State of Georgia Demands Adventist Lay Pastor Turn Over Sermon Transcripts
October 27, 2016: A fierce ongoing legal battle between the state of Georgia and an Adventist lay minister had another development recently.
It all started shortly after Dr. Eric Walsh of Pasadena, California was hired as a District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health in 2014.
Soon after Walsh accepted the position, government officials reviewed copies of sermons Walsh had preached as an Adventist lay minister.
Walsh was fired two days after he handed over the sermon notes for review. The notes contained statements he had made in critique of homosexuality.
He has since brought a religious discrimination lawsuit against his former employer.
In the most recent development of the case, Georgia’s Attorney General has contacted Walsh’s attorneys for “a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts.”
Walsh has refused to comply, saying that he will not produce the documents unless he is forced to do so. He cited the need to protect the expression of his faith and that of others.
Walsh holds both a medical degree and a doctorate in public health and is originally from Pasadena. He has been an advisor on HIV/AIDS to President Barack Obama.
The state of Georgia said Walsh originally was fired because he neglected to disclose outside employment with a previous public health employer during background checks. The state claimed this omission violated their policy and California law.
Walsh previously worked as Pasadena Public Health Director. He was placed on administrative leave from that position pending review of past sermons. He later resigned from the post.