Monday, January 19, 2015


At a predominantly white Southern Baptist Church on the Sunday before Dr. Martin Luther King's national holiday, a black man took to the pulpit to tell his amazing story. I doubt that Dr. King could have dreamed that such a thing could take place in the south where the worship hour on Sunday is called the most segregated hour of the week. But that is what took place at Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta yesterday.

In the case of this unjustly fired black fire-fighter, he shared his amazing life story and how prejudice and religious discrimination and stifling free speech continues in an institutional way in Atlanta, Georgia, the birth place of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Here is his story as told this morning by the Augusta Chronicle :

Fired Atlanta fire chief speaks at Augusta church

Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015

Kelvin Cochran believes God has been preparing him all his life for the storm he is in now.
On Jan. 6, Cochran was fired after seven years as Atlanta’s fire chief for distributing his self-published book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?, to employees, which some say makes anti-gay, discriminatory statements. His firing has sparked debate over religious freedom.

At Abilene Baptist Church on Sunday evening, Cochran spoke about the blessings of suffering he found through his own life story, and what he believes is God’s purpose for the controversy that surrounds his firing.

Cochran said he studied the word “suffering” and learned there is a difference between self-inflicted suffering, which is intended to discipline, and God-inflicted suffering. The latter is what he feels he is experiencing.

“I am not going through this because of something I have done,” he said. “I am going through this because of something that (God) is doing in the body of Christ and in my life.”

Cochran said he was born into poverty. When he was 5, his father left his mother for another woman. The family could no longer afford public housing and moved into a rundown, shotgun house. He and his three brothers shared a bed, as did his two sisters.

“I remember how terrible it was to be poor,” he said.

When a neighbor’s home caught fire, he decided he wanted to be a firefighter, he said.

In 1981, he became a firefighter. He served as fire chief of Shreveport, La., before becoming Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, he was appointed to the head of the U.S. Fire Administration, the highest-ranking fire official in the nation. Only 10 months into that job, Mayor Kasim Reed asked him to return as At­lan­ta’s fire chief, and he did.

Cochran said the idea for his book came as he was leading a Bible study that explored the idea that men still suffer the consequences of Adam’s choices in the Garden of Eden. He said the question God asked Adam, “Who told you you were naked?” kept coming to mind, so he researched the word “naked.”

“Nakedness is a condition of the flesh where people feel condemned and deprived,” Cochran said. Being clothed, he said, is the state of salvation people receive when they have accepted Christ.

“That book is not about sexuality,” Cochran said. “But you can’t talk about Christian men overcoming the stronghold of condemnation unless you talk about sex, because men have a challenge in that area. You can’t talk about sex unless you talk about
God’s purpose for sex, which was procreation, to multiply.”

Cochran said he believes he is suffering the consequences of standing up for what he believes.

“I believe God is going to use my life to demonstrate publicly the kingdom consequences for standing on his word and standing on the values that he has embraced in his holy book, the Holy Bible,” he said.


Daniel said...

He's a public official who used his position to push his views on the people who work for him. Try doing that in the private sector. And, as I ssid yesterday, if conservatives believed he was pushing "pro-gay propaganda" on his employees, they'd call for his head. And if his freedom of speech was stifled, we wouldn't be reading about his speech in the newspaper. Another victim wannabe.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, the pro gay agenda is institutionalized for all employees in the Atlanta system in an institutional, secular religion sort of way. I detect that you give the religion of secularism promoted by the mayor of Atlanta who fired this man a pass.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Father, Father, Father, Daniel is right. If a fire chief in a major American city used his public position to promote the "gay agenda" there would be howls of protest from the right calling for his firing. In some places, the result would be the same - his employment would be terminated. You and others would cheer this whole-heartedly.

What's sauce for the goose...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Father, Father, Father, you have been cooked in the crockpot of the toxic gay agenda stew of the unholy book of secular religion which is shoved down the throats of employees each day in Atlanta.

Mike said...

If the chief publicly promoted the "gay agenda" as Fr. Kavanaugh put it, yes, there would be protests.

But, if the chief publicly promoted the "gay agenda", no, he wouldn't be fired.

'Nuff said.

Tevye said...

