|Dr. Eric Walsh
Dr. Eric Walsh Helps Set Up the First Dental Clinic for HIV/AIDS Patients in California
A 24 April 2014 Pasadena Star-News article documented the first year of operation of a dental clinic as follows:
“To most people, clean teeth may seem the least of an HIV-positive patient’s worries.
But poor oral hygiene can be just as detrimental as any other complication of the disease, if not more so, patients and health officials said.
‘Your teeth and especially the upper portion of your jaw is so close to the brain, and if you have teeth that are decaying and you have HIV, that can be an instant death,’ said Bradley Land, 49, of Pasadena, who was diagnosed with HIV just out of high school. ‘It is so important for people living with HIV and AIDS to be aware of their oral hygiene.’
Land is one of 448 patients that have flocked to the Michael D. Antonovich Dental Clinic at the Pasadena Department of Public Health, which the city touts as one of, if not the only, city-run dental clinic in the state. This week marked the clinic’s first anniversary, and organizers and patients alike said they’re grateful it’s there.
‘I think the staff is spectacular and incredibly kind, genuine and non-judgemental, and has created, at least from my personal experience, a safe environment for people living with HIV to receive oral health care,’ said Land, who is also an HIV care activist and a commission with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. ‘As a citizen I am just so proud of Pasadena. It’s just so humbling to know that the city of Pasadena has taken this bold step toward health care for everybody.’
Looking back, however, the clinic wasn’t always a guaranteed success. Public Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh said in the beginning the obstacles seemed almost too large to get it funded, built and open for businesses.
‘On the front end it seemed like parting the Red Sea. People told me it would never get off the ground,’ Walsh said. ‘Every time I see a patient getting services they need and telling me how grateful they are, it makes me glad we stuck it through on the project.’
From this, we can assume that Dr. Walsh had a hand in setting up a dental clinic where the staff was “spectacular and incredibly kind, genuine and non-judgemental” and “a safe environment.”
Although Dr. Walsh may have separately preached against the homosexual lifestyle while with his congregants, Dr. Walsh had some part in setting up a system that showed compassion to patients suffering with HIV/AIDS. However, that does not matter to social justice warriors like the AHF.
Dr. Walsh Served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS
In a 20 October 2010 entry to the Speaker’s Bureau of the California Black Healthcare Network, the page dedicated to Dr. Walsh says:
Dr. Walsh also served on the current and previous Presidents of the United States on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has been on CDC committees and served on a committee for the former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.
Despite his having advocated for the HIV/AIDS community under two administrations, the gay community felt a need to come after Dr. Walsh repeatedly.
The Pasadena Star-News Reports on the Receiving of Gay Intolerance
A 24 October 2014 Pasadena Star-News article provides Dr. Walsh’s perspective on an incident where he was removed as a commencement speaker from Pasadena College due to sermons posted online:
“Former Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh said he felt ‘persecuted’ for his religious views during the ‘fire storm’ that erupted before he resigned from his post, according to a recent sermon.
In the sermon, the audio of which is posted on YouTube, Walsh said he felt attacked for expressing his Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, calling the community reaction to his many public sermons a ‘witch hunt’ that ‘devastated’ him. The sermons surfaced after Walsh was invited to speak at the commencement for Pasadena City College.
‘When they went online to find things to damage my reputation or to cause the school to maybe not choose me, what they found wasn’t any scandal, there was no embezzlement there was nothing like that, it was just a lot of sermons,’ Walsh said. ‘They just took little snippets and of course by taking them out of context and framing a new context they really were able to frame me as a very terrible person. I was called in the papers a bigot, I was called a homophobe, I was called all kinds of names that weren’t true.’
Walsh also said the experience was difficult for his two children, adding that he was ‘forced’ to leave a job he ‘loved’ in Pasadena. But, quoting ‘Jeremiah,’ Walsh said ultimately the experience brought him closer to his faith. Walsh delivered the speech Aug. 9 at the international convention for Adventist-Laymen’s Services and Industries in Grand Rapids, Mich.
‘Persecution has a downside. It hurts. It’s ugly, it’s painful and it can be lonely and frightening,’ Walsh said. ‘But if you allow God to place you in the fire, by default you will be refined. … It’s not easy, but the truth is it is a privilege for God to try us.’
