November 21, 2004


Falwell's School Joins Others in Teaching Law to Their Flocks: The legal program at the reverend's university represents the latest effort by the religious right to change American society. (Emma Schwartz, November 21, 2004, LA Times)

What Debra Meador read disturbed her. It didn't seem right that schoolchildren were once barred from holding prayer groups after class. Or that the Ten Commandments couldn't be displayed in a government building.

So at 34, the human relations specialist from Lynchburg made good on a longtime interest by enrolling in law school. But unlike most prospective lawyers, she applied to only one place.

"I wanted to take it in a Christian setting," said Meador, a member of the inaugural law class at Liberty University, a Baptist college founded here in 1971 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. "I don't believe anyone could be neutral. We're willing to tell you what we believe and to follow that."

The school, like Meador, who aspires to argue cases before the Supreme Court, has grand designs. Right now, it has only 60 students and six faculty members. Provisional accreditation by the American Bar Assn. — which certifies that a school has been evaluated on the quality of its legal education and allows students to sit for the bar exam in any state — is at least two years away.

But by teaching law from a Christian perspective, Falwell hopes to train a cadre of Christian lawyers to fight what he sees as the growing secularization of public life across the country.

And the school plans to offer select students hands-on experience with a law firm that takes on constitutional issues. That would occur when Liberty Counsel, a legal organization in Orlando, Fla., that focuses on cases involving religion and traditional values, moves its legislative arm to the campus.

No private individual has done more to help the moral majority find its public voice than the Reverend Falwell.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2004 10:31 AM

And, above all, he exposed the real nature of that purple tele-tubbie to the world's attention (or was that Robertson?)

Posted by: Twn at November 21, 2004 11:19 AM

Falwell may be a dork (yes, he was the teletubbie tattler), but if "prestigious" academia is going to worship Cornel West and Catherine MacKinnon (and Peter Singer, to boot), then more power to him for opening a law school.

For all his blunderings on national TV, Falwell has not been afraid to go 'into' the world.

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 21, 2004 11:47 AM

Once again, Falwell is on the side of the angels.

Posted by: Bart at November 21, 2004 6:41 PM

I'd take Ratzinger, above, over Falwell any day. When Falwell comes to terms with the immorality of contraception, he'll prove to be greater than an envangelical Al Sharpton. Let's not forget Falwell claimed 9/11 was the wrath of God for our sorry behavior.

Posted by: JimGooding at November 22, 2004 11:01 AM