The Great Commoner

I’ve been following the saga of Bryan College. Due to outside pressure from the likes of Ken Ham and other creationists, Bryan College issued a clarification of its mandatory Statement of Belief so that it spelled out a literal belief in Adam and Eve. It’s become a thing in the media, and you can see reactions from our neighbors Fred Clark and Peter Enns.

A number of the articles I’ve read includes a line like this one from Christianity Today:

Bryan College was notably founded in honor of William Jennings Bryan, the lawyer who opposed evolution in the high-profile Scopes trial.

William Jenning Bryan. Scopes Trial. What else is there to say?

The above political cartoon ran during the trial, and it has one answer. For three decades, Bryan made headlines with his mix of left-wing politics and right-wing religion. He served as Secretary of State, made several credible runs for the presidency and was a successful lecturer and author. In any collection of great American speeches, you’ll find his “Cross of Gold” speech near the top.

And all of that is washed away by his campaign for creationism.

There’s a lesson there.


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