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Atlanta Fire Chief - fired for being Christian.

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  • Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
    I've never heard of Biblical incoherence, but that's a semantic issue, so I'll take your word for it.

    The Bible itself is a buffet. The only passages that condemn homosexuality explicitly in the NT are from Paul.
    Try logical incoherence - in this case, yours.

    No, it isn't. So what? The only passages in the OT are Det and Lev, if memory serves.
    "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

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    • Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
      I gotta back up square_peg here, I can't see any problem with anything he's posted and I think he's taking great pains to be even handed. Sure, disagree with him if you want, but it certainly doesn't merit some of the 'you're so stupid' type of responses he's getting.
      Yes it does, he wants people bullied, harassed, and fired for daring to disagree with doctrine, so he is going to be treated that way, so he can see how uncool that attitude is. Nobody should have their job held over their head, to ensure compliance or else. It is wrong when Christians do it to others and it is wrong when any group does it.

      Personally I don't think he should have been fired, HOWEVER, if he did hand out the book at work AND he acts in the capacity of a supervisor of those beneath him, I can see how this might create a problematic workplace. I think that's poor judgement on his part but not punishable by death.
      As I pointed out above, few people really understand the type of place he works in. Working in a fire department is a tough job that causes a lot of stress. I understand this because I too work in a tough job, high stress job. You grow to depend upon your subordinates, peers, and supervisors to a degree that they almost become a second family to you. Taking this into mind, if somebody were to ask me for something or to borrow something, I would let them do it, so what is wrong with this guy doing the same thing, with people who he has already established a relationship with? Since when is that illegal? It isn't and just yet another violation of a person's rights. There is no law that says you can't do this and nobody has been able to produce anything that shows there was an established procedure against this, in the work place. Despite the total lack of evidence, it doesn't seem to matter to some, he should be fired anyway, for disagreeing with doctrine. Bullies should be treated as they want to treat others. If Square_peg wants to be treated with respect, he needs to show it. Until that time comes, he will get every bit of disrespect, he wants other people to be given.
      "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
      GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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      • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        2. Reed says he is a Methodist. So why does he act surprised at what Cochran believes about homosexuality as a Christian? Christians have never kept it secret and have denounced homosexual acts for 2000 years based upon the bible. Yet all of a sudden people are acting like it is something new, like the plague or something, when a Christian says homosexual behavior is sinful.
        Square_Peg already gave us a good possible answer. He said that Atlanta has a large LGBT community, so if an elected official could make friends with this group, he can end up winning their votes in the next election. Here is what I've been able to find out about Mayor Reed:

        On May 21, 2009, Reed caused controversy in Atlanta's LGBT community when he stated that he supported civil unions for gays, but not gay marriage.[57] In December 2012, however, Reed announced his support for marriage equality for same-sex couples.[58]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasim_Reed


        Hummm... isn't that interesting? From what I could find, he won by a pretty slim margin, so could this be his way of trying to establish a larger lead or set himself up for a run for another office later on (perhaps as governor or some other position). Isn't it great when elected officials try to throw people under the bus, to further their political career?
        Last edited by lilpixieofterror; 01-09-2015, 07:28 PM.
        "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
        GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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        • Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
          The Bible also clearly and unambiguously says that eating bacon is an abomination. Are the Christians who think it is not sinful to eat bacon "dead wrong?"
          About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

          “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

          The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
          Acts 10:9-15, NIV


          Now, did the same thing happen, when it comes to sexual sins or not?
          "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
          GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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          • Originally posted by Psychic Missile View Post
            I've never heard of Biblical incoherence, but that's a semantic issue, so I'll take your word for it.

            The Bible itself is a buffet. The only passages that condemn homosexuality explicitly in the NT are from Paul.
            And that has what to do with anything? What rule says something needs to be mentioned several times, in order to be true? Did you make up that rule?
            "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
            GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Boxing Pythagoras View Post
              The Bible also clearly and unambiguously says that eating bacon is an abomination. Are the Christians who think it is not sinful to eat bacon "dead wrong?"
              So often non Christians use foolish arguments, like this confusing the OT ritual cleanliness with sin, that it is pathetic. If you don't know what you are talking about it is best not to say it.
              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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              • Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                So often non Christians use foolish arguments, like this confusing the OT ritual cleanliness with sin, that it is pathetic. If you don't know what you are talking about it is best not to say it.
                People use this distinction a lot, but I genuinely would like to know how one decides from the text what is 'ceremonial' what is 'ritual cleanliness' and what is 'abiding morality'. Now my study of scripture is certainly not scholarly although when I was a Christian I did read the Bible 'religiously'. I'd appreciate someone knowledgeable filling me in.