Walsh resigned as head of the Pasadena Department of Public Health after public scrutiny arose around a series of sermons posted online he had given as a preacher with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In the sermons, Walsh condemns gays, Muslims, popular culture and Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
Oddly, for all of the calls for tolerance in the mainstream press, this was one of a very few that addressed the perspective of a Christian.
Dr. Walsh Fired from the Georgia Department of Health
The National Review also reported from the Christian view via a 20 April 2016 article on the firing:
On March 28, Georgia governor Nathan Deal capitulated to threats from the social-justice warriors at Apple, Disney, and the NFL and vetoed HB 757, the ‘Free Exercise Protection Act.’ In his self-righteous statement justifying his veto, Deal claimed that Georgia didn’t need new religious-liberty legislation. Rather, he claimed that these laws enable discrimination, and his veto was thus about the ‘character of our State and the character of its people.’
Perhaps he should look to the character of his own government. This morning, the First Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit in federal court that makes chilling claims against Georgia’s Department of Public Health, claims backed by a host of damaging documents. The Institute represents Dr. Eric Walsh, a California physician and former director of public health for the city of Pasadena, Calif. Walsh is also a devout Christian, a Seventh-day Adventist who sometimes preaches in his spare time.
Walsh, a former member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, had accepted a job in Georgia as a district health director when Georgia officials became aware that he’d delivered a number of ‘controversial’ sermons on his own time — sermons where he articulated orthodox Seventh-day Adventist positions on, among other things, human sexuality, Islam, evolution, and the corrupting influence of pop culture.
In California, Walsh had been attacked by student activists who objected to his selection as a commencement speaker at Pasadena City College. To these activists, working for former president Bush and President Obama to combat AIDS, serving as a board member of the Latino Health Collaborative, and starting California’s first city-run dental clinic for low-income families dealing with HIV/AIDS wasn’t sufficient to overcome the horror at Walsh’s Christian views. Under fire, Walsh canceled his commencement speech — while the city, incredibly, put him on administrative leave. The college replaced him with a gay screenwriter.
When Georgia officials learned of Walsh’s California controversy, they responded by immediately violating the law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits government employers from considering an applicant’s religion in employment decisions, but Georgia officials not only evaluated Walsh’s religious views, the director of human resources wrote an e-mail to department employees giving them the ‘assignment’ of listening to his sermons.
And so they did. E-mails indicate that health-department employees split the sermons up, listened to Walsh’s religious views, and took notes. Walsh asserts that one department official called and told him that ‘you can’t preach that and work in the field of public health.’ The very next day, Walsh claims that department officials held a ‘hastily arranged’ meeting to discuss Walsh’s employment.”
Odd how the L.A. Times (who has repeatedly reported on Dr. Walsh as being gay-bashing) never addressed the Title VI aspect of the Civil Rights Act (or of the First Amendment).
AHF Celebrates the Firing of Dr. Walsh from the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Business Wire posted a 16 April 2016 article that started with:
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today lauded the Georgia Public Health Department for its decision to rescind a high-level job offer to Dr. Eric Walsh, the disgraced former Director of the City of Pasadena’s Department of Health, who resigned that position earlier this week after revelations of his ongoing and very publicly stated anti-gay, anti-Muslim and other prejudices came to light. Walsh had been conditionally offered a position in Georgia as District Health Director of the North Georgia Health District. Over the past two weeks since revelations of Dr. Walsh’s statements and prejudices came to light, advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other groups mobilized in Pasadena and Georgia to decry his homophobic remarks and actions and to urge both municipalities to sever ties with Walsh.
In an article published online today in GAVoice, the self-described ‘media outlet of record for the LGBT community in Atlanta and throughout the state,’ reporter Dyana Bagley writes, “…the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has retracted the conditional offer of employment to Dr. Eric Walsh for the position of District Health Director of the North Georgia Health District. Today’s action by the Department follows a thorough examination of Dr. Walsh’s credentials and background as well as consultation with the six local Boards of Health which comprise the district.”
Sounds like they support tolerance only for gays.