January 10, 2015
Kelvin Cochran was fired this week as the chief of the Atlanta fire department. He was fired for one reason: he is a sincere Christian. It has now become a fire-able offense in Atlanta to believe the Bible. Mao, Stalin and Ho Chi Minh couldn’t have done it any better.
Businesses in Atlanta may as well hang a sign in their windows: “Christians need not apply.”
Cochran wrote a self-published 160-page book for the men in his Bible study at the church he attends. For the crime of devoting a whole half-page to the topic of a biblical view of sexuality, he’s out of a job.
He correctly described homosexuality as a “sexual perversion,” which it is. It twists, distorts and, yes, perverts God’s design for human sexuality. “Perversion” may seem like a strong term. But it’s an accurate one, and requires absolutely no apology from the chief.
I have often said that in America we will have to choose between homosexuality and liberty because we can’t have both. Kelvin Cochran is living proof. He is simply the latest victim of what lesbian Tammy Bruce calls the Gay Gestapo and what Bill Maher calls the gay mafia.
Cochran was busted down by an openly gay member of the Atlanta city council, who happened upon a copy of his book.
(This, in my view, raises questions about whether Christian citizens can trust out, loud and proud homosexuals with public office. By their lifestyle choice, they have made it clear that they reject the authority of Scripture, which the Founders understood to be the only firm basis for public policy.)
Said the incensed mayor, filled with righteous indignation, “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.” Unless, of course, it is egregious discrimination against people of Christian faith. Then we are going to pursue discrimination with a vengeance.
In this process, Cochran has been stripped of every right that is cherished and protected under the First Amendment. His freedom of religion, gone. His freedom of speech, gone. His freedom of the press, gone. His freedom of association, gone. When I say that homosexuality is the enemy of freedom, the First Amendment, and virtually the entire Constitution, this is what I’m talking about.
Now Cochran, by the way, is black. His unalienable civil rights have been run over here by a steam roller. He has been sent to the back of the bus. The mayor of Atlanta is standing in front of the fire department door with a water cannon in his hand. Where are the howls of outrage from the Al Sharptons, the Jesse Jacksons and the Eric Holders? Their silence is deafening.
The mayor tried to justify this trampling of the Constitution by saying he had to cashier Cochran in order to make Atlanta a more “welcoming” place. Wrote Reed last November, “I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the Administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all of her citizens – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs.”
More welcoming, that is, for everyone but Kelvin Cochran and other sincere followers of Jesus Christ. They are persona non grata in Mayor Reed’s town, and he has given himself complete freedom to discriminate against them on the basis of their “religious beliefs.” Hypocrisy much?
The mayor has apparently appointed himself theologian-in-chief for the city of Atlanta and will happily inform you which of your religious beliefs are acceptable and which are not.
The openly gay council member who engineered Cochran’s termination exulted. Said he, it “sends a strong message to employees about how much we value diversity and how we adhere to a non-discriminatory environment.”
In other words, we value diversity, unless that means we have to make room for Christians. In that case, we have no room for diversity or tolerance of any kind. In that case, we’re gonna be Attila the Hun.
Note that no one is accusing Cochran of any actual malice or mistreatment. The worst that even LGBT activists could say is that his values “could” create a hostile work environment. But in his long and distinguished career in fire service nary a single complaint of that nature has even been lodged against him.
Said Cochran, “The essence of the Christian faith is a love without condition. I have demonstrated that love in the fire service for 34 years. There’s not any person of any people group that has interacted with me for any measure of time that can say I have hate or disregard or discrimination in my heart for any people group.”
Cochran is considering legal action, as well he should. Either the First Amendment means what it says, in which case Cochran has an unassailable legal argument, or the Constitution doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s about time we found out the answer to that question.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
Bryan Fischer is the host of the daily ‘Focal Point’ radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association. ‘Focal Point’ airs live from 1-3 pm Central Time, and is also simulcast on the AFA Channel, which can be seen on the Sky Angel network.
© Copyright 2015 by Bryan Fischer