California Science Center

Intellectual Freedom

American Freedom Alliance vs. California Science Center

It was supposed to be an exciting fundraising event to be held at the California Science Center’s spacious IMAX Theater in Exposition Park adjacent to the University of Southern California. The Science Center is a beautiful facility owned and operated by the State of California. The American Freedom Alliance (“AFA”), a nonprofit group bringing attention to important cultural and political issues, planned to present the West Coast premier screening of a documentary about the oldest discovered fossils, which are dated back to an early era in the history of the planet known as the Cambrian era. What could be controversial about that?

california-science-center[1]

The Science Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. When Smithsonian officials learned about the private event, they instantly sprung into crisis-management mode. The film, Darwin’s Dilemma, advocated the theory of intelligent design! As one staffer made clear, the Smithsonian has an official policy of not endorsing the theory. In their view, intelligent design theory is a disguised form of Biblical Creationism, the non-scientific view that God created the universe as described in the Book of Genesis.

The widespread misunderstanding of intelligent design theory has cost educators, scientists and others their jobs throughout America. Actor Ben Stein chronicled this unfortunate phenomenon in the 2008 documentary “Expelled.” In this case, the pressure put on the Science Center by the Smithsonian resulted in the Center cancelling AFA’s fundraiser. And because the Science Center is a public facility, the cancellation amounted to a form of viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.

Americans should not have to worry about whether their views will be discriminated against because public officials, out of ignorance, believe they are engaged in religious activities. Freedom X’s aggressive action forced the Science Center to pay a large settlement in vindicating AFA’s constitutional rights.

If you have information concerning a threat to religious freedom or free speech in your community, contact Freedom X.

More information about this lawsuit:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/29/ca-science-center-pays-110000-over-canceled-film/

http://news.yahoo.com/ca-science-center-pays-110-000-over-canceled-224851563.html

http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/player/web/2011-09-09T11_44_54-07_00

http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/darwins-dilemma/question-2131699/

http://www.examiner.com/article/california-science-center-pays-110-000-to-creationists-to-settle-lawsuit

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2009/11/california_science_center_sued028511.html

JPL

Intellectual Freedom/Employee Religious Speech

David Coppedge vs. Jet Propulsion Laboratory

David Coppedge was employed for 14 years with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, known worldwide for its missions exploring the planets in our solar system. For nine years, Coppedge, a committed Christian, led a team of IT professionals supporting NASA’s mission to the planet Saturn. In 2009, a co-worker anonymously accused Coppedge of harassing her when he offered her a DVD to watch at home over the weekend. The DVD wasn’t some kind of obscene movie. It was a scientific documentary exploring the cosmological origins of the universe called “The Privileged Planet.”

JPL

Although the film had nothing to do with religion, the co-worker, who was aware of Coppedge’s Christian convictions, assumed it did. On the basis of her false and unfair accusation, Coppedge’s supervisor ordered him to stop pushing his religion around the workplace. An HR investigation was conducted, and although there was no evidence that Coppedge had ever pushed his religious views on anyone, he was nevertheless disciplined and demoted. Then, after he had challenged the adverse actions taken against him, – fired!

This case is another example of intolerance of Christians. It is also another example of the knee-jerk reaction people have against intelligent design theory – a theory mistakenly confused with Biblical Creationism.

Freedom X has been litigating this case for three years. A five-week trial was held before a Los Angeles judge. A ruling is expected soon. See William J. Becker, Jr. and David Coppedge in a Fox News interview.

Employees should not have to endure unfair accusations of harassment simply because they are committed to their religious convictions and are wrongly perceived to be proselytizing.

If you have information concerning a threat to religious freedom or free speech in your community, contact Freedom X.

More information about this lawsuit:

Los Angeles Times Story 1

Los Angeles Times Story 2

ADF-allied attorney files suit on behalf of Jet Propulsion Laboratory specialist

Coppedge v. Jet Propulsion Laboratory resource page

(l-r) William Becker and David Coppedge outside the Los Angeles Superior Court courthouse.

IKEA

Employee Religious Practices

Tondra Daniels vs. IKEA

Working at a popular retail business like IKEA was something Tondra Daniels enjoyed and took pride in. When Daniels was passed over for a promotion because she attended church on Sunday mornings, Daniels found herself faced with the difficult choice of fulfilling her duty to God by keeping the Sabbath holy or fulfilling her duty to her employer to show up for work on Sunday mornings. As a committed Christian, attending Sunday worship service was not an incidental part of her religious practice. As Daniels explained to her supervisor, she attends church to worship, to praise God and to hear His Word. And: “It gives me hope.”

Tondra-Daniels[1]

This is not a choice an employee should have to make. The law requires employers to provide give reasonable accommodation to an employee’s religious practices. Freedom X was there to help Daniels resolve her dispute with her employer.

If you have information concerning a threat to religious freedom in your community, contact Freedom X.

PFOX

In 2013, California passed a law banning therapeutic treatment known as sexual orientation change effort (SOCE) therapy, for individuals wanting to rid themselves of their homosexual urges. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held the law constitutional, even though it discriminates against a class of citizens on the basis of sexual orientation. Gays are entitled to such protection, so why aren’t ex-gays?

Other cities and states have now followed California’s lead in banning SOCE.

Freedom X sought to stop a ban from becoming law in Washington D.C. and sent a letter to the mayor and city council urging against passage of the proposed bill, entitled the “Conversion Therapy for Minors Prohibition Amendment Act of 2013″ (Bill No. 20-501). Freedom X sent the letter on its own behalf and on behalf of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (“PFOX”), a national organization that assists ex-gays. As we have come to expect, liberal progressive leftist governments care only about their reckless agendas, not doing the right thing, and the bill is now law. It effectively discriminates against ex-gays, and minors (18 and under, even though the age of consent in D.C. is 16!) who seek therapeutic treatment from licensed therapists, what is referred to as sexual orientation change efforts (“SOCE”) therapy. The law overtly targets people based on their sexual orientation and takes the activist position that homosexuality and gender identity is a one way street.

Freedom X also supported PFOX against the California legislation by filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. Children and their parents should have the right to seek professional counseling for whatever behavioral issue they want. As a Christian parent, shouldn’t you be entitled to raise your child to respect the Bible’s admonitions against homosexual behavior and other biblically unacceptable practices? Shouldn’t children confused about their same sex attractions due to sexual molestation be allowed to see the therapist of their choice?

But understand something: the Left has an agenda, and for it to succeed, it needs to recruit our children when they are the most vulnerable and impressionable. If they stop licensed SOCE therapists from treating our children with unwanted same sex attraction, a new and more permissive generation of homosexuals will emerge. And the Christian faith that you and I apply to our lives and use as a moral compass will soon vanish.

That is why this fight is so critical. This fight is only one way the Left wants to undermine our Judeo-Christian traditions, beliefs, practices and values. But if we can make governments come to understand that banning SOCE therapy discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation, we can begin to save our children from having to live a life contrary to nature and the Bible; a life which they do not have to live.