Phase 4: Whose Sanctions?



Christians do not object to freedom of speech; they believe that Biblical truth can hold its own in a fair field. They concede the right of ministers to pass from belief to agnosticism or atheism, but they contend that they should be honest enough to separate themselves from the ministry and not attempt to debase the religion they profess. . . . It is time for Christians to protect religion from its most insidious enemy.

William Jennings Bryan (1922)(1)

With these words, the Great Commoner, three times the Democratic Party's nominee for President of the United States,(2) former Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson,(3) and the most famous ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.,(4) launched in the New York Times an attack on Darwinism and on the liberal clergymen who held Darwin's views on human evolution.

Bryan's New York Times article was a warning shot to Presbyterian liberals, although he did not identify his own denomination as a source of the problem. Over two decades of relative public peace within the Church were about to be brought to a close. A new era of doctrinal, personal, and rhetorical confrontation was about to begin. It would last for a decade and a half, and would end with the exodus of the most doctrinally Calvinistic members of the denomination and the creation of two new ecclesiastical organizations by those members: the Orthodox Presbyterian Church(5) in 1936 and the Bible Presbyterian Church in 1938.

As we shall see, however, Bryan's challenge to theological liberals was peripheral to his challenge to the American Establishment in the broadest sense. This battle would soon extend far beyond the narrow confines of the institutional Church.

Editors Bearing Gifts

As a politician, he should have been suspicious of any request by the editors of the New York Times to give him free space on page 1 of Section VII of the Sunday edition. He should have asked himself: "What's the catch?" The offer was bait, and he bit. He had little choice: to have refused would have played into the editors' hands. "We gave him a chance to respond, but he did not." Three years later, the hook attached to this bait led to the destruction of his reputation and the beginning of a half-century rout of the fundamentalist movement in America.

The editors had an agenda. It was initially defensive, for Bryan had an offensive agenda. His agenda had only recently been manifested by political events. Politics, not theology as such, was what caught the Times' attention. Publishing Bryan's essay also offered the added benefit of being able to sell Bryan's publisher advertising space for Bryan's recently published book, In His Image.

Bryan in 1921 had been invited to deliver the annual Sprunt lectures at the "other" Union: Union Theological Seminary of Richmond, Virginia, a conservative Southern Presbyterian seminary.(6) The previous year, Machen had delivered the lectures that became The Origin of Paul's Religion. In October, Bryan delivered his lectures, which were published as In His Image.(7) Chapter 4, "The Origin of Man," was subsequently published as a separate book, The Menace of Darwinism.(8)

The revival of confrontational rhetoric came from outside the Presbyterian Church. Political modernists initiated it. Theological modernists inside the Church merely followed the lead of their colleagues on the outside. Modern readers may be amazed at the level of vituperation. It is important to understand that basic to the strategy of the liberals has been the promulgation of a lie, still repeated: "The conservatives were guilty of excessive rhetoric." Theological conservatives were subsequently blamed by modernists and their spiritual heirs, who have written the history books, for what the modernists in fact adopted as a primary tactic: a level of confrontational rhetoric beyond the limits of acceptable public discourse, i.e., acceptable to liberals when used by conservatives, which the conservatives in fact did not use. What prompted this revival of rhetoric was a political issue that went to the very heart of the American experiment in the separation of Church and State: control over the content of public education.

Bluegrass Democracy

Between 1921 and 1929, 37 anti-evolution bills were introduced into state legislatures.(9) These bills forbade the teaching of evolution in taxpayer-funded schools. In 1917, this demand had been made before the Kentucky legislature, and in 1921, a rider to this effect was attached to an appropriations bill in South Carolina.(10) Kentucky began to debate such a law in early January, 1922. Bryan addressed a joint session of the legislature on January 19, devoting the second half of his speech to the question of teaching Darwinism in the public schools and universities supported by government funds. Representative George Ellis introduced such a bill a few days later.(11) Soon, Bryan received invitations to speak before the legislatures of Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Florida.(12)

This threat of the removal of tax subsidies for Darwinian evolution was regarded by modernists as a sword of Damocles over their collective heads. At the public university level, this was indeed a major threat. At the public school level, this threat was not yet a major threat, for American high schools rarely taught Darwinism. High school textbooks did not discuss Darwin's thesis to any appreciable degree, nor did they promote creationism. This was still true in the centenary of Darwin's Origin of Species in 1959. Hermann J. Muller, Nobel laureate in physiology, complained in The Humanist in 1959, "One Hundred Years Without Darwin Are Enough."(13) We must bring the truths of Darwinism to the little child, he said.(14) But the public school textbook publishers in the United States are too fearful of losing sales to promote Darwinism. "Are we then to allow the urge for profits to keep our children and, through them, all our people benighted and a hundred years out of date in their world view?"(15) What was true in 1959 was even more true in 1922.

The modernists knew that the vast majority of the nation did not accept Darwinian evolution in 1922. This is why they greatly feared democracy on this issue, and feared Bryan above all, for he still could rally large numbers of the Democratic Party's troops, millions of whom who were in the pews of conservative churches on Sunday morning.

The Attack Begins

On February 2, the Times ran a story, "Darwinian Theory Stirs Up Kentucky." Support for the bill was evenly divided in the state, the Times asserted, with rural areas favoring it and cities against it. The battle had been going on for months, the story reported; then Bryan came to speak. The ex-commissioner of education told the press: "Such legislation belongs to the dark ages." He asked rhetorically: Why not teach the flat earth or a stationary earth?(16) These two themes--medievalism and the flat earth--were to be invoked repeatedly in the attacks that followed.

On the same page, the Times reprinted a letter from Columbia University's president, Nicholas Murray Butler. Butler served as president of Columbia from 1901 to 1945. He had been the founder of the Industrial Education Association, which later established Columbia Teachers College, the most influential teachers institution in the United States. He served as Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1925 until 1945. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.(17) In short, he was a major figure in American education. He had written his letter to the president of the University of Kentucky, who had issued a national plea for assistance.

Butler's rhetoric never dealt seriously with Bryan's argument, namely, that the voters of a state can legitimately determine what their tax money is spent for. Butler's rhetoric was entirely specious. "The bill, as you describe it, seems to me to lack vigor and completeness. It should, I think, be amended before passage to include in its prohibition the use of any book in which the word evolution is defined, used or referred to in any way. It might even be desirable to include a prohibition of books that use any of the letters by which the word evolution could be spelled, since in this way some unscrupulous person might, by ingenious effort, evade the salutary provisions of the law." He then compared the bill with Soviet tyranny: "I take it for granted that the introducer of the bill is in close communion with the rulers of Soviet Russia, since he is faithfully reproducing one of their fundamental policies." This was all rhetoric and no logic.

Democracy Has Limits

The next day, the Times ran an editorial that did not shy away from the implications for democracy posed by the bill. The Times repudiated democracy. It invoked the flat-earth analogy. "Kentucky Rivals Illinois" began with an attack on someone in Illinois named Wilbur G. Voliva, who did believe in the flat earth. Next, it switched to Kentucky. "Stern reason totters on her seat when asked to realize that in this day and country people with powers to decide educational questions should hold and enunciate opinions such as these." To banish the teaching of evolution is the equivalent of banishing the teaching of the multiplication table.(18)

Three days later, the Times followed with another editorial, appropriately titled, "Democracy and Evolution." It began: "It has been recently argued by a distinguished educational authority that the successes of education in the United States are due, in part at least, `to its being kept in close and constant touch with the people themselves.' What is happening in Kentucky does not give support to this view."(19) The Progressives' rhetoric of democracy was nowhere to be found in the Times' articles on Bryan and creationism, for the editors suspected that Bryan had the votes. For the Progressives, democracy was a tool of social change, not an unbreakable principle of civil government; a slogan, not a moral imperative. Though often cloaked in religious terms, democracy was merely a means to an end. What was this end? Control over other people's money and, if possible, the minds of their children.

The Divinization of Man by Default

Then the writer got to the theological heart of the matter: the divinization of man by default. Two theologians had sent telegrams to the president of the University of Kentucky complaining that Bryan's views dishonor God and man. "This will pain Mr. Bryan, who seems to hold that it is dishonorable to man as well as to God that man should have been created mediately out of the dust of the earth." But Bryan's creationist point was only that it dishonors God to identify hypothetically impersonal forces of nature--the only forces Darwin and his heirs believe in prior to the advent of purposeful man--as the source of creation.

This was only the beginning. In the Sunday supplement for February 5, John M. Clarke was given an opportunity to comment on the Kentucky case. He was the Director of the State Museum at Albany. His rhetoric returned to the important theme of the weakness of democracy in the face of ignorant voters. I cite the piece at length because readers are unlikely to have a copy of this article readily at hand, and when it comes to rhetoric, summaries rarely do justice to the power of words. It began:

Our sovereign sister Kentucky, where fourteen and one half men in every hundred can neither read nor write, is talking about adding to the mirth of the nation in these all too joyless days by initiating legislation to put a end to that "old bad devil" evolution. Luther threw an ink bottle at one of his kind; the Kentucky legislators are making ready to throw a statute which will drive this serpent of the poisoned sting once and for all beyond the confines of the State, and not a school wherein this mischiefmaker is harbored shall have 1 cent of public moneys.

