Thursday, January 8, 2015

They finally got around to making Atlanta's former fire chief a victim

Kelvin Cochran
In November I wrote about Kelvin Cochran, Atlanta's fire chief who was suspended for distributing a controversial self-published book to department employees. Cochran’s book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” counts homosexual acts among a number of “vile, vulgar and inappropriate” activities that serve to “dishonor God." This week we learned that Mr. Cochran has been discharged.

Atlanta's mayor, Kasim Reed, correctly (in my opinion) determined that Cochran had undermined his ability to lead a diverse department. According to Mayor Reed; “This is about judgment. This is not about religious freedom, this is not about free speech. Judgment is the basis of the problem.”

The firefighters' union, Atlanta Professional Firefighters Local 134, promptly issued a statement commending the mayor and his administration for their decision to terminate Cochran.

Cochran is now becoming a new shiny object for those seeking victims of the Homosexual Agenda™.

National Organization for Marriage sent out an email to supporters yesterday afternoon asking them to “Urge Mayor to Reinstate Fire Chief Ousted for Expressing Faith.” Meanwhile, according to the National Catholic Register today, “Atlanta's Fire Chief Fired for Espousing Christian Beliefs.”

Neither of those statements is remotely accurate. As the mayor stated Cochran was fired for his dismal judgment. Were Cochran a Muslim providing a commentary on the Qur'an to departmental employees those same Christians might be leading the charge demanding his dismissal. It is spectacularly stupid to introduce religion into the secular workplace, particularly in civil service. When a senior executive does so it has the potential to be considered coercive. There is a serious risk of isolating non-adherents.

Then there is the notion that it's OK if it's based on scripture. Well, it's not OK. There are scores of religions with varying beliefs. It's not acceptable for Christians to seem to impose those beliefs in the workplace any more than it would be acceptable for Scientologists. The fact that Christians are in the majority only makes it more important for them to be sensitive to the beliefs of others.

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