A Catholic Runs for President: The Campaign of 1928

By Edmund A. Moore | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER FIVE
A Campaign Within a Campaign

"It is not that Governor Smith is a Catholic and a wet which makes him an offense to the villagers and town dwellers,...The whole Puritan civilization which has built a sturdy, orderly nation is threatened by Smith."1

-- William Allen White

Eastern sophisticates have referred frequently to parts of the South and West as the "Bible belt," a vaguely defined wasteland where shouting evangelists and "short-cut" clergymen held sway. The fight to preserve a Fundamentalist faith against the teaching of scientists who had rejected Genesis as the guide to creation had reached dramatic culmination at Dayton, Tennessee, where William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow championed the opposing views.* Henry L. Mencken assigned Bryan's followers to the species Boobus americanus.2 As it happened, they were in many

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*
Walter Lippmann's interpretation of the meaning of the 1925 Tennessee statute and the threat to prescribe the limits of freedom of teaching appears in his American Inquisitors ( New York, 1928).

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