The horrifying massacres at the offices of Charlie hebdo, the Parisian satirical weekly, were a radical Muslim response to cartoons poking fun at and making light of Mohammed. With the exception of most of the mainstream American media, many newspapers and magazines republished some of the cartoons or otherwise proclaimed their solidarity with Charlie and support of the right of free speech. It is expected that the forthcoming issue January 14 will sell over a million copies, twenty times more than average. The surviving journalists of Charlie hebdo garnered support worldwide, even from those who found the cartoons tasteless and vapid, in support of tolerance, not solely free speech.
So it is outrageous that one day before the murders in Paris we should see an example of American intolerance and lack of respect for the expression of unpopular opinions. Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was dismissed by the Mayor for views expressed in his book, Who told you that you were naked?
An egregious violation of the Chief’s free-speech rights? Of course. But this kind of intolerant action in the name of tolerance is becoming less and less unusual. Did the Chief advocate murder of Muslims or something similarly vicious? His book merely stated that homosexual acts are sexual perversion. In the eyes of the Atlanta city administration this expression of Christian views amounts to “discrimination.”
Now it is apparent that Chief Cochran’s dismissal represents
- A violation of his free-speech rights
- An intolerant act in the name of tolerance
- Discrimination against Christians under guise of fighting discrimination
Chief Cochran expressed Biblical views about sexuality that Muslims agree with. Somehow we doubt that a Muslim city employee would be subject to such persecution for expression of the same beliefs. Muslims must now be a quasi legal ‘protected group,’ but it is always open season on Christians.