Christian Fire Chief Receives $1.2 Million for Violations of His Religious Liberty

The Gospel Coalition | 10/16/2018 | Staff
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The Story: A fire chief that was fired for advocating a biblical view of marriage and sexuality will receive $1.2 million from the city of Atlanta as compensation suffered from unconstitutional harm.

The Background: In 2016, Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired by Mayor Kasim Reed for self-publishing a book on Christian manhood. In the book, Cochran describes homosexuality as a “perversion” and characterizes homosexual acts as “vile, vulgar and inappropriate.”

Activists - Cochran - Views - Sex - Book

After activists who disagreed with Cochran’s Christian views on sex complained about the book, the fire chief was initially suspended for 30 days and told he would have to complete “sensitivity training.” The city of Atlanta later initiated an investigation that led to the chief’s termination from his job. At the time, the mayor argued the firing of the chief had nothing to do with Cochran’s Christian faith, but rather was because a “lack of judgment.”

Until his dismissal, Cochran had served as the fire chief of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department since 2010. He had previously spent nearly 30 years with the Shreveport, Louisiana, fire department. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him as U.S. fire administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. He took the job in Atlanta in 2010 at the urging of Mayor Reed.

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Cochran was highly regarded in his field, having served as first vice president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and president of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association and authoring two chapters for the Chief Fire Officers Desk Reference. In 2012, Fire Chief magazine named Cochran “Fire Chief of the Year.” In his personal time, Cochran serves as a deacon and a Sunday school teacher at Elizabeth Baptist Church in Atlanta.

An investigative report by the city of Atlanta said that Cochran did not seek approval to publish the book—a claim Cochran disputes—but...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Gospel Coalition
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