Bi-vocational pastors need to be careful what they say on Sunday mornings or face firing from their other jobs, Todd Starnes writes in a column for FoxNews.com.
Starnes’ column comes after Dr. Eric Walsh, a public health expert and lay minister, was allegedly fired from his Georgia Department of Public Health job for giving sermons on homosexuality and evolution.
Walsh has since filed a federal lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Public Health. The department did not return Starnes’ request for comment.
“No one in this country should be fired from their job for something that was said in a church or from a pulpit during a sermon,” said First Liberty attorney Jeremy Dys.
First Liberty representatives say that Georgia Department of Public Health specifically investigated sermons Dr. Walsh had delivered.
“I don’t believe I did anything wrong,” Walsh told Starnes in an exclusive interview. “This has been very painful for me. I really am a strong believer in the Constitution. But now I feel like maybe all these ideals and values that I was raised to believe – the ideals they country was founded upon – no longer exist.”
Walsh was hired on May 7, 2014. A few days later, Starnes writes, “DPH officers and other government workers began investigating his religious activities.” Then on May 16, the department rescinded the job offer.
Publication date: April 21, 2016
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.