Bryan failed in court at giving testimony supporting his actions/beliefs.I've been reading Karen Armstrong's "The Bible : The Biography", and there is a phrase I don't understand. It's about a trial in Tennessee, USA, about proscribed teaching of Darwinian teory in schools, in 1925. Here is the passage:
The southern states had hitherto taken little part in the fundamentalist movement but they were worried about the teaching of evolution. Bills were introduced into the state legislatures of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas to ban the teaching of Darwinian theory. The anti-evolutionary laws in Tennessee were particulary strict and John Scopes, a young teacher in the small town of Dayton, decided to strike a blow for freedom of speech and confessed that he had broken the law when he had taken a biology class in place of his principal. In July 1925 he was brought to trial. The new American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a team of lawyers to defend him, headed by the rationalist campaigner Clarence Darrow. Bryan agreed to support the law. Immediately the trial became a contest between the Bible and science.
Bryan was a disaster on the stand and Darrow emerged from the trial as the champion of rational thought. (...)"
Can anyone help me with a meaning of "disaster on the stand"?