He identified as the source of this bill "the distinguished Chautauqua savant, William Jennings Bryan," a sneer at both Chautauqua and Bryan. Chautauqua was the major lecture circuit for the nation. Founded by a pair of Methodists in 1874, Chautauqua soon became America's most successful early experiment in adult education prior to World War I. By 1918, 300,000 people were enrolled in 10,000 local circles, receiving an informal but structured education.(20) It had been run by the theological modernist, William Rainey Harper, from 1883 to 1897. (Beginning in 1892, he also organized the Rockefellers' University of Chicago.)(21) Chautauqua openly promoted the science of evolution.(22) So, Clarke's sneer against Chautauqua was social, not ideological.

Invoking Old Testament language, Clarke predicted that the legislators "will smite the enemy hip and thigh." Why not amend the state's constitution and make the idea of evolution illegal? Again, he returned to the theme of the threat of democracy:

When the majority of the voters, of which fourteen and a half out of each hundred can neither read nor write, have settled this matter, if they are disposed to do the right thing they will not stop at evolution. There is a fiction going about through the schools that the earth is round and revolves around the sun, and if Frankfort [Kentucky] is to be and remain the palladium of reason and righteousness, this hideous heresay [heresy] must also be wiped out.

Here it was again: the flat earth. It has been a favorite rhetorical device used against biblical creationists for a long time. The claim that pre-Columbus medieval scholars regarded the earth as flat, it turns out, is entirely mythical--a myth fostered in modern times. Jeffrey Burton Russell, the distinguished medieval historian, has disposed of this beloved myth of the flat earth.(23) The modernists who have invoked this myth have not done their homework.

They have also not done their homework on medieval science in general, which was extremely sophisticated. This has been proven by the French historian of science and theoretical physicist, Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), whose ten volumes on the subject are exhaustive: Le système du monde. The first five volumes were in print in 1917; the second five volumes appeared in 1954-59. In between, the French academic community and publishing world suppressed their publication because they undermined one of the most cherished myths of the Enlightenment, namely, that medieval science was "medieval." The story of this exercise in humanist academic censorship has been written by his biographer, physicist and historian Stanley Jaki.(24) Even today, the only favorable references to Duhem that I have ever seen, other than in Jaki's writings, are two brief sentences in Robert Nisbet's History of the Idea of Progress (1980).(25)

The theological issue for Clarke was, ultimately, the divinization of man by default, and the divinization of nature: capital N. "It may be that the conception of the continuity and unity of life from its starting point on earth up to the climax it has reached in man does magnify the place of humanity in the scheme of Nature. The doctrine of evolution predicates this, teaches that out of the struggles of the ages man has stepped forth as the supreme result, not a finished product, far from that, but with always the glory of a growing hope for something better beyond. It would seem as though no more inspiring thought could be imparted to youth. . . ." Here was a vision of autonomous man's progress, and Bryan was calling this into question. Bryan believed in progress, and democratic progress above all; he just did not believe in man's autonomy.

The Rural Masses

Then it was back to the rhetoric of contempt for the masses, and the elevation of the scientific elite. "It would seem reasonable to assume that the demonstration of the fundamental doctrine of all Nature, inorganic as well as organic, might well be left to those who have brought to bear upon it the highest intellectual refinements. But it is a pleasing thought to fancy the erudite Nebraskan in academic cap and--gown, of course; we almost said bells, inspiring the Democratic majority of Kentucky to vote that Evolution isn't so! and to penalize any one who dares say it is! It is by such means as this that civilization advances and America assures her own high place among the cultured nations of the world."(26) The allusion to cap and bells--the clown's costume in the medieval world--was not all that clever, but it surely revealed Clarke's contempt for Bryan, his democratic politics, and his Christianity.

On February 9, another Times editorial cited the Louisville Courier-Journal as having identified Bryan as the initiator behind the bill. Bryan had raised up "ignorant fanatics" who had "intimidated" legislators. The Times warned: "Kentucky is not the only State in the Union, by any means, for whose village theologians the name of Darwin is still one with which to scare children. . . ." A nice rhetorical flourish: "village theologians." Here was a theme that carried through subsequent Times editorials to the media's coverage of the Scopes trial three years later to the screenplay of Inherit the Wind: rural Americans as ignorant fanatics, and the readers of urban newspapers as intelligent people. The Times identified the Courier-Journal as the spokesman for "intelligent Kentuckians."(27)

Challenging the Flow of Funds

In his essay, Bryan thanked the editor for having invited him to contribute. He need not have bothered. If ever there was a set-up, it was this.

After surveying at some length why he did not believe that Darwin's hypothesis was scientifically correct (Darwin's theory of sexual selection, already a scientific embarrassment in Bryan's day, was one reason),(28) he got to the heart of the matter from his point of view: democratic politics. "The Bible has in many places been excluded from the schools on the ground that religion should not be taught by those paid by public taxation. If this doctrine is sound, what right have the enemies of religion to teach irreligion in the public schools? If the Bible cannot be taught, why should Christian taxpayers permit the teaching of guesses that make the Bible a lie?" This surely was a legitimate question, one which has yet to be answered in terms of a theory of strict academic neutrality. But Paxton Hibben, in his 1929 biography of Bryan (Introduction by Charles A. Beard), dismissed this argument as "a specious sort of logic. . . . [Government-funded] schools, he reasoned, were the indirect creations of the mass of citizens. If this were true, those same citizens could control what was taught in them."(29) If this were true: the subjunctive mood announced Paxton's rejection of Bryan's premise--spoken on behalf humanist educators, from Horace Mann in Massachusetts to this week's multi-million dollar battle over selecting state-approved high school textbooks. When it comes to a threat to their self-accredited monopoly over public education, humanists can spot a "specious" argument at 300 yards. They reply, in rigorous logical fashion, "Citizens are morally and legally obligated to pay us to teach their children whatever we want to teach them, especially if they should disagree with what we teach."

Christians fund denominational colleges, Bryan pointed out. They pay to have their view of religion taught. He then raised a suggestion that, more than any other, was as welcome to the modernists, both political and theological, as a looking into a mirror was to Bela Lugosi's Dracula: "If atheists want to teach atheism, why do they not built [build] their own schools and employ their own teachers?" This was the heart of the matter, and remains so. He repeated this argument in his Preface to The Menace of Darwinism (p. 6). The thought of self-funding has always been abhorrent to liberals. Accepting rich men's money, yes; access to tithers' money and taxpayers' money, yes; but liberals avoid self-funding at all costs because it costs so much.(30)

A year later, in a speech to West Virginia lawmakers, Bryan argued that scientists had no rightful claim on the taxpayers' money. It is not an infringement on freedom of speech for a state legislature to refuse to fund ideas that taxpayers oppose. He then uttered the words, more than any other words, that describe why education has been a political battle zone for two centuries around the world: "The hand that writes the pay check rules the school."(31) It was this doctrine, more than any other, which professional educators had to destroy through court action, since they found it embarrassing to oppose it publicly, given liberalism's official commitment to democracy. Clarence Darrow's defense strategy at the Scopes trial in 1925 was to get the jury to declare Scopes guilty, so that the defense lawyers could appeal the decision to a higher court and get it reversed. This same strategy undergirded the secularization of American public education after 1960--which at last overturned the state laws that made possible the Scopes decision.

Other People's Money

The supreme judicial issue was this: control over other people's money. Bryan's attack was a direct shot at the heart of the modernist worldview and program, both political modernism and theological. The central assertion of modernism, from Lester Frank Ward's Dynamic Sociology (1883) to the present, is this: the moral authority and legal right an educated elite that understands the processes of Darwinian evolution to commandeer the instruments of political coercion, as well as public funds gained through the threat of State coercion, in order to guide scientifically the evolution of the social order. This was American Progressivism's main agreed-upon doctrine. It was also the non-negotiable demand of theological liberals, who applied modernism's doctrine of the commandeering of State assets to Church assets, irrespective of the theological confessions of laymen whose money funded the Church. The divisions that arose within modernism were many, but they all had to do with the political battle over the distribution of the loot.

If Bryan was successful in this political project, modernism could lose the war. Modernists understood, just as Unitarian Horace Mann had understood in the 1830's, that the public school system is America's only established Church.(32) "Perhaps the most striking power that the churches surrendered under religious freedom was control over public education," writes Church historian Sidney Mead.(33) Bryan was threatening to reclaim this power and reclaim America's future by means of the method that Ward had said is the best way to control other people's thinking: by excluding certain ideas from discussion in the public schools.(34) Ward called this the method of exclusion (his italics). "This, however, is the essence of what is here meant by education, which may be regarded as a systematic process for the manufacture of correct opinions."(35) Bryan assumed that in what he called a fair fight, the Christians would win. By excluding both creationism and Darwinism from the public schools, he believed that the Christians would win the debate. This was naive on his part, for the assumption of educational neutrality with respect to the Bible is inherently anti-theistic, but the modernists were determined not to permit Bryan's test.

