Was a state health official fired over his faith?

- A doctor who said he was fired from his position with the state of Georgia because of his Christian faith said new documents prove his claims.

The battle between Dr. Eric Walsh and the Georgia Department of Public Health has brewed for some time, but Wednesday he unveiled a big development.

In May of 2014, Walsh accepted a position as the District Health Director for Georgia's Department of Health. Just one week later, he got a call from the state telling him he was fired.

Walsh said two days before his termination state employees called with questions about his work with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The department asked to view sermons he had given on topics ranging from sexuality, to marriage, to science and politics.

Walsh has maintained since day one that he was fired for his Christian beliefs, but the state has always denied that. Fast forward to now. Walsh is embroiled in a legal battle with the state and the state has now demanded he turn over every document relating to his service as a pastor for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Walsh and his attorneys said it is simple. If his faith played no role in his firing, why would documents about his Christian faith play any role in his lawsuit against the state?

“That means that every scrap of paper that Dr. Walsh has scribbled an outline on has to be produced. Every megabyte from the computer that he worked on to produce the sermon those have to be produced now to the state of Georgia,” said Jeremy Dys, First Liberty Institute. “In fact, even the notes that he has written in the margin of his preaching bible, that bible will have to be produced to the state of Georgia. That is wrong.”

“My faith has fueled me, and I want to be able to protect faith of others. So, I really have no intention of turning over the sermons,” said Dr. Eric Walsh.

That question will play out in court because Walsh said he has no intention of complying with the demand.

FOX 5 News has reached out to the state for a comment, but did not hear back from them by early Wednesday evening.

In the past, the state has claimed that during the background check process it learned Dr. Walsh failed to disclose outside employment to his previous public health employer. The state said that is a violation of their policy and California law and is the reason Dr. Walsh lost his job.

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