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The Biggest Backlash: Brand-New Old-Time Religion

FOR BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH, the outcome of the Civil War, respectively winning and losing, reinforced the trajectories of their Christianities. Before the war, Christianity below the Mason-Dixon Line had started to resemble the older Yankee Christianity—purely Protestant, ultra-orthodox, and insular, with church and community practically synonymous. Afterward, as they wallowed in their tragic nobility and persecution, Southerners turned ever more to their churches for definition as Southerners. Revised hymns and new stained-glass windows conflated Christian and Confederate imagery and themes. White Southern religious culture became kind of a rump Confederacy. Believers doubled down on the supernatural, looking toward a miraculous do-over, an ultimate victory on Judgment Day and in the hereafter. Instead of squarely facing the uncomfortable facts—slavery was wrong, secession a calamitous mistake—they shifted into excuse-and-deny mode. For a great many white Southerners, defeat made them not contrite and peaceable (like, say, Germans and Japanese after World War II) but permanently pissed off. Which in turn led them to embrace a Christianity almost as medieval as the Puritans’.

For Northerners, victory had confirmed they were on God’s side, fortifying their besetting smugness, and their religion resolved more and more into a pretty, reassuring background hum. Going to church meant sitting quietly and listening to lectures about virtue. America’s religious Establishment, headquartered in the North, kept moving toward reasonableness, along with the rest of Christendom, recasting the miracles of the past and prophecies for the future as illustrative allegories.

In the first year of the twentieth century, modernism became a word in this discourse—as a catchall for the fuzzier, more intellectual, more plausible version of Christianity that was becoming mainstream. “The advance of liberalism, so-called, in Christianity, during the past 50 years,” William James wrote, “may fairly be called a victory…within the church over the morbidness [of] the old hell-fire theology. We now have whole congregations where preachers…ignore, or even deny, eternal punishment.” The New Theology emphasized personal goodness and downplayed the supernatural. Reducing history to a battle between God and Satan was foolish. The Bible was an extraordinary construction, divinely inspired but the product of fallible ancient authors.

The seminal modern work of sociology, Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905), wasn’t much interested in our American religion qua religion. Weber’s idea was that certain Protestant mental habits happen to jibe well with ambition and industriousness. Thus they’d come along at exactly the right time to train Europeans and Americans to create and operate the market economies emerging at the same time. He reckoned, and everyone agreed, that in the twentieth century and beyond, modern societies no longer needed that original religious catalyst to keep thriving and would eventually slough off the supernatural parts as vestigial bunk. Essentially, Weber said, Protestants’ capitalism-friendly theology had evolved into modern rationalism.

But in America, and pretty much only in America, that rationalism was viscerally opposed by lots and lots of people who didn’t cotton to the inrushing newness—fancy foreign art and ideas, jazz, movies, sexual looseness, racial equality, women’s suffrage—let alone science that contradicted their understanding of the first book of the Bible.*1 In America, even as the moderns declared victory, the committed magical thinkers weren’t giving up. And they fell back on one of the original Protestant and Puritan reflexes: if the decadent elite was stigmatizing believers as bumptious zealots, persecuting them for their unfashionable faith, the believers would go even more hardcore.

During the first three decades of the twentieth century, millions of backlashing Americans became more invested in the idea that God had dictated the Bible, that it was 100 percent nonfiction, and that reading between the lines was permissible only if it confirmed their belief that Christ would return soon to stop the torrent of modern demonic corruption once and for all.

They already had the beginnings of a counter-Establishment. Dwight Moody, a shoe salesman turned celebrity preacher, had opened his influential Moody Bible Institute, a college and correspondence school, as well as a publishing house. He insisted that every sentence in the Bible was literally true, no more metaphorical than the Sears, Roebuck catalog, and he helped revive a scriptural fetishism in American Christianity. To make even the most poetic parts like Revelation understandable, he popularized Reverend Darby’s end-time schedule—along with his rapture add-on, the apocalypse escape route to a supernatural VIP waiting room. Moody called this new improved theology the “old-time gospel.” The final masterstroke was making his institute and theology nondenominational: as long as you were evangelical and opposed to open-mindedness, you were welcome. Which meant this brand of zealotry could spread freely through almost every Protestant denomination and serve as a seedbed for new sects.