The debate over Darwinism in the public schools was an aspect of the politics of plunder. The politics of plunder came early in America, and it came at the very heart of the Puritan society: the State's establishment of Church and school. Here was where the flow of ideas would be controlled through control over the flow of funds. The New England Puritans had imposed this control system by 1647. Ward had merely extended the Puritans' strategy in the name of Darwinism. New England in 1635 made local church attendance compulsory, and in 1638 legislated compulsory financial support of these churches.(36) In 1642, the General Court of New Haven established a local school; Hartford followed this example and allocated funds for its school.(37) In 1647, the General Court of Massachusetts passed a law mandating that every town of 50 or more inhabitants establish a school, and that tax money be used to pay for these schools if parents refused.(38) Connecticut imitated this statute in 1650.(39) Residents, in short, were threatened with civil violence if they refused to support Church and school with their money and their persons, whether or not they believed in what was being taught. They had to attend Church, and their children had to attend school, or the State would impose negative sanctions. While the compulsory local church attendance laws were not systematically enforced in New England after 1650,(40) the other elements of coercion remained. With the coming of disestablishment laws from 1776 through the 1820's, the churches were cut out of the distribution of the loot, but increases in both the level of funding and the level of coercion associated with the public schools in the nineteenth century more than offset this minimal ecclesiastical deliverance from civil bondage.

America's schools followed the theological path which the churches of New England travelled. The schools began as Calvinist strongholds; the New England Primer is representative. The First Great Awakening and the American Revolution moved them from Puritanism into pietistic nationalism; the Second Great Awakening reinforced this. In Massachusetts in the 1830's, Horace Mann moved them into Unitarianism. In Bryan's day, the war was fought between an implicit common-ground Unitarian theism, disguised as Protestant culture, and Darwinian modernism. Bryan, in the name of the Bible, was trying to retain the traditional classroom theism of Unitarianism; his opponents were trying to move the schools into secularism. The doctrine of evolution was the touchstone on both sides of the battle.

To seek to replace what is taught in taxpayer-supported schools is to seek to replace the existing Establishment. An Establishment understands this threat. It fully understood in 1922. The American Establishment in the 1920's was modernist: theological, political, or both. It was evolutionist in its view of the origin of man. Bryan had to be stopped. In 1925, he was stopped. But the trap was set in early 1922.

Professional Educators Protest

The barrage of ink began again. On March 2, this headline announced a story on the annual convention of the National Education Association, the teachers' union: "Paint W. J. Bryan as a `Medievalist.'" He had adopted, the convention was told, "methods of the Dark Ages. . . ." Columbia University economist E. R. A. Seligman again invoked the flat earth analogy: "Now, if we are going back to childhood, let's go all the way. Let's teach that the earth is flat and that the sun moves around it." He then recommended the creation of an exhibit that features the dinosaur and other extinct animals as proofs of evolution. (A decade later, Seligman served as Editor-in-Chief of the influential Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences.)

Dr. Frank Spaulding, dean of Yale's graduate school of education, brought up the crucial issue of sanctions. To resort to politics in order to keep the doctrine of evolution from spreading reveals a "wavering faith." (Rhetorical question: Is this also true of today's Darwinians, who have used the Supreme Court to remove every trace of creationism from public school curricula? Real question: Or is it a matter of sanctions, without which no worldview can become operational?) Then he invoked Briggs' ancient argument: the true Christians are the liberals. True Christianity is open to the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Bryan's methods are wrong. "Such methods lead away from the true spirit of the Bible."(41)

So much for the "creation in the public schools" debate, a familiar one in our own day. There was to be no debate. The issues have not changed: control over tax money by the educational establishment, the public's suspicion of the good judgment of that establishment, the theoretical possibility of neutral education, the presuppositions of science, and Christian dreams of reforming tax-supported education. In short, so much for one more familiar battlefield of the politics of plunder.

It is now time to dig up one of the best-suppressed stories in American history. This, you will not find in the textbooks. It will not take much brainpower to figure out why.

Eugenics and the American Establishment (Pre-Hitler)

Henry Fairfield Osborn's response to Bryan was prominently featured on page 2 of the March 5 Sunday supplement. It is important to understand who he was and what (and who) he represented. He was one of America's earliest trained evolutionists, having studied under Thomas Huxley ("Darwin's bulldog").(42) In 1922, he was president of the Museum of Natural History in New York. He was professor of zoology at Columbia University. More important, he was a leading eugenicist, dedicated to the proposition that the scientific breeding of men is both possible and desirable. He had been a co-founder of the pro-eugenics Galton Society in 1918.(43) Galton, the origintor of eugenics, was Darwin's cousin. He had been knighted in 1908 and in 1909 had been awarded the Copley Medal, the highest honor of Britain's prestigious Royal Society.(44)

Eugenics and Nordic Supremacy

Another co-founder was his lawyer friend, Madison Grant,(45) author of the then-famous (and now infamous) book, The Passing of the Great Race, published by Scribner's in 1916,(46) which by 1921 was in its fourth edition. It was a defense of the Nordic master race theory. Osborn wrote the prefaces to the first and second printings, which were retained in subsequent editions. This was reciprocated by Grant, who identified Osborn as one of the two men whose works he relied upon most heavily. The other was economist William Z. Ripley, who wrote The Races of Europe (1899).(47)

Osborn's Preface to the 1916 first edition made plain his own views: in European history, "race has played a far larger part than either language or nationality in moulding the destinies of men; race implies heredity and heredity implies all the moral, social, and intellectual characteristics and traits that are the springs of politics and government."(48) Grant's book is a "racial history of Europe," which, Osborn insisted, "There is no gainsaying that this is the correct scientific method of approaching the problem of the past."(49) He called this methodology "modern eugenics."(50) The book is about the "conservation of that race which has given us the true spirit of Americanism. . . ."(51) In the second printing (1917), he made himself perfectly clear: ". . . the Anglo-Saxon branch of the Nordic race is again showing itself to be that upon which the nation must chiefly depend for leadership, for courage, for loyalty, for unity and harmony of action, for self-sacrifice and devotion to an ideal. Not that members of other races are not doing their part, many of them are, but in no other human stock which has come to this country is there displayed the unanimity of heart, mind and action which is now being displayed by the descendants of the blue-eyed, fair-haired peoples of the north of Europe."(52) With the passing of the great race, the whole world faces a crisis: ". . . these strains of the real human aristocracy once lost are lost forever."(53)

In Chapter 4, "The Competition of Races," Grant warned against the reduced birth rate of successful, wealthy races. It leads to "race suicide" when the encouragement of "indiscriminate reproduction" is heeded by the "undesirable elements."(54) Altruism, philanthropy, and sentimentalism are a threat because they "intervene with the noblest purpose and forbid nature to penalize the unfortunate victims of reckless breeding," which leads to "the multiplication of inferior types."(55) He then made his point clear: "Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race."(56)

There is now scientific hope in this regard: "A rigid system of selection through the elimination of those who are weak or unfit--in other words, social failures--would solve the whole question in a century, as well as enable us to get rid of the undesirables who crowd our jails, hospitals and insane asylums. The individual himself can be nourished, educated and protected by the community during his lifetime, but the state through sterilization must see to it that his line stops with him or else future generations will be cursed with an ever increasing load of victims of misguided sentimentalism."(57)

This book became a best-seller in the United States when Adolph Hitler was a corporal in the German Army. Chronology here is important.

Grant, in turn, wrote the Introduction for fellow eugenicist Lothrop Stoddard's book, The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, published by Scribner's in 1921, the year that Scribner's published the fourth edition of Grant's book, one year before the company published Stoddard's The Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Underman. (Scribner's was systematically cashing in on a rising tide of color: green.) In his Introduction, Grant informed his readers, "The backbone of western civilization is racially Nordic. . . . If this great race, with its capacity for leadership and fighting, should ultimately pass, with it would pass that which we call civilization. It would be succeeded by an unstable and bastardized population where worth and merit would have no inherent right to leadership and among which a new and darker age would blot out our racial inheritance" (pp. xxix-xxx). Wherever they looked, backward or forward, eugenicists saw a dark age. Christianity gave us the old one; Asians, Jews, southern and eastern Europeans, and Negroes threaten to give us a new one. The Nordic race is just barely hanging on for dear life: ". . . competition of the Nordic with the alien is fatal, whether the latter be the lowly immigrant from southern or eastern Europe or whether he be the more obviously dangerous Oriental against whose standards of living the white man cannot compete" (pp. xxx-xxxi). German translations of Grant and Stoddard were read widely years before the Nazis came to power in 1933.(58)

Eugenics was a widely received faith among American Progressives after 1900. Walter Truett Anderson has described the origins of eugenics in the United States from the early years of the century. "America's gates swung open for eugenics. Lavish support came forth from the wealthy families and the great foundations. [Charles] Davenport established a research center--the Station for the Experimental Study of Evolution--with a grant from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and later added a Eugenics Record Office with grants from the Harriman and Rockefeller families."(59) Davenport's Station was set up in 1904.(60) The Eugenics Record Office was established in 1910 with money from Mary Harriman, Averell's sister. Over the next decade, she put at least $500,000 into the project.(61) John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated money to it.(62) He also gave money to start the American Eugenics Society,(63) which was co-founded by Osborn.(64) It was organized in 1923. It published A Eugenics Catechism in 1926, which included this insight: "Q. Does eugenics contradict the Bible? A. The Bible has much to say about eugenics. It tells us that men do not gather grapes from thorns and figs from thistles. . . ."(65)

Eugenics and Forced Sterilization

The eugenics idea had political consequences. In 1907, Indiana passed the first compulsory sterilization law in America.(66) States passed laws against marriages between people who were "eugenically unfit." By the late 1920's, 28 states had passed compulsory sterilization laws; some 15,000 Americans had been sterilized before 1930. This figure rose by another 15,000 over the next decade.(67) (In 22 states, Federally restricted versions of these laws still existed in the mid-1980's.)(68) This was also the era of laws against interracial marriage; 30 states passed such laws between 1915 and 1930.(69) (These laws no longer exist.)

