“The freedom of worship” has become another mindless and meaningless mantra of the uber-Left. By this, they mean to banish faith to our hearts, homes and houses of worship. Aside from the glaring flaws associated with such a limited understanding of our First Amendment religious protections, a recent incident has revealed that even this dangerously narrow view is under assault.
Michael Beck, City Manager in Pasadena, California, announced Thursday that Public Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh had been placed indefinitely on paid administrative leave following the discovery of online videos of sermons that Walsh had preached, which were considered to be critical of homosexuality, Islam and evolution.
An associate pastor at a local Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Altadena, Dr. Eric Walsh became Pasadena’s Public Health Director in 2010. The City Manager has stated that the city officials need time to assess the impact of these newly disclosed statements:
Dr. Eric Walsh has been placed on temporary paid administrative leave to provide the city of Pasadena the opportunity to complete an inquiry into statements made by him in his private capacity and to assess the impact those statements might have on his ability to effectively lead the city’s Public Health Department. The Public Health Department remains a strong and vital part of the city of Pasadena organization and remains dedicated to protecting the health and wellness of our entire community.
Also at issue is the fact that politicians and other public servants are not required to adhere to a religious test as a requirement for holding office. Article VI, Paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” and the Supreme Court has held that many such provisions also apply to the states. However, the secular Left and the homofascist movement have currently become the greatest risk to liberty in this country. And if a person can be punished for what they say or preach in church, then what about the Left’s so-called “freedom of worship?” Evidently, even this erroneously restrictive understanding of the First Amendment is no longer safe from the attacks of the extreme Left. So, it will be quite interesting to see how this situation ultimately plays out.
In one sermon, Walsh preached on the subject of moral relativism, calling it a “doctrine from the pit of hell” which has led to society’s approval of homosexuality. In addition to his views on homosexuality, Walsh also referred to the theory of evolution a “satanic religion” and the prophet Muhammad as a “satanist.”
Watch Dr. Eric Walsh’s sermon Culture, Sex and the Fight for Purity:
Members of the Pasadena community were shocked by the discovery of these sermons. Dr. Walsh previously spoke at the All Saints Church, where Pasadena’s first sodomy-based “marriage” occurred, and at the 2012 Pasadena Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. On both of those occasions, Walsh praised Pasadena’s multicultural community, which some consider to be in direct conflict with the content of his sermons. However, it could also be argued that people were so surprised by this recent revelation because Dr. Walsh has been able to successfully separate his religious beliefs from his responsibilities as public health director. In other words, his pastoral duties have had no noticeable, negative impact on the execution of his public office, and Dr. Walsh should not be punished for the expression of his faith within the confines of his church.
The reactions from the homosexual community have been mixed. There are those who would like to see Walsh punished. AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein has said that Dr. Walsh’s statements are cause to exclude him from public office.
“Public health is an extremely sensitive matter,” Weinstein explained, “and it really relies on the trust of the population served and because Pasadena is particularly impacted by diseases that affect the LGBT community. I think he’s not qualified to be public health director with those views.”
However, Aaron Saenz, President of San Gabriel Valley Pride, disagrees. Saenz has stated that although he disagree with the views of Dr. Walsh, he has not seen any evidence that it has negatively affected his job performance.
Saenz said, “I feel from the research I know I don’t think it affected his work. I think those are just his personal views however he chose to share them and that’s on him.”
Other City Council members have openly defended Walsh, citing his help in setting up the Michael Antonovich Dental Clinic for HIV positive patients. Councilman Terry Tornek has expressed his feelings regarding the situation, “I’m distraught, is the truth. I think very highly of Dr. Walsh. I think he has been doing as near as I can tell a terrific job. Nothing has changed in terms of my personal observation or my assessment of Dr. Walsh’s performance, and I think the Health Department has been headed in the right direction, and we are proud of it and he has worked wonders.”
The decision to suspend Walsh came only days after he voluntarily withdrew himself as the commencement speaker for Pasadena City College.
Let’s hope that political correctness doesn’t destroy yet another good man.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.