Moody’s most important protégé was a corrupt and alcoholic Kansas lawyer and politician named Cyrus Scofield. After deserting his wife and children, he became an evangelical minister, cofounding his own Bible schools, launching his own correspondence course, and finally, in 1909, publishing his own Bible. This wasn’t a new translation; rather, he took the King James Version and, in his lawyerly way, filled almost half of each page with explanatory text, publishing his take on the new evangelical take on the meaning and timing of the scriptural stories and prophecies—including the calculation that God created the world in the autumn of 4004 B.C.E. All those footnotes made the most outlandish versions of Christian myth appear more bona fide. It was published by Oxford University Press and became a phenomenal bestseller.

Around the same time in Los Angeles, the elderly founder of Union Oil, a conservative Presbyterian upset about modernizing Presbyterianism, commissioned a paperback set of antimodernist essays called The Fundamentals and spent the equivalent of seven million dollars distributing millions of free copies. Baptists too were flipping out over what looked like the final triumph of Enlightenment reason. At their 1920 annual convention, not even the Northern Baptists used the euphemistic new term modernism to declare what they were against: “We view with increasing alarm the havoc which rationalism is working in our churches.” They explicitly endorsed the irrational. And the Brooklyn-based editor of the Northern Baptists’ weekly newspaper, working off the title of the recent paperbacks, gave the movement of alarmed Christian superfantasists a name:

Fundamentalism is a protest against that rationalistic interpretation of Christianity which seeks to discredit supernaturalism. This rationalism…scorns the miracles of the Old Testament, sets aside the virgin birth of our Lord as a thing unbelievable, laughs at the credulity of those who accept many of the New Testament miracles…and sweeps away the promises of his second coming as an idle dream….In robbing Christianity of its supernatural content, they are undermining the very foundations of our holy religion. They boast that they are strengthening the foundations and making Christianity more rational and more acceptable to thoughtful people. Christianity is rooted and grounded in supernaturalism, and when robbed of supernaturalism it ceases to be a religion and becomes an exalted system of ethics.

Fighting to keep the big Protestant denominations from drifting toward the rational was hard work. But in twentieth-century America, celebrity was totally fungible, entrepreneurialism the winning way, and show business exploding. Thus the most famous evangelical preacher of the era hadn’t been ordained and wasn’t affiliated with any one church but was already a star (in major league baseball), preached the old-time religion in an all-American Iowa accent, did so entertainingly (jumping, whirling, flailing, cracking wise), and had a perfect name: Billy Sunday. He called the Protestant upper crust a “pack of pretentious, pliable, mental perverts…dedicated to the destruction of religion and one and all are liars.” The righteous, regular American people by the million loved him.

Science had proved that humans descended from animals—which is tough to reconcile with a literal reading of Genesis, in which God forms man from the dust of the ground by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. In the half-century since Darwin’s The Descent of Man, intellectually supple Christians around the world—the “modernists”—had reconciled Scripture with scientific evidence: the astronomers, geologists, paleontologists, and biologists were simply discovering the operational details of God’s miraculous creation. Even orthodox theologians were showing flexibility. “ ‘Evolution,’ ” an essayist wrote in The Fundamentals, was “but a new name for ‘creation,’ ” and thus “the Bible and science are…in harmony.” So God in his amazing way created man, but not in a single day, and not by blowing on a dirt statue.

A large fraction of American Christians, however, refused to move beyond the picture of human creation they’d had as children. “I don’t believe your own bastard theory of evolution,” Billy Sunday snarled. “I believe it’s pure jackass nonsense.” In the winter of 1925, he preached for two weeks in Memphis, where 250,000 people (in a city of 200,000) turned out to hear him rail against Darwin and godless biology. Immediately the state of Tennessee enacted the strictest of several (Southern) laws that criminalized science’s bastard theories, making it “unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities…and all other public schools of the State…to teach any theory that denies the Story of the Divine Creation of man and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animal.”

A BIG, STARK American inflection point had arrived. Modern science or ancient myth? Reason or magic? Reality or fiction? The argument over evolution had finally come to a head, each side coalescing and arming for battle during the same decade. A ferocious sector of Christians arose and named itself, and anti-evolution-education laws were enacted. Among the seculars, the American Civil Liberties Union was created, the biggest newspapers became national, influential weeklies (The New Republic, Time, The New Yorker) were founded, and newsreels and regular radio newscasts began. This new set of conditions resulted, in the summer of 1925, in the so-called Monkey Trial, the first great national smackdown between fantasists and rationalists.

