Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy

Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran — the subject of recent controversy over remarks made in a self-published religious book — has been terminated from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Mayor Kasim Reed announced today.

Cochran returned to work today following a month-long suspension for comments in his 2013 book “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” Many criticized the book as promoting discriminatory and anti-gay views, while Cochran’s suspension — and now termination — has since become the focus of a fight over “religious liberty.”

Reed stressed that his decision is not because of Cochran’s faith: “His religious (beliefs) are not the basis of the problem. His judgment is the basis of the problem.”

The mayor said though Cochran consulted the city’s ethics officer before publishing the book, Nina Hickson did not grant approval.

Cochran has a differing account. He said he received verbal clearance from Hickson to publish the book, and therefore didn’t believe he needed permission from Reed as city law allowed it.

What’s more, Cochran said he gave a copy of the book to Reed’s executive assistant in January 2014, and that the mayor later confirmed receiving it. Cochran also said he was told not to speak to the media, specifically, about his suspension. Cochran has spoken publicly about the matter to religious groups.

Cochran said it was not his intent to be “hurtful to anyone” when expressing his religious views in his book, which he acknowledged passing out to some members of the fire department.

“LGBT citizens deserve the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation, and deserve to be respected for their positions without hate and discrimination,” he said. “But Christians also have the right to express their beliefs regarding sexual orientation and be respected for their position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.”

Among what city leaders said were troubling remarks in the fire chief’s book was a description of homosexuality as a “perversion” akin to bestiality and pederasty.



Anonymous said...

Homosexuals think that they have special privileges and should not be described as doing their form of sexual perversion.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of heterosexuals practise sexual perversions.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the apologies for the religion that requires death for non-compliance, continues.

Bird of Paradise said...

The pluague of Multi-Culteralism

Use the Name, Luke said...

Reed stressed that his decision is not because of Cochran’s faith: “His religious (beliefs) are not the basis of the problem. His judgment is the basis of the problem.”

Apparently, it is now "bad judgement" to think for yourself. Or maybe he meant that it's bad judgement to think the First Amendment actually protects the right to think for yourself.

slinky said...

Wow, it seems that if you want to say vile things with impunity, all you have to do is wrap it around religious freedom.

Anonymous said...

And to give bigotry a "respectable" face by claiming religious beliefs.

Go Away Bird said...

Gays and Liberals are Evil

Anonymous said...

I see what you did there. He wasn't fired because of his religious beliefs or free speech, he was fired because of "bad judgement".

Anonymous said...

Typical liberal tactic, can't refute the message, attack the messenger!