Gregg Jarrett like most of the “journalists” on Cable TV writes a book and, apparently, as part of   his remuneration, can market the book through the cable broadcast (marketing is the backbone of selling books). In this case, he has written something called The Trial of the Century.

This version was such a grand event that it apparently, in Jarrett’s mind, rises above the trials at Nuremberg, or of the Rosenbergs, or even O., J.’s loosely extra-legal-squalid extravaganza-“dream-team” brouhaha. Any contemporary concept is, of course, what the Scopes “Monkey” Trial was, almost a century ago—perhaps the greatest show on earth.

The “Monkey” trial was about John Scopes, the Tennessee teacher in 1925 who was tried for violating A Tennessee law captioned as the Butler Act, which was really a promotion for the ACLU, Clarence Darrow (who held no law degree), and a showcase for the blowhards of the Yankee North who with their Puritanical self-love are the nation’s shining-light-happy-city-on-a-hill, or some such Yankee bile spewed by the flaggers of truth; and their monstrous tales and lies of the old Southern Confederacy and its flag of St. Andrew, embedded with its Christian icon.

Jarrett’s rekindling of the Trial’s history is in line with the neoconservative and ill-educated Yankee (from the John Cheese New Englanders—see H.L. Menchen) portrayal of the South as not being what their liberal brethren like to call the “New” South. That is the sort of thing that the folks at Fox “News” like to support with their like-minded media “ilk”: Always, of course, allowing their fans to falsely think of them as real conservatives.

Take down those evil Confederate (Mark Levin’s chosen phrase) monuments and flags. Supposedly the old South was not only responsible for America’s “original sin” but is a bunch of foot-stomping idiot church-going rubes trying to zilch free speech.

The Vanderbilt Agrarians, of the grandest scholarship and wordsmithery, warned, in their times, of the Greg Jarrett-type cast of characters. Poorly read collegial moderns haunt conservative Jeffersonian republicanism with cheap good guy, bad guy historical histrionics.

Secession on Trial, written by University of Virginia law professor and Harvard Law School graduate Cynthia Nicoletti for a touch of such lawless bile is typical Yankee revelation pursuit.

But: The truth in the Butler Act:

“Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of the Universities, Normals, and all other public schools of the State which are supported in whole or in part by the public school funds of the State, to teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals. (my emphasis).”

The law did not prevent the teaching that there was, in fact, a conception (there was no theory proper—not by the scientific method*, in any event) devised by Charles Darwin called Evolution that expounded at length via subsequent thoughts and writings on the subject. Darwin’s own literature was placed in the schools and was not disallowed. He wasn’t a bad writer, just a bad scientist. But the law BANNED nothing.

The law simply said that Darwin’s theory could not simply deny, as a fact of science, on Monday what Sunday School teachers had taught on Sunday.

 Jarrett has offered the usual decades-old silliness that we the people of Tennessee were crucifying the First Amendment. Jarrett doesn’t seem to bother (I haven’t read the book—I have only heard him describe contents several times) with the First Amendment’s inclusion of religion. Any rights seem (to him) to be given by the national government.

 Monday Judges may not eradicate the Sunday blather, so to speak. But his case seems set that Sunday school teachers on Monday must go to hell due to their free speaking of God. But then Jarrett, like most lawyers and T.V. wags doesn’t seem to know the difference between national and federal in the first place. And, so long as they hate the South they will never learn and never know.

The South was burned and pillaged because it did know the difference. Not because of slaves, who were first enslaved by black Africans, sold to New England Yankee slave traders, and labored, fed, and housed by the South. Southerners were ravished by the Grand Army of the “Republic” because they knew the difference and insisted upon it. The irony drips from “Republic.”

Selling books means marketing them not necessarily defending them well. Many lawyers like Jarrett (maybe too many) assume their case proves itself because they are lawyers—well, Sonny Hostin believes that climate change caused the solar eclipse and she’s a lawyer. And Shelia Jackson Lee thinks the moon is made up of gases and she’s a lawyer. Therefore, no cross-examination of anything a lawyer says or writes is required? Where is Socrates when he’s needed? Certainly not in the law schools.

As to the ACLU and/or Clarence Darrow? If such is your taste in intelligent thought, then it begs the question regarding intelligent thought.

 Often Jarrett appears on television or radio with his book in hand. And carrying his traditional media-sissy and sad drooping facial lines, he declares some savior, like agnostic Darrow, has saved us from hell or high water and his book proves it. It is the same flavor and structure as the ACLU’s civil rights, not God-given rights.

Proves it? Perhaps, but probably not. A better text on the subject as a single example would be Edward Larson’s Summer for the Gods (Pulitzer Prize, 1998). This I did read.

Darrow had no law degree but read for the law; something acceptable at the time, and possibly more useful than today’s law schools which like most schools have become a clown show for pretend academicians and their mediocre students. Socrates and his method both seem to rot in the earth.

Even Lincoln followed this schooling (reading for the law) and while he was tagged with the misnomer, “Honest” he did acquire a modicum of shrewdness that served him well in politics, even if he did spill buckets of American blood and bare publicly lie after lie for a cause he knew was a lie. But, like Darrow, he could find the courthouse and “promote” rather than persuade. Bottom line: The agnostic Lincoln made money, gained office, and spilled others’ blood. His law was Republican law, not republican law. If Greg Jarrett had spent more time studying law and less writing fairy tales about the South, and its Christian fealty he might have written more nonfiction than fiction.

This is the same place today’s media comes in. It is the same position held in abeyance to the virtually lawless and Godless. Uneducated rubes who live by the cliché and historical histrionics.