“We are looking for a Tennessee teacher who is willing to accept our services in testing this law,” announced the ACLU ad in the Chattanooga Daily Times on the first Monday in May. An hour up the Tennessee Valley in the town of Dayton, a well-born young Methodist engineer recently transplanted from New York City, and his group of local boosters, immediately saw an opportunity—a way to put little Dayton on the map and to make full-throated public cases for both science and fundamentalism with the whole world watching. They persuaded another young local newcomer—John Scopes, a year out of college and teaching science at the local high school—to be indicted and tried. (Actually, Mr. Scopes had been out sick the day his class was taught evolution, but…whatever.)

All over America, earnest partisans, cynical impresarios, and regular spectacle-loving folks instantly recognized what a crackerjack show this might be. Each side brought in its own celebrity ringer. The lawyer Clarence Darrow, fresh off saving the rich teenage Chicago murderers Leopold and Loeb from the gallows, joined the ACLU’s defense team. For the prosecution, it was William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential nominee who was making a late-life career out of stirring up popular rage against evolutionary biology. For weeks before the trial, The New York Times published articles on the case, one headlined BRYAN IS ARRAIGNED AS RELIGIOUS BIGOT. Barely one hundred days after the law’s enactment, State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, conceived and cast as a show trial, was under way.

The county courthouse was freshly painted, and they’d installed new bathrooms and telephone lines, a platform for newsreel cameras, and five hundred additional seats for spectators—two hundred of whom were reporters from around the country and the world. The Chicago Tribune’s new radio station sent a crew to broadcast the trial live. “We’re like moon men here,” the announcer marveled. “We’re the radio guys from outer space!” Outdoors, concession stands sold snacks and drinks and stuffed toy monkeys, and a local butcher showed off a pair of kittens with rabbit-like hind legs, what he called “cabbits,” proof of genetic inheritance if not of evolution. A celebrity chimpanzee wearing a plaid suit, fedora, and spats was offered up as a defense exhibit; Darrow declined. The owner of a different chimp offered his to the prosecution, and the jury, led by “the juror who looks like Buffalo Bill,” as The New York Times described him, visited a hotel room for an audience with the ape.

Clergy rushed to Tennessee to join the show. A Mississippi minister passed out antievolution pamphlets with alliterative titles (“Hell and the High Schools,” “God or Gorilla”). A rabbi from Nashville arrived, offering to explain Genesis in Hebrew. An outdoor preacher from Oregon made himself up to look like a popular funny-papers character. A man from Michigan whose business card identified him as an “Independent Free-Thinker and Lecturer” was arrested, and police also prevented a Unitarian minister from Manhattan’s Upper West Side from speaking. When the pastor of a local Methodist church invited the Unitarian to address his congregation, the uproar prompted his immediate resignation.

At the end of the trial’s second day, Darrow delivered a long speech laying out his legal and philosophical case. Is there a word meaning the opposite of pander? Bryan’s years of antievolution militancy, Darrow said, were “responsible for this wicked, mischievous and foolish” new law. As “almost impossible as it is to put my mind back into the sixteenth century, I am going to argue as if it was serious, and as if it was a death struggle between two civilizations.” It was absurd that “the book of Genesis, written when everybody thought the world was flat,” should refute science, and what Tennessee had done was “as plain religious ignorance and bigotry as any that justified…the hanging of the witches in New England.”

When he finished, a journalist from the Baltimore Sun reported, “the morons in the audience…simply hissed it.” The Sun, three states and six hundred miles away, was a co-producer of the show. The paper had agreed in advance to pay Scopes’s bail and his fine if he was convicted. To report on the trial and hullabaloo, it had dispatched a five-man team led by H. L. Mencken, its star writer whose columns—including the one referring to “the morons in the audience”—were nationally syndicated. In rural Tennessee, he wrote, “Darwin is the devil with seven tails and nine horns. Scopes, though he is disguised by flannel pantaloons and a Beta Theta Pi haircut, is the harlot of Babylon. Darrow is Beelzebub in person.”

