Opinion

Atlanta suspends fire chief for writing book with biblical beliefs on homosexuality

The top firefighter in Atlanta and a former appointee of President Obama is off the job without pay and ordered to attend “sensitivity training” because he published a book a year ago espousing biblical beliefs about homosexuality – and did it without getting permission.

According to WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta, Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran failed to inform city officials he was publishing the book, “Who Told That You were Naked” before it was printed. Because he identified himself in the book as Atlanta’s fire chief, city officials told reporters, the city was concerned his beliefs could be taken to represent Atlanta’s official position.

“One of the most alarming things is that we did not know about the book when it was published,” city spokeswoman Anne Torres told WSB.

Cochran has been suspended for 30 days while the city also investigates whether and how he distributed the book to subordinates. Because the book makes clear Cochran believes homosexual behavior violates God’s law, Atlanta officials told the media they are afraid those under his command will be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.

“We understand that he was distributing the book to other employees. We are still not sure what the circumstances surrounding them are,” Torres said.

Neither WSB nor the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported any firefighters had complained about Cochran’s treatment of them in a professional capacity.

Cochran himself declined to comment to WSB or the  Journal Constitution until his suspension is over, but has written that the 162-page paperback is a compilation of lesson plans for men’s Bible study groups he teaches, the Journal Constitution reported.

In it, according to the Journal, he writes that, “since God made sex for procreation, he only intended it to be between a man and a woman.”

Living outside biblical law, he wrote, leads individuals to “pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways,” according to the Journal Constitution.

The paper reported:

He later defined terms such as “uncleanness” as: “whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, and all other forms of sexual perversion.”

For that, the veteran firefighter, who previously served as the city’s fire chief under former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, a Democrat, and chief of the U.S. Fire Administration under President Obama (also a Democrat) is being suspended without pay.

Cochran might be under a cloud in City Hall, but he has a lot of support in the outside world.

Especially if you disagree with Democrats. Even if you are one.

 

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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