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                • Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                  People use this distinction a lot, but I genuinely would like to know how one decides from the text what is 'ceremonial' what is 'ritual cleanliness' and what is 'abiding morality'. Now my study of scripture is certainly not scholarly although when I was a Christian I did read the Bible 'religiously'. I'd appreciate someone knowledgeable filling me in.
                  A fairly simple way of looking at things is whether the Mosaic command is endorsed in the NT. If it is, then odds are pretty good it's 'abiding morality.'
                  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

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                  • Originally posted by pancreasman View Post
                    People use this distinction a lot, but I genuinely would like to know how one decides from the text what is 'ceremonial' what is 'ritual cleanliness' and what is 'abiding morality'. Now my study of scripture is certainly not scholarly although when I was a Christian I did read the Bible 'religiously'. I'd appreciate someone knowledgeable filling me in.
                    The ceremonial laws concern sacrifice and the Temple - both of which are completed in Christ and are no longer necessary. Basically, read Leviticus. You'll notice that anything 'unclean' cannot enter the Temple/Tabernacle while unclean and provision is made to re-establish cleanliness - and the privilege to enter the Temple/Tabernacle courts. These are necessary to approach a holy God. But those cleansed by the Lamb's blood don't need re-washing. His atonement was complete and perfect. There's no longer a need to 'get clean' because through Christ we are clean. The rules about pork chops become superfluous - they did their job already.

                    Moral laws never show that same trait. The person needs to do more than become clean - they need to atone. Such wrongs are punishable where ceremonial uncleanliness is not (so long as you don't violate the Temple/Tabernacle). Similar to property laws, the means of atonement are prescribed although they usually involve sacrifices where property laws involve restitution.

                    Biblical law is actually quite fascinating.
                    "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

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                    • Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                      The bible places homosexual behavior in the same category as liars, evil people, adulterers, sexual offenders, and so on.
                      It certainly appears to say that, yes. But nowhere does it include child molesters in there.

                      That is not news nor is it controversial. It has been a Christian doctrine for 2000 years. Cochran merely reiterated the bible's teachings on 1/2 of a page. I have done so here too, as have others. If it offends you, so what? Get over it. Cochran still has the right to his beliefs and not get fired over it. Not because of "free speech" but because of the civil rights act and the constitution. The same law that you were using saying that Christians had to make wedding cakes for gay couples because of discrimination is the same law that says you can't fire someone for their religious beliefs.

                      The CR act of 1964 says:
                      "It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer -

                      (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; "

                      and

                      "(j) The term “religion” includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well as belief, unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business."

                      and the 1st amendment protects the individual's right to practice his beliefs.

                      Since Cochran was not bringing his beliefs in as policy, there was no hardship or wrong doing. He had the right to say what he wanted and believe as he wanted as a Christian.
                      This has seemingly hit a wall of subjective interpretation. I know how the CRA defines "religion," but again, grouping gay people with child molesters is technically not part of Christianity. Additionally, the CRA does contain the caveat "...unless an employer demonstrates that he is unable to reasonably accommodate to an employee’s or prospective employee’s religious observance or practice without undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business." This in principle is compatible with the earlier points about the possibility of a hostile work environment. Personally, I wouldn't have fired him, but Mayor Reed is allowed to if he genuinely believes and can make a case for it.

                      again with the back-pedaling. figures.
                      Backpedaling? You don't seem to understand what's going on. I specifically acknowledged that it was to his friends but that it was irrelevant. I never tried to retract a claim. I think this is just your go-to excuse whenever you're confused about something.

                      No it is not possible. because the Mayor did read it and suspended him for it. And gave a copy to others in the office. If anyone "distributed" the book, it was the Mayor himself.
                      The mayor read it after other people brought it to his attention.

