It’s interesting to see how leftists are very eager to initiate litigation any time they think there is the slightest evidence of a church influencing the state, at least a Christian church. The refrain, “Separation of Church and State” rings from their voices. For some reason, these same folks don’t seem as concerned when the state decides to intervene in the teachings of the church.
With that preface, here’s what’s happening in Georgia.
A lay minister who is suing the Georgia Department of Public Health for religious discrimination has been directed by the state’s attorney general to relinquish his sermons to the government, according to federal court documents.
“Please produce a copy of your sermon notes and/or transcripts,” Attorney General Samuel Olens wrote to attorneys representing Dr. Eric Walsh.
Dr. Walsh said he will not comply with the request.
Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister had been hired in May 2014 by as a District Health Director with the Georgia Department of Public Health. A week later, a government official asked him to submit copies of his sermons for review. He complied and two days later he was fired.
His attorneys said the government was curious about sermons Dr. Walsh delivered on health, marriage, sexuality, world religions, science and creationism. He also preached on what the Bible says regarding homosexuality.
So, Walsh sued. His attorney does an excellent job of getting right to the heart of the matter that should be a concern to all of us:
“He was fired for something he said in a sermon,” attorney Jeremy Dys told me. “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.”
Again, Mr. Dys:
“It’s an incredible intrusion on the sanctity of the pulpit,” Dys said. “This is probably the most invasive reach into the pulpit by the state that I’ve ever seen.”
Frightening stuff, indeed. Government officials have no right to insert themselves into matters of religious doctrine and teaching, no matter how offensive those officials might find those beliefs to be. And this should be a concern to Christians as well as those who hold to other beliefs — or even to no beliefs at all. Freedom of speech is either for everyone or for no one.
Source: Todd Starnes