“Every sensible person acts knowledgeably, but a fool displays his stupidity.” Proverbs 13:16 (HCSB)
Facebook is tailor-made for displays of stupidity! It is a place for otherwise sensible people to “act the fool.” Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell the difference. You never know what you will learn on Facebook. From the trivial to the terrific, one can glean information not only about friends, but about what those friends think and believe about issues that we face each and every day.
Earlier this week, I saw where one of my Facebook friends, Susan — a friend who I have known since Mrs. Christian’s Kindergarten class — linked to an article (the article maybe somewhat graphic for some of my readers) describing a proposed law in Georgia that has been introduced by a pro-life State Representative.
As a pro-life pastor, I can fully understand the tragic consequences of legalized abortion, which have resulted in countless millions of deaths of unborn children since 1973. I support every legal means to overturn and/or limit the effects of Roe vs. Wade. That includes electing pro-life leaders at every level of government.
While I normally applaud those pro-life politicians who stand up for the most innocent and vulnerable among us, I have my limits. Those limits include proposing foolish legislation in what can only be seen as an attempt to get your name in the paper (or in blogs as the case may be). In attempting to inculcate a culture of life in our country, elected leaders do not need to act foolishly in the process.
Before some might jump to the wrong conclusion, let me state that Christians are often called to be “fools for Christ,” acting in ways that the culture finds foolish, but in God’s eyes are truly wise. I hope that I have been guilty, at least on a few occasions in my life, of doing “foolish” things for Christ. That’s simply not what I am talking about.
As Christians, when we represent Jesus Christ in our post-modern, post-Christian culture, no one has instructed us to “act the fool.” Whether our job is pastor, school teacher, pilot, or State Representative, we are to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings honor and glory to the Lord. Being a fool just to be a fool does not accomplish that goal.
Why does it seem that foolishness is more prevalent among politicians? The answer lies in the all-too-common tendency of elected “leaders” (Republicans, Democrats, and Independents) to completely abandon common sense, reason, or facts when arguing their case. Instead, their stupidity is on full display for everyone to see. In such cases, the only conclusion that one can draw is that these politicians — for whatever reason — are “acting the fool.”
I wish that I could say that conservatives or Christians never “act the fool,” but that is simply untrue. When so many “Christian” politicians only want to use their Christianity to garner votes or as a way to manipulate audiences, then we can reasonably classify this as foolish behavior on their part. I won’t name names, but each of us could come up with a short list pretty quickly.
Making anyone’s short list this past week would have to be Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin, who has introduced a bill (see here for full text of the bill) that would, among other things, recognize that life begins at conception (which, by the way, it does) and that human life — from conception until natural death — is worthy of protection by the State of Georgia.
Rep. Franklin’s premise — which I agree with — is a laudable reason to protect the unborn. With that, you will get no disagreement from me. However, the reason that Franklin makes the short list for “acting the fool” are “the other things” that he has put in the bill, including the language used and the provisions dealing with spontaneous abortions, otherwise known as miscarriages.
There is so much foolish language in this bill that I simply do not have time to cover it all. So, just a few highlights. First, Rep. Franklin begins his bill with a rather long and rambling section detailing why the United States Constitution and the United States Supreme Court are constitutionally inferior to the Georgia State Legislature and the Georgia Supreme Court. One such nugget states:
“The United States Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to hear or decide the case of Roe vs. Wade or any other case pertaining to a state’s punishment of the crime of prenatal murder.”
I can only speculate that Rep. Franklin wrote this part of the bill because no self-respecting lawyer or law student (even those who are pro-life) would write such complete and utter nonsense!
However, one of the truly foolish aspects of this bill concerns the painful tragedy of miscarriages. After reading this bill several times, the language seems to indicate to me that the new law, if passed, would call for State officials to investigate the circumstances surrounding miscarriages to make sure that it truly was a miscarriage and not some human-induced “spontaneous abortion.” Article 5, Section a, 27(2) reads:
“Such term (prenatal murder) does not include a naturally occurring expulsion of a fetus known medically as a ‘spontaneous abortion’ and popularly as a ‘miscarriage’ so long as there is no human involvement whatsoever in the causation of such event.”
That’s great. On top of the grief that couples face in the immediate aftermath of a miscarriage (I know because my wife and I experienced that with our first child), they will now be faced with having to prove that they didn’t cause the miscarriage. Words escape me as to what foolish drivel this is.
To take a serious issue — abortion and the protection of prenatal life — and turn it into showpiece legislation written by (or for) a Georgia State Representative whose stupidity is on display for the world to see is the very definition of foolishness that the Bible warns against. And by the way, this legislation, as written, would be immediately enjoined and struck down as unconstitutional. For the record, the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court trump the Georgia Constitution, the Georgia Legislature, and the Georgia Supreme Court every time, the foolish ramblings of one State Legislator to the contrary notwithstanding.
And, just who is this Legislator anyway? Part of Bobby Franklin’s official biography on the Georgia Legislature’s website says this about him:
“Representative Franklin has been called ‘the conscience of the Republican Caucus’ because he believes that civil government should return to its biblically and constitutionally defined role.”
Admittedly, I have never heard of Bobby Franklin until this week. However, from what I have read (including the bill that he introduced), I can only say that if Rep. Franklin is considered the “conscience of the Republican Caucus” in the Peach State of Georgia, then I’m glad I live in New Mexico!