Former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired a year ago by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed because he self-published a book that happens to mention some of his beliefs and views on sexuality. Then the big mistake, he actually gave copies of the book to some of his co-workers. With Christian beliefs, officials who cave the instant anyone waves the Political Correctness flag, and people who have nothing better to do than take offense, and someone had to get the boot.
This is a man who was (and I’m sure still is by many) highly regarded. He served as Atlanta’s fire chief from 2008-2009, when he was then asked to serve as President Obama’s administrator of the United States Fire Administration. After a year in that position, Atlanta asked him to come back, which he did.
Cochran wrote the book, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?“, in 2013 as part of a men’s Bible study at his church, where he is a deacon and a teacher.
The city of Atlanta claims he failed to ask permission to publish the book. In response to that, David Cortman, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, states, “In America, a religious or ideological test cannot be used to fire a public servant, but that’s precisely what the city did.” He goes on to say, “That endangers everyone who works for the city who may hold to a belief that the city doesn’t like, and no city rule — written or unwritten — can override that freedom.”
When Cochran distributed the books, someone who got one complained to Atlanta Councilman Alex Wan, saying the books passages about sex were “opposed to his beliefs on the subject.” At this point I have to say, so what? I see plenty of things that are opposed to my beliefs, but I’m enough of an adult that I can acknowledge someone else’s beliefs as just that. They can believe what they want, I don’t have to get litigious.
The thing that I like most in all of this is that there has been no evidence that Cochran ever discriminated against anyone. He expressed his beliefs but he remained civil and professional.
The city wants Cochran’s wrongful dismissal suit dropped. Much to their chagrin, and much to my delight, a district court judge has ruled that Cochran’s lawsuit can proceed.