Both shocking and sad, America is losing her freedom of religion. But only one religion is being discriminated against: Christianity. The cause for discrimination? Christians’ belief that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.
Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran served for over three decades as a firefighter, as reported by The Daily Signal: "My profession for 34 years was to be willing to die for anyone under any condition where I could possibly save a life, and I am still committed to doing that today,” he said.
Cochran had also served honorably as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington D.C. He was appointed in 2009 by President Obama and served in that role until 2010 when he returned to Atlanta.
Cochran was fired in January of this year by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for writing a devotional book for his church that addressed God's plan for marriage, covering topics of sex outside of Biblical marriage.
“Many Christian men struggle with issues of sexual sin and sexuality, and so I spoke to that in the book—why God created sex and that God’s purpose for sex was for procreation, and to do it his way it has to be done in holy matrimony,” says Cochran. “That led to the controversy.”
Members of the LGBT community found this booklet and complained to the city. Despite his decades of service with no accusations of discrimination, Mayor Reed suspended Cochran in late 2014 and ordered him to go to "sensitivity training." In January of this year, he fired him.
Mayor Reed said, “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply distrusted by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”
Reed continued: “This is about judgment. This is not about religious freedom, this is not about free speech … Judgment is the basis of the problem.”
In ignoring Cochran’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the bigoted mayor discriminated greatly against Cochran for his religious beliefs. Cochran's attorney, David Cortman, senior counsel and vice president of litigation with Alliance Defending Freedom, says: "Do we want the government deciding that anyone that holds views that are in conflict with the government’s views can’t work—can’t make a living?”
Cochran would love to have his job back serving the community. "Tolerance is a two-way street”, he says, “People of any faith, when they’re strong in their faith, they would choose to live out their faith over keeping their job. But that should not even be a dilemma for any American in this country.”
Sadly, it is becoming one. What do you think? If people like Chief Cochran can be fired, are we still living in a country with religious freedom? Please share your thoughts!