Georgia Drops Demands for Pastor to Hand Over Bible and Sermons, Now Wants Minister Credentials, Salary

Christian Post 2 November 2016
Family First Comment: A disturbing example of how you could be treated if you believe in traditional marriage as one man one woman
“The petition backed leading health expert Dr. Eric Walsh, who was previously appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs, though that employment offer was rescinded after officials looked into his views on marriage.”
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After nearly 40,000 people signed a petition to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal protesting against demands that a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister hand over his Bible and sermons, state officials have backed off to an extent, but are still making intrusive requests toward the pastor, according to the Family Research Council which started the petition.

The petition backed leading health expert Dr. Eric Walsh, who was previously appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs, though that employment offer was rescinded after officials looked into his views on marriage.

The state of Georgia filed a Request for Production of Documents, which asked Walsh for copies of sermons and all material relating to his service as a pastor, but the doctor said that the government does not have the right to take his sermons.

FRC wrote in a Facebook update on Tuesday: “After a public outcry, the state attorney general’s office withdrew its request for his sermons. However, the AG is still demanding that Dr. Walsh turn over a number of things which should be off-limits.

“While withdrawing the request for sermons is a welcome development, Governor Deal and the state of Georgia need to fix the wrong done to Dr. Walsh that led to this lawsuit in the first place.”

An FRC blog said that Walsh is still being asked to provide his credentials as minister; proof that he has served with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination; all contracts he has ever had with the Church; and details on how much he has been compensated for his sermons.

“Such intrusive government overreach is completely unacceptable. Our freedoms don’t permit the state to assess a minister’s credentials. The government may not inquire into discussions and agreements between a religious denomination and its leader,” FRC wrote in response to the latest development.
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