                      Yeah and many liberal Christians think lots of things that are not biblical, nor part of orthodox Christian doctrine for the last 2000 years. Other than the last 40 or so years, I doubt you can point to any orthodox Christian group that claims that homosexual behavior is not a sin. Only since it became the inclusive, liberal thing to accept gays has there been any Christians that claim that homosexual behavior is not a sin. I call that accommodation. Making your religion teach what you want it to teach instead of learning and believing what it actually teaches. Just read the bible. Can you show me where it says homosexual behavior is OK? I have shown you where it says it is a sexual sin.
                      You ignored the second half of that quote, in which I specifically point out that people who do believe homosexuality is sinful don't have to group gay people in with child molesters. Performing an exegesis of certain Biblical passages is irrelevant to a thread in Civics, so I won't bother with that here.

                      And generally we believe in innocent until proven guilty here in the USA.
                      This can equally apply to Mayor Reed's claim that he didn't know about the book and that Cochran didn't seek permission.
                      Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                      I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

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                      • Originally posted by lilpixieofterror View Post
                        I'm sorry, but you seem to be repeating talking points vs actual history. I did something you didn't bother to do, I went and looked at what he said and here is what he said:

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

                        And another passage, from his book:

                        “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.”

                        Such hateful language. He obviously deserves to be fired because his majesty has royally decreed that anybody who steps out of doctrine, deserves to be fired. Of course, this is why I don't take a single word the LGBT community or you say seriously because both your codes for 'inflammatory language' is "HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE WITH US!" and anybody who doesn't prescribe to the doctrine deserves to be harassed, lied about, fired from their job, bullied, and made fun of for daring to disagree. Sorry, but there is no law that says you can be fired for 'inflammatory language' there Mr I Think I'm a King who can Tell Others How to Live. The fact that some of the WBC high ups, hold public jobs (I know some of them are social workers, this can be confirmed by a quick Google search, if you're interested) should indicate that what the mayor is doing, is illegal. Second, from what I've read, there has been zero evidence present that this guy made a 'hostel work environment'. Nothing, but facts do not matter when a person disagrees with the accepted doctrine, correct? Again, he dared to step out of your royal decrees and deserves to be fired for daring to disagree with you. Go ahead, present a single piece of evidence of this 'hostel work environment' that he created because I have been able to find none, but I'm sure the great King can find evidence that nobody has been able to produce or are you just speaking from talking points, that your masters have handed to you without thinking about if they are true or not? Again, after the manufactured outrage the LGBT community has engaged in before, I would check to see if 'water was in fact wet' if they made an announcement that water was wet. Give me a single reason to trust people that have been caught lying, in the past (did you read the comments that started the whole Chick-fil-A fire storm, they were not even remotely about homosexuality, but that didn't matter because stepping out of accepted doctrine is equal to hate, in the eyes of the LGBT community). Now, instead of mindless repeating talk points, go ahead and present your evidence or should I take it that you have none, but that doesn't matter because stepping out of line is enough to get your bullied, harassed, fired, and thrown out in the streets. I hope I never have to be subjected to your tend mercy, I have a feeling I could end up losing my head if I ever was.




                        Sorry, but there is no law against him handing out material, to people who ask for it, even if it is at your work place. If there is, go ahead, present a single piece of evidence that says there is or is the reality that the material he gave out, didn't meet the Square_Peg Seal of ApprovalTM, so he deserved to be harassed, bullied, fired, have his rights violated, and thrown out in the streets for daring to disagree with Square_Peg's accepted doctrine? Instead of repeating mindless talking points, present us with any evidence of any wrongdoing or do you have none, but it doesn't matter because he stepped out of the accepted doctrine and deserves to be punished?



                        And yet, you're not standing up for his right to freely express his opinion and just mindless repeat your said talking points, without any evidence to back up a single thing you said. Here you go again, talking out of two sides of your mouth and thinking the rest of us are too stupid to see what you are doing. Sorry, but go ahead... present your evidence or is daring to disagree with Square_Peg's Accepted DoctrineTM, is all that matters?


                        No, it is more examples of your double speak and inability to think, before you post.



