Thousands Sign Petitions Calling for Mayor to Reinstate Chief Fired Over Christian Book

CochranATLANTA — Thousands have signed petitions calling for the mayor of Atlanta to reinstate the city’s fire chief after he was terminated following a complaint over a Christian book that he published containing brief remarks decrying homosexual behavior and other forms of sexual perversion.

To date, nearly 100,000 people have participated in efforts launched by Faith Driven Consumer, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the Georgia Baptist Convention, the National Organization for Marriage and LifeNews in standing behind the former fire chief.

“By caving into the radical activists who decided to bully and harass Mr. Cochran, you have sent a message to all Atlanta residents that you will not support their own rights to hold and to express their religious values in the public square, but will sell them out to special interests and powerful lobbies,” reads the petition from the National Organization for Marriage. “I urge you to right this wrong and undo the harm done to Mr. Cochran and to all people of faith in Atlanta and throughout the country.”

As previously reported, Chief Kelvin Cochran was suspended for one month beginning in late November and was placed under investigation as to whether he violated city policy or engaged in discrimination by publishing the book “Who Told You That You Were Naked?”, which was compiled as a result of a number of lesson plans that he had prepared over time for men’s Bible study groups. The book, available on Amazon, is centered on God’s question to Adam following his disobedience in the Garden of Eden, and parallels the matter with those who are now “clothed in Christ.”

While “Who Told You That You Were Naked” was published in 2013, it was reportedly not until last November that Atlanta employees complained to Mayor Kasim Reed about its content.

“Uncleanness [is] whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion,” Cochran wrote. “Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body-temple and dishonor God.”

But it wasn’t Cochran’s writings against sexual perversion that got him into hot water; it was the fact that he included homosexuality among those behaviors that are cited as being “vile,” “vulgar” and “inappropriate.” The text was included on just one page out of the entire 160-plus page book, which does not center on homosexuality.

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Following the receipt of a complaint over the quote, Mayor Kasim Reed placed Cochran on a one-month suspension while an investigation went forward. Shortly after he returned to work, Reed decided to terminate the fire chief over the publication. He alleged at a press conference last week that his decision had nothing to do with freedom or speech or religion, stating that Cochran was fired because he had not obtained approval from officials to publish the book. Reed also stated that he thought the chief could present legal liabilities for the city.

“[L]et’s stop trying to make this about religious freedom when it’s about making sure that we have an environment in government where everyone—no matter who they love—can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and go home without fear of being discriminated against,” he said.

But Cochran said the he indeed did seek out the ethics officer prior to publishing the book, and not only was he granted permission to proceed, but he was also allowed to include in his biography that he served as the fire chief of Atlanta. He said that he gave a copy of the publication to Reed in January 2014—nearly a year before the controversy erupted—and was told by the mayor that he would read it.

“The LGBT members of our community have a right to be able to express their views and convictions about sexuality and deserve to be respected for their position without hate or discrimination,” he told reporter Todd Starnes. “But Christians also have a right to express our belief regarding our faith and be respected for our position without hate and without discrimination.”

Petitions soon were posted by several organizations calling for Cochran to be reinstated. On Tuesday, a number of pastors and other Christian leaders gathered at the Georgia Capitol Rotunda in a rally in support of the former fire chief.

“He simply wrote a book based on the Bible, and he was fired for living a godly life before his department,” one pastor declared.

“No one in this country today should write a book about their personal beliefs and then lose their job over it,” another stated.

“Chief Cochran has spent a lifetime, ready at a moment’s notice, to fight the fires that threatened life and property. Today, he stands ready to fight the fire and flame of intolerance that threatens the freedom of every American,” declared Tony Perkins of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council, who traveled to Georgia to be a part of the event. “I’ll tell you this; I am here to stand by his side. And I will stand by the side of Chief Cochran and anyone who answers this call to defend freedom.”

The event ended in a march to city hall, at which time Perkins’ organization, which in itself had collected nearly 30,000 signatures in support of Cochran, delivered boxes of petition signatures to Reed’s office.


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  • SteveN

    The ‘tolerance’ crowd only tolerate their own views, which is tyrannical.

    • dark477

      Give me one reason my a should “tolerate” a vile pig like you?

  • James Grimes

    I have his book and it was well written and presented all the topics in a balanced way. If the Bible said something was wrong, Chief Cochran said it was wrong. People have to deal with their sinful lifestyle; it’s not up to us to accept it.

    • Spoob

      When you write a book that attacks the people you serve and protect, you are a hateful bigot no longer deserving of your job.

      • pax2u

        I feel sorry for the hateful bigots, when they are consumed by their hatred the cry that they are being stalked because they can not defend their anger

        • Spoob

          Fortunately hate is kind of an indefensible thing…

          • Gary

            God hates you, and with good reason.

          • pax2u

            Gary you may think that you are God, but you are not God, maybe that voice in your head is a different god, but not the Christian God,
            I will pray for you

          • Gary

            Work your beads pagan.

          • pax2u

            you are a sad and angry person
            I will pray to the Christian God Jesus Christ for your eternal soul, amen

          • Spoob

            LOL

          • pax2u

            this speaks volumes

            Gary Tedlick Badkey17 hours ago

            If it were up to me, the Civil Rights Act would be eliminated today.