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Buck v. Bell (1927), upheld Virginia's model sterilization law, which was carried out on 19-year-old Carrie Buck. By a vote of 8 to 1, the Court upheld this before the girl was sterilized; her guardian had opposed the action. The Court included Progressives William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis, who voted to uphold. The lone dissenter was Pierce Butler, a conservative, who wrote no opinion.(70) The Court's opinion, written by justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, announced: "We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the state for these lesser sacrifices. . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough."(71) Holmes was the justice most closely associated with the ideal of evolutionary law, whose book, The Common Law (1881), had articulated this ideal. Here was political modernism in action: the State as biological predestinator.(72)

There was no vocal opposition. Writes Kevles: "Buck v. Bell generally stimulated either favorable, cautious, or--most commonly--no comment. Few if any newspapers took notice of the impact of the decision on civil liberties in the United States."(73) Carrie's daughter Vivian, who died young of an intestinal disorder, went through second grade. Her teachers regarded her as very bright.(74)

Virginia also sterilized Carrie's sister Doris in 1928. She found out about this 52 years later. The physicians had told her that the operation was to remove her appendix. When she found out, she broke down and cried. "My husband and me wanted children desperately. We were crazy about them. I never knew what they'd done to me."(75) Obviously, the woman was a hopeless imbecile; she should have said, "My husband and I," and she used an indefinite pronoun reference: "they." No children for her! The U.S. Supreme Court, the state of Virginia, and Progressive Darwinian science agreed: "The Bucks stop here."

The United States became the model for pre-Nazi German racial hygienists after World War I.(76) The Nazis merely applied on a massive scale a program that their liberal predecessors had recommended. A decade before Hitler came to power, G. K. Chesterton predicted what was coming in Germany. He explained why in his book, Eugenics and Other Evils (1922). He called eugenics "terrorism by tenth-rate professors."(77) The influence of the eugenics movement in Germany accelerated after Hitler came to power in 1933. Sterilization had been illegal in Germany prior to Hitler; he changed the law in July, 1933.(78) Two million people were ordered sterilized by the Nazi's Eugenics Courts as eugenically unfit, 1933 to 1945.(79)

In 1939, the year of the "Duty to be Healthy," the Nazi program of sterilization went to the next phase: "mercy killings" of mentally and physically handicapped people who were incarcerated in hospitals and mental asylums. One estimate is that some 200,000 people were killed in this way during World War II. Physicians superintended the massacre.(80) Proctor writes: "For several years [prior to 1939], German health officials had campaigned to stigmatize the mentally and physically handicapped as people with `lives unworthy of living.' Films like `Erbrank' (`The Genetically Diseased') portrayed well-groomed, white-coated psychiatrists patronizing ill-kempt patients cast as human refuse. . . . Propaganda efforts of this sort were important, for though the operation was both secret and illegal (a euthanasia law was drafted but never approved), there was an obvious need to deflect potential opposition--especially from the churches."(81) The Nazis understood in 1939 what the humanist media in the United States had understood in 1922: churches could have become a major threat to their genetic ideal and program of forced sterilization for genetic purposes. As it turned out in both countries, however, churches remained mute on the issue.

In 1921, Osborn had used the Museum to host the Second International Congress of Eugenics.(82) At that Congress, he had announced: "The right of the state to safeguard the character and integrity of the race or races on which its future depends is, to my mind, as incontestable as the right of the state to safeguard the health and morals of its people. As science has enlightened government in the prevention and spread of disease, it must also enlighten government in the prevention of the spread and multiplication of worthless members of society, the spread of feeble-mindedness, of idiocy, and of all moral and intellectual as well as physical diseases."(83) Sanctions must be applied.

Osborn in 1922 was safely inside Rockefeller's charmed circle. He became one of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s advisors on conservation issues after he and Madison Grant created the Save-the-Redwoods League in 1919, which Rockefeller supported.(84) When Junior would bring his boys to visit the Museum of Natural History, Osborn would sometimes personally conduct their tour.(85) The Osborn family's connection to the Rockefellers went back to the days of John D., Sr.(86) Junior put Frederick Osborn, Henry's nephew, on the board of the Rockefeller Institute in 1938. It was through Frederick that the Rockefellers were drawn away from eugenics and into the population control movement.(87) (Liberalism's faith in population control has replaced its earlier faith, equally confident, in the now-politically incorrect eugenics movement as a means of reducing the number of those who, in Grant's words, "are themselves of no value to the community." Between 1965 and 1976, the Rockefeller and Ford foundations poured $250 million into population control projects.)(88)

"Good Cop, Bad Cop"

The Times' editors adopted a version of the "good cop, bad cop" prisoner interrogation technique: a seemingly mild-mannered sterilizer began the public disemboweling of Bryan, and a hard-nosed sterilizer completed the operation.

Osborn's rebuttal to Bryan was rhetorically dispassionate. This made it unique among the Times' anti-Bryan articles. Instead of citing evolutionary dogma for Bryan, Osborn emphasized dead religious thinkers who supposedly had accepted evolution. One surely had: the nineteenth-century eccentric (and chaplain to Queen Victoria) Charles Kingsley. He is more famous as the author of Water Babies than for his theology. Kingsley had written a letter to F. D. Maurice proclaiming his commitment to evolution. The orthodoxy of his theology can be judged by another letter that he wrote to Maurice in 1863 to describe his new discovery that "souls secrete their bodies, as snails do shells. . . ."(89) Kingsley's social theories were racist to the core. After visiting Ireland during a famine, he wrote: "I am daunted by the human chimpanzees I saw along that hundred miles of horrible country. I don't believe they are our fault. I believe that there are not many more of them than of old, but that they are happier, better and more comfortably fed and lodged under our rule than they ever were. But to see white chimpanzees is dreadful; if they were black, one would not feel it so much, but their skins, except where tanned by exposure, are as white as ours."(90)

Osborn also cited Augustine at some length on how nature should teach us truth. He was unaware of, or deliberately ignored, the fact that Augustine wrote in the City of God: "For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed rather than refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a space of time so different from, and contrary to, the ascertained truth?"(91) Then he told Bryan that evolution is one kind of truth, religion another kind. If Bryan had entertained any doubts about his critics' opposition to the Bible's account of creation, Osborn's article would have cured him. But one citation was calculated to do real harm: Osborn's reference to the influence in his life of Princeton University's James McCosh, who had indeed been an evolutionist. Invoking the beloved McCosh was a good tactic in dealing with a conservative Presbyterian. Bryan, however, regarded theistic evolution as "an anesthetic which deadens the pain while the patient's religion is being gradually removed . . . a way-station on the highway that leads from Christian faith to No-God-Land."(92)

On the whole, Osborn's essay was mild-mannered and polite. That was bait. Then came a hook. His article ran over to page 14, where it occupied a few inches in the middle of the page. Filling page 14 was a large headline and a long article by Princeton University's E. G. Conklin. The headline was prophetic of liberal rhetoric yet to come: "Bryan and Evolution. Why His Statements Are Erroneous and Misleading--Theology Amusing If Not Pathetic."

Dr. Conklin was one of the prominent biologists of the day.(93) He was quite familiar with Grant's Passing of the Great Race, having footnoted it in 1921 as his only source in a chapter on "Modern Races and Man."(94) It did not seem to bother him that Grant was a lawyer with no formal training in biology, genetics, anthropology, or any other natural science. Conklin followed this with references to Stoddard's Rising Tide of Color in his chapter, "Hybridization of Races."(95) He also cited Osborn's Contemporary Evolution of Man.(96)

Conklin was a defender of what he called the religion of evolution.(97) As he said, "the greatest and most practical work of religion is to further the evolution of a better race."(98) "To a large extent mankind holds the power of controlling its destiny on this planet."(99) (Problem: when we say that man must control man's destiny, this means that some men must do the controlling, while others must be controlled.) He concluded his book with a section insisting that "the religion of evolution is nothing new, but is the old religion of Confucius and Plato and Moses and especially Christ which strives to develop a better and nobler human race and to establish the kingdom of God on earth."(100) It was an inspirational thought, how Moses and Jesus always seemed to be on the side of modernism, inside or outside the Church, despite modernism's denial of the literal truth of the Bible's account of Moses and Jesus--or perhaps because of this discrepancy.

As part of this kingdom-building effort, Conklin believed that the State should either segregate or sterilize citizens suffering from inherited defects, who presumably carry unfavorable genes.(101) Society needs intelligent guidance, he said. He then adopted the passive voice, which evaded the famous question posed by Lenin: "Who, whom?" "In time, under intelligent guidance, the worst qualities of the race might be weeded out and the best qualities preserved. This is the goal toward which intelligent effort should be directed. This should be the supreme duty of society and of all who love their fellow man."(102) He ended this book with a quotation from the founder of the idea of eugenics, Galton.

In his Times article, Bryan had referred to the hypothesis of evolution as a guess. Conklin responded that it was a guess in the way that the law of gravitation is a guess. Then, in a tone more suitable for pre-Heisenberg science, let alone pre-Kuhn,(103) he announced that this guess "is supported by all the evidence available, which continually receives additional support from new discoveries and which is not contradicted by any scientific evidence. . . . In the face of all these facts, Mr. Bryan and his kind hurl their medieval theology. It would be amusing if it were not so pathetic." (The next time that all the evidence supports any proposed scientific hypothesis will be the first.) "Bryan and his kind" were surely not Conklin and his kind: theologians of State-enforced sterilization. "Bryan and his kind" were pathetic.

