At a press conference held on Tuesday this week, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Kelvin Cochran. How did we get here?
One year ago, Chief Cochran wrote a book discussing orthodox Christianity, including a mention of how God views homosexual practice. The book had been around for a year, with no problems. Yet when Atlanta's secret thought police secretly uncovered the not-so-secret book several months ago, a hullabaloo erupted and the chief was suspended. All the usual suspects contributed to a hearty round of hand-wringing and head-shaking.
Mayor Reed was "deeply disturbed" and indignantly proclaimed he would not tolerate such discrimination within his administration. more >>
Last night, The Weekly Standard tweeted "Print Free or Die" with a picture of the prophet Muhammed, whose physical iconography is the purported reason that the terrorist attacks were carried out in the first place.
Always willing to play the part of social media provocateur, I readied myself to re-tweet that image myself, ready to join in the chorus of those wishing to thumb their nose in an act of First Amendment defiance toward the offended party. As a liberty-loving conservative, I believe one hundred percent in the free exchange of offense. The condition of freedom enlists the possibility, and perhaps requires, that all shall be ready to be offended. The promise of freedom is that we can return such offense in kind. We live in a society where we are penalty-free from stating our convictions without recourse from the government (at least in theory; see Barronelle Stutzman). It does not mean, though, that our actions are entirely consequence free, as the tragedy of France proves. The promise of free speech means that the free exchange of ideas, and the attendant competition of ideas, allows the best ideas to surface to the top. That's why Christians defend religious liberty. Yes, we want the freedom to preach and evangelize. But we also believe that which is true shouldn't be stifled, and that the Christian gospel should be matched up against the prevailing philosophical and ideological champions of the day.
I decided against retweeting the image of Muhammed. Luke 6:31 came to mind: "And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." As a Christian, I'm not so much offended as I am tired and exasperated at the disrespect and contempt for religion Writ Large when the representative iconoclasm of such things as the "Piss Christ" rear their ugly head. I'm not a Mormon, but I don't like seeing Mormonism mocked. Neither am I Catholic, but I don't like anti-Catholic bigotry. I'm not Jewish, but I don't like seeing Jews caricatured. I'm a Christian, but I believe in the valuable contribution that all religions bring to a free civil society. As I would not want Christ mocked, so I decided to not mock Islam's prophet. This is not a moment of Holier-Than-Thou Christian Do-Goodism. It's to suggest that the commodity of all religions is undervalued in Western society; and that refraining from offending religious sects isn't to bow the knee to political correctness or to become Sharia-compliant. more >>
A claim against a Missouri middle school teacher of religious intolerance against a Christian student has been determined to be baseless, according to one school official.
The parents of 12-year-old Loyal Grandstaff accused a teacher from Bueker Middle School of attacking their son's religious convictions after the teacher reportedly stopped the student from reading the Bible during some free time.
A New Jersey school district broke the law when it fired a substitute teacher after he gave a curious middle school student a Bible for academic purposes, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in a mid-December decision released to the public this week.
The federal agency ruled it was an act of discrimination for Phillipsburg School District to fire substitute teacher Walt Tutka in 2013 after he gave a Bible to an interested student who had approached him privately and asked to be shown where in the Bible the saying "the first will be last and the last will be first" is written.
Tutka, who spoke with Fox News, said that the incident started during in October of 2012 when he held the door open for the line of students exiting his classroom on their way to lunch. As the last student walked out the door, Tutka told the student, "just remember, the first will be last and the last will be first." more >>
Atheist author Richard Dawkins took to Twitter to assert that modern Islam is more violent than many other religions, in response to the brutal terror attack against a satirical French newspaper where a dozen people were murdered.
"No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn't," tweeted Dawkins.
"Of COURSE most Muslims are peaceful. But if someone's killed for what they drew or said or wrote, you KNOW the religion of the killers." more >>
WASHINGTON – Last year saw the highest level of persecution of Christians the world has seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to a report by a Christian persecution watchdog group released Wednesday.
Open Doors USA highlighted that in the 24 years that Open Doors has been tracking numbers on global persecution, 2014 was the most violent year of Christian persecution and was far worse than the year before.
"Perhaps most chilling is the fact that all the factors, all of the issues that made this a violent year for Christian persecution are still in place," said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors, at the press conference. more >>