Father, Father, Father, there is a "gay agenda" like there a "black agenda", if that is what you choose to call those two group's struggle for justice and equal treatment under the law. My gay daughter, for instance, has no interest in turning you, or anybody else gay, or in breaking up marriages. She would, probably, appreciate it, however, if you and your conspiracy group would stop your trash talk and just leave her the hell alone.

BTW, rather than having it "shoved down" their throats, most Americans are freely choosing to support gender equality.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course this is a blog with a Catholic perspective on sin and damnation but salvation in Christ through repentance and a life in Christ. Do you or does your daughter believe in sin and damnation or is that off the table and of no concern for either of you? Our current highly individualistic culture is very enabling and not concerned in the least with the common good.

Gene said...

The gay agenda and the Black agenda have gone way beyond any kind of "struggle for justice." They are now tools/weapons of the Left against Western Culture and the Church. Both groups are too stupid to realize how they have been co-opted….or maybe they are willingly carrying the leftist ball. I have no use for either agenda.

Anonymous said...

Today I watched, for the umteenth time, MLK's powerful "I have a Dream" speech.

How did you mark this day Pastor Gene?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know who the pastor means by "the Left" (capital L). Is it Mr. Putin, Fidel Castro, The Jews, The Muslims, gay people, Democrats, the POTUS....all black and brown people, all of the above??? Does he just make the call personally on a case by case basis????

I think the people on the right, like the pastor, have most of "the weapons".

Gene said...

I marked Robert E. Lee's birthday by cycling 30 miles,
stopping off at the firing range, and finishing a new and very good biography of Stonewall Jackson. Tonight, after dinner with my wife, daughter and her husband and my grandchildren, I'll begin the new bio of R.E. Lee, "Clouds of Glory." How did you spend the rest of your's…wallowing in guilt?

Gene said...

Regarding the Left, Anonymous, your question is too stupid to even warrant an answer.

Anonymous said...

"Fergit Hell!", huh Pastor? (There are bumper stickers.) News flash ...we were on the wrong side of that fight....AND we LOST! don't really know who you mean by the capital Left...

Jusadbellum said...

No interest in 'turning people' gay? Then of what point are all the teen-age 'support clubs' in high schools around the country?

No interest in turning people gay? Then of what point are all the hollywood and pop culture normalization propaganda pieces in sitcoms, movies, etc where being gay is only ALWAYS shown in a positive light, where gays and lesbians are only ALWAYS sympathetic, heroic, cool, smart, etc. and never, ever, bad or uncouth or unfunny etc.

No interest in turning people gay? Then why the howls of indignation from the personal testimonies of some men or women who have claimed to cease being gay or lesbian? If it wasn't about promoting only sodomy, only such things, why the outrage?

Of course you want to shout other people down - of course you can't stand free speech, speech at odds with your own. Of course you don't want to deal with people as equals.... people who merely want equality don't demand others' heads for uttering difference of opinion.

Sodomy is intrinsically unhealthy biologically, emotionally and spiritually and thus the ideation, the desire for it is intrinsically disordered. To want and desire an evil is to become evil.

But it's more complex than normal vices because there are psychological factors involved in most cases.

It would seem, based on the testimony of most gay activists that they suffered various forms of trauma BEFORE coming 'out'... in other words, the same sex attraction may be a coping mechanism for prior trauma that needs healing before such attractions may diminish.

But of course no one is allowed to question the new dogma that once gay always gay or that gay can be ameliorated if not reduced in sting and people can in fact live celibate, chaste lives as good Catholics despite SSA.

In a free society, in a world where the gay side really believed to be standing on the winning side, they'd be magnanimous and patient. But they're not because deep down they know they are not on the winning side....thus the need for increasingly coercive measures to shout down and punish people for disagreeing with their UNSUBSTANTIATED truth claims.

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, there was a blog spot here on Kasim Reed's future statewide changes being dimmed by the firing of this police chief. Some commentary:

---Even if Kasim Reed were to the right of Attila the Hun, it is unlikely, given the racially polarized voting in the Deep South (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina) that he would get elected governor or to the US Senate. (Those were the only 5 states, aside from Arizona, to back Barry Goldwater over LBJ in 1964---and just four months after that year's Civil Rights Act passed. Coincidence? I think not.)