Osborn and Conklin were representative of scientific opinion in their day. Osborn in 1928 wrote a Foreword to Creation by Evolution: A Consensus, an anthology published by Macmillan.(104) Conklin in that volume waxed eloquent about the superiority of the facts of evolutionary development over "prescientific" concepts of acts of creation--"vastly more wonderful," in fact.(105) He attacked fundamentalists. This appeared in his concluding remarks in a chapter on embryology, which is evidence that theology was never far from his mind.

These men were dedicated eugenicists. When, after World War II, it became clear just how seriously the Nazis had taken these ideas, eugenics fell completely out of favor with the public. This decline had begun in the mid-1930's, for obvious political reasons.(106) In 1940, the Carnegie Institution shut down the Eugenics Record Office.(107) The surviving founders of the supposed academic discipline of eugenics just stopped talking about it. They were not penalized retroactively in any way for having advocated the monstrous policy of forced sterilization. There were no negative sanctions applied. Osborn became the founder of the Conservation Foundation in 1947, which Rockefeller's son Laurance helped launch.(108) He died in 1969, no longer quoted as an authority, but with his reputation intact. Yet in 1922, he and Conklin were used by the Times to launch the scientific and rhetorical assault against American fundamentalism. To this day, their representative victim, Bryan, is regarded as a scientific ignoramus. But Bryan's view of creation never led to the forced sterilization of anyone.

Bryan vs. Eugenics

Bryan recognized that a ruthless hostility to charity was the dark side of Darwinism. Had Darwin's theory been irrelevant, he said, it would have been harmless. "This hypothesis, however, does incalculable harm. It teaches that Christianity impairs the race physically. That was the first implication at which I revolted. It led me to review the doctrine and reject it entirely."(109) He cited the notorious (and morally inescapable) passage in Darwin's Descent of Man: "With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man."(110) He could have continued to quote from the passage until the end of the paragraph: "It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed."(111) It is significant that Darwin at this point footnoted Francis Galton's famous 1865 Macmillan's magazine article and his book, Hereditary Genius.

Darwin in the next paragraph wrote that sympathy, "the noblest part of our nature," leads men to do these racially debilitating things.(112) Bryan replied: "Can that doctrine be accepted as scientific when its author admits that we cannot apply it `without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature'? On the contrary, civilization is measured by the moral revolt against the cruel doctrine developed by Darwin."(113)

Darwin was taken very seriously by many Progressives on the matter of charity. In her book, The Pivot of Civilization (1922), Margaret Sanger criticized the inherent cruelty of charity. She insisted that organized efforts to help the poor are the "surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding, and is perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents, and dependents."(114) Such charity must be stopped, she insisted. The fertility of the working class must be regulated in order to reduce the production of "benign imbeciles, who encourage the defective and diseased elements of humanity in their reckless and irresponsible swarming and spawning."(115) Swarming (like insects), spawning (like fish): here was marvelous zoological rhetoric from the lionized founder of Planned Parenthood. "If we must have welfare, give it to the rich, not the poor," she concluded.(116) "More children from the fit, less from the unfit: that is the chief issue of birth control."(117)

Bryan's challenge to the science of evolution seemed to threaten the continuation of the Nordic aristocracy in America by obstinately denying the theoretical basis of eugenics and proclaiming that all men are made in God's image. The dedicated eugenicists who were called in by the Times in 1922 to refute him were defenders of both Darwin and Galton; they wanted to push Darwinism to its logical conclusion. Over the next two decades, they did. So did Adolph Hitler, beginning eleven years later. When Hitler's experiment in applied Darwinism failed politically, Bryan's critics very quietly took this section of Descent of Man, as well as their own public careers in defense of eugenic sterilization, and dropped them down the Orwellian memory hole, where the data still rest in peace alongside the long-forgotten moral critique by Bryan, who had opposed Darwin on principle on this, the only known practical application of Darwin's thesis. Bryan is still pictured as a scientific buffoon in the history textbooks, and his detractors are still pictured as the fearless defenders of autonomous science. And what of the 30,000 Americans who were forcibly sterilized in the name of Darwinian science? Long dead, long forgotten, and therefore no longer a potential embarrassment.

Accomplices of Theological Modernism

In the same March 5 issue, a true master of supercilious rhetoric published his response in the form of a review of Bryan's In His Image. Here, in one paragraph, is the finest statement of the older modernism's view of the relationship between religion and science that I have ever read. Any modern reader who wonders why theological conservatives in the 1920's regarded theological modernism as a threat to everything they believed in need only consider the following:

It is not generally recognized that, parallel with the great march of science during the last sixty years, religion, so far from retrogressing, has also advanced; and that never before in the history of the world has the interest in the spiritual side of life been keener, nor the quality of religious thought finer and nobler. Religion, indeed, has also been undergoing an evolutionary process and adapting itself to modern ideas, modern conditions and modern needs. Many dogmas have been discarded and the essential truths of religion and morality separated from the obsolete husks which formerly surrounded them. Not the least part of this progressive movement has been carried on by theologians and professional teachers of religion. Naturally, from the standpoint of crude and outmoded beliefs the new faith looks like a collection of heresies. The primitive religionist still imagines that to accept the truths of science is to become an "infidel"; and, since there still survive those who hold this restricted view, an occasional recrudescence of pre-Darwinian superstition is to be expected.(118)

On March 10, the Kentucky anti-evolution bill failed by one vote in the House.

On March 14, Bryan replied in a letter to the editor. He referred only to Osborn and Conklin. "They dodge the real question and refuse to state how much of the Bible they regard as consistent with Darwin's hypothesis. But as far as evidence can be drawn from what they do say, it is evident that they regard the discovery of the bones of a five-toed horse as a greater event than the birth of Christ."(119)

The next day, the editors responded, and in this response, we see the arrogance of urban men who know they possess great influence because they buy ink by the truck load. They had contempt for small-town Protestant America: "Nominally addressing The Times, Mr. Bryan really, of course, was advertising himself as a purveyor of exactly such ideas as he knew would be received with most favor in the towns where his lectures are regarded as wonderful expressions of wisdom, piety, and virtue."(120) Dayton, Tennessee, was such a town.

Two days after the defeat of the Kentucky bill and two days before Bryan's letter to the editor was published came another shot at him in the Times, as we shall see.(121) But first, we must consider Bryan's political career: what he believed and what he accomplished.

A David Without a Stone

Bryan faithfully served the rural Populists in the Democratic Party as a kind of stoneless David for three decades, from 1896 to 1925, although his political career had begun earlier. He had moved the Democratic Party from the pro-gold standard, low-tariff, balanced budget, limited government political party it had been prior to 1897--the party of Grover Cleveland--to the Populist-Progressive party that it became under Woodrow Wilson.

Bryan was the greatest master of political rhetoric of his generation. In 1907, 300,000 people paid to hear him. He could earn $25,000 in a summer of lectures(122) in an era in which the average urban worker earned well under $1,000 a year.(123) His "cross of gold" speech against the supposed evils of the traditional gold standard, delivered at the 1896 Democratic national convention, remains the most important political speech in American history. It launched his national career, enabling him and his brother Charles, the first master of the political mailing list, to transform the American political system by creating a Democratic Progressive party, which would be countered by Teddy Roosevelt after 1901 in his creation of a Republican Progressive party. Yet Bryan could not win. No matter what battle he entered, he always lost. Even when his Progressive political reform programs won out, which many did, others were given credit for these victories.(124) It was ominous that he had decided to launch an attack on modernists and evolutionists.

Political Radical, Theological Conservative

It is one of the peculiar ironies of history that Bryan became the spokesman for conservative American Protestantism, 1921-25--almost as surprising as the fact that he was a Presbyterian. Politically, he was a radical; theologically, he was ill-equipped. His parents were members of a Baptist church. He had wanted to be a Baptist preacher from his youth, but he was afraid of water. He witnessed his first Baptist immersion at age six and never got over it. This is why he joined the Presbyterian Church at age fourteen.(125) What is significant is that he joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.(126) It was revivalistic and four-point Calvinist.

His political radicalism seemed antithetical to his theology. Political columnist and historian Garry Wills has called his campaigns the most leftist ever conducted by any major party Presidential candidate in American history.(127) In the 1920's, Bryan criticized American churches for their indifference toward profiteering, business monopolies, and industrial injustice.(128) His view of business he called "applied Christianity" in a 1919 address of that title. In that same year, he declared that "we should drive all the profiteers out of the Presbyterian Church so that when they go to the penitentiary, they will not go as Presbyterians."(129) In a 1920 speech on state constitutional reform, Bryan denied that he was a socialist. He then called for a new Nebraska constitution that would "authorize the state, the counties and the cities to take over and operate any industry they please. . . . The right of the community is superior to the right of any individual."(130) He distrusted the bureaucracy in Washington, so he advocated that these controls on business be imposed by state and local governments.(131) In terms of his political beliefs, Bryan was an advocate of the social gospel. He corresponded in a friendly manner with such social gospel leaders as Washington Gladden, Shailer Mathews, Charles Stelzle, and Progressive economist Richard T. Ely.(132) In 1919, he praised the Federal Council of Churches with these words: "It is, in my judgment, the greatest religious organization in our nation."(133)

He was a believer in pure democracy and majoritarian wisdom. He believed that democracy "is a religion, and when you hear a good democratic speech it is so much like a sermon that you can hardly tell the difference between them."(134) He insisted that "the love of mankind is the basis of both,"(135) an Arminian view of the gospel. To defend this religious vision, Bryan offered as clear a statement of religious humanism as anything ever issued by the American Humanist Association: "Have faith in mankind. . . . Mankind deserves to be trusted. . . . If you speak to the multitude and they do not respond, do not despise them, but rather examine what you have said. . . . The heart of mankind is sound; the sense of justice is universal. Trust it, appeal to it, do not violate it."(136) Levine has summarized Bryan's political beliefs: "During the very years when Bryan stood before religious gatherings denouncing evolution he also went before political rallies to plead for progressive labor legislation, liberal tax laws, government aid to farmers, public ownership of railroads, telegraphs, and telephones, federal development of water resources, minimum wages for labor, minimum prices for agriculture, maximum profits for middlemen, and government guarantee of bank deposits."(137) Yet by 1922 he was fast becoming the most visible defender of theologically conservative Protestantism in the United States.