But it wasn’t just Mencken: the reams of straight news coverage also treated Bryan and the trial as comedy and fundamentalism as exotic and senseless. “Here comes William Jennings Bryan,” the courtroom color commentator for Chicago radio said on the air. “He enters now. His bald pate like a sunrise over Key West.” During the trial, the Times ran several stories a day, often leading page one, almost all with tendentious headlines—such as FARMERS WILL TRY TEACHER…ONE IS UNABLE TO READ, NONE BELIEVES IN EVOLUTION andDAYTON’S REMOTE MOUNTAINEERS FEAR SCIENCE. In the words of one Times reporter, “Dayton believes in a Christ born of a virgin and resurrected from the tomb, a real Adam and a real Eve and a real serpent and a real angel with a flaming sword.” And so, he wrote, they “had to have an anti-evolution law. Such firmness, such bigotry, if you will, is bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh.” That was an age of mainstream media with a liberal bias.

The celebrity principals were acting as attorneys but were mainly just acting, performers in America’s first great multimedia reality show. For a week, Darrow and Bryan joshed and derided each other in and out of court. On the trial’s penultimate day, it was reconvened outside on the courthouse lawn, so everyone could attend the improbable and fabulous denouement.

Bryan agreed to take the stand as a hostile defense witness, willing to be righteously martyred. “These gentlemen,” he said of the blasphemer Darrow and company, “came here to try revealed religion. I am here to defend it.” The crowd loved that.

“Great applause from the bleachers!” Darrow cracked, commenting on the show in real time.

“From those whom you call ‘yokels,’ ” Bryan retorted. “Those are the people whom you insult.”

Now Darrow lost his temper: “You insult every man of science and learning in the world because he does not believe in your fool religion.” He asked about various Old Testament miracles—did Bryan believe that Jonah actually survived three days in a whale’s belly, that God actually created Eve out of Adam’s rib, that a crafty talking snake actually convinced her to disobey God? And on and on.

Yes, Bryan testified, he believed everything in the Bible. He testified that he believed the flood in Genesis happened around 2348 B.C.E.

Again, incredulity from Darrow. “You believe that every civilization on the Earth and every living thing, except possibly the fishes…were wiped out by the flood? And then, whatever human beings…that inhabited the world…and who run their pedigree straight back, and all the animals have come on to the Earth since the flood?”

BRYAN: Yes.

DARROW: Don’t you know that the ancient civilizations of China are six or seven thousand years old at the very least?

BRYAN: No….

An hour or so into this, the official chief prosecutor objected—what’s the purpose? “The purpose,” his comrade Bryan declared from the witness stand, “is to cast ridicule on everybody who believes in the Bible.” Darrow grandstanded right back: “We have the purpose of preventing bigots and ignoramuses from controlling the education of the United States.”

The next day, after deliberating for nine minutes, the jury found Scopes guilty. The judge fined him $100. And as if the whole episode were not already theatrical enough, a few days later in Dayton—on the following Sunday—Bryan dropped dead.

DURING HIS TIME in Tennessee, Mencken had done some reporting beyond the courthouse “here in the Coca-Cola belt.” One night he attended an outdoor religious service. “Suddenly,” he wrote, one of the men “rose to his feet, threw back his head and began to speak in tongues—blub-blub-blub, gurgle-gurgle-gurgle. His voice rose to a higher register. The climax was a shrill, inarticulate squawk, like that of a man throttled. He fell headlong across the pyramid of supplicants.” Then another man “leaped into the air, threw back his head and began to gargle as if with a mouthful of BB shot. Then he loosened one tremendous stentorian sentence in the tongues and collapsed.”

Tongues. Mencken had witnessed the defining voodoo artifact of the newest species of fantastical Christianity. It had occasionally bubbled up here and there in America for a century or two before finally becoming a sustained geyser in the early 1900s.

