Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Alliance Defending Freedom will defend Atlanta fire chief fired for his Christian faith

This report is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed today a federal lawsuit against the city of Atlanta and its Mayor Kasim Reed alleging they terminated his employment because of his belief in traditional marriage.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, states Cochran’s was fired “solely” because:

…[Cochran] holds religious beliefs concerning same-sex marriage and homosexual conduct that are contrary to the mayor’s and the city’s views on these subjects, and because he expressed those beliefs in the non-work-related, religious book he self-published.

Cochran had been a firefighter since 1981 and was appointed Atlanta’s fire chief in 2008. In 2009, President Obama appointed him as U.S. Fire Administrator for the United States Fire Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2010, he returned to serve as Atlanta’s fire chief.

Cochran is a devout Christian and active in his community as a member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon and teacher.

On Jan. 6, 2015, after writing and self-publishing a book which briefly mentions homosexuality as one among many sexual sins from a Christian perspective, the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed suspended Cochran without pay, subjected him to “sensitivity training” and ultimately fired him.

Although a city investigation found that Cochran has not discriminated against anyone throughout his career as fire chief of Atlanta, the city still fired him, citing the need for tolerance of diverse views.

“I respect each individual’s right to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions, but when you’re a city employee and those thoughts, beliefs and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door,” said City Councilman Alex Wan, a leader in the campaign to oust Cochran, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in November.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, is defending Cochran in his lawsuit against the city and mayor of Atlanta.

Please watch the 5-minute video above. The city councilman Alex Wan is openly gay, by the way.

If you want to help out with Cochran’s legal defense (and this is a case we really, really need to win) then you can go to the Alliance Defending Freedom page here and read more about the case, and donate, if you feel that this is a team you want to partner with. Even if you don’t donate, share the story in social media, because a lot of people need to understand what happens when gay rights activism conflicts with religious liberty. It goes to court, and that’s when Alliance Defending Freedom makes their stand.

Listen. If you are looking to steer your kids into a career that will make a difference, consider trying for an Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer. These guys go to bat for all of us, and if you work your parenting well, you might be able to make a child grow up who will make a difference.

And subscribe to the Alliance Defending Freedom podcast.

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School chaplain fired for disagreeing with homosexuality

This is from ABC News Australia.

They write:

A Hobart school chaplain has been sacked for re-posting a comment on Facebook that described homosexuality as “not normal”.

Troy Williams was employed by the Scripture Union, Tasmania’s main provider of school chaplaincy services which appoints and trains state and private school chaplains.

Mr Williams was stood down from his role at the Hobart College over the post, which also makes the claim that “no-one is born gay”.

Mr Williams issued an apology after his Facebook post drew widespread condemnation earlier this month.

He told the ABC: “I’ve made a mistake and learnt from it. I’m deeply sorry for any offence I’ve caused. I was very careless in posting that image for discussion. I will work with my employers to ensure there is no repeat.”

Following a meeting with the Kingborough Council general manager this morning, Mr Williams was also stood down from his role as a youth outreach worker there.

The council said it acted based on comments he made on a post by a Melbourne-based blogger who used sarcasm to defend Mr Williams.

Here’s the comment:

“Please pray with me that this may become another opportunity for the Gospel to go out. I will probably be fired … for encouraging young people in that they have a choice in who they are and that they shouldn’t be bullied by someone telling their lot is predetermined (by someone other than God).”

Factually speaking, he is of course correct that homosexuality is not generically determined – that is what studies show. But he still had to recant in order to get his job back.

Was the tolerant, compassionate left appalled by this infringement of the man’s free speech?

Not so much:

Gay rights activist Rodney Croome welcomed Mr Williams’ dismissal.

“If this fellow had been running around saying that blue-eyed or left-handed people are flawed and should be changed, he’d be out on his ear,” he said.

“And it’s right that he’s out on his ear over his comments about same-sex attracted young people too, given the immense damage those comments would cause to those young people when he should, in fact, be supporting them as a chaplain.”

Mr Croome said more needed to be done.

