Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What happens when erotic liberty conflicts with religious liberty?

A recent episode of Al Mohler’s the Briefing podcast explains the real issue behind the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.

The MP3 file is here.

Here is the relevant part of the transcript:

“Mr. Cochran held his own news conference Tuesday. He said that the city’s investigation found that he had not acted in a discriminatory way toward gay people, and said that he had asked for, and received, permission from the proper bureaucratic channels to write the book — an assertion [the Mayor’s] office disputes.”

So gay advocates are cheering the mayors decision, the mayor finds himself in something of a political controversy, but the fire chief is out. He’s out of a job for having written a book that was basically privately published and very narrowly distributed in which he stated something that is fundamental to evangelical moral conviction – something that basically amounts to nothing more, or least a little more, than actually quoting the Bible, quoting the Scriptures.

The mayor described the book, or at least this portion of the book, as having inflammatory content. But once again, looking at the material supplied by the media, the inflammatory content is what is drawn directly from Scripture – especially from very specific biblical verses dealing with homosexuality. So what we’re looking at here is an undeniable case in which religious conviction actually got the Fire Chief of Atlanta fired; fired simply because he dared to write a book in which he stated his Christian convictions.

This raises a host of very interesting and complex, not to say troubling, questions. Can anyone now be an evangelical Christian and serve as a Fire Chief or even in the fire department? This raises the question as to whether one can believe that homosexuality is a sin without discriminating against homosexuals. The clear implication of the Mayor’s decision is that the Fire Chief is out, not because he acted in any way, in any discriminatory fashion toward any gay member of the fire department staff or anyone else for that matter, but simply because he expressed his biblical conviction that homosexuality is a sin.

Now once again, this raises a host of very interesting questions the mayor and furthermore our culture is not going to be able to avoid. Is the Bible itself now going to be defined as hate speech because by any measure the language that the Fire Chief used is drawn, if not immediately from Scripture, then with language that is tantamount to it? Can anyone who holds to a biblical understanding of sexuality, anyone who is a member of an evangelical congregation serve in this kind of political and public role? Or does that moral conviction absolutely mean, in a categorical sense, that discrimination is the obvious outcome? Or is holding the belief itself, is holding that biblical conviction itself a form of discrimination; even if no discriminatory act ever follows?

[…]Let’s look at exactly how the mayor describe his decision as the New York Times reports and I quote,

“Despite my respect for Chief Cochran’s service, I believe his actions and decision-making undermine his ability to effectively manage a large, diverse work force. Every single employee under the fire chief’s command deserves the certainty that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide employment decisions.”

Well let’s just look at that statement and imagine what the Mayor has now not only implied but openly stated by firing the chief. One can’t hold that all persons are of value, one can’t operate in terms of neutrality, in terms of personnel decisions, if one holds to traditional biblical Christianity. Some may argue that it isn’t the problem that the chief held these positions and convictions but it’s a problem that he published them, that he put them in print.

But as the world is supposedly universally affirming the importance of freedom of expression, are we now to be told that evangelical Christians – or for that matter Orthodox Jews and traditional Catholics – simply must hold their tongue and hold their peace? Never putting their biblical convictions into print or into some form of public statement? The action in Atlanta is not only ominous, it’s absolutely frightening. The religious liberty implications of the normalization of homosexuality and the legalization of same-sex marriage are massive, they are unavoidable, and they are now inevitable. And they’re showing up in this case not in New York City or Seattle but in Atlanta, Georgia – right in the heart of the South, in a city that the New York Times acknowledges includes millions of evangelical Christians and others who would also hold to the Chief’s conviction.

No matter how lavishly people may claim to believe in freedom of expression and no matter how much they may argue this isn’t an issue of religious liberty, the bare facts are simply unavoidable. The Fire Chief of Atlanta has been fired. Not because he acted in any way that was discriminatory, not because any employee brought any grievance against him for acting in a discriminatory manner, but merely for having stated, for having articulated in print, his biblical convictions on issues of morality.

