Kelvin Cochran is a distinguished public servant. And he is a Christian. The two things are increasingly incongruent in the highly charged and secularized United States of America. We are losing our religious freedoms fast, and the problem will only grow if what has happened to this honorable man is not corrected.
Pay attention to his story and take action; there is something we can do.
Cochran distinguished himself in his service at several fire departments throughout his career. So much so that he eventually became Fire Chief of Atlanta, Georgia in 2008. His service was so impressive there that he was called to serve as a Fire Administrator in the Obama Administration in 2009. And after that, he was unanimously confirmed once again as Atlanta’s Fire Chief in 2010.
But his celebrated career has come to an abrupt end. Not because of any professional misconduct, but because of his faith.
Yes, as you should know by now, believing in God’s model for marriage and sexuality will get you persecuted in many areas, not in some far away land, but right here in the land of the free.
Cochran was suspended last November by Mayor Kasim Reed after he received complaints from the LGBT lobby about a Christian book about Biblical morality written by the chief. The book is titled Who Told You That You Were Naked? taken from God’s question to Adam in Genesis 3:11. In it, Cochran says the Bible is clear about homosexuality and calls it “unclean,” “a sexual perversion,” “vulgar” and “inappropriate.” The references to homosexuality are very small in the book, but it does not matter. Mayor Reed fired him at the end of his suspension.
Criticizing homosexuality is such a big “no, no” in today’s politically correct society that it can get you harassed, assaulted or even fired. Remember Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich who was fired just for donating to a campaign to pass a marriage amendment?
But in Eich’s case, it was a private company doing the lynching. Here, we have the government silencing religious views at the price of your very livelihood.
Cochran’s firing is a gross violation of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to our Constitution, which says government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Chief Cochran was fired for that very reason, for exercising his religion. Even if taken as just speech, it is preposterous for this to happen.
Everyone should stand against this gross violation of our constitutional rights, including supporters of LGBT rights. This sort of coercion by government puts us all in danger.
All freedom-loving Americans must stand against such gross government abuse. In this case, it starts with the people of Georgia. CWA’s Georgia State Director Tanya Ditty told me, “Chief Cochran’s story should send a chill down the spine of people of all faiths. In this current anti-religious climate, simply being a person of faith could cost you your livelihood. We stand behind Kelvin Cochran, as should all Georgians.” But this must now become a fight for all of us, because this is just one of the many incidents where we are seeing an increase government hostility towards religion.
Three action items for you:
1- Please commit to pray for Chief Cochran.
2- Contact Mayor Kasim Reed at 404-330-6100 and urge him to restore Chief Cochran to his position immediately.
3- Sign the petition on the Georgia Baptist Convention web site to show support for Chief Cochran.