“Kingborough Council and Scripture Union need to assure the public that this will never happen again by overhauling all their policies and their training to make sure that all their youth workers and their chaplains – anyone who comes in contact with young people – discharge their responsibilities in a professional way and do not perpetuate prejudice and stereotype,” he said.

This story shows why it is so important for Christians to go for STEM degrees in college, to save their money, and to write under an alias. It is a different world today, and you have to be ready when you get called on the carpet by the other team. I don’t condemn this chaplain for recanting. I might be tempted to do the same, even though I am prepared for it. But I do think it serves as a warning for those who think that God is waiting to save us when we have to stand up for what we believe. Don’t expect him to save you. The world is not a Disney movie, and Christians are not Disney princesses. Do not follow your heart. Do not listen to people who urge you to follow your heart. Especially when you and your advisors have made poor decisions in the past.

Your ability to be who you are in Christ is partially dependent on your ability to survive a financial crisis. Your ability to be who you are in Christ is partially dependent on your debt / savings balance. What you study in school matters. What jobs you take matters. How fast you pay off your debts matters. How well you save your money matters. Your ability to protect yourself, your family, and your friends in the face of challenges to your faith like this one is directly proportional to your past life decisions. If you are guided by your feelings in your decision-making, you are exposing yourself to dangers that could lead to apostasy. That is not a popular message, but it is a true one. The Bible gives no evidence that our lives will be free of confrontation and judgment.

Consider Luke 14:25-30:

25 Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them,

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Here is a trustworthy saying from outside the Bible:

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

– Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus

That translates to “Let him who desires peace prepare for war.”

Make sure you keep up with what is happening in the world to Christians. Make sure you have lots of money ready to lawyer up when it’s your turn to go down fighting. You might even find that your opponents will pick on a weaker target if you can afford to defend yourself. That’s why the Human Rights Commissions went after a penniless and obscure pastor, but not a well-connected lawyer and journalist. And if you are strong enough, you can even protect that weaker target out of your strength. Make sure you having something to share with others when they are in distress.

I’m really not sure why Christians have been taught to think that recklessness is a virtue, while prudence is not. But they’re wrong.

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Can you disagree with homosexuality using your own name and not be fired?

From the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

A fire chief in Atlanta has officially been fired on Tuesday by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for self-publishing a book, in which he argued that homosexuality was immoral, GA Voice reports.

The initial review period which began at the end of fire chief Kelvin Cochran’s November suspension is now over. Cochran’s termination finally came in on Tuesday, and gay advocacy groups moved quickly to reiterate their support of the mayor and condemnation of Cochran.

[…]Back in November, Reed placed Cochran on suspension without pay and forced him into sensitivity training after it was discovered that Cochran had argued that homosexuality is immoral.

[…]Former fire captain and lesbian Cindy Thompson sent a tip to the magazine GA Voice after hearing about the book from other fire fighters. Thompson then went directly to speak to Reed’s LGBT liaison, which set the scandal in motion.

 After further attention from GA Voice, the Reed administration issued a statement saying they were unaware of Cochran’s work before it hit the printing presses.

“The Reed administration was not notified of the book before it was published. The Reed administration will not tolerate discrimination of any kind…The Reed administration is currently conducting a review of the facts surrounding the book. If disciplinary action is recommended as a result of the investigation, we will take decisive action to prevent any inappropriate behavior from occurring in the future,” said spokesperson Anne Torres for Mayor Reed in late November, according to GA Voice.

Reed made sure to tell the press that Cochran’s views expressed in a 2013 book neither represented him nor the city. Some gay groups stated at the time that Cochran’s punishment wasn’t nearly harsh enough. “He will be back in charge and I am sure telling his staff anti-LGBT stuff…The Mayor should fire him!” Glen Paul Freedman, chair of Georgia Equality’s board of directors, said.

During his tenure as mayor, Reed moved away from past views and openly embraced gay marriage in 2012 after years of advocating for LGBT policies.

“It is well known that I have gone through a good bit of reflection on this issue, but listening to the stories of so many people that I know and care about has strengthened my belief that marriage is a fundamental right for everyone. Loving couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, should have the right to marry whomever they want,” Reed said in a 2012 statement.