I urge people who want to take a position on homosexuality and/or same-sex marriage to write under an alias. The more serious a sin is, the more people who engage in it will go to any lengths necessary in order to stop criticism of it. The invocation of “tolerance” and “diversity” on the gay left is a smokescreen. Their goal is to make everyone who disagrees with them not only agree but actually celebrate their behavior. That’s one of the reasons why we need to careful about letting our natural compassion cause us to approve of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. We have our protect the right to say “it’s wrong”. Al Mohler has a longer article on this conflict between religious liberty and erotic liberty up today, too.

UPDATE: Today’s episode of the The Briefing takes a look at the response from the mainstream media, including the response of a gay New York Times columnist. Mohler’s main point is that secularists want to reduce the religious liberty to worship inside a church and private feelings. But religious liberty is more than that – it is the right to honor and respect God in every aspect of our lives, including freedom to speak our disagreement with immorality, and the right to educate our children in schools that respect OUR values – not the values that the secular left seeks to impose on us. Mohler also links to a response by pro-marriage scholar Mark Regnerus.

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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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Human Rights Campaign co-founder Terry Bean arrested for sex crime with 15-year-old

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Gay activist Terry Bean and Barack Obama

Here is his biography from his web site:

Terry Bean is a native Oregonian, successful real estate developer, and President and CEO of Bean Investment Real Estate, a private company that trades and invests in commercial real estate as well as large residential complexes.  Along with these badges of honor, Terry Bean is often first recognized as a pioneer in the national civil rights movement, promoting full equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer/questioning communities. (GLBTQ)

Terry Bean is so well regarded as an activist that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski declared August 23, 2008, to be “Terry Bean Equality Day” in recognition for the work he has done on LGBT rights causes since the 1970’s.

A pioneer in the movement, Terry Bean, started advocating politically for gay rights in the early 1970′s in Eugene, Oregon. Early successes resulted in the passing of a city gay rights ordinance, which, while was later overturned by voters, set the framework for grassroot organizations and strategies which quickly followed—establishing a pattern of victories which have continued well into the new millennium.

In 1979, Bean helped to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the first such highly visible effort to empower a minority while educating a majority.

After the march on Washington, Terry Bean turned his focus to the national level co-founding the Gay Rights National Lobby and the Human Rights Campaign Fund. These groups merged to become today’s Human Rights Campaign – HRC.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

Here is the first story from KOIN 6 News:

A founder of the country’s leading gay rights organization was arrested Wednesday on charges related to an incident with a 15-year-old boy last year.

The Portland Police Bureau’s Sex Crimes Unit took Terrence Bean into custody at his home in Southwest Portland following a Lane County Grand Jury indictment.

Bean, 66, was on the ground floor of the Human Rights Campaign, according to terrybeanpolitics.com, and is listed as an HRC board member and Portland’s sole representation in the group’s leadership on hrc.org.

And the follow-up story from Oregon Live:

The former boyfriend of Terrence P. Bean was arrested early Thursday on sex abuse charges stemming from the same alleged 2013 encounter with a 15-year-old boy at a hotel in Eugene.

Kiah Loy Lawson, 25, was arrested at 1:15 a.m. at the Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center shortly after 2 a.m.

He’s accused of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.

Lawson is expected to be transferred later Thursday to Lane County, where he was indicted, according to jail officials. His bail was set at $50,000.

Detective Jeff Myers from the Portland’s Sex Crimes Unit made the arrest, hours after police took Lawson’s ex-boyfriend, Portland developer Terrence Patrick Bean, into custody Wednesday morning.

Bean, 66, a prominent gay rights activist and major Democratic Party fundraiser, was arrested at his home in Southwest Portland and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 10:12 a.m. Wednesday.

The indictment charges Bean with two counts of third-degree sodomy, a felony, and one count of third-degree sex abuse, a misdemeanor, police said.

[…]Both Bean and Lawson are accused of having a sexual encounter with the same 15-year-old boy in a hotel in Eugene last year. They had arranged the encounter with the teen after meeting him via a website, investigators allege.

“The investigation began in Portland, but the criminal episode occurred in Lane County,” said police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson.

Bean has been one of the state’s biggest Democratic donors and an influential figure in gay rights circles in the state. He helped found two major national political groups, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, and has been a major contributor for several Democratic presidential candidates, including Barack Obama. He’s also a close friend of former Gov. Barbara Roberts.

