Georgia Politico reported last week that, in the aftermath of the deadly tornados that swept across the South, State Representative Bobby Franklin said he was “saddened” as he watched his “fellow Georgians pray to their god FEMA to save them.” Of course the report, as well as the reader comments, came down pretty hard on Franklin for his appalling lack of sensitivity.
You may remember Franklin as the state representative who proposed a bill requiring that miscarriage would be considered prenatal murder “so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event,” leading many to suggest that women might have to provide evidence to avoid prosecution. Franklin also proposed require that rape victims be described as accusers rather than as victims.
When I reported on Franklin’s proposals earlier this year, I noted that he was a member of an expressly Reconstructionist church called Chalcedon Presbyterian, and that the litany of proposals attached to his name arose specifically out of that perspective.
In addition to being insensitive, Franklin’s comment suggesting that accepting help from FEMA is tantamount to idolatry arises directly from a Christian Reconstructionist worldview. In this view, God has ordained three distinctly different spheres of authority (three different governments) with delineated responsibilities: the family, the church, and the civil government.
When one of these institutions intrudes on the authority of another it is considered tyranny. When a person relies on the sphere of government to do things that God has not assigned to it, he or she is seeking salvation from it rather than submitting to God’s design. This is why they oppose public education (education is a family responsibility) and why looking to FEMA for help after a natural disaster is idolatry (aid is the responsibility of families and churches).
We might think that Bobby Franklin is so clearly out of the mainstream that his views are of no consequence, but this was the same argument made by Nevada Senate Candidate Sharron Angle, who now seems to be making moves to be in a place to influence the Republican presidential nominating process.