Pastor Must Turn Over Sermons in Lawsuit


He must turn over the notes for sermons which were not the basis of his firing…  Confused?  This won’t help:

Charisma News:

Dr. Eric Walsh was one of the nation’s leading health administrators until being fired in 2014 by the Georgia Department of Public Health. A lay minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Walsh was fired after Georgia officials learned of his faith.

Documents released by First Liberty 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.

Pastor Eric Walsh

Pastor Walsh (YouTube)

Walsh has filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia, alleging unlawful religious discrimination. Now, as part of that lawsuit, the state of Georgia—which ironically claims it did not fire Walsh for religious reasons—is demanding he hand over religious documents: his most intimate, private sermon notes, along with sermons themselves.

Did this pastor go too far in his sermons?  

That’s a trick question.  Short of advocating violence, I can’t imagine anything which might be in a sermon that is important to the case.  He does not believe in gay marriage.  I think he thinks God created the world.  He doesn’t buy evolution.  

I’m not convinced that those subjects would have been a part of his job responsibilities as a health administrator.  They can’t marry people, right? 

Walsh had been offered a job in Georgia, but apparently did not tell his new employer that he’s been suspended in Pasadena because of his preaching.  they rescinded the offer, which is just about as good as a firing.  

Even if you disagree with his lawsuit, can you justify this?

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 

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13 thoughts on “Pastor Must Turn Over Sermons in Lawsuit

  1. John “Minemyown” Doe

    He was never an employee of GA, just had a job offer.
    More background, basically the good liberals in Pasadena did not like his views.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-eric-walsh-loses-georgia-job-20140516-story.html

    But Walsh never mentioned that he had recently been placed on leave from his job in Pasadena because of controversial sermons he gave on homosexuality and evolution, Georgia officials said.

    He will lose, because the loss of the job offer had nothing do with his sermons.

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      1. John “Minemyown” Doe

        The reason for them to want the sermons for discovery is because he has made an issue of them. Job offer was pulled due to his not being entirely truthful about his situation in Pasadena. If it had been known he mostly would have never been given the job offer–if IRCC it was a position in rural North GA, and they would have not wanted to be the center of the shit storm following him.

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    1. Dave Alexander (formerly ukuleledave) Post author

      John, yes, I did mention that. (About it being a job offer.)
      On the other hand, in government work, a written job offer is pretty solid on most occasions. I have had a job offer in hand, and have resigned the previous job to serve out the 30 days notice. Barring criminal background check issues, an applicant can count on the job. (I actually had to undergo a psych test for one of my jobs, so I know I’m not crazy because I was tested. There’s long story about getting another letter rescinding the job offer, but that’s a thousand-word essay.)

      I’m not sure that “we don’t want a sh-storm following you here…” is a valid reason to rescind a job offer.

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  2. AJ Fornicarius Hoc

    Just goes to show, the left is deeply entrenched in government jobs, everywhere, and they are determined to exercise that power in whatever way they can, and to retain it by excluding anyone who doesn’t conform to the lefty world-view. Ironically, going by this guy’s accomplishments as a health administrator, you’d think he’s probably leftist in his politics.

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  3. fred.bloggs

    Science and health are deeply intertwined, and science itself is a closely-weaved cloth of many different strands of evidence. (I’ve heard a definition of “junk science” is when the item *UN*explains more than it explains.)

    None of the mainstream [Christian?] religions reject the notion that evolution (as a scientific theory) has a good recent track record in, say, the last 1 to 5000 years. In addition, the official theological position of most moderate Christian religions is that billion-year scientific explanations for the cosmos are more credible than 6000-year young-earth ideas. (I notice that they tend to keep the issue very-low-key, because, as I’ve seen myself more than once, a non-trivial subset of a congregation that I’ve been involved in DOES have a young-earth viewpoint, and see the official line as dross and/or pandering to others, and can be ignored.)

    If this pastor is a young-earth creation practitioner, then he shows a fairly shallow understanding of science (especially, look up Popper’s philosophy on science and the nature of falsifiability as the cornerstone of the scientific method).

    Having a health administrator with a poor grasp of science, especially one who (a) Rejects the theory of evolution outright; and (b) Does not understand how the scientific method works; is NOT a situation that I would find tenable.

