Letters to the Editor

Letter: 'Inherit the Wind' not against religion

I have studied "Inherit The Wind," and was privileged to play the role of Henry Drummond in the Sun City Community Theatre's production of it last year. I think a recent letter misses the essence of the play.

A modicum of research would have shown that it was written in response to the dogmatic zealotry of McCarthyism, that the Scopes trial was simply a convenient artistic vehicle, and that it was in no way intended to be historically accurate.

Attention to the actual dialogue would also have revealed that Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow) defended the right of a person to hold the religious views of his choice. His crusade was not against Christianity, but against blind and unthinking acceptance of ideological dogma.

The crux of the play is defending the right of the individual to think for himself, to read or hear things that may be contrary to accepted beliefs or with which one might disagree. Such thought can lead one to or from religion.

As the character Rachel said at the end of the play, she read Darwin and didn't fully understand it, but what she did understand she didn't like. The supposed heresy apparently did not shake her faith. The play's ending shows Drummond contemplating both the Bible and Darwin: read both and decide for yourself.

I share the letter writer's sadness -- not at the Art Center of Coastal Carolina's choice to produce it, but at the apparent weakness of a faith that feels threatened by artistic expression.

Roscoe Sandlin