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'NY Times' smacks back another fake 'religious freedom' case

by Jeremy Hooper

The same predictable crew of people (Todd Starnes, the AFA, Tony Perkins, the ADF) have taken an employment matter in the city of Atlanta, in which the mayor fired the fire chief over the way he distributed and handled an anti-gay book that he wrote, into yet another one of their fake "religious freedom" cases. Today, some of those folks plan to rally in Atlanta, apparently believing that anti-gay people rallying in support of a person under scrutiny for being anti-gay somehow helps the scrutinized person's cause. But before they do, The New York Times is letting everyone to know how fake their outrage really is:

[Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran] had already been suspended for a month in November for distributing the book to staff members. Following an internal investigation, the mayor did the right thing and dismissed Mr. Cochran for what he called poor judgment: specifically, for failing to get approval for the book’s publication, for commenting publicly on his suspension after being told not to, and for exposing the city to possible discrimination lawsuits.

Cue up the outraged claims that Mr. Cochran’s rights to free speech and religious freedom have been violated — an assertion that is as wrong as it was predictable.

Mr. Cochran said he was fired “for no reason other than my Christian faith.” But he and his sudden coterie of supporters have it backward. This case is not about free speech or religious freedom. It is, as Mr. Reed said at a news conference, about “making sure that we have an environment in government where everyone, no matter who they love, can come to work from 8 to 5:30 and do their job and then go home without fear of being discriminated against.”

Imagine that Mr. Cochran, who is black, were an adherent of a religion that avowed the inferiority of white people, and that he distributed literature to that effect. He would not have lasted another day in a job that requires him to manage and protect the well-being of a large and diverse work force.

FULL: God, Gays and the Atlanta Fire Department [NYT]

You can either trust the paper of record, or you can trust an echo chamber of some of the most anti-gay public figures in the world, all of whom enjoy this "culture war" because it puts money in their pockets. I know it must be a tough decision.

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