John Scopes Has Preliminary Hearing on Butler Act Violation Hot

John Scopes attends a preliminary hearing on his violation of the Butler Act's prohibition against teaching evolution in public schools. The date of his trial is scheduled for August.

Scopes has not been picked randomly to be charged under the Butler Act: he volunteered to be the defendant for challenging the law because he's young, unmarried, and has the least to lose relative to others who might be able to do it. This test case will become the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial.

George W. Rappleyea and other community leaders of Dayton, Tennessee, have orchestrated this trial because they want to be the first challenge to the Butler Act. They believe that if they make the trial a big deal, it will put their town"on the map" and thus attract business, tourism, and attention.

Rappleyea's interest in the Butler Act is more than financial, however. Rappleyea also opposes the Christian fundamentalist agenda because they regards their vision of Christianity as excessively narrow and harsh.

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