          • Gary

            I am opposed to attempts by the government to force people into associations that they don’t want.

          • pax2u

            do you support discrimination at hotels, or restaurants? or in schools based on race?

          • Gary

            I support discrimination at hotels and restaurants. People have the right to NOT stay at a hotel and NOT eat at restaurants, so it is only fair that the owners of those businesses be allowed to reject people as customers who they do not want as customers.

          • pax2u

            what about hospitals, do think that a private hospital should be able to turn away a black person also?

          • Gary

            All business transactions should be voluntary on all sides. The government should never force people into unwanted business transactions.

          • pax2u

            should a Catholic Hospital be able to deny care to anti Catholic bigots?

          • Gary

            Catholic hospitals should be free to only care for those of their choosing. How many times do I have to repeat it? All private associations should be voluntary.

          • pax2u

            I hope you never need one,

          • Gary

            I too hope I never need a catholic hospital. I’d prefer not to be treated by pagans.

          • pax2u

            sad, but maybe it would be better for you to be left on the road side

          • 7511

            So God hates his children? Just how long have you been a member at Westboro Baptist?

          • pax2u

            their concept of freedom of religion is their freedom to hate the religous faith of everyone who does not agree with them

          • Gary

            Is supporting homosexuals, like you are doing, part of catholic teaching?

          • pax2u

            I love the sinner and hate the sin, do you? or do just hate

          • Gary

            You are a liar. Your comments prove you support homosexuals.

          • pax2u

            the phyisical act is a sin, lust by ANYONE is a sin, a person by themselves is not a Sin,
            your hatred consumes your eternal soul

      • Gary

        The chief’s beliefs about homosexuals are the same as any Christian. He put his beliefs in a book. I put mine here, and express them in other places.

    • James Grimes

      This clown (below) keeps responding to my comments with his nonsense. I have no interest in his opinions because I cannot respect what he has to say. He is a stalker. And, yes, he has been told.

  • Gary

    Mayor Reed is a devil. I would not want to work for such a perverted animal. It is encouraging to see the support for Cochran though. Maybe reed can be voted out next election. I hope so.

  • Fundisi

    It is good that people have signed a petition, it would be better if they were committed to spiritual warfare through prayer and better if they saw that the battle is not theirs, but the Lord’s. Yet, even among Christians, even some here, they get angry, if not truly hateful, certainly not loving their enemies and they think they must engage in battle and fight the enemy, as if we could possibly succeed by our own power, versus surrendering to the Holy Spirit to do battle for us; and if we did the latter, we would see more individual victories in such cases.

    We are NOT fighting against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers in this world that are engaged in a war against Christ and His Church and we must use spiritual weapons if we truly desire to push back these forces of evil. The Spirit of Anti-Christ is in this world, he manifests his evil in many ways and through many people, now only the return of Christ will destroy this spirit. No matter what, as this chief has been faithful to God in a few things, God will lift him up, no matter what form it takes, he will rescue this man from evil forces dedicated to his destruction.

    • Liz Litts

      How can you assume they were not praying?

      • Fundisi

        I am not assuming, I am just suggesting the best path for fellow believers, IMO.

    • Faithwalker

      Fundi you are truly showing the love of God thru His word. To my fellow believers don’t allow satan to sift you like wheat. We are mandated to speak the truth of His word in love.

      • Fundisi

        Thank you for your kind words.

  • http://www.washingtondcevangelists.com Washington DC Evangelists

    “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”
    – George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 1

  • Leigh

    I hope he doesn’t go back to the job. If he does he’ll only be put in a position to be PC. He’ll have to bend over backward proving he’s not homophobic all the time.

  • Tedlick Badkey

    If the book had been written with such negative animosity against christians, folks would be calling for his head.

    The hypocrisy astounds…

    • Gary

      If the Chief was anti-Christian, he would not have been fired.

      • Tedlick Badkey

        Uh-huh…

        My point remains.

        • Gary

          We all support who supports us, and oppose who oppose us. The point in this case is that the fire chief did nothing immoral. What he did was go against the pro-homosexual position of the mayor, and for that he was fired.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Insubordination is a firing offense.

            If he were decrying fundies, you’d be his biggest enemy.

          • Gary

            The mayor has no right to demand that all employees of the city of Atlanta endorse homosexuality, which is what the mayor is demanding. Because of the mayor’s anti-Christian beliefs and actions, I hope he his removed from office.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Then the courts will find for the chief, won’t they?

            As for “endorse”… no such thing happened. You’re delusional.

            My statement stands… if the book had been hostile to christians, your kind would be calling for his head.

            You’re a hypocrite.

          • Gary

            If there is a lawsuit, given the corrupt nature of the courts, I would expect the court to side with the mayor.
            mayor reed is an enthusiastic supporter of homosexuals. He fired Cochran because Cochran refused to support homosexuals.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Yeah, that’s it! EVERY court in America… EVERY judge in America… they’re all BAD! LOL!!!

            He fired Cochran for rational reasons… I”m betting you’ve not read a single article on this other than the one you found here.

