Olasky and Perry: Monkey Business (Modified)

Some of the language and phrasing in this document has been modified from the original.

Head Note: The passage below is from a book called Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial by two journalists, Marvin Olasky and John Perry. Olasky and Perry argue that the Scopes trial gave rise to the common stereotype of creationists as backward and stupid. As you read the passage below, think about how Olasky and Perry would answer the main inquiry question.

Journalists who came to Dayton in 1925 carried with them anger toward fundamentalist Christianity. Reporters described the story as one of pro-evolution intelligence versus anti-evolution stupidity. For example, one journalist summarized his view of the debate by noting, 'On the one side was bigotry, ignorance, hatred, superstition, every sort of blackness that the human mind is capable of. On the other side was sense."

Newspapers ran humorous comments about Dayton similar to today’s ethnic jokes; the New York Times, though, worried that the situation was serious, and wrote of "Cranks and Freaks" in a frontpage headline. The Times portrayed the Tennesseans entering the courthouse as zombies.

The stereotypes the Scopes trial pinned on Christians 80 years ago show no signs of fading. It’s time to shake off the hurtful legacy of the Scopes trial and show the true face of evangelical Christianity to a world more desperate than ever for truth, assurance, and answers.

Source: Excerpt from Marvin Olasky and John Perry’s book, Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial, 2005.