                        Go ahead, prove he created a 'hostel work environment' or show a single thing he said that was so 'inflammatory' or is that code speak for, "HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE!" Sorry, but as I already pointed out, some of the WBC leaders do work in public positions and they have just as much of a right to freely express their views as anybody else does (of course, being backed by powerful lawyers, does have a tendency to make people nervous about firing you). This is just another mindless talking point, that you and your band have made up, to shut people up who disagree with you because you haven't presented anything to prove the above charges are true. Again, if the WBC people, can hold onto their jobs while protesting dead soldiers funerals, than a man can write a book, and not be bullied, harassed, and fired for it. Sorry, but you're not a king and holding people's jobs above their head, to ensure compliance, is illegal and I hope that the mayor loses his job over this because he doesn't deserve to be mayor. If he's going to bow to the LGBT bullies, to win votes (as you so pointed out, Atlanta has a large LGBT community), than he does not deserve to be a public servant.



                        Sorry, but you haven't shown that, at all. What you keep showing me is that you deserve everything you get (and more) for being a little twit, that is incapable of proving his points. You want other people bullied, harassed, and fired for daring to disagree with accepted doctrine, so you should see how it feels to be a target of this behavior. Don't like it, stop calling for others to be treated this way. Is that so hard for you to understand or do you just want to be free to bully others, but not have to accept the same behavior yourself. Again, you made this bed, so sleep in it.
                        There's a lot of nonsense and repetition in this post that I won't bother responding to, in part because I've already answered it, and also because I don't feel the urge to go through every little irrelevant point and unnecessary insult. But I will address a few things:

                        You mentioned the Chick-Fil-A controversy from a few years ago. If you had taken the time to ask me to clarify exactly where I stand on certain issues, you might've learned that I actually DEFENDED Chick-Fil-A, and vehemently so. On that note, as I've mentioned to Sparko, I as a matter of fact would NOT have fired Cochran if I had been mayor. So this singlehandedly renders at least 60% of your whiny little screed moot, because I am not at all in favor of people being bullied or harassed. I believe in fostering cooperation and unity wherever and whenever it can be accomplished. What I have argued here is that 1) the firing doesn't seem to have technically been done "because Cochran is Christian," contra the thread title, and 2) although I would choose a different course of action, Mayor Reed has the right to fire Cochran if he sees fit, and from what I've read, his reasoning seems to be understandable. In the case of the Westboro social worker, the employer also has the right to fire that worker if said worker had said/done something that could've jeopardized the company, but that certainly doesn't mean that the employer must fire the worker. And the fact that the employer chose not to doesn't mean that employers at other companies have to choose the same thing. So this takes care of the other 40% of what actual substance there was in your post.
                        Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.--Isaiah 1:17

                        I don't think that all forms o[f] slavery are inherently immoral.--seer

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                        • Originally posted by square_peg View Post
                          There's a lot of nonsense and repetition in this post that I won't bother responding to, in part because I've already answered it, and also because I don't feel the urge to go through every little irrelevant point and unnecessary insult.
                          What's the problem? Only people who dare to disagree with your royal decrees, should be bullied, but you can't be targeted because you said so? No you didn't answer any of it, you have responded by piles of assertions and claims you can't back up. There is no law or appears to be not a single rule that says your victim was doing anything wrong by giving copies of his books to people who showed interest in it. You have presented zero evidence that he created a 'hostel work environment' beyond the fact he dared to express opinions that disagreed with your sacred doctrine, so he deserves to be bullied, lied about, intimidated, fired, and thrown out on the streets because he dared not to pull the party line. You say things like:

                          "Seeing evil intentions?" Good God, I explicitly stated in my post that "I agree that ex-Chief Cochran wasn't technically being discriminatory, and that he wasn't making such statements in his official capacity as fire chief. And although I disagree with his stance concerning homosexuality, I believe it's entirely possible that he's overall a good, respectable man."

                          Yet you accuse him of stuff you have zero evidence that he did. The problem seems to be rather simple, he disagrees with your sacred doctrine and deserves what he got, no matter if the claims against him are true or not. Now, do you have any evidence to support your claims with or are you just going to give more smug condescending comments about how you're such a good Christian compared to those who dare disagree with you?

                          But I will address a few things:
                          This should be entertaining.

