ATLANTA — A Georgia fire chief has been suspended without pay and has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training after publishing a book that contains quotes decrying homosexual behavior and other forms of sexual perversion.
Chief Kelvin Cochran of Atlanta has been suspended for one month and is also the subject of investigation as to whether he violated city policy or engaged in discrimination by publishing the book last year.
The publication, which is being sold on Amazon, is entitled “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” and 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.” Cochran states that the book was compiled as a result of a number of lesson plans that he had prepared over time for men’s Bible study groups.
While “Who Told You That You Were Naked” was published last year, it was reportedly not until last week 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.”
Mayor Reed issued a statement this week condemning Cochran’s book and referring to it as being discriminatory.
“I was surprised and disappointed to learn of this book on Friday,” he stated. “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”
“I want to be clear that 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 their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs,” Reed said.
In addition to being suspended and placed under investigation, Cochran is also prohibited from distributing his book to other city employees as some firefighters stated that he had given them a free copy.
But some find that it is rather Mayor Reed who is being discriminatory by punishing Christians who publicly express their biblical values.
“You’d think the government would appreciate Kelvin Cochran being a role model to young black men in Atlanta, but they are instead much more focused on not offending the gay rights community,” wrote writer Erick Erickson for Red State. “What Mayor Reed and the gay rights community are saying is that if you work for government you cannot be open about your Christian faith. Again, you will be made to care.”