Georgia: Pastor Forced to Hand over Sermons to the State

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Thursday, October 27, 2016
Georgia: Pastor Forced to Hand over Sermons to the State

Georgia: Pastor Forced to Hand over Sermons to the State


A Seventh-day Adventist lay minister who says he was fired by Georgia’s Department of Public Health because of his sermons says he will not turn over his sermons for review by state attorneys.

Dr. Eric Walsh had been appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/Aids and was hired by the Georgia state agency in May 2014. He was supposed to start working in June 2016.

But the DPH found out that LGBT activists had protested Walsh when he was selected as the commencement speaker at Pasadena City College. The agency launched an investigation into his preaching and he was asked to hand over copies of his sermons.

DPH employees watched the sermons, and later the agency rescinded the offer of employment after Walsh had been employed for only a week.

Walsh then filed a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in September 2014, arguing that he was fired for his sermon content.

The state of Georgia then filed for a Request for Production of Documents, asking that Walsh turn over his copies of sermon notes and transcripts.

"No government has the right to require a pastor to turn over his sermons," Walsh said in a statement. "I cannot and will not give up my sermons unless I am forced to do so."

Walsh’s attorney, Jeremy Dys, of First Liberty Institute, called the filing for the sermon notes a “government overreach.”

 

Publication date: October 27, 2016

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