                          You mentioned the Chick-Fil-A controversy from a few years ago. If you had taken the time to ask me to clarify exactly where I stand on certain issues, you might've learned that I actually DEFENDED Chick-Fil-A, and vehemently so.
                          Here is what I said:

                          "(did you read the comments that started the whole Chick-fil-A fire storm, they were not even remotely about homosexuality, but that didn't matter because stepping out of accepted doctrine is equal to hate, in the eyes of the LGBT community)"

                          I never accused YOU specifically of agreeing or disagree with the said comments about Chick-Fil-A at all, but given how the LGBT community has manufactured outrage before, why should they be trusted when more outrage comes forth? Don't you see the disconnect here yet? When you make claims that are demonstrated as being 100% bogus, why should anybody believe you when you make similar claims, of a similar nature, against somebody else? They have lost their credibility, as far as I'm concerned, and need to produce strong evidence, if they ever make the same claims again. They manufactured outrage in the Chick-Fil-A mess and they manufactured outrage here too. The fire chief has broken no laws, there is no evidence that he ever discriminated against any employee of the fire dept, and there is zero evidence that he ever created a 'hostel work environment' in the fire dept. The LGBT community either needs to put up evidence to back their charges or they need to shut up and stop shoving their opinions down people's throats. People do not deserve to be fired for holding unpopular opinions and expressing these unpopular opinions and you have presented nothing that should convince anybody otherwise.

                          On that note, as I've mentioned to Sparko, I as a matter of fact would NOT have fired Cochran if I had been mayor.
                          That's nice, but here you are saying:

                          Originally posted by you
                          For the final time, the problem is that he expressed his beliefs in an inflammatory (and gratuitous) manner, not that he simply had beliefs or stated them. Believing traditional teachings about homosexuality doesn't require one to go linking it to bestiality and pederasty. Portraying this as "employers holding your job as ransom" is disingenuous. It's not "If you make any statements about your Christian beliefs, we'll fire you," but rather "If you make statements in an inflammatory manner that creates a hostile work environment, regardless of whether it pertains to your religious beliefs, you're being detrimental to the company (not to mention unnecessarily reflecting badly upon it), and because we have to remove detrimental forces from our company to keep it running smoothly, firing you may be an option that we have to take."
                          Do you have any evidence, at all, that the above statement is true? Any? Nope, but it seems you love speaking out of two sides of your mouth or let me guess... you're just telling us their opinion because you were called upon your comments and just can't admit you're wrong, eh? Sorry, but you made the above comments, you can't back out of them and say, "Well, that isn't my opinion, so there!" and not have to defend the comments YOU MADE. What kind of bizarre world do you live in, in which you can say one thing, make comments that imply the other thing, and not be called to the floor for the other comments you made? So:

                          Did you say the above statement?
                          Do you think somebody should be fired for making inflammatory comments and creating a hostel work environment?
                          Do you have any evidence that anything he said is anymore 'inflammatory' than the comments made by Paul?
                          Do you have any evidence that he created a 'hostel work environment'?

                          Answer the questions please and stop dodging. It makes you look like you got something to hide.

                          So this singlehandedly renders at least 60% of your whiny little screed moot, because I am not at all in favor of people being bullied or harassed.
                          No you didn't, you showed that you love speaking out of two sides of your mouth and will back peddle when called to the floor to back up a single word you said?

                          I believe in fostering cooperation and unity wherever and whenever it can be accomplished.
                          So you can present evidence that your statement here:

                          Originally posted by you
                          For the final time, the problem is that he expressed his beliefs in an inflammatory (and gratuitous) manner, not that he simply had beliefs or stated them. Believing traditional teachings about homosexuality doesn't require one to go linking it to bestiality and pederasty. Portraying this as "employers holding your job as ransom" is disingenuous. It's not "If you make any statements about your Christian beliefs, we'll fire you," but rather "If you make statements in an inflammatory manner that creates a hostile work environment, regardless of whether it pertains to your religious beliefs, you're being detrimental to the company (not to mention unnecessarily reflecting badly upon it), and because we have to remove detrimental forces from our company to keep it running smoothly, firing you may be an option that we have to take."
                          is true. Do you have any evidence, at all, to back up a word you said above or do you just want to call me a bunch of names, accusing me of not 'reading your post', and ignore your own errors and mistakes because anything is better than admitting you're wrong? If you want to back up manufactured outrage, I'm not going to let you escape by saying that you don't condone it, but continue to defend it as though you do. If you don't want to be called to the floor, for YOUR comments, stop making dumb comments. Is that so hard for you to do?

