Fundamentalists blamed the liberal views of modernists for causing of a decline in moralsIn contrast, Modernist Christians, who mostly lived in large cities, attempted to connect new scientific advances with religion. Modernists took a historical and critical view of certain passages in the Bible and believed that they could accept Darwin's theory of evolution without abandoning their religious faith. They believed that science and religion could not only coexist, each could support the other’s tenants and principles.
Just as Social Gospel movement of the Progressive Era reflected the reform spirit of the Second Great Awakening, once again, religion inspired the bettering of human society and a reaching out to the marginalized. The prominence of women in the temperance movement in the Progressive Era reflected the leadership of women in the temperance movement of the Second Great Awakening.
In the Progressive movements a greater emphasis was place on social responsibility as derived from morality; Christian morality was used to directly criticize the weaknesses in American society. The arising of the Social Gospel in response to America's corrupt markets, just as the rise of Fundamentalism was in response increasing consumer priorities. Both of these rejections of greed in American society seemed to foreshadow the later and similar conservative movement that would arise in response to secularism.
Fundamentalism especially correlates with modern conservative belief. Many modern conservatives agree with the New-earth creationist and non-evolutionary beliefs of fundamentalists.
Ever since the great awakening in the early 1700s, the religious revivals swept through America periodically. Revivalists of the 1920s preached a fundamentalist message for the first time using the radio. Leading radio evangelists were Billy Sunday, who drew large crowds as he attacked drinking, gambling, and dancing.
The Scopes Trial represented the rise of a significantly popular anti-evolution movement that still exists today. It is no longer illegal to teach evolution, in fact it is part of the curriculum at most schools, but many private, religiously affiliated schools still refuse to teach their students the theory of evolution.
The Scopes Trial
"The Monkey Trial"
John Scopes, a biology teacher, taught Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a school in Dayton, Tennessee. In the south, many states outlawed the teaching of evolution in public schools as it went against the religious fundamentals of the South. John Scopes was persuaded to commit this crime by the American Civil Liberties Union which questioned if this law, Known as the Butler Act was constitutional.
To “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals" was illegal and punishable by a fine.