guy, who kept a huge spread of religious tracts at his cube, and would often place them in the bathrooms and sink areas. He got layed off; I think he wasn't particularly focused on the job he was hired to do.

Believe what you want; bad behavior is what gets you in trouble.

Now if only they'd do something about the lady who bathes in so much perfume you can tell which hallways she's walked in the past half hour without the aid visual observation.

Re:Engineering (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41865487)

It's not bad behavior if you're doing the lord's work... right? right? And of course, nothing can harm me because God's got my back... right?? And if you reject me? It's the devil. No one is responsible.

Re:Engineering (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41865523)

Heavy use if fragrances is as much a disturbance as pushing your religion on coworkers. There are jus some people who seem to refuse to understand that there are boundaries that one should live within in any social group.

This should be a sitcom (1)

shurel (2711183) | about 2 years ago | (#41865399)

id watch it

Why wasn't he fired 5 years earlier? (0)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41865405)

These scientists are a bunch of wusses. They should have issued a severe warning five years ago and fired him at the second or at most the third offense. CDesign Proponentists have no place in a science lab.

Re:Why wasn't he fired 5 years earlier? (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41865553)

They tolerate Behe at Lehigh University. He does his job, and does not misuse his academic position to further his private aims within the confines of the University. Firing him because of his belief in ID would be wrong.

Sharia law (4, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#41865411)

It is interested that practicing and promoting Christian sharia law while accepting taxpayer handouts is acceptable, even mandatory, by the wing nut right, and considered protected speech, but any other religious law is considered illegal activity. Case in point. We have holiday parties because some don't want taxpayer money to be used to indoctrinate their kids into the some Christian ideal that physical gifts, not love or the acceptance of the savior is the critical parts of Christmas. We see this in the fact that many Christians want Christmas sales, not holiday sales, to cement the connection between manufactured secular good and a very important, at least to some, Christian festival. This promotion is to such a point that many have called such separation between religion and the money changes a 'war on Christmas.' It seems simple enough to say we don't like sharia law, and it is cause for termination to promote it, but obviously if one is Christian wasting taxpayer money to annoy your workers is a god given and constitutional right.

Re:Sharia law (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 years ago | (#41865535)

the 'war on christmas' is, strangely enough, only a concept held within the minds of those who were brought up from childhood in a usually isolated christian-majority town.

how can you grow up in a modern world and still think that the country you live in owes YOUR religion something special above and beyond the others?

the lack of ability to put yourself into others' shoes is pretty sad. you can't even imagine how a non-xtian would feel if being bombarded continually during this season, on things that they don't believe in? you can't imagine that, can you? pretty sad.

Re:Sharia law (0)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#41865709)

Christian sharia law

Wtf is that? Have I missed something my understanding of christian doctrine of the last 2000 years?

Full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41865443)

Wonder if the guy knew this bit of history [wikipedia.org] about the JPL?

Extrem -isms are bad? Really? Who'da thought? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41865467)

Extreme -isms are things that prevent even the most similar groups of people to become separated. This causes division and discomfort.... isolation and ostracism.

In this case, the guy was preaching to the wrong crowd even if they tried to tolerate him for at least 5 long years. But then again, their tolerance was probably viewed as acceptance... that what he was doing was okay somehow. I see guilt on both sides.

Expect to see more of this sort of thing. (2)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 2 years ago | (#41865475)

Expect to see more of this sort of thing. Here is the thing. In my estimation/opinion, Christianity is 'done'. There is no good reason for anyone to follow this religion anymore. The reason for that is that it has been scientifically disproved. So what you are seeing now is, people whose entire lives have been raised on this belief system we now have concrete evidence to debunk, attempting to use the legal system like a bludgeon to cover up the evidence.

What we are in right now with situations like the ID movement is denial. There are people out there who Christianity has been all they've known there entire lives. They will go through all manner of mental gymnastics to try and fit this bronze age myth into the scientific world as much as possible. Here's the problem. It's going to kill us if we don't stop this.

For one thing, we have severe environmental issues that are getting worse by the day, and we have diseases that are getting more difficult to treat. People who believe in Christianity, are also to some extent rejecting modern medical science. There was a US Congressman who advocated not vaccinating females against a kind of cervical cancer because the Bible said so.. Many children die in the US due to things like faith healing.

Are you entitled to your religion? Sure. But you are not allowed to ban science you don't like because it goes against your religion. The supernatural claims of the Bible just patently false. There is no Holy spirit, there is no salvation by Jesus, or any other such insanity. You can think that if you want too, but you are not allowed to tell other people what they can do, and create and invent. You aren't allowed to impose your religion on other people.

Noah's freakin' Arc (3, Interesting)

poly_pusher (1004145) | about 2 years ago | (#41865773)

I work with a guy who through the years has slowly shown his beliefs. We often have cigarette breaks together and talk about whatever. He knows that I'm really interested in science and archaeology and one day he says "So did you hear they found Noah's Arc?" My blood boiled at this statement alone. A couple Korean evangelicals had claimed to have found the Arc. There wasn't even strong evidence that this could be the Arc but here he goes claiming it is Noah's freaking arc... I corrected him, probably with some visible agitation. Then he came back with "Yeah, well wouldn't that be cool if it was Noah's Arc?" I replied "not really," that isn't what I believe in so it wouldn't be pretty cool for me. What I will give you is that it would be amazing, not just that they found it but that every animal on earth was in fact put on one boat by God's orders, that would be amazing." My response pissed him off too, he paused and his cheeks flushed.

After a few moments we started talking about his dog, who I agree is probably one of the most awesome dogs around...

So I do think he's pretty loony for believing in a literal interpretation of Noah's Arc. I thought he had a greater capacity for critical thinking but oh well that's my opinion and my belief. What matters is that was the moment he found out what I believe and I found out what he believes. From that point forward we both dropped it, we haven't talked about religion again. That is how you handle situations like this. If the non work-related conversation causes conflict at work, that conversation better not happen again. Why can't more people do this?
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