Right-wing US evangelist opens like-minded law school in Virginia

The controversial Reverend Jerry Falwell is to open a Christian-led law school in a bid to produce a generation of lawyers to champion right-wing causes and fight abortion and gay rights.

Falwell, the founder of Lynchburg University in Virginia, where the school will be based, is reported to have said: “We’ll be as far to the right as Harvard is to the left. We want to infiltrate the culture with men and women of God who are skilled in the legal profession.”

According to the school’s website, lessons will mix law with “history, objective reality, morality and common sense”.

Initially, the school will take 61 students, but eventually it aims to have 450.

The school will not be the first of its kind. Regent University, also in Virginia, has run a Christian-influenced law school since 1986.

Former TV evangelist Falwell is a controversial figure. He had ridicule heaped on him when he claimed a Teletubbies character was gay and he also blamed the 11 September attacks on gay people and feminists, although he later apologised for this statement. In 2002 he said Mohammed was a terrorist, sparking rioting in India which left eight people dead.