(Note: before posting this email I received this morning, I did my “due diligence” and verified the story through several sources. Religious freedom is under attack, and it may only get worse. If you are not concerned about it, you should be.)October 26, 2016
Dear Pastor Dixon,
By most standards, Dr. Eric Walsh would be considered a standout job candidate. When he was in California, he was the director of the City of Pasadena’s Public Health Department and was appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs. His professional credentials showed he was going places. In 2014, he was hired by the State of Georgia’s Department of Public Health. But when some state officials learned that he was also a lay minister in his church, he was investigated and quickly let go.
Documents released by First Liberty Institute include emails showing that Georgia officials assigned employees to examine his sermons on YouTube — sermons dealing with common Christian themes including creation, compassion, spiritual growth, the family, and Christian living. He was fired after this examination.
Determined to stand for his (and others’) freedom to believe, Dr. Walsh filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia, alleging unlawful religious discrimination. As part of that lawsuit, the State of Georgia issued a subpoena demanding that Dr. Walsh hand over his sermons, sermon notes, and all pastoral documentation — including his Bible.
Apparently, not even the margin notes of a Christian’s Bible are off limits from the government’s intimidation machine.
Unless Georgia state officials are looking for devotional inspiration for how better to treat their fellow citizens, this type of intrusion is nothing more than an intimidation tactic. FRC stands with Dr. Walsh and any other pastor who is targeted by the government because of what is said in the pulpit…
Standing (Eph. 6:13),