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Atlanta Fire Chief - fired for being Christian.

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  • Atlanta Fire Chief - fired for being Christian.


    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/...ristian-faith/

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that Cochran had been fired. The announcement came on the same day Cochran was supposed to return to work following a 30-day suspension.

    “The LGBT members of our community have a right to be able to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination,” Cochran told me in an exclusive interview. “But Christians also have a right to express our belief regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination. In the United States, no one should be vilified, hated or discriminated against for expressing their beliefs.”

    Cochran had been suspended in November because of a passage he wrote about homosexuality in a book titled, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” The book’s theme is about biblical morality.

    “This is about judgment,” Mayor Reed said during a Tuesday press conference. “This is not about religious freedom. This is not about free speech. Judgment is the basis of the problem.”

    Last November the mayor posted a public condemnation of the fire chief on his official Facebook page.

    “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community,” the mayor wrote. “I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”

    ...

    “I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the Administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all of her citizens -- regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs,” Mayor Reed wrote.

    So what in the world did Cochran write that was so offensive to the mayor and the LGBT community?

    According to the GA Voice, a publication that covers the LGBT community, there were two items that caused concern:

    “Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”

    “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God.”

    Cochran said he referenced homosexuality on less than a half a page in the 160-page book.

    “I did not single out homosexuality,” he said. ‘I simply spoke to sex being created by God for pro-creation and He intended it to be between a man and a woman in holy matrimony – and that any other sex outside of that is sin.”


    This book was something he wrote for church and was not something Cochran was espousing at work as some sort of policy. So he was fired because of expressing his religious beliefs.


  • #2
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    This book was something he wrote for church and was not something Cochran was espousing at work as some sort of policy. So he was fired because of expressing his religious beliefs.
    If Cochran didn't market the book based on his position in the public service, and if he refrained from espousing such views in his official capacity, it seems fairly clear-cut that his firing over such a matter is a violation of his Constitutional rights.
    "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
    --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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    • #3
      Isaiah 5:20, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter."
      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
      Than a fool in the eyes of God


      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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      • #4
        Wonder why some people put considering homosexuality a sin in the same boat as the jerks that think we should murder people for committing said sin and treat them as subhuman? Big difference!
        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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        • #5
          So the mayor will tolerate no discrimination except for his own? Nice.
          Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

          Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
          sigpic
          I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
            If Cochran didn't market the book based on his position in the public service, and if he refrained from espousing such views in his official capacity, it seems fairly clear-cut that his firing over such a matter is a violation of his Constitutional rights.
            When did public service strip away your right to free speech?
            "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

            There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

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            • #7
              As long as he doesn't use his views - on anything - to substitute for or represent official city policy there is no reason he should not be able to espouse those views in the public forum. City of Atlanta, meet very expensive lawsuit. Great mayor ya got there...

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
                When did public service strip away your right to free speech?
                When the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses became extended to all government offices throughout the nation.
                "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                  When the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses became extended to all government offices throughout the nation.
                  Nonsense - that is not the legal basis for limiting representation at all. Good grief, that would mean no one had the right to a private life merely because they became a public employee. The actual law is murkier but much, much fairer. An employee cannot represent the company - including a government office - with only his or her personal views IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY. At will employees can be dismissed merely because the company finds their public reputation distasteful (hence posting pics of yourself on a drinking binge is probably not a great plan if you have a touchy employer); government employees in the merit system cannot use their official capacity to represent their personal views. They CAN, if appropriate to the situation (were asked, conversational topic not work related, on break, et al), express those views even in the workplace. They CANNOT represent those views as being those of their office.

                  The Constitution protects the employee (even an at will employee in some cases) - it does not protect the public from any possibility of being offended by someone's personal views, even if that person is a public employee.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                    When the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified and the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses became extended to all government offices throughout the nation.
                    huh? I don't think it says what you think it says.

                    Are you thinking of the first amendment?
                    Last edited by Sparko; 01-08-2015, 12:20 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      huh? I don't think it says what you think it says.

                      Are you thinking of the first amendment?
                      The Establishment and Free Exercise clauses are in the 1st Amendment, but originally they only applied to the Federal government of the US. Even after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, individual states were allowed to have State Churches, for example. That did not change until the 14th Amendment, after which state and local governments became similarly bound to 1st Amendment protections. "Fire Chief" is not a Federal office-- it is a municipal one.
                      Last edited by Boxing Pythagoras; 01-08-2015, 01:02 PM.
                      "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                      --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
                        The Establishment and Free Exercise clauses are in the 1st Amendment, but originally they only applied to the Federal government of the US. Even after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, individual states were allowed to have State Churches, for example. That did not change until the 14th Amendment, after which state governments became similarly bound to 1st Amendment protections.
                        Argh - the passage of the 14th Amendment DID NOT result in automatic incorporation. You're correct that the First Amendment has been incorporated but you're applying it incorrectly. It protects the INDIVIDUAL from government - it does not rescind an individual's rights merely because they become a public employee.

                        "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                        "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                        My Personal Blog

                        My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                        • #13
                          Would it mean that the fire chief could not decide to let any homes belonging to LGBT people to burn up? Though doing that would be unChristian also.
                          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                            Would it mean that the fire chief could not decide to let any homes belonging to LGBT people to burn up? Though doing that would be unChristian also.
                            Yes, that would be a clear violation and possibly even a constitutional one, depending on circumstances.

                            Not to mention simply being WRONG.

                            "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                            "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                            My Personal Blog

                            My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                              Argh - the passage of the 14th Amendment DID NOT result in automatic incorporation. You're correct that the First Amendment has been incorporated but you're applying it incorrectly. It protects the INDIVIDUAL from government - it does not rescind an individual's rights merely because they become a public employee.
                              It protects individuals from the government. If Cochran had been voicing his opinion in his official capacity as a representative of the government he would have been in violation of the 1st Amendment.

                              However, as I agreed in my initial post, it does not seem that he was voicing his opinion in his official capacity as a representative of the government. Rather, he was doing so as a private citizen. There is no violation, there. In fact, perhaps ironically, it is precisely because Mayor Reed is utilizing his official capacity as a representative of the government to voice his opinion on Cochran's religious convictions that Cochran's firing is a violation of the 1st Amendment.
                              "[Mathematics] is the revealer of every genuine truth, for it knows every hidden secret, and bears the key to every subtlety of letters; whoever, then, has the effrontery to pursue physics while neglecting mathematics should know from the start he will never make his entry through the portals of wisdom."
                              --Thomas Bradwardine, De Continuo (c. 1325)

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