There’s a reason why I blog under an alias.

Notice how the lesbian thought that the best response to someone who disagreed with her views on morality was to have him fired. Yet, the gay rights movement is regularly referred to as tolerant, diverse and non-discriminatory. Well, I would never fire a person just because they expressed a belief in same-sex marriage. I don’t think it’s nice to go after a person’s job because they don’t agree with me on the definition of marriage. I’m a tolerant person – I allow people to keep their jobs even if they don’t celebrate every moral view that I believe in. That makes me different from gay activists, apparently.

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Decorated pilot faces discharge for telling lesbians to stop breaking Army rules

From the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

The Army is moving to discharge a decorated combat pilot who intervened to stop two lesbian officers from showing what he considered inappropriate affection on the dance floor during a full-dress formal ball at Fort Drum, New York, in 2012.

Lt. Col. Christopher Downey, who was once assigned to the White House and completed tours in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, ended up being convicted administratively of assaulting a soldier trying to videotape the kissing and grabbing. Col. Downey’s attorney, Richard Thompson, says his client merely pushed down the camera to prevent photos and video that could end up on social media.

Mr. Thompson said Col. Downey’s commanding officer also convicted him of violating the directive that ended the ban on gays openly serving in the military.

“It’s political correctness run wild,” Mr. Thompson said. “Military rules do not apply to lesbian officers because of political correctness.”

Col. Downey won early battle with the Army last year. A special three-officer “show cause” board reviewed the punishment and unanimously ruled that the evidence showed he did not violate Army rules.

“The allegation of conduct unbecoming an officer … is not supported by the preponderance of the evidence,” the board wrote. “The findings do not warrant separation.”

Yet Col. Downey still faces separation by an Army forced-retirement board that began meeting this week.

On the night of April 14, 2012, seven months after President Obama lifted the ban on acknowledged gays in the military, Col. Downey moved to the dance floor to caution the two lesbian officers, a second lieutenant and a captain.

A warrant officer had approached Col. Downey and complained that their prolonged French kissing, buttocks grabbing and disrobing of Army jackets violated Army rules against inappropriate displays of public affection while in uniform on base, his attorney said.

He said the captain, who since has left the Army, complained that she and her girlfriend, whom she later married and then divorced, were victims of discrimination.

“Lt. Col. Downey gave his all to the Army and to the country he loves, yet the Army he so loyally served threw him under the bus merely to avoid negative press from the homosexual community,” Mr. Thompson said.

And the more important thing is thing about the chilling effect that a case like this has on others, and how this in-your-face sexuality coarsens the culture. It’s now the case that you can’t even disagree with homosexuality without losing your job.

One other thing about that couple that sued for discrimination. It’s not surprising to me that the two lesbians married and then divorced very quickly, as lesbians have an incredibly low stability rate for their relationships.

Note:

Other research says the same thing about relationship dissolution rates. A study of two generations of British couples (one born in 1958, the other 1970) in same-sex cohabiting, opposite-sex cohabiting, and heterosexual marriage relationships found the same-sex relationships are dramatically more likely to break up than the opposite-sex cohabiting and married relationships. The probabilities of the various relationships surviving to the four- and eight-year anniversaries are dramatic. After four years, 88 percent of married opposite sex couples are together, 67 percent of opposite-sex cohabiting couples, and only 37 percent of same-sex cohabitors. After eight years, those numbers fall to 82 percent, 60 percent, and 25 percent, respectively.

The author explains the magnitude of his findings “are consistent with previous research in other countries.” There were no significant differences between the two generational cohorts, indicating that issues of social stigma and growing social acceptance had no meaningful effect.

Other studies conducted by celebrated lesbian scholars find notable instability in lesbian homes, even those with children. The current National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS) found “a significant difference” in family dissolution rates when comparing lesbian with mother-father headed families, 56 percent and 36 percent respectively.

