The Mayor of Atlanta Declares War on Religious Freedom

by Michael Brown

It was bad enough that Kasim Reed, the Mayor of Atlanta, declared open war on freedom of speech and religion by terminating the job of fire chief Kevin Cochran because of his views on homosexuality. But his reasons for doing so are even worse. Did Mayor Reed not even see the extraordinary irony of his words?

In 2013, Fire Chief Cochran, a committed Christian who is active in his local church, wrote and self-published a Bible-based, 160-page book that contained a few lines speaking against homosexual practice (along with other sexual sins) in very strong terms.

According to Cochran, he got verbal clearance to publish the book by the proper city authority and also gave a copy to the mayor personally, claiming that the mayor promised to read it.

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But when word got out about the contents of the book, gay activists demanded that Mayor Reed dismiss Cochran. Instead, he suspended Cochran from his job for 30 days without pay – this alone boggles the mind – and required him to go to sensitivity training. (Apparently, it is forbidden even to believe what the Bible says about sexuality. You must be reprogrammed if you are to be a public servant.)

Then, earlier this week, once the suspension was over, Mayor Reed fired Cochran. And that is when the semantic circus began.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mayor Reed said, “The city’s position is a very clear one. The city’s nondiscrimination policy, endorsed by my office and by the Atlanta City Council, unequivocally states that we will not negotiate. We will not discriminate on the basis of race or gender or religion or creed or sexual orientation or physical ability or gender identity.”

Take a moment to read that last sentence out loud slowly: “We will not discriminate on the basis of race or gender or religion or creed . . . .”

Mayor Reed, this is discrimination on the basis of religion…

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The Mayor of Atlanta Declares War on Religious Freedom