Bryan, more than any other figure in American history, had unleashed the forces of the politics of plunder. He had appealed to the rural masses and had cried out against the Eastern Establishment. He had brought the culture wars of the Populist Party into the mainstream. But three times he had lost, and in the persons of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson, the Eastern Establishment had its revenge, both on him and on the Cleveland wing of the Democratic Party. The shift from Whig politics to Progressivism had undermined "Clevelandism," but it had also undermined Populism. Only in 1933, after the election of Franklin Roosevelt, would Progressivism and Populism at last fuse nationally. Whiggism died with Cleveland, but it was Bryan who had killed it; Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson had participated only as pall-bearers at the funeral.

The Scopes Trial and Its Aftermath

Bryan called on modernists to resign voluntarily from the ministry, since they did not believe in the tenets of Christianity. This had been a familiar, though incredibly naive, theme of the conservatives ever since the 1892 General Assembly,(138) and would remain so. Machen used it repeatedly. Not one of those who took this line was ready publicly to identify the modernists for what they were, judicially speaking: covenantally disinherited sons who were attempting to steal the lawful inheritance of the true sons of the covenant. Such language would have been regarded as rhetorically inappropriate by the vast majority of those whose inheritance was at risk. Instead, conservatives adopted different forms of confrontational rhetoric--less judicial but nonetheless inflammatory. The Church would not tolerate such verbal challenges after 1925. That is to say, the victorious modernists who visibly gained control in 1926(139) would not tolerate rhetoric aimed against them. Because they held all the largest spears after 1926, they did not need rhetoric to achieve their goal. Their goal was power, and no later than 1926, they had definitively attained it in the General Assembly. Over the next decade, they would progressively apply what they had definitively achieved.

Confession Without the Confession

Bryan's leadership on the anti-evolution front placed him in a peculiar position. He was not a six-day creationist. That is to say, he was typical of all Presbyterian conservatives; he had abandoned the Westminster Confession on this point (IV:1). His position became public knowledge in 1925 when Darrow cross-examined him during the Scopes trial. Late in the exchange, Darrow asked him if he believed that the world was created in six days. Bryan startled his audience: "Not six days of twenty-four hours."(140) The creation might have lasted millions of years, but he did not want to commit himself on this point, he told Darrow.(141)

Bryan was not alone in this desire. Even Machen held to some sort of theistic evolution scheme. He revealed his views in private letters; in public he refused to comment on this subject.(142) Most Presbyterian conservative leaders had been studiously avoiding a fight with evolutionists for at least six decades. They had all abandoned the Confession's explicit words. This greatly hampered them. Bryan received little public support on this issue from conservative Presbyterian leaders.(143)

It was fundamentalists outside the Presbyterian Church who supported Bryan in this battle. Because of this, he gained a reputation after 1921 for being a fundamentalist, which in fact he was, rather than a Calvinistic Presbyterian, which he was not. He was Arminian to the core. His view of God's election was framed in political terms. He said that the best description of the doctrine of election he had ever heard was offered by a Georgia Presbyterian preacher. "It's just this way--the voting is going on all the time; the Lord is voting for you and the devil is voting against you, and whichever way you vote, that's the way the election goes."(144) This was the state of Presbyterian theological conservatism in the fourth phase of the Presbyterian conflict.

In retrospect, the Scopes trial was a strange event. First, it was a widely covered media event: 200 reporters, 65 telegraph operators, and a Chicago station's radio broadcasts of the trial--the first American trial ever broadcast by radio.(145) Second, the jury was excluded from the trial's technical debates.(146) Third, neither Bryan nor the American Civil Liberties Union wanted it to be conducted as a criminal trial. Bryan offered in advance to pay any fine imposed on Scopes.(147) After the trial, Scopes, who never testified at the trial, told one reporter that he had not been present in the classroom on the day that evolution was covered in the textbook, and that he had feared being put on the witness stand, where he would have had to admit this.(148)

Bryan died in Dayton on Sunday, July 26, five days after the trial ended. That morning he had led a local Southern Methodist congregation in prayer.(149) Its minister conducted the final services,(150) which was appropriate; Bryan had been far closer to John Wesley's Arminianism than to Presbyterianism's Calvinism. His reputation had been destroyed during the trial and posthumously by H. L. Mencken, who was the author of The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1908). Mencken, following Nietzsche, was a promoter of the pre-Progressive social Darwinism: the survival of the fittest individual. He had written: "There must be a complete surrender to the law of natural selection--that invariable natural law which ordains that the fit shall survive and the unfit shall perish. All growth must occur at the top. The strong must grow stronger, and that they may do so, they must waste no strength in the vain task of trying to lift up the weak."(151) Nietzsche's philosophy was an extension of Darwinism, and Bryan opposed both, as he wrote in In His Image.(152) This is not how the public remembers the Scopes trial, however. As usual, the winners wrote the press releases and the screenplay.

The effect of the trial devastated fundamentalism as a cultural force. Henry M. Morris, a dispensationalist, six-day creationist, and the founder of the modern Creation Science movement, writes: "One of the most disappointing aspects of the Scopes trial was its intimidating effect on Christians. Multitudes of nominal Christians capitulated to theistic evolution, and even those who retained their belief in creation retreated from the arena of conflict, using the fiction that it was somehow unspiritual to be involved in such controversies and urging each other to concentrate instead on `soul-winning,' and `personal Christianity,' with a great emphasis also on the soon return of Christ. The schools and government and society in general were, to all intents and purposes, simply abandoned to secular humanist control, and they have been firmly under that control ever since."(153)

Picking Up the Fallen Torch

A year after Bryan died, Northern Baptist fundamentalist leader William Bell Riley wrote a book, Inspiration or Evolution? Riley had long been one of the major spokesmen for American fundamentalism, and this mantle of authority increased after Bryan's death. He was the main spokesman for the World's Christian Fundamentals Association until it faded in 1930.(154) Riley delivered the memorial address at the Great Commoner's funeral.(155) His biographer calls him "the chief executive of the fundamentalist movement. . . ."(156)

In 1917, he wrote The Menace of Modernism, in which he pointed out the obvious: theological modernists had allies in the academic community. He fully understood this aspect of the modernists' strategy of subversion--perhaps better than any fundamentalist leader of his day. He also understood the uses of rhetoric. He once wrote that conservative ministers had about as much chance of being invited to speak at a state university as to be heard in a Turkish harem.(157)

In the Foreword to Inspiration or Evolution?, Riley echoed Bryan's 1922 warning about evolution in the public schools, which was not surprising, since he had been preaching the same theme since 1922.(158) "But the public schools of America and the denominational schools are alike dependent for personal and financial patronage upon tax payers, millions of whom are the best citizens of America. This book is addressed particularly to this class, and is intended as `A call to arms!' If we silently and indolently endorse the destructive doctrines to which this volume calls attention, we will deserve the fate that is certain to befall both Church and State. The munitions of war for the Christian citizen are his voice and vote. He who does not employ both to preserve the democracy of America and the integrity of her true churches is a traitor to both country and Christ."(159) He fully understood that Bryan had been correct, that control over education by the taxpayers was crucial to rolling back the theory of evolution.

But it was not just public education that was under siege; it was Christian education, especially higher education. The book reprinted a speech he had delivered in 1921 at the Third Annual Conference on Christian Fundamentals. He identified William Rainey Harper as having been the chief propnent of theological modernism in higher education. Harper, he said, had been the main figure in the creation of an "Academic Octopus."(160) Harper had been the academic director of the Chautaqua program, and he became the first president of the Rockefellers' University of Chicago. Riley recognized the crucial role of the Rockefellers in American higher education. It was with a million-dollar grant in 1902 that the process began. "With this bait he saw the fish begin to rise from every denominational pool, and on October 1, 1905, he increased the wabbler by $10,000,000.00. This grant stirred every pond."(161) In 1907, he added another $43 million. Riley identified the key agency: Rockefeller Senior's General Education Board, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1903.(162) Here is how the deed was done, according to Riley:

The standardization of the colleges of the South is now sought. Let them consent to it, as we have already consented in the North, and see what will be the effect in the instance of a single college. A school, for example, that has a million dollar endowment accepts the standardization scheme and agrees to receive from the "Foundation Fund" through the "General Board of Education" $50,000 more. The moment that amount goes from the Rockefeller Fund, entire control of that institution as to curriculum, faculty, and board, passes practically into the hands of fifteen men living in and about New York, chief of whom is John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and in all fundamental matters the entire institution must consult the judgment of this fifteen, which, when it is remembered that John D. Rockefeller, Jr., is the real representative of these million, means the judgment of this one.(163)

This was an exaggeration; no college surrenders that degree of sovereignty. Faculties are made up of people who guard their autonomy in the classroom. But there was a surrender: the acknowledgment of the legitimacy of a more standardized curriculum, as well as professional academic standards for new faculty members. Also, there was the lure of further money. The Rockefeller money would be seen as a down payment. There was a price to pay for additional funding.

