Thursday, March 15, 2012

Poor Strategy

I'm generally sympathetic to the notion that Christian tradition is under attack in America. There are many places where this is evident, not least the spread of "holiday parties" (held a week or two before Christmas), "spring picnics" (held on Easter weekend) and the like. I suspect I will find much to dislike in this vein in the public school system.

But there are good ways to fight this, and not so good ways. One of the latter is "engag[ing]... co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and hand[ing] out DVDs on the idea while at work." (Source. An irrelevant tidbit from the article is that the guy who did this was a team lead at NASA. So what? Engineers can be religious. Many are.)

The gentleman who was proselytizing his co-workers was laid off, and now he's suing.

"It's part of a pattern. There is basically a war on anyone who dissents from Darwin and we've seen that for several years," said John West, associate director of Center for Science and Culture at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. "This is free speech, freedom of conscience 101."

No, it isn't, and we shouldn't adopt the tactics and speech modes of the Left, even when we're fighting the Left. Free speech is the freedom to publish, to make your speech available, to avoid public censorship. It is not the freedom to say whatever you want at your place of employment. Employers can fire you for annoying other employees, and that's what happened here. (Heck, employers can fire you for nothing at all in most cases. Just as you can quit any time.)

I'm sure there are many other NASA employees who believe in intelligent design. If they are fired merely for believing it, that's a mistake by NASA (and closer to a violation of "freedom of conscience" ideals). But being fired for badgering your co-workers violates no right, and in the wider culture wars this is not a hill worth defending.

No comments:

Post a Comment