                          What I have argued here is that 1) the firing doesn't seem to have technically been done "because Cochran is Christian," contra the thread title,
                          Too bad I said nothing about the thread title, eh? Again, you want to debate the title, debate Sparko, not me. On the other hand, I'm going to keep calling you to the floor to back up YOUR COMMENTS and I'm not going to let you duck answering YOUR COMMENTS with your made up list of excuses. I think Jesse is dead right, these comments expose your true position, but you're too scared to have to back it up, so you hide behind made up excuses because you seem to have zero back bone to back up what you actually said. If you don't want to be called to the floor, stop making dumb comments. Is that so hard for you to accomplish?

                          and 2) although I would choose a different course of action, Mayor Reed has the right to fire Cochran if he sees fit, and from what I've read, his reasoning seems to be understandable.
                          No it isn't and repeating your same assertions, is not evidence. Now, answer the arguments I keep giving and you keep dodging:

                          1. What law says you can't give material to people you work with, if they ask for it?
                          2. What Fire Dept policy was violated, for doing that?
                          3. What law says he couldn't write a book, expressing unpopular opinions?
                          4. What specific Fire Dept or city policy was violated, in him writing this book?

                          I keep looking for these answers, but I don't find any of them. I just get piles of assertions, unbacked claims, statements that people can't freely express their opinions, claims that your employer can hold your job for ransom to make you say/ do things they approve of, etc. Yet I see nothing that you or anybody has shown that anything he did was illegal or against any set policy. If he violated no law or set policy, than the mayor was unjustified in his actions and deserves to lose his job for abusing his power. Go ahead and prove otherwise. I made my case, you have yet to make yours and sorry, you made the statements, you need to back them up. Stop taking the cowards way out of avoiding having to back up what you clearly said.

                          In the case of the Westboro social worker, the employer also has the right to fire that worker if said worker had said/done something that could've jeopardized the company, but that certainly doesn't mean that the employer must fire the worker. And the fact that the employer chose not to doesn't mean that employers at other companies have to choose the same thing. So this takes care of the other 40% of what actual substance there was in your post.
                          Poor little frustrated Square Peg, so incapable of refuting a word that was said, go ahead, show the following happened:

                          1. What law says you can't give material to people you work with, if they ask for it?
                          2. What Fire Dept policy was violated, for doing that?
                          3. What law says he couldn't write a book, expressing unpopular opinions?
                          4. What specific Fire Dept or city policy was violated, in him writing this book?

                          If you can't answer any of the above, give a single reason why the fire chief deserved to be fired. The reason I keep finding is... He expressed unpopular opinions and should be punished for disagreeing with set doctrine. What law or policy did he violate? I can't find any evidence that he did, do you have any? What law or policy did he violate by writing a book? I can't find anything evidence that he violated any law or policy, do you have any? What law or policy says you can't express an unpopular opinion? I can't find any, can you? The problem is that you want to support anti-freedom, anti-intellectual, hypocrites that just want to shut up anybody who disagrees with them. If you're going to back them up, you'll be called to the floor too. Sorry, I will not let you get away with speaking out of two sides of your mouth. Do you have any evidence of any wrong doing, on the part of the fire chief, or not? Simple question, why all the name calling to avoid giving an answer?
                          "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
                          GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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                          • Originally posted by square_peg View Post
                            You ignored the second half of that quote, in which I specifically point out that people who do believe homosexuality is sinful don't have to group gay people in with child molesters. Performing an exegesis of certain Biblical passages is irrelevant to a thread in Civics, so I won't bother with that here.
                            What's wrong with grouping them in with child molesters? We're grouped in with child molesters when talking about, say, humans. Homosexuals would be grouped in with child molesters when it comes to sexual sin.
                            "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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                            • Originally posted by square_peg View Post
                              It certainly appears to say that, yes. But nowhere does it include child molesters in there.
                              This is the same sort of nonsense, that skeptics use to claim that the Bible calls women 'property' because it groups in wives into the 'do not covet' umbrella (never mind the fact that you can covet humans as much as stuff too). Seriously, do you even think before you post? If somebody was making a list of sexual sins, they would no more be calling homosexual's 'child molesters' than they would be calling those in adultery or fornication, child molesters. Seriously, do you even give an ounce of thought to your claims, before you post them?
                              "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
                              GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Zymologist View Post
                                Not that I want to get into a debate on this, but it's worth pointing out that there are some things, I think we would all agree, that the Bible does in fact say clearly. Implying that everything in the Bible is up for interpretation seems like a rather clear overstatement to me.
                                One of the things I have come to realize over the years is that translation plays an absolutely huge role in people's biblical interpretation. I think the vast majority of Christians don't realize how many of the beliefs they hold about what the bible 'obviously' says are actually fairly sketchy when you really consider the evidence for the translations they are taking for granted.

