Portraying Christians negatively seems to be fashionable

What do you think of the movie, “Inherit the Wind?”

(This is a continuation from last week.)

Last week I began to answer this question by comparing the movie with the facts.  This movie and play have been used since 1960 to distort the facts of the 1925 Scopes trial by making Christians and Southerners look ignorant and uninformed.  Here are just a few more comparisons of the movie with the facts:

The Movie:  William Jennings Bryan is depicted as pompous, close-minded, stupid, intolerant, hypocritical, insincere and gluttonous.  He questions Scopes’ girlfriend and brings her to tears with his cruel and abusive questioning.

The Facts:  There were no women participating in the trial.  Bryan is said to have been the perfect gentleman.  He was called the most brilliant orator of his time and  “The Great Commoner.”  The trial transcript depicts him as courteous and kind in all his questioning.  On the other hand, the trial transcript depicts Darrow as harsh and condescending to witnesses, the jurors, the opposing attorney and even the judge.  He was, in fact, cited for contempt of court for insulting the judge.

The Movie:  After the trial, Bryan goes into an fanatic tirade losing all sense of dignity and reason.  The crowd is bored and walks out and Bryan’s wife watches in horror as her husband goes insane.  Finally, Bryan collapses on the floor mumbling incoherently, is carried out, and pronounced dead.

The Facts:  Bryan had prepared a very well-supported, scientific and religious argument against evolution.  He did not die in the courtroom, but died in his sleep five days after the trial.  He was said to have neglected his health during the trial.

The Movie:  Bryan is put on the spot and agrees to be put on the stand to be questioned.

The Facts:  Darrow and Bryan both agreed to be put on the stand beforehand.  Bryan went first and his beliefs were attacked mercilessly by Darrow.  Before Darrow went on the stand he asked the judge to find Scopes guilty and therefore avoided cross-examination.  

The Movie:  Darrow questions a student of Scopes and makes a powerful point.  He demonstrates that by examining evolution the student is able to think for himself.  In addressing Bryan, Darrow makes the point that to believe in supernatural creation is hypocrital by asking,  “Why then would God plague us with the power to think?”

The Facts:  Darrow actually said,  “It’s absolute bigotry to present only one view of origin.”  A balanced treatment of the origin issue was overturned in Alabama in 1987.  In today’s government schools students are taught just what Darrow feared, not how to think, but what to think--end of discussion.  Ironically, that same “right to think” this movie tries so hard to illustrate is being abused by those that believe only evolution should be taught in school.

The Movie:  Bryan said he never read The Origin of Species.

The Facts:  Bryan said he read it 15 years earlier.

The Movie:  Bryan objects strenuously to the low amount of the fine.

The Facts:  Bryan actually offered to pay the fine out of his own pocket as a gesture of good will.

The Movie:  In an eloquent but biting remark, Darrow comments to Bryan about his perspective by illustrating his fascination with a bright and shiny rocking horse as a child.  The beautiful rocking horse broke the first time he tried it.  He compares it to the kind of religion that would believe in creation by saying it is, “all shine and no substance.  As long as the prerequisite for your shining paradise is ignorance and all that ignorance breeds - poverty, bigotry and hate - then I say, ‘To hell with it!’”

The Facts:  The irony is that this movie certainly proves that ignorance breeds “bigotry and hate.”  Those, like Darrow, have to be “willingly ignorant” of the facts to believe in evolution.  Evolutionists themselves have disproven all the so-called evidences for evolution presented in the Scopes trial.  Instead, what we see is bigotry and hatred directed toward Christians because of the “supposed discoveries of science” that “prove” evolution.  This socially acceptable form of hate-mongering is protected by the state sponsored answer to origin - evolution.

As you can see, the movie is a systematic, deliberate indoctrination in evolution, presenting Christianity in a derogatory fashion, i.e. it is pure and simple propaganda.  Since evolution cannot survive on the facts, it is important to reinforce the illusion of evolution with movies like “Inherit the Wind.”

Since the movie is a fictitious account of the Scopes trial, some claim we should not object.  I would agree if the Scopes trial were not a real event.  As a depiction of something that really happened in history, a dramatization like this one has a profound impact on the viewer’s ideas about evolution and Christians.

There seems to be an overwhelming appetite to see Christianity caricatured and mocked.  That makes great entertainment.  Clarence Darrow was accurate about one thing in the movie when he said, “...ignorance and fanaticism is forever busy.  It needs feeding.”

6/10/00
Page 19

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©Tom Carpenter
Originally published in the Rockdale/Newton Citizen