If your boss wrote a religious book filled with inflammatory and discriminatory language that even went as far as blaming women for the fall of creation and then handed out copies to employees at work, would that be a problem?
Of course it would. That’s exactly what Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran did, and it’s one of the reasons he was suspended.
Now, Sen. Josh McKoon, Ralph Reed and others who support “religious freedom” legislation want to make sure that bosses like Cochran can force their personal beliefs on their employees and customers without consequence.
This is the same discriminatory bill that failed last year. But the bill is coming back along with a potential compromise that is just as damaging.
First things first. Religious freedom is already protected by the First Amendment.
But to argue that Georgia needs this new law because the First Amendment just isn’t good enough, Sen. McKoon, Ralph Reed and others have turned to Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran as their hero.
The fire chief was suspended on Nov. 24 for self-publishing a book without approval and distributing it to his taxpayer-funded staff.
Chief Cochran wasn’t persecuted for his religious beliefs; he was disciplined for trying to force his personal religious beliefs on those he supervised. He was simply a bad boss.
When Georgians show up to work everyday, they should not have to worry that they will have to fall in line with their boss’s religion – or risk his disapproval.
That’s why Sen. McKoon’s “religious freedom” bill is actually the biggest threat to religious freedom. His bill goes too far.
McKoon’s bill is a license to discriminate that lets bosses impose their religious beliefs on their employees and allows businesses to impose their religious beliefs on customers.
Let’s take a closer look at what Cochran wrote with pages taken straight from his book. Keep in mind that he gave this book to his employees.
Cochran says the top priority as fire chief for Atlanta is to “cultivate its culture for the glory of God.”
Cochran believes Eve’s biggest mistake in the Garden of Eden was not talking to her husband. Adam, he says, would have responded more appropriately because he’s a man.
And Samson’s fall from grace was the result of a woman’s “relentless nagging and whining.”
Of course, Cochran did talk about homesexuality, too. He compared homosexuality to “pederasty and bestiality.”
What would you do if your boss gave you a book he had written with these passages?
Do you want a new Georgia law that could protect your boss if he wrote and distributed this material at work?
Sen. McKoon and Ralph Reed are fighting for this bill.
Tell your State Representative and State Senator to say no to any bill that would allow for discrimination based on religion.