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    1. AJ Fornicarius Hoc

      I don’t know the specifics of this guy’s beliefs, and I don’t think they matter in the way you think they do. The guy is an MD, and has a Ph.D. in public health. He has both practiced medicine and been a successful PH administrator. However outraged they are by what he has preached, no one has apparently been able to point to any instance where he actually did anything as Pasadena’s health administrator that discriminated against anyone or disadvantaged any of the groups who wanted him removed from the job. He created programs specifically to assist HIV-positive people, for example, who are in the majority gay men.

      This really is a 1st Amendment issue. Not a qualifications issue.

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  4. Adriane

    Having a health administrator with a poor grasp of science, especially one who (a) Rejects the theory of evolution outright; and (b) Does not understand how the scientific method works; is NOT a situation that I would find tenable.

    Find every Health Administrator who believes in Globull Warmening & fire their asses. Works for me too!

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    Reply
    1. fred.bloggs

      My father was both a medical professional, AND a medical administrator (at one stage, the Superintendent of a facility of over 1500 patients+staff). For the record, this was not in the US. So I’ve been able to see glimpses of both sides of the coin, through his (rare) comments/insights. He also was a faithful Christian all his life, his father was a Pastor, and he told me (when I was struggling with the religion/science debate myself) that he had explicitly asked his father whether it was moral, and ethical, and within the framework of the Church, for him to practice medicine, and his father said yes.

      I especially recall him saying that governments and the public health system have a fundamental tension over budgets, and this ultimately expresses itself in term of the length of waiting lists, and that some people die while waiting to be treated.

      He also said that the health system could NEVER satisfy demand, as it was like an endlessly-deep hole: The more capability the system had, the higher the populace scaled their usage and their expectations, and would always complain that the current level was not enough. (Modern corollaries of this would be capacity of road networks, and capacity of Internet connections.)

      * * * *

      Okay, main answer complete. A couple of side-answers:

      1. Evolution in the short term has a lot of evidence to support it. The classic case of this is the rise of Penicillin-resistant “superbugs” since the agent first started to be used heavily in the post-WW2 period. If you read my original post carefully, you’ll note that I was against an administrator who “rejects the theory of evolution outright”. I wanted the wording to not make any reference, either for or against, the young-earth creationism ideas (I wanted to choose a much, much shorter time frame).

      The heart of a “believed” scientific theory is that it “currently explains all observations in its domain more accurately, more efficiently, and more economically, than any current proposed alternate theory”. NO theories are “privileged” to the point of “not to be questioned”, but any newcomer theory has to show that it is able to encompass all observations previously fulfilled by its predecessor, as well as being able to fill in “holes” where unexpected behaviours cropped up that the old theory couldn’t explain.

      (cf. the Michelson-Morley experiment to find an “ether”, how its failure to find such a medium seemed to contradict some of Newton’s Laws, and how Einstein’s Special Relativity was able to encompass Newton’s framework, but enriched it by starting from the speed of light as an absolute, and, working backwards, created an alternative mathematical model that agreed with Newton at low speeds, but gave more accurate results at much higher speeds.)

      If this Pastor was a non-believer in evolution as a scientific theory, and the data showing the presence of “superbugs” is overwhelming, and science provides an efficient way of explaining it, what alternate path does he use to direct and/or rationalise his administration choices in this area? Is this alternate path as reliable as accepted scientific belief? If not, is he in danger of making a mistake, exposing his employer to the risk of a lawsuit? Because, like it or not, courts (actually, the plaintiffs and/or defendants) depend on “experts” at various levels, and in general such experts will rely on the “generally accepted body of knowledge” within the conflict domain… and this body is almost always built up via research using the scientific method.

      2. I don’t understand your “global warming” comment. Are you saying it’s not a valid scientific theory? Are you saying that it’s built on too much modelling and not enough concrete evidence? Are you saying that laypeople are seizing the “global warming” bandwagon in order to advance their own, possibly unrelated interests? Are you saying that the different sources used to advance the theory are so closely interrelated that they are in danger of moving as a cohort, and so produce apparent trends where there may be none?

      I note that on January 21, 2106, NASA and NOAA put out the following press release:

      NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015.

      Note that models of “global warming” do not, in general, mean “uniform global warming”. Changes in systems may make some places (on average) colder.

      * * * *

      Okay, I need to go and do other things. I hope that the above comment was helpful.

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      1. AJ Fornicarius Hoc

        Per #2: The NASA and NOAA datasets have been repeatedly and consistently adjusted away from the actual recorded temperatures, to cool the past and warm the present. If you think that’s science, rather than political activity, then I think you’re very easily fooled.

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