Cochran v. City of Atlanta

Divya Patel

Fox News

A Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired because he shared his Christian beliefs in a self-help book. He is now suing the city for unreasonable termination, claiming discrimination and violation of his freedom of religion. Apparently, the city’s argument is that the Fire Chief did not follow employee rules for outside employment in writing the book. In other words, no citizen has a right to participate in free speech about their faith and beliefs outside of their work, unless they have the government’s approval.

As stated in the First Amendment, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are guaranteed to all Americans. Therefore, Cochran should have the right to share his beliefs no matter what since he is taking legal action.

The City of Atlanta was completely wrong for firing Cochran just because he was expressing his Christian beliefs. It’s understandable that he didn’t follow the employee rules but this is a legitimate legal action. Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was sharing his beliefs and the City of Atlanta simply disrespected his beliefs and did not tolerate his actions. He even stated, “It’s respecting the beliefs and conscience of all Americans. And that’s what I stood by.”

“In fact, Americans should not have to be forced to make a decision between living out their faith and keeping their job,” said Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran.

What Do You Think?

The First Amendment is stated in absolute terms: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Does that wording reflect hostility toward religion? Why or why not?

The wording does not reflect hostility toward religion because from the terms it simply shows how there should not be an official religion in America. The First Amendment basically states how the Congress shall not favor a law for an official religion. We all have the right to practice any religion one chooses. We are allowed to change our religion and beliefs, practice publicly or privately, or teach and practice our religion.

Some may disagree with the answer above because of the way the statement is phrased. For example, “shall make no law respecting,” one may say that simply causes conflict because Congress is not respecting to make a law to establish an official religion.

Again, I believe it does not reflect any conflict or unkindness toward religion because Congress is simply trying not to establish a religion for Americans.


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