Last week we wrote A Discoveroid Version of “Inherit the Wind”, about a Discovery Institute post praising playwright and actor Matt Chait, who wrote a creationist version of the famous play. Chait he calls his play Disinherit the Wind. In it, the Scopes Trial is completely turned around so that the creationists are the good guys.
That Discoveroid post was written by John West,whom we affectionately call “Westie.” He was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award. Westie is vice President of the Discovery Institute, which makes him one of the chief Keepers of their wedge strategy.
Westie has just written about the play again, thus the jolly logo above this post. His new post is Disinherit the Wind: An Interview with Matt Chait About His Play. It’s a very long interview, so we’ll excerpt only the fun parts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Westie: What inspired you to write Disinherit the Wind? How did you get the idea?
Chait: I was touring in a show in 1968 and was in the habit of calling my girlfriend back in New York about once a week … During one of these calls she mentioned to me that she had begun doing exercises that “made you high.” I couldn’t imagine it. … The exercises were called yoga (a word that I had never heard before) and I resolved to take some yoga classes as soon as I returned to New York.
The classes that I found were taught by someone named Swami Satchidananda or by young people that had been studying with Swami, and they did make you high; at least for me they did. It was a kind of intoxication without toxins and I shortly found myself adapting a vegetarian diet, as Swami suggested, attending his lectures, and going on weekend yoga retreats that he ran from a place in upstate New York. This began a spiritual odyssey for me that lasted eight years and brought me in contact with a number of wonderful teachers.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Swami started him on an eight year spiritual odyssey. Chait continues:
At the end of this time I felt that I had a strong framework for understanding myself, my relationship to others, and to the universe and a strong sense of why we were here on this planet.
This is exciting! We are learning about the origins of this creationist play. Then Chait talks about frustrating conversations he had with scientists, whom he couldn’t understand. Regarding one such conversation, he says:
Finally, as a last ditch effort to get me off the phone, he told me to read Richard Dawkins’s The Selfish Gene, that Dawkins could explain it much better than he could, and before I had a chance to say anything else he said good night and quickly hung up the phone. The Selfish Gene was the most infuriating piece of nonsense I had ever read. I could be silent no longer.
So Chait became a creationist blogger. He goes on:
The more I wrote the blog, the more I discovered about the specific workings of science. It really is remarkable how much you can learn, starting with almost no scientific background at all, just by using Google and Wikipedia. The first few years of writing this blog were a very fertile time for me. It wasn’t just the excitement of learning all this new biological information but of finding ways to reframe it in a spiritual context.
It was a very natural step from this to Disinherit the Wind, which combined this new passion for writing about the relationship between spirituality and science with my old passion for theater.
Isn’t this wonderful? The interview continues:
Westie: In the published script for your play, you thank “scientists Michael Denton, Michael Behe, Stephen C. Meyer, Jonathan Wells, and William Dembski both for their brilliance and for their indomitable courage to speak truth to power.” I wondered if you could share with us how these scientists influenced you.
Chait: I read Behe, then Denton, Stephen C. Meyer, etc. Each of these books was a revelation. Here was science explained in a way that made perfect sense to me. While Dawkins’s writings undermined my spirituality, the writings of the scientists of Discovery Institute enhanced it. So I am greatly indebted to them for all the knowledge and insights that their wonderful, and wonderfully detailed and researched books have provided.
The interview goes on a great length, but we’ve given you what we consider the good stuff. No go, dear reader, and read it all. Then you’ll understand what it takes to make a great creationist playwright — and why you will never be one.
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