In many ways, the novel was a product of its time. The rise of fundamentalism—highlighted by the Scopes trial in in which defense attorney Clarence Darrow struck a victory for the teaching of evolution and the celebrity enjoyed by evangelists such Billy Sunday and Aimee Semple McPherson—alerted Lewis to the tremendous power in the hands of charismatic and populist ministers. In Elmer Gantry, Lewis creates a cast of ministers who represent the most vicious accusations that could be leveled at a minister:
By Richard Trott enry M. Morris, among many other creationists, has tried to discredit evolutionary theory by arguing that evolution is a pillar of racism. As the 19th century scientists were converted to evolution, they were thus also convinced of racism.
They were certain that the white race was superior to other races, and the reason for this superiority was to be found in Darwinian theory.
It is instructional to examine the following passage by Morris in that light. Morris may have simply written this particular passage somewhat more carelessly than he should have.
Or it may reflect views Morris once held years ago but no longer holds. Still, considering his attempts to tie evolution to racism, it is quite interesting to see Morris, in a creationist context, deal with race in a way that would give comfort to racists.
The descendants of Ham were marked especially for secular service to mankind. These include all nations which are neither Semitic nor Japhetic.
It seems that almost no matter what the particular device or principle or system may be, if one traces back far enough, he will find that it originated with the Sumerians or Egyptians or early Chinese or some other Hamitic people.
Yet the prophecy again has its obverse side. Somehow they have only gone so far and no farther. The Japhethites and Semites have, sooner or later, taken over their territories, and their inventions, and then developed them and utilized them for their own enlargement. Often the Hamites, especially the Negroes, have become actual personal servants or even slaves to the others.
Possessed of a genetic character concerned mainly with mundane matters, they have eventually been displaced by the intellectual and philosophical acumen of the Japhethites and the religious zeal of the Semites. Morris concludes that this is not racist by invoking a strange definition of racism.
Somehow, if other human beings are responsible for the plight of a group of people, that is racism; however, if someone such as Morris believes that a general line of people such as the Hamites are "possessed of a genetic character" that makes them innately less "intellectual," and "religious" than the other approximately two-thirds of humanity, this is not racism.
These very general and broad national and racial characteristics obviously admit of many exceptions on an individual genetic basis. It is also obvious that the prophecy is a divine description of future facts, in no way needing the deliberate assistance of man for its accomplishment. Neither Negroes nor any other Hamitic people were intended to be forcibly subjugated on the basis of this Noahic declaration.
The prophecy would be inevitably fulfilled because of the innate natures of the three genetic stocks, not by virtue of any artificial constraints imposed by man. I questioned Henry Morris about this issue personally in North East, Maryland, on July 18, shortly after he made an address at a Christian service.
Morris claimed that these pronouncements are not racist because there are "black Jews" and black "Indians" who are not Hamitic. Furthermore, Morris pointed out that there are whites who have been "slaves" and are Hamitic.
Morris also confirmed for me that he believes that African Americans are Hamitic. It may be difficult for some to understand why I conclude that Morris is, in fact, not really a racist.
After all, Morris has written that the "racial character" of a certain population results in that population being "less intellectual," and "religious" than the other approximately two-thirds of humanity.
Billy Sunday On-line Compiled by the pastor of King's Valley Chapel in Kingfield, Maine, this website contains Sunday sermons, images, audio, a biographical timeline, and an online bookstore. Billy Sunday Home Museum The Sunday family home, known as "Mount Hood", is located in Winona Lake, schwenkreis.com: November 19, , Story County, Iowa, U.S. Preacher Billy Sunday (Wikimedia Commons) It is monumental, accounting for years in pages, populated with memorable characters, and exceedingly well written. Yet Frances FitzGerald’s The Evangelicals leaves the reader with only a partial view of the phenomenon she recounts with such breadth and brilliance. Study Guide for Babbitt. Babbitt study guide contains a biography of Sinclair Lewis, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Furthermore, Morris sometimes defended these statements to me and other times simply contradicted them, but never rescinded them. However, I believe that it is possible for generally tolerant individuals to occasionally slip up and write something careless and insensitive.
I am happy to give Morris the benefit of the doubt. Jerry Bergman has published a response to this articleand Jim Lippard and Tom McIver have published a reply to that.Discussion of themes and motifs in Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry.
eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of Elmer Gantry so you can excel on your essay or test. Billy Sunday Famous baseball player / Revivalist by Rit Nosotro () Billy Sunday was born in on a farm in Ames, Iowa.
His father was a civil war soldier who died when Sunday was only one. Henry M. Tichenor Henry Milford Tichenor (October 23, - December 4, )  was a writer and magazine editor prominent in the socialist and freethinking movements during the Progressive Era and the Golden Age of Freethought of American history.
In American Apocalypse, Sutton traces its improbably spread. It is a disquieting story filled with outrageous characters [and] jarring beliefs [A] valuable, timely and often entertaining account. ” —Tony Allen-Mills, The Sunday Times “ Sutton tells this story well.
His key achievement is that he sticks to his brief, of showing that premillennialism has been central to modern Evangelicalism, and avoids . Billy Sunday On-line Compiled by the pastor of King's Valley Chapel in Kingfield, Maine, this website contains Sunday sermons, images, audio, a biographical timeline, and an online bookstore.
Billy Sunday Home Museum The Sunday family home, known as "Mount Hood", is located in Winona Lake, Indiana. The home is maintained as a museum by the Winona History Center at Grace schwenkreis.comg place: Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the seventh day of the week in Christian and Jewish calendars, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent Second Coming (advent) of Jesus Christ.