The city of Atlanta has demonstrated the extent of its anti-Christian bigotry by firing its longtime Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran
. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
announced last week that he was dismissing Cochran from his job despite a career of notable distinction in the fire service.
As we reported previously, Chief Cochran was suspended from his post in late November because of his belief in Biblical teaching concerning sexual morality. Mayor Reed took Cochran to task for authoring a Christian discipleship book for men without the "permission" of city officials.
Cochran's book, titled "Who Told You That You Were Naked?" was written for use by men's Bible study groups. In the book, Cochran urges men to be faithful husbands and fathers, and to live lives of sexual purity. Cochran challenged men to resist any form of "uncleanness...which defiles the temple of the body and dishonors God."
Cochran cited Biblical examples of "uncleanness" including sex outside of marriage, sex with multiple partners, and sex with individuals of the same gender. He pointed readers to Biblical passages that provide clear direction on these subjects. He counseled men to avoid such "vile" and "vulgar" behavior, and to live as men "clothed in Christ."
Homosexual rights activists went on the rampage when they learned of Cochran's publication, demanding that city officials boot the Fire Chief for daring to write a book that cast homosexuality in a negative light. It is of note that the subject of homosexuality is addressed on only one page of the 160-page book. Mayor Reed
insists that Chief Cochran's firing has nothing to do with religious freedom or freedom of speech. The Mayor says that the reason for Cochran's dismissal is his failure to obtain approval from Atlanta city government before printing his Christian Bible study book. Yet it is clear from Mayor Reed's own words that Cochran was fired because of the Christian content of his book.
Mayor Reed derided the "inflammatory content" contained in Cochran's publication. "I want to be clear that the material in Cochran's book is not representative of my personal beliefs," Reed said. "I am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the book regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration."
Well, it is clear that Mayor Reed will not only tolerate discrimination, he will be an agent of such discrimination when it comes to Christian employees of the city of Atlanta. Reed maintains he is a Christian, yet states that the views Chief Cochran expressed, taken directly from the Bible, are not reflective of his personal beliefs. As such, Mayor Reed is somehow asserting that he is a Christian who does not agree with the Word of God because it contains "inflammatory content."
"Christians have a right to express our beliefs regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and discrimination," says Chief Cochran. "In the United
States, no one should be vilified, hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs."
Chief Cochran says he did speak with city ethics officers before he published the book, and that he was given express permission to include his biography as Atlanta Fire Chief in the book. Cochran says he also gave Mayor Reed a personal copy of the book, which the Mayor promised the Fire Chief he would read.
"I do not carry hatred in my heart for any group of people," Chief Cochran says. "There is not any person or any people group that I have interacted with for any measure of time that can say that is true."