Christianity · clergy · human rights · law · U.S. Constitution

Doctor sues Georgia Dept. of Public Health for firing him over sermons

dr eric walsh used via Flickr Creative CommonsDr. Eric Walsh of Atlanta is claiming in a new lawsuit that he was fired from his job with the Georgia Department of Public Health because they objected to the sermons he gave at church on his own private time. Walsh was hired for the position of District Health Director for Northwest Georgia in May 2014 after he served on President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He’s also a lay minister for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Just days after he was hired, officials at his new job requested copies of his church sermons. They then distributed those sermons to his subordinates to get feedback on the content. His sermons covered a wide range of issues from creationism to science to other religions to sexuality, and more. The agency fired him the next day.

Since that time, he hasn’t been able to find work in his profession. Represented by First Liberty Institute and Parks, Chesin & Walbert, an Atlanta law firm, Walsh moved forward on April 20 with his religious discrimination lawsuit in a federal district court against the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Andrew Coffman of Parks, Chesin, & Walbert issued a statement on behalf of his client which says in part, “In America, it is against the law to fire an employee for expressing his religious beliefs – especially when that expression takes place in a church setting.” First Liberty also issued a statement via attorney Jeremy Dys, saying, “If the government is allowed to fire someone over what he said in his sermons, then they can come after any of us for our beliefs on anything.”

Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. Proverbs 3:30

Source: First Liberty Institute, Dr. Eric Walsh Files Lawsuit Against The State Of Georgia For Firing Him Over Content Of His Sermons, PRNewswire.com, April 20, 2016.

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2 thoughts on “Doctor sues Georgia Dept. of Public Health for firing him over sermons

  1. Christians have recently fought (and won) to be able to hire only those that have their religious beliefs at the Ark experience in Kentucky.

    http://religionnews.com/2016/01/26/judge-tells-kentucky-theme-park-can-hire-people-based-on-religious-beliefs/

    Now here, we have just the opposite. Of course, the hypocrites get all in a huffy when the shoe is on the other foot. Christians want to be able to control who they hire, but you better hire and retain us regardless of what you think about our fantasies.
    These christians keep fighting for control but its going to bite them in the a**.

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    1. John,

      Legally these are 2 totally different things. The Noah’s Ark theme park is a private faith-based endeavor run by a religious non-profit. The US Supreme Court has ruled several times that such organizations are allowed to hire only those who hold to their system of beliefs. The Georgia Dept. of Public Health is a government-run agency and as such is not allowed to discriminate against people based on their religious views. They are required to abide by the Constitution.

      Like

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