I don't believe in Darwin's theory, but I still love this film. As a Christian and a person of faith.. I can't take the side of religious fanatics or the atheistic character of Hornbeck the reporter.
Members of the L.D.S. Church live by the articles of faith. Number 11 states: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."
And, if people want to believe they are descended from monkeys, that's OK too. But, I claim the right to believe that my ancestors are better looking than theirs.
The point is that we have the right to believe what we believe in this country and that is something that even after The Constitution and The Bill of Rights were drafted and signed we still struggle with.
Thankfully not as much as when intolerance, bigotry and ignorance caused so much violence and misery for so many different groups of people in this country including my Mormon ancestors who were forced from their homes and communities several times before coming to Utah.
Even when we don't believe the same way, we may be able to look and learn from someone whose background is very different from our own.
A Korean family moved into our neighborhood several years ago. They are the most delightful people. Their sons are gifted, gracious, thoughtful, polite and always cheerful. They are doing something wonderful with their children. I am grateful they moved here.
Tolerance is as important as fighting for what we believe in. You can do both and and do them at the same time. You can fight hard and be respectful of others at the same time.
I think these words are really the crux of the film:
"Can't you understand? That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers. And then you may turn Catholic against Protestant, and Protestant against Protestant, and try to foist your own religion upon the mind of man. If you can do one, you can do the other. Because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we'll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!"
Anyway, I like this film quite a lot. It's well done.