Open Book
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who told you that you were naked?

Who told you that you were naked? That’s the title of a book that seeks to explain how the Bible’s teaching can help men become responsible husbands and fathers. The title is lifted from dialogue in the Bible book of Genesis. The book was written and self-published in 2013 by Kelvin Cochran, who was then the fire chief of the city of Atlanta.
2009 President Obama chose Mr Cochran to become the US fire administrator, the highest national office for a firefighter. 2010 Mr Cochran was recruited back to Atlanta by the mayor, who subsequently praised the fire chief for “dramatic improvements in response times and staffing” and for gaining “national recognition.”

November 2014 it was publicized that a brief section of Mr Cochran’s 162-page book dealing with sexual morality is critical of homosexual conduct. Mayor Reed suspended Fire Chief Cochran for 30 days without pay from his $172,000-a-year job. An internal investigation found no evidence Mr Cochran discriminated against gay employees or anyone else, nor any evidence his religious views affected his leadership.

No matter. At the end of the suspension, the mayor fired Atlanta’s fire chief.

Mayor Reed claimed he acted because the book was written without city permission. Mr Cochran filed a lawsuit claiming the mayor acted from prejudice to the fire chief’s religious beliefs, particularly his traditional views on sex and marriage. The fire chief claimed that if his book had been about sea turtles he would not have been fired.

Mayor Reed—a young, ambitious politician—publicly stated “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 sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs.”

December 2017 a federal court ruled the city violated Mr. Cochran’s constitutional rights. US District Judge May wrote, “the potential for stifled speech far outweighs an unsupported assertion of harm. … This does not pass constitutional muster.”

Fire Chief Cochran’s experience exposes the hostility of politicians, government officials, academics, and corporate executives towards people who dare give voice to politically incorrect opinions. Bakers, florists, and fire chiefs who support same-sex marriage are celebrated for broadcasting their opinions. Those who disagree are expected to keep quiet, or risk having their lives destroyed.

This is naked, brutal intolerance. ~

- Adapted from an article by Jason L. Riley. -

Dan Nygaard