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Atlanta Mayor Blocking ExtinguishIntolerance.com Petitioners on Twitter
As Faith Driven Consumer launches ExtinguishIntolerance.com petition asking Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to reinstate ousted Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, Mayor Reed responds by making it clear once again that he doesn’t want to hear dissenting opinions by blocking users on Twitter
Raleigh, NC, January 8, 2015 |Christian News Service| — Faith Driven Consumer™ — the advocacy organization representing 41 million Christian consumers who spend $2 trillion annually, has earned national recognition for its successful efforts advocating for tolerance and equality for people of faith. The group has now turned its attention to the City of Atlanta, where Mayor Kasim Reed ousted the city’s highly respected fire chief, Kelvin Cochran — a former senior Obama administration official — for expressing his religious convictions. Faith Driven Consumer’s ExtinguishIntolerance.com campaign is petitioning Mayor Reed to immediately reinstate Chief Cochran, to apologize for discrimination and bigotry against him, and to take immediate measures to ensure that no person of faith in Atlanta will be singled out and punished simply for expressing their religious beliefs.
Minutes after the launch of the campaign, petition signers began reporting to Faith Driven Consumer that their Twitter accounts were being blocked by Mayor Kasim Reed —@KasimReed on Twitter. Blocking results in a user being unable to interact with an account on Twitter, including not being able to view content they post.
Chris Stone, Founder of Faith Driven Consumer, has issued the following statement:
“Leaders who hold public office represent all of the citizens they serve, not just the folks who agree with them. By blocking users on Twitter, Mayor Reed is sending a clear signal that he isn’t willing to listen to dissenting viewpoints. If the mayor truly wants — as he has stated — for Atlanta to be a more ‘welcoming city’, he should refrain from silencing those who have joined ExtinguishIntolerance.com.
“This latest incident reminds us of the core issue at stake in this debate. When a mayor terminates his Fire Chief for expressing his religious convictions —choosing to protect the freedoms of one group while denying the rights of another — he is practicing discrimination. Rather than creating a more welcoming city, he is creating a culture of division in which Atlanta only belongs to those whose beliefs align with those of the mayor. That concept may work in places where human rights and democracy are denied, but not in America.”