                                Homosexuality, in particular, is not a core issue that the bible repeats dozens of times. Rather it is (allegedly) referred to in a mere handful of places, and hence translation and interpretation play a huge role.

                                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                                Baloney. It is unambiguous and in both testaments - saying it is a matter of interpretation is purely deceptive.
                                I've spent years studying the subject of what the bible says about homosexuality. I am totally unconvinced that either testament condemns homosexuality.

                                A brief run-through:
                                1 Cor 6:9 + 1 Tim 1:10
                                In these passages, Paul uses a very very obscure Greek word (arsenokoites) whose meaning we don't know. For bad historical reasons it often gets mistranslated as 'homosexuality'. However there are over 500 pages of surviving Greek and Roman primary sources that talk about homosexuality, and none of them use that word ever. So we can be reasonably sure that whatever Paul's word means, it isn't a Greek synonym for homosexuality. From what little evidence there is regarding the meaning of the word Paul uses, my educated guess would be that it refers to a sub-category of rape, but there is so little evidence as to it's meaning that I would agree with Dale Martin of Yale University's comment: “I am not claiming to know what arsenokoites meant, I am claiming that no one knows what it meant.”

                                Romans 1:18-32
                                A lot of Christians today assume this passage mentions both gay and lesbian sex, however the interpretation of it as having to do with lesbianism is highly dubious (the early church fathers were unanimous in reading that bit as referring to men having sex with their wives in the 'wrong' way, not to lesbian sex). I agree with their reading as being the most accurate one. Notably that then means that the bible nowhere condemns lesbianism.
                                My field of particular expertise is the interpretation of Romans, so my exegesis of Romans gets quite complicated because Paul is not the most straight-forward writer and reasons for interpreting his words in certain ways get very complicated, but keeping things very simple: I would say that Paul sets up Romans 1:18-32 as a devil's advocate kind of position, only to knock it down with what follows it. In 2:1 he says "you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things", thus condemning the person who took it upon themselves to condemn others in Rom 1:18-32. So I would say that Paul himself does not hold the views expounded in Romans 1:18-32, but rather is condemning people who do. And fair enough too, because everything Rom 1:18-32 says is wrong at face value: the wrath of God is not actually being revealed from heaven, worshiping animals is not actually the cause of gay sex, and gentiles are not actually terrible horrible awful evil people in every way possible, nor do Jews actually behave orders of magnitude morally better as a result of worshiping the right God.

