So National Review’s John Derbyshire has started a blog called “The Secular Right” with a few fellow cranks. The entry on his visit to Baltimore’s H.L. Mencken Club is quite funny:
Just back from a weekend down in Baltimore, where I gave a talk to the H.L. Mencken Club. Nice people; well-organized event; good reception for talk. However, I can’t forbear noting some dissonances pertinent to the theme of this blog.
Among the things H.L. Mencken is best remembered for is his coverage of the 1925 Scopes trial in Tennessee, in which he dealt quite mercilessly with the creationists and their champion, William Jennings Bryan. Mencken was an atheist, though not an angry or obsessive one, except when confronted with extreme fundamentalism.
Somewhat later I got into conversation with the lady who had given out the Grace. She was very charming and friendly, and had been instrumental in getting the conference organized, so is obviously very capable. It emerged, however, in the course of our conversation, that she is a Young Earth Creationist!
Here’s another hilarious bit:
Was Mencken, in between hooting at the backwoods glossolalists of Tennessee and telling us that “my true and natural allegiance [is] to the Devil’s party, and it has been my firm belief that … all persons who devote themselves to forcing virtue on their fellow men deserve nothing better than kicks in the pants” — was he actually sneaking off to do his beads in some dark corner? I expect to see it confidently asserted, if it hasn’t already been.