The Georgia Baptist Convention has issued a demand for Atlanta Mayor Kasim to apologize and reinstate Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran after he was suspended for writing a book that called homosexuality and multiple sex partners “vile,” “vulgar” and “inappropriate.”
Reed suspended Cochran in late November for a month for penning a paperback book entitled Who Told You That You Were Naked?, which is the product an ongoing bible-study discussion at Elizabeth Baptist Church, a member institution of the Duluth-based Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The book is currently available on Amazon.com.
In a statement released in November after he learned of the book, Reed said: “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration.”
Cochran, who is a deacon, Sunday school teacher and Bible Study teacher at Elizabeth Baptist Church, was also ordered to undergo sensitivity training in addition to being suspended for a month without pay.
The Georgia Baptist Convention, which is 1.4 million-member strong in the state according to its website, is leveraging its power base to demand the following:
- sign a petition in behalf of Cochran at https://gabaptist.org/petition on the Georgia Baptist Convention’s website;
- support Cochran by purchasing his book on Amazon, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” which is at the center of the firestorm; and
- enlist as many churches and believers as possible to contact Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to reverse his actions against Cochran.
As for Mayor Reed, the Georgia Baptist committee wants him to:
- Acknowledge Chief Cochran’s First Amendment Rights,
- Make a public apology for the suspension and grief it has caused the Chief and his family, and
- Restore Chief Cochran’s pay and reputation as an honorable Fire Chief.”