And they are useful scribblers only to modernity and its decadent social order (or disorder). They can, in fact, read and write. They just have few ideas and less interest in what they write.

Once schools carried the message that “God is the law.” Today, the schools carry the message that “The Law is God.”

*The scientific method has five basic steps, plus one feedback step:

  1. Make an observation.
  2. Ask a question.
  3. Form a hypothesis or testable explanation.
  4. Make a prediction based on the hypothesis.
  5. Test the prediction.
  6. Iterate: use the results to make new hypotheses or predictions.

Numbers 4 and 5 have never survived Darwin’s theories.

Paul H. Yarbrough

I was born and reared in Mississippi, lived in both Louisiana and Texas (past 40 years). My wonderful wife of 43 years who recently passed away was from Louisiana. I have spent most of my business career in the oil business. I took up writing as a hobby 7 or 8 years ago and love to write about the South. I have just finished a third novel. I also believe in the South and its true beliefs.


  • James Persons says:

    Outstanding column Mr. Yarbrough!

  • Billy P says:

    Interesting read. Thanks Mr. Yarbrough.
    The north is certainly full of masters of deception. Mark Levin is one of them. Is it just me or are his dead, dark eyes and cold, hateful stare an outward expression of a troubled soul? He seems physically impacted by his deceitful nature.
    They are not, nor are they willing, to be critical thinkers, but what these so-called conservatives do is critical to the goal of destroying the proud history of the south and the fabric of our country.
    We have to love it more than they hate it. Just keep telling the truth and we will turn the tide.

  • David LeBeau says:

    Excellent work, Mr. Yarbrough!
    The end of WWI, HL Mencken’s “The Sahara of the Bozart” which is believed to have giving a charge to the Nashville Agrarians to produce The Fugitive poetry, then follows the Scopes Trial, the crash of the Stock Market, and the prophetic “I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition.” It would make for a great movie, just not by Hollywood.

  • William Quinton Platt III says:

    Evolution has failed for 99.9 percent of all species ever to exist. Only man has the hubris to believe in “evolution” and that man “evolved” first.

    Evolution “exists” in a universe experiencing entropy…everything else is winding down…yet life forms are being generated all over Earth when lightning strikes mud…dozens of new life forms just in the past couple of hurricane seasons…I’ve seen these mutant plants…all thorny and suspicious, sprouting up in my yard after every storm…it must be the lightning…or they were carried aloft from Mexico.

  • Valerie Protopapas says:

    I wish that Mr. Yarbrough had made that one final connection that would certainly have illuminated today’s Americans as to why we are where we are, how we got here and what went wrong. He almost made it when he made the connection between the original social/moral construct of the culture, that is, God is the Law and what we wound up with, that is The Law is god. Why isn’t it quite far enough? Because today we have the final result of those two statements. We removed the understanding that God is the Law ~ that is, that God created everything including the natural laws that govern creation ~ and substituted the acts of men ~ as in “the Law” ~ in God’s place and that did work (sort of) for a while, but it could not be sustained. For once you remove the concept of ABSOLUTES (as in the concept of God!) you have removed the foundation for the belief that ANYTHING can be “absolute.” Hence, the worst, most vile and wickest things may become “acceptable” simply because there are no guidelines by which we may understand that they are totally perverse and evil! So our “god” ~ that is the law itself! ~ is no longer able to maintain the purity and honesty it once had because of its subservient relationship to God! That is why we have crooked judges and prosecutors and lawyers and statutes! The “law” is no longer worthy even of being our culture’s created “god” and, as such, all manifestations of truth, goodness, accuracy, decency and all the rest that made us a “Godly society” have been abandoned in the name of a moral philosophy that even the wicked cannot defend.

  • Amber says:

    Great article!

  • Deborah Harvey says:

    The South was pillaged by certain inhabitants of Boston and New York city
    New York city is still infested.
    they wanted what the South had and they got it
    These financiers are still similarly engaged but now have global tentacles
    They used the bleeding hearts, morally outraged to accomplish their goal
    Not a drop of financier’s blood was spent in the endeavor
    Keep praying

  • Martin says:

    Thank you. Very nice reading. Enjoyed it.

  • Joe Akins says:

    Nice article about the blowhards of the Yankee north showing Jarrett and Darrow to be of the same ilk. Why didn’t you leave it at that? Instead you go on to destroy a strawman of science and ironically become a real world example of the ignorant Southerner that Darrow and Jarrett attacked.

    That science begins with an observation is the error of Empiricism. It’s a relic of centuries old thinking and needs to be eradicated from human thought as anything more than historical insight.

    The scientific method is a way of solving problems and does not begin with observation. Observations are interpreted within a pre-existing framework. How else do we identify an observation as worth thinking about? The framework can be updated to incorporate a new observation and then tested in the real world through well designed experiments. We should favor the framework, model, theory with the most explanatory depth, but realize it’s just a model, not the truth of reality of itself. Certainty is for religious dogmatists and totalitarian Yankees.

    Science matters because of its explanatory power, not because it can be abused as a moral, or political, bludgeon. Science is based on updating our thinking given new information. It’s anti-dogmatic and to borrow from Richard Feynman a way to help us from fooling ourselves.

    Southerners have never taken much to puritanical, Yankee religious dogma, but your entire argument in defense of the South is ironically based on just that and what Darrow, Mencken and Jarrett justifiably mock. Darwin was one of the most brilliant and careful thinkers in history. Agree, or not, with his model, but you reject him with the same ignorance and arrogance Yankees reject Southerners.

    • Paul Yarbrough says:

      “Science is based on updating our thinking given new information.”
      No. It is based on our thinking, given new revelation. Information may true or false.
      The scientific method is structured as to reveal.

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