As grassroots Christian beliefs grew more implausible in opposition to the liberalizing mainstream, some of the grass roots yearned for more implausible and flamboyant Christian practice. Since the Civil War, the force field of the new Holiness Movement had swept up higher-keyed zealots from the big denominations. They were pushed from more respectable congregations, especially Methodists, forming their own churches, one-off and regional operations that shared a brand (the Church of God), but even more decentralized than the Baptists, with no national leadership or headquarters, every church free to do its own thing. This kind of self-franchising felt correct, more righteous and American. Members wanted to live strictly virtuous lives—without liquor or tobacco, without singing or dancing, without theater or movies. And at their services, they weren’t content just to hear sermons, get baptized, and pray. Indeed, maybe to compensate for the everyday asceticism, the lack of intoxicants and fun, they sought another sort of mind-altering and mind-altered entertainment: camp meetings, traumatic and ecstatic public conversions, faith healing. They were Americans, so they wanted more. They’d read in the Bible’s Book of Acts that some weeks after Jesus’s crucifixion, His apostles were temporarily granted supernatural powers to perform “wonders and signs”—the so-called Pentecost. Among those miraculous powers had been the ability “to speak with other tongues”—instant fluency in all the languages spoken at that time in multicultural Jerusalem. A little later in the Bible, the apostle Paul mentions Christians who “speaketh in an unknown tongue.”

Twenty centuries later Americans decided they wanted that delirious Pentecostal experience for themselves, every week. Not until then had glossolalia, as it became known, served as the defining fantasy of any Christian religion. Four hundred years after Luther said that “we are all priests,” Americans took the notion a hysterical step further: every believer could now be a prophet as well, each equal to one of Jesus’s apostles, commissioned to perform and reveal miraculous wonders and signs, and not just temporarily.

The two main founders of Pentecostalism were a pair of young evangelists, former Methodists by way of the Holiness Movement. Charles Parham had set up a little Bible college in Topeka for people “willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school,” where he taught that the end-time was near. On the very first day of the twentieth century, this twenty-seven-year-old put his hands on a student, a thirty-year-old woman, and, according to him, “a halo seemed to surround her head and face, and she began speaking in the Chinese language and was unable to speak English for three days.” Although a local Chinese person said that what she spoke wasn’t Chinese at all, the believers believed, and soon more Topekans, including the minister and his clerical peers, were excitedly speaking dozens of different made-up foreign languages.

Then he went on the road, in Houston enlisting a talented African-American protégé, William Seymour, whom he dispatched to spread the magic to booming Los Angeles. The new L.A. church, in a ramshackle building in Little Tokyo, was instantly successful. Thousands made their way downtown for the nonstop performances. Two weeks into the madness, the great 1906 earthquake leveled San Francisco and shook L.A.—a coincidence that encouraged the believers on Azusa Street to believe they were receiving bulletins from God about Armageddon and Christ’s return.

It may go without saying, but I’ll say it: “tongues” are gibberish. The authoritative contemporary scholar of glossolalia, William Samarin of the University of Toronto, is charitable. After witnessing, recording, and studying dozens of episodes, he rejected “psychopathological explanations.” However, the “languages” spoken are sham improvisations: “strings of syllables, made up of sounds taken from all those that the speaker knows, put together more or less haphazardly” with “a facade of language” but “without having consistent [sentence] structure.” English-speakers speaking in tongues, he found, tend to avoid uttering sounds that make the fake language sound too similar to English.

Shortly after Seymour began leading services on Azusa Street, the Los Angeles Daily Times ran a skeptical page-one story. NEW SECT OF FANATICS BREAKING LOOSE, the headline announced. “Night is made hideous in the neighborhood,” read the story, “by the howlings of the worshippers who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve-racking attitude of prayer and supplication. They claim to have ‘the gift of tongues’; and to be able to comprehend the babel. Such a startling claim has never yet been made by any company of fanatics, even in Los Angeles, the home of almost numberless creeds.”

Word of the outpourings spread. A North Carolina preacher who’d recently switched from Methodist to Holiness in order to accommodate his beliefs in faith healing and the imminent end-time crossed the country to witness the free-for-all in L.A. Immediately converted, he returned home and barnstormed the South to recruit other evangelical ministers for the new sect—who in turn set up Pentecostal denominations that endure today.*2 Within a decade, the main Pentecostal denominations had millions of American members.

ALTHOUGH RATIONALISTS LOST the legal battle at Scopes’s 1925 trial in Tennessee, it seemed to almost everybody at the time that they were winning the wider war. “Two months ago,” Mencken wrote from Dayton, “the town was obscure and happy. Today it is a universal joke.” In fact, thanks to the new national media—which, as Mencken said, “show[ed] the country and the world exactly how the obscene buffoonery appeared to realistic city men”—Christian fundamentalism and Holy Roller theatricality had become a national joke as well.

