It seems that in today’s politically-correct environment, some are more equal than others. Atlanta Fire Rescue Chief Kelvin Cochran learned that lesson the hard way after publishing a book that expresses the Christian view of homosexuality. After learning about the book, Cochran was suspended for one month without pay, ordered to undergo “sensitivity training” and told he was not allowed to publicly express opinions contrary to city leaders, Truth Revolt reported Friday, citing Life Site News.
Last November, Cochran, a Baptist deacon and former FEMA Fire Administrator under the Obama administration, published a book titiled, “Who Told You You Were Naked?” The book warned of behaviors he said would lead to a life that inherently contradicts God’s blessings.
“Sexual acts pursued for purposes other than procreation and marital pleasure in holy matrimony is the sex life of a naked man. When men are unrestrained in their quest for sex outside of God’s purpose they will never be fulfilled,” he wrote. “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God. This is the kind of sex that leaves a man continually empty–the sex life of a naked man.”
But Cochran’s opinions didn’t sit well with LGBT activists who didn’t like their lifestyle characterized as a “sexual perversion.” In retaliation, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed ordered Cochran suspended for one month without pay with the obligatory sensitivity training. He also forbade Cochran from distributing his book at his workplace.
“I was surprised and disappointed to learn of this book on Friday,” Reed said. “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”
Moreover, one councilman said city employees are not allowed to hold or express their thoughts or beliefs if they differ from the city. “When you’re a city employee, and [your] thoughts, beliefs and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door,” said Alex Wan, an openly gay member of the city council. In short, according to Wan, city employees are only allowed to hold city-approved thoughts or beliefs. So much for the First Amendment.
The city, however, maintains it did not punish Cochran for holding non-approved beliefs. According to Reed spokeswoman Anne Torres, Cochran is being punished for not getting administration approval for the book.
Cochran, Life Site News said, “has had a distinguished career,” having served as fire chief in Shreveport, Louisiana, from 1999 until 2008. He was named FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administrator by President Obama and returned to Atlanta in May 2010. Cochran says he intends to defend himself, but only after his suspension is served or lifted.