            Have you?

          • Gary

            I don’t say every judge. But as been proven with the issue of ssm, most judges are corrupt and wicked.
            Reed fired Cochran for opposing homosexuality. I have seen reed’s comments on the subject that confirm that. To you, that might be a good reason to fire him. But it isn’t to me. The mayor has violated Cochran’s freedom of religion.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Because their findings on gay marriage don’t mesh with yours, they’re corrupt and wicked?

            ROFLOL!!! Oh wow!

            As expected… you’ve read nothing else on this matter.

          • Gary

            Because they are claiming that heterosexual- only marriage is unconstitutional. And it isn’t. They can read the Constitution just like I can, so they know from reading it that their claim is not supported by the Constitution. That means they are lying about heterosexual-only marriage being unconstitutional. Lying makes them corrupt.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Your ignorance of constitutional law is very apparent.

            Nothing in the constitution supports bans on gay marriage… the 14th amendment says government protections and benefits are given to ALL citizens… if you don’t like that, you have to formulate a rational reason to exclude a class or group of citizens.

            Your side has proven unable to do so.

            As citizens, we’re covered right there.

          • Gary

            The Constitution says nothing about marriage. There is no violation of the 14th Amendment, or of any other part of the constitution by heterosexual-only marriage. As long as the law applies to everyone, and it always has, it is not unconstitutional. The judges know this. But they insist on lying anyway.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            It says plenty about “he privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

            And guess what? All of that governs marriage.

            As I said… very apparent.

            Besides, the law DOES apply to everyone, Gary. You too can marry someone of the same gender.

            And no one will be harmed.

          • Gary

            The 14th Amendment is fully complied with by limiting marriage to one man and one woman. All the Constitution requires is that the law applies to everyone. And it does. YOU HAVE NO SUPPORT FROM THE US CONSTITUTION for your point of view.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Okee dokee.

            No wonder you’re losing.

          • Gary

            The courts are not basing their decisions on the Constitution. They are basing them on their desire to support homosexuals.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Using your logic…

            Marriage is only between a man and woman of the same race.

            Marriage is only between a man and woman of the same race and faith.

            Marriage is only between a man and woman of the same race and faith and hair color.

            ALL of these would be OK under our constitution because they apply to ALL citizens.

            Oh… good grief.

            Again… no wonder you’re losing.

          • Gary

            If the courts followed the US Constitution, ssm would be legal only in states where the people vote it in, or where the legislature votes it to be legal. It is possible for ssm to be legal, but it is illegitimate for it to be done by a court. They have no Constitutional justification for such an action.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Again… by your logic, interracial marriage would only be legal in states where the people voted on it. 14 states at the time of Loving v. Virginia.

            You’re not paying attention to history or the text of the document.

            The court is NOT making law… they’re finding bans unconstitutional. You really don’t get it, do you?

          • Gary

            I am paying VERY close attention to the text of the Constitution . It is YOU and people who agree with you are lying about what the Constitution actually says. THE COURT IS MAKING LAW. If you want ssm to be legal, then do it in a way that conforms with the Constitution. But you don’t want to do that because it would not happen fast enough in some states, and would not happen at all in others.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Did the court “make law” when it overturned the health care mandate for Hobby Lobby?

            When it overturned laws against interracial marriage?

            SSM WILL be legal. You’re watching our republic in action… you just don’t like it.

          • Gary

            The court has no constitutional grounds to overturn the marriage laws in any state, as long as those laws apply to everyone. If a law said that homosexuals are not allowed to marry at all, then that would be an unconstitutional law because that law would not apply to everyone equally. Heterosexual-only marriage laws do not violate the Constitution any more than would voting laws that require the voter to be a minimum age.
            But you don’t care what the Constitution says. You want what you want, and you are willing to lie in order to get it.

          • Tedlick Badkey

            Please answer the questions.

            Did the court “make law” when it overturned the health care mandate for Hobby Lobby?

            When it overturned laws against interracial marriage?

            Would voter laws that banned women (applied to all citizens, mind you) be constitutional?

      • dark477

        Oh yes he would.

        • Gary

          If Cochran was anti-Christian, he would not be anti-homosexual. Opposing homosexuals is why he was fired.

          • dark477

            And violating the rules of his employer.

  • Carshmail

    The Chief did not attack anyone. He pointed out what the Bible states about sexual sin, which by the way applies to heterosexuals that engage in any of them. That in no way translates to hate or discrimination, particularly in his secular job. Since when did disagreement equate to hate? That means if you disagree with the Bible, then you hate Christians, so you shouldn’t hold a public job either? That’s ridiculous!

    • Gary

      All of the sodomites, and their supporters, claim that opposition to homosexuality is hate. If you don’t approve of homosexuality, then you are a “hater”. And trying to convince them that they are wrong is a waste of time.

  • Gary

    I read that there will probably be a lawsuit filed against Atlanta. If it does not result in the chief being offered his job back, then we will know that it is now legal to fire Christians for their beliefs.

  • kiran jonnalagadda

    Dear officer, just stand on the God’s word remember shedrek, meshek and abednogo.