By Warren S. Moore

Martin Gaskell of the University of Kentucky, allegedly passed over for job because he's too ChristianThe institution at which I earned my Masters degree, the University of Kentucky, is in the news today, as e-mails have revealed that a search committee expressed concerns about Prof. Martin Gaskell’s fitness to direct the University of Kentucky’s student observatory. His offense? Being openly Christian, with the aggravating factor of being “potentially evangelical.”

Please note: Gaskell is not a creationist, and says in the article that the young-earth folks are engaged in “very poor science.” But he’s been known to think in a manner that might reconcile astronomy with Biblical accounts, so out he goes.

As Gaskell’s attorney notes:

“Unfortunately too many people get hung up on the idea that you have to be one extreme or the other,” said Manion, who works for American Center for Law & Justice, which focuses on religious freedom cases. They say “you can’t be a religious believer and somebody who accepts evolution, which is clearly not true. And Gaskell’s a perfect example of that.”

This is disheartening for so many reasons, not least the fact that Sir Isaac Newton (who was religious, though not an orthodox Christian) apparently wouldn’t have been able to get a gig at UK. Here I thought that being a scientist meant doing the experiment before announcing your conclusion.

Warren S. Moore III is  an Associate Professor of English at Newberry College.