Republican Rep. Barry Loudermilk of Georgia said the firing of an Atlanta fire chief after he wrote a book condemning "homosexuality" and "lesbianism" as "sexual perversion" morally equivalent to "bestiality" and "pederasty" is just like what happened in the Soviet Union.
"This whole idea we have in the nation today is once you're elected then you have to give up all of your personal beliefs and that it isn't the case," Loudermilk said on Family Research Council's Washington Watch radio program Monday. "We're here to represent a government and to ensure that the government exists to protect those rights of conscience."
Loudermilk said now the government was being used as "an enforcer," forcing people to think a certain way.
"And what we're seeing now is the government being used as an arm, an enforcer to force people to act and think in a certain way. This is exactly what the Soviet Union did. The irony of this right now is there are many elements of the church which have more liberties in Russia today than they do in America."
Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired over his book, Who Told You That You Were Naked, after the city of Atlanta said "his judgment and management skills" came into question. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said, "Cochran's personal religious beliefs are not the issue," with the city saying he distributed the material to some fire department employees.
Cochran recently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, accusing the city of violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts when they fired him, claiming he was terminated for his religious beliefs.
Earlier, Loudermilk said people "have to stand up" for people like Cochran, saying if they don't it would lead to more people like him being removed from government.
"We have got to stand up for people like Chief Cochran. We need to stand up for their rights. The people need to be voicing their opposition to what's going on or what you're going to see happen is a purging of anyone like Chief Cochran who doesn't find that box that the far-left has created saying this is how we want people to look, act, and think. You'll start seeing more and more of these people removed from government and that influence at a decision-making level will be removed. And so that is the danger we are facing in the short term to anyone who doesn't think exactly the way that certain elements think we ought to think, or act..."
Loudermilk added that Cochran and people like him were being fired for "reflecting or stating the same beliefs that our founding fathers stated."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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