Riley saw in 1921 what a pair of pro-Rockefeller biographers admitted openly in 1988: "It would be difficult to overstate the value of the work the GEB did in the ensuing half century. Ironically, it seems largely forgotten today. . . . To understand the GEB, one must see it as an agency of change, one of such remarkable accomplishments that it is scarcely an exaggeration to refer to it as revolutionary."(164) One of its major accomplishments was "reforming college administration and developing professional standards for graduate education throughout the United States. . . ."(165) Furthermore, "the work was done very quietly, with great circumspection and skill, for the good reason that, like any agent of change, the GEB was up against some form of established opposition in each of its successive missions. . . ."(166) By the time it was voluntarily shut down in 1960, the year Junior died, it had expended $324 million on its many projects.(167) Some $208 million had gone into higher education.(168) But setting standards for lower-level schools was also part of the plan. The GEB was the main factor behind the creation of the public school system in the South, through the funding of one professorship in education in every major state university in the South, and through lobbying in every state capitol. From a few hundred schools in 1900, the South's public school system grew to thousands in the 1920's.(169)

For seven decades, we have needed a detailed study of the origin of higher education's accreditation octopus, but as yet such a book has not been published. Riley was on target. His suggestion that the GEB was the source of the secularization of Christian higher education has not been followed, either by the tenured recipients who are still profiting from the system of accreditation or the victims, who still send their best and brightest into the system for final certification.


Bryan launched the final phase of his long public career with his attack on Darwinism as a false religion. In His Image (1922) could have been ignored by the media and the Establishment had Bryan not understood the political implications of his confession. He understood that the public schools were the established Church in the United States, and that the teaching of Darwinism had to be stopped in public school classrooms. He understood this as surely as Darwinists today understand that creationism must not be taught in public school classrooms. He believed that because public schools are funded by taxes, voters have final authority over what is taught there. (He was incorrect; the U.S. Supreme Court has this authority, short of a Constitutional amendment to the contrary.) Bryan realized that if voters continued to defer to the educational experts, including scientific experts, the schools would remain in the hands of the educated elite that produces the textbooks. Bryan had devoted his public career to challenging elites. He ended his career just as he had started, but on a far more fundamental issue than the gold standard vs. free silver. This issue was at the heart of the debate between biblically revealed religion and modernism: the question of origins.

The Establishment recognized the severity of this challenge from the moment that Bryan's speech before the Kentucky legislature led to a bill to outlaw the teaching of evolution in taxpayer-supported schools. Gaining and maintaining control over these schools had been the most important tactic of Unitarianism and then modernism since the days of Horace Mann.(170) Bryan was threatening the most sacred cow in liberalism's pantheon of sacred cows. In January and February of 1922, the New York Times published one rhetorically savage article after another in order to lay the foundation of what would become America's most important religious battle in the 1920's. This battle ended in July of 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee. With it ended also the conservatives' influence in both the Presbyterian Church and the Northern Baptist Church.

Bryan in 1922 wanted his followers to gain control over the allocation of political plunder. He had been campaigning on this platform for three decades. He understood that modernist Progressives were now in control of the political process nationally. He was taking the fight to the hustings, where he had always had his greatest influence. Yet Bryan had delivered the Democratic Party into the hands of the Progressives. Like the sorcerer's apprentice, he now strove to reverse what his oratory and his brother's mailing lists had conjured. By challenging the modernists' right to override local democracy through the imposition of compulsory Darwinism in the public schools, he was invoking the last flickering traces of the Protestants' ideal of Christendom. He was invoking point four of the covenant--economic sanctions--in the name of point five: succession.

Bryan's opponents recognized this threat and feared it. They had a major tactical problem. His arguments rested forthrightly on an official principle of American democracy, namely, that he who pays the tax-collecting piper should call the political tune: "No taxation without representation!" Bryan was a staunch defender of Progressivism's principle that the State has both the moral authority and moral obligation to confiscate wealth from one group in order to give it to another group. But he had always been more of a Populist than a Progressive. He believed that the State should confiscate the wealth of a minority -- the rich -- in the name of the majority, not in order to fund some elite group, and surely not a humanistic elite of Bible-scorning educational bureaucrats, with the hard-earned money of God-fearing Americans. He appealed to majority rule. This was a powerful appeal.

To refute him, his opponents had to downplay the obvious: they were taxing the political majority -- Christians -- in order to educate all children in terms of religious principles at odds with what most parents believed. They were not merely stealing money; they were stealing hearts and minds as well. (The Progressives' power religion tactic was re-stated clearly half a century later by an American general in Vietnam: "When you've got them by the -----, their hearts and minds will follow.") So, unable to defend their compulsory education program in terms of the democratic principle of majority rule, these professed democrats resorted to the negative sanction of ridicule and misrepresentation: flat earth, medievalism, etc. The rhetorical standard which they established in the public press would soon be adopted by their allies inside the Presbyterian Church against Bryan and his ecclesiastical allies. Inside the Church, as well as outside, the crucial issue was sanctions.

If this book helps you gain a new understanding of the Bible, please consider sending a small donation to the Institute for Christian Economics, P.O. Box 8000, Tyler, TX 75711. You may also want to buy a printed version of this book, if it is still in print. Contact ICE to find out.


1. Bryan, "God and Evolution," New York Times (Feb. 26, 1922), VII, p. 10.

2. 1896, 1900, 1908.

3. He had resigned in 1915 in protest against Wilson's violations of neutrality in support of the British in World War I. He resigned on June 7, 1915, exactly one month after the sinking of the Lusitania. LeRoy Ashby, William Jennings Bryan: Champion of Democracy (Boston: Twayne, 1987), pp. 159-60.

4. Wilson was no longer a ruling elder.

5. Originally called the Presbyterian Church of America.

6. The book became a best-seller: over a hundred thousand copies. Bradley J. Longfield, The Presbyterian Controversy: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and Moderates (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 57.

7. New York: Revell.

8. New York: Revell, 1922.

9. Lawrence W. Levine, Defender of the Faith: William Jennings Bryan: The Last Decade, 1915-1925 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1965), p. 276.

10. Ibid., p. 277.

11. Ibid.

12. Ibid., p. 278.

13. Reprinted in Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition, edited by Philip Appleman (New York: Norton, 1970), p. 544-51.

14. Ibid., p. 548.

15. Ibid., p. 550.

16. New York Times (Feb. 2, 1922), p. 12.

17. Grolier's Encyclopedia (1990): "Butler, Nicholas Murray."

18. New York Times (Feb. 3, 1922), p. 14.

19. Ibid. (Feb. 6, 1922), p. 12.

20. Theodore Morrison, Chautauqua: A Center for Education, Religion, and the Arts in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974), p. 65.

21. George Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 241.

22. Samuel Christian Schmucker, The Meaning of Evolution (Chautauqua, New York: Chautauqua Press, 1913).

23. Jeffrey Burton Russell, Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians (New York: Praeger, 1991).

24. Stanley L. Jaki, "Science and Censorship: Hélène Duhem and the Publication of the 'Système du monde,'" Intercollegiate Review (Winter 1985-86), pp. 41-49. Cf. Jaki, Uneasy Genius: The Life and Work of Pierre Duhem (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1984).

25. Alexander Koyré refers to him--last name only--as an anti-Newtonian, but without naming his books. Koyré, From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, [1957] 1970), p. 100.

26. Clarke, "Evolution and Kentucky," New York Times (Feb. 5, 1992), VII, p. 12.

27. Ibid. (Feb. 9, 1922), p. 16.

28. The theory which comprised Part II of Descent of Man, which in turn constituted over half of the book.

29. Paxton Hibben, The Peerless Leader: William Jennings Bryan (New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1929), p. 371.

30. It leads to such debacles as Seminex, the Seminary in Exile, the short-lived port in the storm for liberals after they were fired by Concordia Seminary in the mid-1970's.

31. Cited in Levine, Defender of the Faith, p. 278.

32. Sidney E. Mead, The Lively Experiment: The Shaping of Christianity in America (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), p. 68.

33. Ibid., p. 66.

34. Lester Frank Ward, Dynamic Sociology; or Applied Social Science, 2 vols. (New York: Appleton, [1883] 1907), II:547-48. See Chapter 10, below, under the section "Machen's Plea for Pluralism."

35. Ibid., II:548.

36. Lawrence A. Cremin, American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607-1783 (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), p. 152.

37. Ibid., pp. 180-81.

38. Ibid., pp. 181-82.

39. Ibid., p. 182.

40. Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in the Wilderness: The First Century of Urban Life in America, 1625-1725 (New York: Capricorn, [1938] 1964), p. 106.

