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Published On: Mon, Oct 31st, 2016

Georgia pastor, Dr Eric Walsh asked to turn over sermons after LGBT activists protest inclusion on Obama Advisory Council

A Seventh-day Adventist lay minister who says he was fired by Georgia’s Department of Public Health after his sermons began monitoring his sermons and he refused to hand over his messages to state attorneys for review.

 

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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 state’s public health department discovered LGBT protests.

Christian Post recounted that “he was selected as a commencement speaker at Pasadena City College, the agency decided to launch an investigation into Walsh’s preaching and a week later, DPH asked Walsh to submit 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DPH employees watched the sermons, and later the agency rescinded the offer of employment after Walsh had been employed for only a week.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.”

From the Post:

According to an email from May 14, 2014 that was sent by the DPH’s human resources executive Lee Rudd, it is clear that a number of employees were specifically assigned to take a few hours and listen to the content of Walsh’s sermons.

“OK … I have an assignment for several of us. We have to listen to his sermons on You Tube [sic] tonight. If we take a couple of hours each, then we should cover our bases,” Rudd wrote. “I will enlist Dwana [Prince] to help us. Kate [Pfirman, Chief Financial Officer for the DPH] is going to listen to them as well.”

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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