from the why-so-choosy-about-rocks? dept.
The Interior Department is facing a lawsuit from a Christian geologist who claims he was not allowed to collect rocks from Grand Canyon National Park because of his creationist beliefs.
In the suit filed earlier this month, the Australian geologist, Andrew Snelling, says that religious discrimination was behind the National Park Service's (NRS's) decision to deny him a permit to gather samples from four locations in the park.
Snelling had hoped to gather the rocks to support the creationist belief that a global flood about 4,300 years ago was responsible for rock layers and fossil deposits around the world.
NPS's actions "demonstrate animus towards the religious viewpoints of Dr. Snelling," the complaint alleges, "and violate Dr. Snelling's free exercise rights by imposing inappropriate and unnecessary religious tests to his access to the park."
The lawsuit was filed May 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. NPS has yet to respond to the allegations.