                                Leviticus 18:22, 20:13
                                The primary motivation for the Levitical prohibitions are likely a historical cultic practice popular among the Babylonians in which transgender priests (originally male), called 'kadesh', had ritual sex with male worshipers to honor a Babylonian god. Deuteronomy bans this practice in Deut 23:17-18, and various other OT books get very upset about the 'high places' in Israel where this type of worship is practiced. Most modern translations now render these terms "male temple prostitutes" or something similar whenever they appear. The Levitical prohibition was very likely primarily motivated by a desire to ban this same practice. An interesting question to ask is what exactly is Leviticus intending to ban: Is it solely intending to ban male sex with a transgender-male (a "man-as-woman" as a very literal translation of the Hebrew in Leviticus might suggest), or is it intended as a more general ban on male homosexual sex (of a specific kind?). Philo, a Jewish contemporary of Jesus, seemingly reads it as the former, thinking it refers to shrine prostitution (The Special Laws, III, VII, 40-42). Certain streams of modern Judaism think it is a ban on male anal sex only, and hence are happy with homosexual non-anal sex, and happy with heterosexual anal sex.
                                Most Christians today would divide Levitical laws into 3 general kinds of category (insofar as they pay any attention to them at all): Ritual/ceremonial, medical, and social/moral, with only the social laws being still considered relevant to today, whereas the ritual laws are considered irrelevant, and anything medically motivated is considered superseded by modern medicine and generally cleaner standards of living. So to conclusively decide that the law is there for social reasons that still apply today, we would want to be able to enumerate some of those reasons, and we would also want to rigorously exclude ritual or medical motivations. Neither of those things is the case. There are obvious ritual motivations for the ban - a ban on Babylonian worship, and obvious medical motivations for the ban (before condoms and antibiotics there was little way to prevent the spread of STD nor treat them; plus prior to the days of toilet-paper and enemas, anal hygiene was probably far less than ideal). However decades of modern research has failed to produce any social reason for a ban on homosexuality, but have produced plenty of good social reasons for endorsing it - and for that reason all major scientific organisations have been testifying in court over the past decade that gay sex and gay marriage should be legalized, and on the basis of their evidence the courts have almost unanimously agreed (something now along the lines of 50/52 of the last US court decisions on the subject have concluded that there is “no rational basis” for a ban on same-sex marriage). So there doesn't seem to be a good reason for applying this Levitical law today.

                                1&2 Samuel
                                I agree with many recent interpreters in believing that the author(s) of the stories about David, Saul and Jonathan in 1&2 Samuel intended to depict David having sexual relationships with Saul and with Jonathan. The details of this interpretation require knowing quite a lot about how same-sex relationships are depicted in other ancient literatures, so it is relatively pointless arguing this beyond observing that almost everyone now who is familiar with other ancient sources that depict same-sex relationships also believes that 1&2 Samuel are depicting them.

                                Matthew 19:12
                                Jesus' positive but cryptic comment about people who are “born eunuchs” may well have been referring to gay men, as it is talking about men who do not have wives, and thus may well be referring to both men who are born asexual and men who are born gay.

                                Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10
                                When Jesus is asked to heal the centurion's “beloved” servant, there is every possibility that there is a same-sex sexual relationship involved, because these were very common in Roman society and the phrasing used hints at the possibility. Jesus doesn't ask. Instead he extols the centurion as an exemplar of faith.

                                Mark 12:31 - “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”
                                That is a command I would say is 'unambiguous' and 'clear'. Phrased in different ways, the command to help others is clear throughout the NT, from the Good Samaritan which tells us to do good to the enemies of our culture and religion, to the Sheep and the Goats which tells us that we will be judged on how we helped those who were suffering. We are to heal the brokenhearted, help the persecuted, care for those who are suffering, all in Christ's name. That is the “Royal Law”, the “commandment we have had from the very beginning”, the way to tell if we are sons of God and not sons of the devil.
                                Gay people are an oppressed minority who has suffered discrimination and persecution for centuries, so Christians should be the first to be standing up and speaking out for them. Scientific and medical organisations around the world have concluded that gay people have suffered MASSIVE harm from discrimination and prejudice, with social rejection of gay people driving them to suicide, alcohol, and drugs, in massive numbers. The only Christians response to seeing such harm done on such a massive scale to such a persecuted minority must be compassion, empathy and love.

                                Finally it is worth noting that any specific laws of the Bible must always be interpreted in line with the overarching message of the bible to love God and love one another. Paul writes that what is important is the spirit of the law, not the letter. When we consider the topics of slavery, genocide, or racism, it is clear that there are many literal statements in the bible that could, when taken literally on their own, be easily interpreted as supporting slavery or supporting racism or supporting genocide, and unfortunately it has historically been the case that some 'Christians' have indeed used those verses to support those things. However, today we do not consider the endorsement of slavery acceptable as Christian position – it is incompatible with love for one's neighbour. In our theology we need to not be legalists like the Pharisees who solely focus on the letter of the law, but instead let the Bible's overall teaching of love inform our worldview, and interpret the letter of the law in the wider context of the spirit of the law, love.

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