EVERYONE knows that back in 1925, Dayton, Tennessee was the site of the Scopes Trial, during which that great populist blowhard, William Jennings Bryan, champion not only of creationism, but the income tax, prohibition, debased currency, and several other idiocies, contended with Clarence Darrow over the theory of evolution.
Dayton is also the home of Bryan College, which proudly describes itself as:
Founded in 1930, Bryan College is named after William Jennings Bryan: statesman, orator, and renowned prosecuting attorney in the famous Scopes Evolution Trial.
A list of the Bryan College academic programs, in alphabetical order, begins: “Biblical Studies, Biology, Business Administration, Christian Ministry, Christian Leadership, Christian Thought …”
Surely, this is a blessed and tranquil part of the US. But outsiders are always looking to make trouble. A local newspaper reports that a Wisconsin-based group has erected a large billboard that proclaims: “Praise Darwin” with a border that looks like stained glass.
Your Curmudgeon is uncertain about such things. On the one hand, there’s freedom of expression. On the other hand, why not leave the people of Dayton alone? It’s obvious that they don’t want to know about evolution.
Anyway, the billboard is controversial — to put it mildly. So what’s going to happen now? Maybe nothing. Or maybe the billboard will cause Darwin day to be a bit stressful for the good citizens of Dayton, Tennessee. We hope not.
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