Additional research by other scholars highlights a major comparative study between hetero and lesbian homes where, in the five-year period of the study, six of the fourteen lesbian mother-headed homes had broken up compared to only five of the thirty-eight mother“father headed homes. They creatively explain that this stability imbalance is likely due to the “high standards lesbians bring to their intimate unions.” Mundy says that “lesbians . . . tend to discuss things endlessly.” Whatever the reason, lesbian relationships are dramatically more volatile, fragile, and short-lived than heterosexual couples, whether cohabiting or married.

And lesbians also have a very high rate of domestic violence.

Look:

In 2013, the CDC released the results of a 2010 study on victimization by sexual orientation, and admitted that “little is known about the national prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking among lesbian, gay, and bisexual women and men in the United States.” The report found that bisexual women had an overwhelming prevalence of violent partners in their lives: 75 percent had been with a violent partner, as opposed to 46 percent of lesbian women and 43 percent of straight women. For bisexual men, that number was 47 percent. For gay men, it was 40 percent, and 21 percent for straight men.

That’s from an article by the left-leaning Atlantic, by the way. Why would anyone encourage a woman to enter this lifestyle?

Filed under: News, , ,

Students sue school for stopping them from praying during recess

Story from Todd Starnes of Fox News.

Excerpt:

Chase Windebank, a senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs. (Courtesy of Alliance Defending Freedom)

Christian students at a Colorado public high school were told they could no longer meet to pray, sing religious songs or discuss religious topics during free time – because such activity violated the U.S. Constitution, a lawsuit filed in federal court alleges.

Chase Windebank is a senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs. Three years ago he started meeting together informally with his classmates for prayer and religious fellowship. The young people would meet in an unoccupied choir room to sing songs like “Amazing Grace” and discuss the issues of the day from a religious perspective.

But all that changed on Sept. 29th when Chase was summoned to the office of Assistant Principal James Lucas.

Chase Windebank is a senior at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs. Three years ago he started meeting together informally with his classmates for prayer and religious fellowship. The young people would meet in an unoccupied choir room to sing songs like “Amazing Grace” and discuss the issues of the day from a religious perspective.“He was told that he could no longer pray with his fellow students during free time because of the separation of church and state,” said Jeremy Tedesco, an attorney representing the teenager.

Tedesco is with Alliance Defending Freedom, a law firm that specializes in handling religious liberty cases.

“He was told that he could pray before the school day begins or after the school day ends but he could not do it during the school day,” Tedesco told me.

To make sure Chase got the message – he was hauled into Principal Kolette Back’s office the following day where it was “reaffirmed that his religious speech could not take place during the open time” known as a “Seminar” period.

The lawsuit states: “Defendants Back and Lucas stated that because of the separation of church and state and because they regarded the Seminar period as instructional time, they were banning students’ discussion of issues of the day from a religious perspective during the open time of Seminar period.”

Pine Creek is a part of Academy School District No. 20. A spokesperson for the district confirmed that the group was told to disband in accordance with state law.

It’s not just Christians who are facing sanctions from education administrators, it’s conservatives, too.

Excerpt:

In the wake of a standing room only event with conservative leader Bay Buchanan on the topic of immigration, the Virginia Tech Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) Chapter has been informed that they will not receive funding for the next two semesters.

Lauren McCue, the Chair of her YAF Chapter, requested funding from the Student Budget Board and received it for her club’s event with Bay Buchanan. Buchanan was the youngest person ever to serve as Treasurer of the United States, author of two books, and has an extensive career in public policy. The morning after Buchanan spoke, the event made the front page of the school newspaper—apparently administrators didn’t like the “controversy” and “stir” that it caused on campus.

Lauren was also told that their fliers went “too far” because the event was advertised as “Alien Invasion: How Illegal Immigration is Hurting America,” and while the fliers drew in a large crowd, it was “offensive” to some student groups.

Apparently, the discussion on immigration with the former Treasurer of the United States irked some liberal administrators at Virginia Tech. The Student Budget Board contacted Lauren to tell her that her club would not be funded for the next two semesters because her event “violated the principles of community.”

Now, I’m pretty sure that these administrators have no problem with secular leftist groups doing events that offend conservatives.

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