41. New York Times (March 28, 1922), p. 12.

42. Julian Huxley, Memories (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), p. 82.

43. Its full title was The Galton Society for the Study of the Origin and Evolution of Man.

44. Daniel V. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity (New York: Knopf, 1985, p. 57.

45. Donald K. Pickens, Eugenics and the Progressives (Nashville, Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press, 1968), p. 53.

46. On the impact of this book, see Allan Chase, The Legacy of Malthus: The Social Costs of the New Scientific Racism (New York: Knopf, 1977), pp. 166-71.

47. Madison Grant, "Introduction," The Passing of the Great Race, 4th ed., revised (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921), p. xxv.

48. Ibid., p. vii.

49. Ibid., p. viii.

50. Ibid.

51. Ibid., p. xix.

52. Ibid., p. xi.

53. Ibid., p. xiii.

54. Ibid., p. 47.

55. Ibid., p. 48.

56. Ibid., p. 49.

57. Ibid., pp. 50-51.

58. Karl Holler, "The Nordic Movement in Germany," Eugenical News (Sept.-Oct. 1932); cited in Chase, Legacy of Malthus, p. 635. The translated edition was published in 1925, as was Lothrop Stoddard's Revolt Against Civilization. Robert Proctor, Racial Hygiene: Medicine under the Nazis (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 99.

59. Walter Truett Anderson, To Govern Evolution: Further Adventures of the Political Animal (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987), p. 153.

60. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 45.

61. Ibid., pp. 54-55.

62. Ibid., p. 55.

63. Ibid., p. 60; cf. John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, The Rockefeller Century (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988), p. 454.

64. Harr and Johnson, p. 456.

65. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 61.

66. In England that year was formed the national Eugenics Education Society. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 59.

67. Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 97.

68. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 111.

69. Anderson, To Govern Evolution, p. 155.

70. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 111.

71. Ibid.

72. No more eloquent or flagrant example of this new American Progressive religion can be found than the book written by Alex Carrel, a 1912 Nobel Prize winner in "medicine or physiology" and an employee of the Rockefeller Institute, Man the Unknown, co-published by Harper & Brothers in 1935.

73. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 112.

74. Ibid.

75. Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man (New York: Norton, 1981), p. 336.

76. Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 98.

77. Cited in George Grant, Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood, 2nd ed. (Franklin, Tennessee: Adroit, 1992), p. 94.

78. Proctor, Racial Hygiene, p. 101.

79. Chase, Legacy of Malthus, p. 135.

80. Michael Burleigh, Death and Deliverance: "Euthanasia" In Germany, c. 1900-1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995). This book is too recent to have received academic reviews regarding its evidence.

81. Robert N. Proctor, "Review of Burleigh's Death and Deliverance," New York Times Book Review (Feb. 5, 1995), p. 3.

82. Chase, Legacy of Malthus, p. 277.

83. Cited in ibid., p. 278.

84. Harr and Johnson, Rockefeller Century, pp. 212-13.

85. Ibid., p. 212.

86. Ibid., p. 457.

87. Ibid.

88. Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981), p. 293.

89. Cited in William Irvine, Apes, Angels, and Victorians: The Story of Darwin, Huxley, and Evolution (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955), p. 142.

90. Cited in Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Rise of Medieval Europe (New York: Talese-Doubleday, 1995), p. 6.

91. Augustine, City of God (New York: Modern Library, 1950), XVIII:40, p. 648.

92. Bryan, "Preface," Menace of Darwinism, p. 5.

93. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 88.

94. Edwin Grant Conklin, The Direction of Evolution (London: Oxford University Press, 1921), p. 35n.

95. Ibid., pp. 38n, 39n.

96. Ibid., p. 54n.

97. Ibid., ch. 10.

98. Ibid., p. 241.

99. Ibid., p. 245.

100. Ibid., p. 246.

101. Conklin, Heredity and Environment in the Development of Men, 6th ed. (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1930), p. 309. The first edition was published in 1917.

102. Ibid., p. 348.

103. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).

104. Edited by Frances Mason.

105. Ibid., p. 79.

106. Daniel J. Kevles, "Genetic Progress and Religious Authority: Historical Reflections," in Responsible Science: The Impact of Technology On Society, edited by Kevin B. Byrne (New York: Harper & Row, 1986), p. 43. Cf. Kevles, Eugenics, ch. 11.

107. Kevles, Eugenics, p. 199.

108. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976), p. 401.

109. Bryan, In His Image, p. 107.

110. Ibid., pp. 107-108.

111. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man (New York: Modern Library, [1871] n.d.), p. 501.

112. Ibid., p. 502.

113. Bryan, In His Image, p. 109.

114. Margaret Sanger, The Pivot of Civilization (New York: Brentano's, 1922), p. 108; cited in Grant, Grand Illusions, p. 27.

115. Sanger, ibid., p. 115; cited in Grant, ibid.

116. Ibid., p. 96; cited in Grant, ibid., p. 28.

117. Sanger, "Birth Control," Birth Control Review (May 1919); cited in Grant, ibid., p. 27.

118. Austin Hay, "The Crusade Against Darwinism," New York Times Book Review and Magazine (March 5, 1922), p. 5.

119. New York Times (March 14, 1922), p. 14.

120. Ibid. (March 15, 1922), p. 18.

121. See Chapter 8, below.

122. David Sarasohn, The Party of Reform: Democrats in the Progressive Era (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1989), p. 36.

123. Contemporary estimates (journalistic guesses), cited in George E. Mowry, The Era of Theodore Roosevelt, 1900-1912 (New York: Harper & Row, 1958), p. 3.

124. David D. Anderson, William Jennings Bryan (Boston: Twayne, 1981), pp. 190-91.

125. Levine, Defender of the Faith, p. 246.

126. Hibben, Peerless Leader, p. 48.

127. Garry Wills, Under God: Religion and American Politics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990), p. 99.

128. Levine, Defender of the Faith, p. 253.

129. Cited in ibid., p. 252.

130. The Commoner (Feb. 1920), pp. 8-9; cited in ibid., p. 195.

131. Ibid., p. 196.

132. Willard H. Smith, "William Jennings Bryan and the Social Gospel," Journal of American History, 53 (June 1966), pp. 45, 47. On Ely's connection to the social gospel, see Benjamin G. Raider, "Richard T. Ely: Lay Spokesman for the Social Gospel," ibid., pp. 61-74.

133. The Commoner (May 1919), p. 11; cited in ibid., p. 48.

134. The Commoner (Oct. 28, 1904), p. 2; cited in Smith, "Social Gospel," p. 42.

135. Ibid., p. 43.

136. Cited in Levine, Defender of the Faith, p. 218.

137. Ibid., p. 364.

138. The "Portland Deliverance." See Chapter 5, above: section on "The 1892 General Assembly: Portland, Oregon."

139. I believe they had gained definitive control by 1920, when the Church did nothing to those officials who had indebted it to pay the bills of Rockefeller's Interchurch World Movement.

140. Ray Ginger, Six Days or Forever: Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes (New York: Oxford University Press, [1958] 1974), p. 171. Darrow asked him if he accepted the date of creation (Bishop Ussher's estimate) of 4004 B.C. Bryan said he had never made such a calculation. Darrow: "What do you think?" Bryan: "I do not think about the things I don't think about." Darrow: "Do you think about the things you do think about?" Bryan: "Well, sometimes." Ibid., p. 169. The prosecuting attorney realized that this testimony had thrown his case off-track; he told Bryan that he would not allow him to testify the next day. The next day, July 21, the judge expunged it from the record. Darrow protested, and asked the judge to call in the jury to deliver a guilty verdict. Ibid., p. 175. The judge complied. Darrow told the jury to convict Scopes, so that a higher court could settle the case. The jury did. Ibid., pp. 176-77.

141. Ibid., p. 173.

142. Longfield, Presbyterian Controversy, pp. 69-70.

143. An exception was Clarence E. Macartney, who was a vociferous opponent of evolution. Ibid., pp. 70-72.

144. The Commoner (Feb. 17, 1905); cited in Willard H. Smith, The Social and Religious Thought of William Jennings Bryan (Lawrence, Kansas: Coronado, 1975), p. 174.

145. Henry M. Morris, A History of Modern Creationism (San Diego: Master Book Press, 1984), p. 63.

146. Ibid.

147. Wills, Under God, p. 100.

148. Ginger, Six Days, p. 180.

149. Ibid., p. 192.

150. Ibid., p. 193.

151. Cited in Wills, Under God, p. 102.

152. Bryan, In His Image, pp. 123-24, 126.

153. Morris, History, p. 67.

154. William Vance Trollinger, Jr., God's Empire: William Bell Riley and Midwesern Fundamentalism (Madison: University of Wosconsin Press, 1990), p. 33.

155. Ibid., p. 50.

156. Ibid., p. 33.

157. Cited in ibid., p. 35.

158. Ibid., p. 48.

159. W. B. Riley, Inspiration or Evolution (Cleveland, Ohio: Union Gospel Press, 1926), p. 5.

160. Ibid., p. 164.

161. Ibid., p. 173.

162. Ibid.

163. Ibid., p. 176.

164. Harr and Johnson, Rockefeller Century, p. 70.

165. Ibid.

166. Ibid., p. 71.

167. Ibid., p. 75.

168. Ibid., p. 79. The two main figures in distributing the funds in the early years were Jerome Greene and Abraham Flexner. Ibid.

169. Ibid., p. 76.

170. R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education (Nutley, New Jersey: Craig Press, 1963).


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