Chief Kelvin Cochran: “My termination has made a great statement”

Terminated Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran spoke at a rally today in the Georgia State Capitol. It was really well done, and I encourage you to listen to all of it (it begins at 1:20:57 above). But I would draw your attention now to his conclusion below. In his own words:

It has been said by Council Member Alex Wan that my termination has made a great statement. I could not agree with him more. It has made the statement that though there is no evidence that my religious beliefs have created a hostile work environment (as alleged) and no discrimination against any LGBT members of our community, there are grave consequences for publicly expressing our faith and having the audacity to believe that sex was created for procreation and should be in the bonds of holy matrimony between a man and a woman.
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If Atlanta Fire Chief’s termination isn’t a religious liberty case, then nothing is

The New York Times offers a lead editorial today supporting the termination of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran. The editorial argues that Cochran’s Christian beliefs about homosexuality are “homophobic,” “virulent anti-gay views.” It denies that Cochran’s firing has anything to do with religious liberty, but only with Chief Cochran’s failure to get permission to publish the book, commenting on his suspension, and exposing the city to lawsuits.

But is this really accurate? Do the editors really believe that Chief Cochran’s primary error was failing to get permission to publish the book? Mayor Kasim Reed, who fired Chief Cochran, first commented on the book in November. He made it plain that his main problem was with the message of the book, not with how it came about. Mayor Reed writes: Continue Reading →

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NY Times columnist would end religious freedom as we know it

Frank Bruni‘s illiberal New York Times column over the weekend has been rightly panned for being absolutely inimical to religious freedom. I encourage you to read responses from Ramesh Ponnuru, Albert Mohler, and Andrew Walker—all of them very well done and exposing the weaknesses of Bruni’s piece. My favorite tweet-length response comes from Robbie George, who sums up the matter rather accurately:

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Study Finds More Reasons to Get and Stay Married

From The New York Times:

A new economics paper has some old-fashioned advice for people navigating the stresses of life: Find a spouse who is also your best friend.

Social scientists have long known that married people tend to be happier, but they debate whether that is because marriage causes happiness or simply because happier people are more likely to get married. The new paper, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, controlled for pre-marriage happiness levels.

It concluded that being married makes people happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who remain single – particularly during the most stressful periods, like midlife crises…

A quarter of today’s young adults will have never married by 2030, which would be the highest share in modern history, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet both remaining unmarried and divorcing are more common among less-educated, lower-income people. Educated, high-income people still marry at high rates and are less likely to divorce.

Read the rest here.

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The firing of Atlanta fire chief is an intolerable precedent

No doubt by now you have read about the Fire Chief in Atlanta who was fired for his views on homosexuality. The New York Times
reports:

Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that he had fired the chief of the city’s Fire Rescue Department, Kelvin Cochran, after Mr. Cochran gave workers a religious book he wrote containing passages that condemn homosexuality…
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No, we are not Charlie

Rod Dreher offers a provocative counterpoint to the Je suis Charlie meme that has been sweeping the internet in the wake of the Paris shootings. Dreher writes:

If you can’t imagine wearing an “I Am the Catholic League” (if you are a secular leftist) or “I Am NARAL” (if you are a pro-life conservative) t-shirt in protest of deadly violence against those organizations, then you should think twice about tweeting or claiming the phrase Je suis CharlieI mean, you can and should be in solidarity with those dead journalists, and hope for their murderers to be caught and punished within the fullest extent of the law. But let’s be honest: for most of us Americans, to claim that we “are” them is kitsch. We may think we are Charlie, but that’s only because it’s cheap and easy to be Charlie. And uplifting: How nice to be moved, with all mankind, by being Charlie

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Why Enns is wrong to say that Eichenwald is “basically right.”

It caught my eye yesterday when I read that Peter Enns thinks Kurt Eichenwald’s Newsweek article attacking the Bible is “basically right.” Eichenwald’s article has been widely panned by evangelicals from across the spectrum. Even critics well-known for their own attacks on biblical Christianity have leveled criticism against Eichenwald’s piece. Nevertheless, Enns concludes that Eichenwald’s point is “basically right.” What gives here? Continue Reading →

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It’s time to move past the Madonna cult

Denise McAllister has an excellent little piece at The Federalist about ageing women and the cult of youth. She argues that women generally miss out on the joys of different life-stages because they have been conditioned to pursue that which time will ultimately take away from everyone—youthful beauty. She writes:

“On and on it goes, as women move from motherhood to the crone years, desperately holding on to their maiden visage. But that identity is gone. Time has stolen it from them… Motherhood was either rushed through and not savored or it was rejected altogether, so there isn’t even that aspect of womanhood to carry with them into the twilight years. All they have is what they have always longed for—the mirage of perpetual youth and a sexualized image of themselves forever reflected in a magical mirror.”
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My Husband’s Not Gay

TLC will air a special on January 11 titled “My Husband’s Not Gay.” It follows the lives of several different Mormon men who experience ongoing same-sex attraction but who have also chosen to be married to women. They have families, and they are trying to live out the teachings of the Mormon faith, which prohibits homosexual conduct and encourages conjugal marriage. Watch ABC News’s report about the program above. Continue Reading →

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Some Shortcomings of Modern Views on Gender Identity

Carl Trueman has some trenchant observations about the shortcomings of modern understandings of gender identity. The public response to the recent and tragic suicide of Josh “Leelah” Alcorn is a case in point. It seems that anyone who refused to acknowledge and affirm Alcorn’s transgender identity is being blamed for the suicide—which is why so much vitriol has been aimed at Alcorn’s Christian parents. Trueman writes: Continue Reading →

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