Deceptive Documentary Portrays Evangelicals as Repugnant Other

American journalists need to update their understanding of American Evangelicals. They’ve relied on a caricature of this community handed down to them from various sources, especially the writings of H.L. Mencken and Inherit the Wind, a 1960 film based on the Scopes Monkey Trial which was a public relations disaster for Evangelicals in the U.S. (Screenshot from movie from Wikipedia)

Evangelical Christians have been a convenient bogeyman in American society since the 1920s when journalist H.L. Mencken assailed their fundamentalist ancestors during the Scopes Monkey Trial, describing them as “vermin” who were able to enjoy the fruits of modernity created by their intellectual superiors whom they hated. “The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war…