Calling Clarence Darrow

Tennessee is at it again.

Eighty-seven years after the state disgraced itself with the Scopes “Monkey Trial” and 153 years after Darwin published The Origin of Species, a troupe of jabbering baboons in the Tennessee legislature just passed a law encouraging teachers to promote creationism, dispute global warming, and undermine all the other scientific theories that the legislators don’t understand.

They join other crusaders for ignorance from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas in what is, morally if not legally, a clear case of child abuse.

In Tennessee, at least, there is a lively if ineffectual opposition to this atrocity. The governor criticized the law and refused to sign it, though he didn’t bother to veto it because the baboons had voted for it by a three to one margin and would gleefully override.

Scientists, educators, and civil libertarians by the thousands petitioned the governor to veto, all for naught.

Possibly they were too polite. They might have stated in the petition what Clarence Darrow said in the Scopes trial when asked the purpose of his questioning.

“We have the purpose,” said Darrow, “of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.”

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About Al

Editors of The Horse You Rode In On (listed below) hail from Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco. All contributions are signed. When guest contributors are included, their comments will be signed in a manner consistent with their needs for discretion, witness protection, or yearning for personal adulation.