---Reed perhaps instead is trying to set himself up as the successor to John Lewis, the 28-year veteran of Georgia's (unfortunately) most liberal district, the 5th (which regularly votes 80% Democratic). Thus, Reed may be trying to "get right" with Atlanta's gay vote. Pitty the 15 percent or so of district voters like me who do not agree with John Lewis's far left agenda. (Lewis, unfortunately, has a prefect record favoring abortion on demand---yet claims to be a civil rights leader).

---The white vote in Georgia (whether Southern Baptist or anyone else) is declining; 91,000 fewer whites voted in Georgia last November than in the 2010 election. So the Southern Baptist vote becomes less relevant with each passing election in Georgia. By 2020 census, Georgia will probably be a majority-minority state.

---I'm not sure why this fire chief needed to write anything; while I agree with his theology on marriage, I don't know why that is relevant to his job. If my homestead catches on fire and I call 911, I'm not going to ask "oh, but be sure the firemen you send here are opposed to gay marriage." When I call for a plumber or handyman, I'm not really interested in their personal social views---I just want the job done. Furthermore, would if the fire chief, under so-called "religious freedom", were to write a book saying Rome is the Antichrist, that Catholics are not "Bible-believing?"

---And for those who would like the non-Atlanta area part of Georgia to secede from the more liberal 29-county metro Atlanta area, well...Georgia without metro Atlanta might be poorer than Mississippi. LOL getting new 4-lane highways, school funding and the like without the state's economic generator.

JusadBellum said...

If his firing stands, then anyone who has ever publicly shared an opinion at odds with abortion (a constitutional right) can also face summarily being fired on the same grounds.

JusadBellum said...

He wrote a book in which he shared his Baptist faith's moral position on the proper use of sexuality.

He did not call for firemen to stand by and watch gay businesses or homes burn. He did not call for violence against homosexuals. He simply stated the Baptist and indeed traditional Christian doctrine on the unnaturalness of those feelings and of sodomy as a behavior.

For that opinion - not acted on, not made part of his job performance, not something he demanded open acceptance from underlings to keep their jobs... for an OPINION that he took publicly via a book... he was fired.

Well... so now any politically incorrect opinion we have the audacity of using our rights of free speech to utter in a public place are fair game for termination?

How could this NOT be applied to pro-lifers since SCOTUS has declared abortion on demand to be a Constitutional right just as sodomy was declared a right?

Gene said...

I'll take poorer, worse roads, and no public schools and get rid of Atlanta.

Unknown said...

Gene, being from a poor county in southern GA, I think many south of Macon would argue our taxes do little but help renovate Atlanta.

How great it is we should slave away for the sake of our glorious capital city!

Anonymous said...

Gene---is that Gene Talmadge? I'm sure a lot of people here in metro Atlanta would be glad to consummate a divorce between here and the rest of the state. Areas like Tom Price's 6th Congressional District (east Cobb, north Fulton and North DeKalb), which ranks 34th among the 435 congressional districts in median household income (abt $76,000 a year), would be glad to quit subsidizing Congressman Sanford Bishop's 2nd District (which includes most of Macon FYI, including the church at 830 Poplar Street), which ranks 425th in income at a mere $33,000 a year. Call your state legislators---the legislative session is now underway. Call Senators Isakson and Perdue in Washington!

Must be something that attracts people to the Atlanta area each year. How about Mercedes? They are relocating their HQ from New Jersey to here (Fulton County). NCR will be locating a new HQ in midtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech--3600 jobs. And those Yankees can find lots of Catholic churches here---the Atlanta Archdiocese now has 3 active bishops and an estimated Catholic population of 1 million+. The Savannah diocese? Maybe 100,000 or so (less than that registered I'm sure). Macon/Bibb County? It barely has more people than it did 40+ years ago.

Look, I'm no fan of Kasim Reed---I did not vote for him in 2009, and I backed Deal for governor in both 2010 and 2014. But neither am I a fan of George Wallace or the Talmadges (Gene or Herman)--who obviously were popular people in your part of the state.

Anonymous said...

Just came home from seeing the movie "Selma". A very powerful and inspiring film.

If you haven't seen it, my wife and I recommend it... Two thumbs up.

Of course, I imagine most of you have seen it....right Gene?

Anonymous said...

Flavius, are you a priest?

Unknown said...

Anon @ 7h01

No, I'm not. Why?

Anonymous said...

I thought you were, then you said something about paying taxes.