The Human Rights Campaign promotes the idea that gay marriage is “equal” to heterosexual marriage. And a lot of big companies are very friendly with the Human Rights Campaign.

Companies that support the Human Rights Campaign

I found a list of companies on the Human Rights Campaign web site that are also strongly oppose traditional marriage.

Platinum Partners:

  • American Airlines
  • Citi
  • Microsoft
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • VPI Pet Insurance

Gold Partners:

  • Bank of America
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst & Young LLP
  • Lexus
  • Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
  • Prudential

Silver Partners:

  • Beaulieu Vineyard
  • BP
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Chevron
  • Google
  • MGM Mirage
  • Nike

Bronze Partners:

  • Chase
  • Cox Enterprises
  • Cunard
  • Dell
  • Goldman Sachs
  • IBM
  • Macy’s Inc.
  • MetLife
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Orbitz
  • Paul Hastings
  • PwC
  • Replacements, Ltd.
  • Shell
  • Starbucks
  • Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank
  • Tylenol PM

And of course prominent Democrats support them too – like Barack Obama:

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

Obama speaks to the Human Rights Campaign

And Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

Hillary Clinton and the Human Rights Campaign

UPDATE: Life News says he is also pro-abortion:

A nationally-known pro-abortion activist has been arrested on charges of raping a 15-year-old boy. Terrance Patrick Bean is the founder of Human Rights Campaign, a group that pushes other political issues but also takes a steadfastly pro-abortion position.

Human Rights Campaign, in addition to advancing abortion, has also lobbied Congress to end all federal funding for abstinence education, and hailed one piece of legislation that cut off fundingbecause it “would end abstinence-only-until-marriage programs once and for all.” Bean is also a prominent supporter of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Please see the related links below for more related stories.

Related posts

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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?

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Obama-appointed judge orders Ohio to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

From the Toledo Blade.

Excerpt:

Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed elsewhere despite the state’s own ban on such marriages in its constitution, a federal judge in Cincinnati officially ruled today.

Attorney General Mike DeWine has said he will appeal the decision as he already has another by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black that required the state to recognize same-sex marriages on death certificates.

The latest ruling, promised by Judge Black more than a week ago, does not mean that same-sex couples may be wed in Ohio. But it strikes a blow against another portion of the constitutional amendment Ohioans adopted in 2004 that prohibits government from extending rights approximating those of marriage to same-sex and unmarried couples.

The case before Judge Black initially dealt solely with the issue of having the names of same-sex couples legally married in another state on the birth certificates of children born here. But Judge Black, a 2010 appointee by President Obama, went a step further by ordering the state to recognize all such marriages performed legally.

[…]The case was brought by four couples married in California, New York, and Massachusetts who have had or soon expect to have children in Ohio. Three are female couples in which one spouse was impregnated through artificial insemination while the fourth is a male couple who adopted a child born here.

[…]Ohio is just one of a number of states with same-sex marriage cases in the appeals pipeline with at least one likely to work its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Christian News Network reported on the Obama-appointee’s previous related decision.

Excerpt:

As previously reported, Black similarly issued a ruling in December that required state officials to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates. He rejected the state’s sovereignty argument at that time as well.

[…]Consequently, Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township), a born-again Christian, is seeking to have Black impeached as he believes that the judge is rather trampling the state and federal constitutions.

“[Judge Black] persists in allowing his personal political bias to supersede jurisprudence,” he wrote in a recent statement.

Becker has submitted an impeachment resolution to the state assembly, but it has not yet come up for a hearing.

I wonder if the many people who claimed to believe in traditional marriage yet voted for Obama will stop voting for Democrats? One can hope that will be the case, now that everyone can see what people like me were warning about before the election. We warned back then, but were told that our concerns were silly and that Obama was just as much a Christian as George W. Bush. Now we know different. And so many people still claim to be pro-life and pro-marriage while voting for the most pro-abortion and anti-marriage President we have ever had. I suppose in 2016, they’ll vote for Democrats again, and be shocked when the Democrats push even more for expansions abortion and gay rights. When will we learn?

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