And an international joke. “In the 1920s,” the Notre Dame historian George Marsden writes in Fundamentalism and American Culture, “when the American fundamentalists were fighting their spiritual battles, few in England rallied to the battle cry.” And not just England: “Almost nowhere outside of America did this particular Protestant response to modernity play such a conspicuous and pervasive role in the culture.”

Yet while the United States was a twentieth-century straggler, it did seem to be catching up with the rest of the world, taking two steps forward for every one back. In the big U.S. denominations, the Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists based in the North, the liberals definitively won their fights against their fundamentalists during the 1920s. The prestigious Princeton Theological Seminary, the final fortress of biblical inerrancy, was taken over by modernists. The new king of the Protestant Establishment, featured on the cover of Time, was Reinhold Niebuhr, a New Yorker and bona-fide intellectual comfortable with nuance and ambiguity who didn’t believe in the biblical miracles, including Jesus’s bodily resurrection, or even in individual heavenly eternal life.

The fundamentalist resistance, according to respectable opinion at the time, was the last hurrah of atavistic know-nothings. To metropolitan Americans, the fundamentalists and Pentecostals (and Mormons) were embarrassments, to be mocked or ignored until they finally disappeared once and for all. The three superstar evangelists of the period—Billy Sunday, the Reverend Major Jealous Divine, and Aimee Semple McPherson—were figures of fun everywhere in the new national news media.

Time, a fair proxy for upper-middle-class sensibility, referred to “the farmer-jurors” of the Scopes trial. “Billy Sunday,” the magazine said, “on a lower intellectual plane,” had Americans debating “whether he did more harm than good.” The magazine described him “leaping and snarling like a small, vivacious cougar.” Father Divine, an African-American based in and around New York City, said he was God incarnate. The New York Times assumed his and his followers’ insanity: 16 OF DIVINE’S CULT SHOW MENTAL ILLS, one article was headlined; ONLY 2 OUT OF 18 OBSERVED AT BELLEVUE FOUND FREE OF WELL-DEFINED PSYCHOSES. McPherson, known as Sister Aimee, was a faith-healing, tongues-speaking Pentecostal divorcée preaching in a five-thousand-seat church in L.A. with a giant animated-electric-light billboard inside. After she went missing for five weeks in 1926, claiming she’d been kidnapped, Time described “her ‘disappearance,’ ” the way it referred to Billy Sunday’s “sermons,” with disparaging quotation marks. The bestselling novel of 1927 was Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry, a satire about a Billy Sunday–esque evangelist and his McPhersonian lover. In 1933 Time happily reported that “U.S. evangelists find their circles narrowing, embracing smaller and smaller towns.”

As a constitutional matter, the Monkey Trial didn’t resolve the conflict in America between science and creationist fantasy. On appeal, the state supreme court nullified Scopes’s standing to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. For the next several decades, oddly, the ACLU pursued no more big test cases. A kind of de facto truce prevailed. Only a few Southern states kept antievolution laws on the books, and even those statutes began to be repealed. In most places, the principles of biology were taught without any asterisks.

The cultural impact of the Scopes trial, however, was enormous. Each side was confirmed in its beliefs. It allowed the mainstream to write off Christian true believers as hillbilly dead-enders and to imagine that reason was inexorably triumphing in America. Thought leaders and cosmopolites and middle-class Time-reading conservatives, such as my grandparents and parents in Nebraska, could almost forget that many millions of gung-ho Christian fantasists still existed. And the fantasists—especially in the South, for whom the Yankees’ twentieth-century national cultural victory was a rerun of their Civil War victory—could go on believing and telling their children that science was untrue when it contradicted the Bible.

A hyperfantastical Christianity had blazed in America for a quarter century. After the Scopes trial, the official chroniclers figured the fires were dying. National attention was no longer much paid. But in the South and outside big cities, the coals were still red hot and banked, never extinguished, ready to rekindle in the second half of the twentieth century, bigger than ever.

*1 In 1920, just before the Constitution was amended to give women the vote, all but one of the seven states without any female suffrage were in the South, and most of the states that had been Confederate refused to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment until the 1960s or later.

*2 For the Reverend Gaston Barnibus Cashwell, that founding spree was apparently a midlife crisis, a phase: four years later he returned to the Methodists.

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