Fire Dept. Chaplain Booted After Refusing to Renounce Religious Beliefs

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Dr. Andrew Fox had been the lead chaplain for the fire department in Austin, Texas for eight years. 

But the volunteer chaplain was fired after writing a blog post about how men should not compete on women’s athletic teams. His personal opinion had offended LGBT firefighters.

Should chaplains be able to follow biblical teaching on sex and gender?

Chaplain Fox was given the opportunity to recant his personal beliefs and apologize to the gay community.

He explained that his intent was to foster discussion, not cause offense, and apologized if anyone was offended. But his apology wasn’t good enough for Austin city officials who demanded total compliance with their political ideology, and they forced Dr. Fox to turn in his uniform.

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Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the chaplain. They’ve filed a federal lawsuit — alleging that his First Amendment rights have been violated.

“Everyone should be able to speak freely without fear of the government coming after you just because you expressed a view they disagree with,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert. “Dr. Fox served Austin’s fire department—without pay—for eight years with excellence and integrity, treating everyone equally, including those in the LGBT community.”

But that’s not enough when it comes to the radicals within the gay community.

“No matter your personal view on whether men should be allowed to compete on women’s sports teams, it should deeply concern every American that the government can fire someone for expressing it,” Bangert said.

The lawsuit points out that “no one ever accused him of discriminating against anyone or treating anyone improperly.”

To the contrary, Austin city leaders lauded him for his integrity and service.

“Dr. Fox consistently shared his religious and philosophical reflections online for years without any problem. It was only when Dr. Fox expressed a particular set of views that officials disliked that the City extinguished Dr. Fox’s career,” the lawsuit states. “Americans cannot learn to respect each other’s differences when they face career-crushing consequences anytime their personal beliefs, expressed openly on their own time outside of work, contradict the ideological commitments of some HR officials.”

Tucked away inside the lawsuit is a story that truly defines the hate and contempt that the radical gay activists have for the Christian community.

“In July 2022, Dr. Fox received a call from a nearby fire department in Texas – the Lake Travis Fire Department – asking him to come out to the site of a drowning and offer a prayer.

The Lake Travis Fire Department did not know that Dr. Fox was no longer Lead Chaplain for the Fire Department.

Dr. Fox told the Lake Travis Fire Department that while he would gladly come in his own clothes as a private citizen to pray, he could not come as an official chaplain.

The Lake Travis Fire Department told Dr. Fox that while they wished Dr. Fox could come to the scene, it would break protocol to have Dr. Fox come in his private capacity.”

Federal Lawsuit

Someone drowned and there was not a chaplain to offer a prayer because radical gays might have taken offense.