From the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). (H/T ECM)
We are preparing for trial in a very important religion discrimination case in Kentucky that’s likely to attract a lot of attention.
We represent Professor Martin Gaskell, an internationally-respected astronomer who was turned down for the post of Observatory Director at the University of Kentucky in 2007 after concerns were voiced that some of his writings contained in a personal website discussing the relationship between science and religion showed him to be “potentially evangelical.”
Professor Gaskell has filed suit against the University claiming that, by considering his religion in the hiring process, Kentucky violated Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964…
The University of Kentucky tried to avoid a trial, but Judge Karl Forester ruled that there was enough evidence to go to trial, such as:
- The record contains “substantial evidence that Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position until the issue of his religion” became part of the search committee’s deliberations.
- The head of the search committee wrote in an email to the Chair of the Physics & Astronomy Department that “no objective observer could possibly believe that we excluded Martin [Gaskell] on any basis other than religious . . .”
- The Department Chair admitted “that the debate generated by Gaskell’s website and his religious beliefs was an ‘element’ in the decision not to hire Gaskell.”
- One member of the search committee admitted that Gaskell’s “views of religious things” were “a factor” in his decision not to support Gaskell’s candidacy.
- Another member of the committee, having discovered Gaskell’s website, warned fellow committee members that Gaskell was “potentially evangelical.”
- The search committee head, anticipating a decision against Gaskell by his fellow committee members, wrote that “Other reasons will be given for the choice . . . but the real reason we will not offer him the job is because of his religious beliefs in matters that are unrelated to astronomy or to any of the other duties specified for this position.”
This is why I blog under an alias. And I recommend it to any evangelical Christian who aspires to have an influence in academia.