Falwell, Merges with Anti-Separationist Legal Group in Fla

Church & State, October 2000 | Go to article overview

Falwell, Merges with Anti-Separationist Legal Group in Fla


The Rev. Jerry Falwell has announced that one of his organizations is merging with Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group based in Orlando, Fla.

Falwell's National Liberty Journal carried a brief item about the merger last August. It reported that Liberty Counsel, founded and run by attorney Mat Staver, would merge with Jerry Falwell Ministries. No other details were given, except to say that Falwell's son, Jerry Falwell Jr., who is an attorney, would go to work for Liberty Counsel.

In at least one respect, the new partnership is unusual. Falwell is a fundamentalist Baptist with little tolerance for differing religious viewpoints. Stayer, according to a 1998 profile of him that ran in the Orlando Sentinel, is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor turned attorney. Adventist doctrines are based in part on the revelations of SDA leader Ellen White, and the church has sometimes been attacked as unorthodox by some fundamentalist Christians.

Adventists have historically supported church-state separation, but Staver toes the common Religious Right line on religion and government. …

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