Right-wing pundit and rabid homophobe Erick Erickson seized on yesterday's horrific attack on Paris' satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper to assail "terrorists" in Atlanta who urged the firing of that city's anti-gay fire chief, suggesting that the chief's termination was somehow akin to the Paris massacre, in which gunmen slaughtered three journalists.
The background: On Tuesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that he had fired Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, following a one-month suspension triggered by homophobic passages in a book Cochran self-published in 2013. In the book, Who Told You That You Were Naked?, Cochran called homosexuality a "perversion" and likened it to bestiality and pederasty. Reed opted to terminate Cochran's employment because the chief failed to consult with the mayor before publication and spoke out publicly during his suspension, even though he had been ordered to remain quiet as Reed contemplated his fate. Moreover, because Cochran had distributed copies of the book to employees, Reed feared that Cochran's continued employment would open the city to discrimination lawsuits.
In a blog post for his RedState.com website Wednesday, the Fox News contributor likened Cochran's termination to the Charlie Hebdo attack, arguing that both were linked by "terrorists'" desire to "sow fear."
"A publisher published something that offended. It mocked, it offended, and it showed the fallacy of a religion. It angered," Erickson wrote, referring to cartoons Charlie Hebdo published lampooning the Prophet Muhammad and mocking Islam.
"So the terrorists decided they needed to publicly destroy and ruin the publisher in a way that would not only make that destruction a public spectacle, but do it so spectacularly that others would think twice before publishing or saying anything similar," Erickson continued. "The terrorist wants to sow fear. The destruction of an individual is not just meant to be a tool of vengeance, but a tool of instruction. It shows others what will happen to them if they dare do the same."
The kicker: "So they demanded the Mayor of Atlanta fire the Chief of the Fire Department for daring to write that his first duty was to "glory God" and that any sex outside of heterosexual marriage was a sin. And the terrorists won in Atlanta," Erickson proclaimed.
Never one to be outdone when it comes to hysterical denunciations of anything deemed remotely pro-LGBT, Erickson's Fox colleague Todd Starnes on Thursday called Cochran "just the latest victim in the ongoing cultural cleansing of American society," arguing that Cochran was fired for being a Christian -- not, say, for conveying bigoted views that exposed the city of Atlanta to costly lawsuits.