A case involving a Washington state firefighter has received scant media attention. One of the attorneys in the case says the firefighter's faith may be a factor.
On January 25, 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled in favor of former Spokane fire captain Jon Sprague who was fired for refusing to self-censor his religious expression. At issue were the Spokane Valley Fire Department's e-mail and electronic bulletin board systems.
Attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute explains that the forums were used by other employees to seek babysitting and sell concert tickets, for example – but supervisors ordered Sprague not to announce religious meetings on those same forums.
"This case should have had considerable news attention," Dacus tells OneNewsNow. "Had it dealt with an employee who is Muslim or perhaps some other faith, it probably would have received considerable attention."
Because the case involves an evangelical Christian who won, Dacus contends many in the mainstream media either didn't think it was important – or didn't like the outcome and therefore didn't want to report on it.
"Either way, it is alarming that our society is one that doesn't understand and appreciate the significance of this case," the attorney continues. "This is something that should have gotten much more coverage. It's something that people across the country need to be aware of, particularly if they're an employee of a government agency."
While this decision isn't binding on other courts, Dacus says courts across the country are free to reference this and use it in decisions involving similar case matters.
Capt. Sprague is represented by Albrecht Law in Spokane. Pacific Justice Institute was asked to participate in the case as amicus and filed a friend-of-the-court brief.