Sassy Liberty AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS –
A minister is now suing the Georgia Department of Public Health in a religious discrimination case. The state’s attorney general has issued an order for Dr. Eric Walsh to relinquish ALL of his sermons to the government according to documents filed in federal court.
“Please produce a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts,” Attorney General Samuel Olens wrote Dr. Walsh’s counsel. Dr. Walsh is refusing to comply on the grounds that “No government has the right to require a pastor to turn over his sermons. I cannot and will not give up my sermons unless I am forced to do so.” He feels that this is a matter of religious freedoms – one the foundational principles of this great nation. His lawsuit charges state officials with engaging in religious discrimination. The government’s request came as part of the process to allow the state of Georgia to build their case against Dr. Walsh and it carries the same force of law as a subpoena. He could potentially be held in contempt of court for refusing to comply.
Dr. Walsh is a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister and he was hired in May 2014 as a District Health Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. A week later he accepted the position and began work, a government official asked him to submit copies of his sermons for review. He complied with the request and two days later he was fired. Dr. Walsh’s attorneys stated that the government wanted information with regard to sermons Dr. Walsh had delivered and what his positions were on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science, and creationism. He also preached his convictions with regard to what the Bible teaches on homosexuality, divorce, and pre-marital sex.
Dr. Walsh has assembled a powerhouse legal team comprised of Parks, Chesin & Walbert along with First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms.
Dr. Walsh’s attorney, Jeremy Dys states –
“He was fired for something he said in a sermon. If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything. It’s an incredible intrusion on the sanctity of the pulpit. This is probably the most invasive reach into the pulpit by the state that I’ve ever seen. Pastors and rabbis across the country – especially in the state of Georgia should be frightened that a state would demand all the sermon notes and transcripts of a pastor. This is unprecedented.”
It is an attack upon the Constitution, our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, and a host of other issues with regard to government overreach. This is an attack upon the very foundation of America – a country founded on religious liberty.
According to Fox News’ Todd Starnes –
“I think it is wrong for a state to demand that a pastor turn over his sermons at any time,” Dys said. “It was wrong for the state to ask Dr Walsh for his sermons as part of the job application and hiring process. It was wrong for them to turn around and fire him when they listened to those sermons. And it is wrong now for them to demand that he turn over all the sermons and sermon notes he ever produced going back to when he was 18 years old.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins condemned the state’s demand calling it “an alarming display of government intrusion into the sanctity of the church, pastor’s study and pulpit.”
“This is something that I would have expected to see in a communist country, not America,” Perkins told me. “Government scrutiny of speech in the pulpit is unconstitutional and unconscionable.” He called on Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, to “correct this egregious overreach of the state into church affairs.” Dr. Walsh also gained the support of Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell University, a Christian school based in Cleveland, Georgia.
“A new era has come to our shores, a time where government finds it acceptable to suppress the freedom of religion even to the extent of requesting a minister’s sermons,” Caner said. “As an ordained minister, I know that this is not merely an assault on the messenger, but on the very message of our Sacred Scriptures.” Caner correctly noted that the government seems to exclusively target one faith – biblical Christianity.
“What the government fails to recognize is that ministers of the Gospel are not hirelings of the state, but ambassadors for our Lord,” he said. Dr. Walsh was catapulted into the national spotlight when he was invited to deliver the 2014 commencement address at Pasadena City College in California.Walsh, who was then the director of the city’s public health department, came under fierce scrutiny from LGBT activists and students after someone found online copies of his sermons. He backed out of the speaking engagement – but critics persisted and he was forced to resign his post – after reaching a financial settlement with the city. Shortly afterwards, he applied for the position in Georgia.
“The state of Georgia fired him for something he said in a sermon,” Dys told me. “It’s almost like the state ransacking the pastor’s study trying to find evidence in a desperate attempt to justify their illegal behavior. No one in America should want a pastor being held in contempt for refusing to give up one of his sermons to the state of Georgia,” he said.
It seems Christian businesses are being targeted for not baking cakes and now pastors of Christian churches are being targeted as well. They want to eradicate Christianity from America when the very foundations of America lies in her Christian principles. There is a War on Christians in this country and with it, a war on all that is decent and good in the name of so-called tolerance. It seems other religious beliefs are left alone and allowed to practice their beliefs at will, yet Christianity continues to be a target.
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