Pastor Eric Walsh is suing the Georgia Department of Public Health after being fired for what he alleges is "religious discrimination" against him for statements he made during sermons.
Dr. Walsh filed the lawsuit with the First Liberty Institute. Lawyers for the Institute wrote of his case, according to Christian Today:
"In May 2014, the State of Georgia's Department of Public Health hired Dr Walsh as a District Health Director. But soon after Dr Walsh accepted the offer, state officials asked him to submit recordings of his sermons for their review. After inspecting his sermons, they fired him. First Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia on behalf of Dr Walsh because no one should be fired from his job for something he said in a sermon."
Dr. Walsh has a medical degree and a doctorate in public health, and is also the lay pastor at the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
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He wrote the following about himself:
My mom was a single mother and what got us through was our faith. What I learned at church taught me the value of getting an education and led me to want to serve those in need. That's why I became a doctor and I've held onto those beliefs ever since.
I couldn't believe they fired me because of things I talked about in my sermons. It was devastating. I have been unable to get a job in public health since then. By reviewing my sermons and firing me because of my religious beliefs, the State of Georgia destroyed my career in public service.
I am a devout member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and, as a part of my sincerely-held religious beliefs, I believe in expressing my faith….My faith is important to me; I regularly speak about my faith at churches and religious conferences.
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A charge of discrimination was filed by First Liberty against the Georgia Health Department in September 2014. Walsh was given the right to sue in February 2016, and First Liberty filed the suit during the week of April 17.