Clarence Darrow statue set to be installed at courthouse next month
Local activists are planning a rally on Saturday, July 1, at 10 a.m. on the courthouse lawn to voice their opposition to the placement of a Clarence Darrow statue at the Rhea County Courthouse, which is scheduled for next month.
Darrow served as John Scopes’ lawyer defending his right to teach evolution in his class in the world famous Scopes Trial court case. William Jennings Bryan opposed the teaching of evolution and thought it should be banned from pubic schools. Before the trial, he agreed to represent the World’s Christian Fundamentals Organization as the special prosecutor.
In 2015, the Rhea County Historical and Genealogical Society was approached about placing this Darrow statue on the courthouse lawn.
Rhea County Tea Party leader June Griffin said the rally will also serve as a patriotic rally and has dubbed the event the “Patriot Rally of God and Country.”
She said the event is sponsored by the Tennessee Committee for the Bill of Rights and the Tennessee Pastors Network.
“For several months, I have protested this,” Griffin said. “[Darrow] joined in with this case in order to destroy Tennessee law.”
Griffin said the case served to undermine the founding principles of the nation and said that Founding Fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson, founded the United States as a Christian nation.
“The ones who are guilty in this are county officials who allowed this corrupt man’s statue on the courthouse lawn,” Griffin said. “And now atheist groups are spending their money to come here and make fun of us.”
Sculptor Zeno Frudakis created the statue that will soon be erected on the courthouse lawn. Frudakis resides in Glenside, Penn. He has created monumental works in both public and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. His website states he has created monuments of Martin Luther King Jr., Joe DiMaggio, Sir Winston Churchill and several U.S. presidents, among others.
“My sculpture of Clarence Darrow, along with the statue of William Jennings Bryan that already exists at the courthouse, will recreate the historical court drama which captured the attention of a nation,” Frudakis said.
Reed Johnson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.