Truth to Power

The sad life of Bobby Franklin

Cobb Rep. Bobby Franklin found dead in home

EAST COBB – State Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-east Cobb), who was found dead at his home just before noon on Tuesday at the age of 56, had complained about chest pains on Friday.

I am ashamed to say that my first reaction to reading about the death of Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin wasn’t exactly admirable. Clarence Darrow said it best: “I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” I’ve written about Franklin before here. I wasn’t kind to the man back in January, because he didn’t merit any. As I wrote then, legislators such as Franklin- or Michelle Bachmann- are completely useless when judged solely on the amount of actual work they produce, but as cheerleaders for “the cause” they are stellar. Bachmann mounts a presidential bid based on nothing more than being photogenic and quotable. (Much like our current President…). Only a nation as opulent as ours can afford, as I said then, “The luxury of nonsense”.

Franklin was a theocrat, who stated on his website the following: 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. . For that alone he shows himself to be unworthy of holding elected office; there is no “biblically defined role” for government- in fact, its one of the tenets this nation was founded upon. If Bobby Franklin wore a turban and spoke Farsi, then the likes of Herman Cain would run him out of town on a rail, because evidently Franklin believed that there should be no separation of church and state.

But this is not meant to belittle the dead, but rather to share what struck me once I got past my initial reaction to this man’s death. This devoted Christian died alone, with no family near him. He had been divorced for quite a while, and his children were grown. It was only when he didn’t show up for church (after complaining of chest pains) that people began to wonder, and eventually police had to enter the house, finding him dead in bed.

That is sad. Sad for a man who clearly thought his life’s calling was to be an advocate for God via the legislative process. A man who believed us to be a Christian nation, despite all evidence to the contrary- and the law. How a man chooses to spend his life is his business, and if he wants to be a legislative Don Quixote, “forever tilting at windmills” so to speak, unable to achieve anything of note in his chosen profession, well, that was between Franklin and the voters of his district. A district that I lived in briefly and thankfully escaped, feeling trapped by pious pricks lauding their wealth and looking down their noses at anything marginally different than the habits of the swim/tennis communities that sprawl across this part of metro Atlanta. They kept electing this guy, year after year since 1996, and got little to nothing for it. He passed no real legislation, instead spending his time with attaching anti-abortion riders to other unrelated bills, attempting to return Georgia to the gold standard, and introducing legislation to change the language of rape cases from “victim” to “accuser”. Rather unchristian behavior, it seems to me, but since I’m not one, I can’t really judge his faith except in comparison to others. Folks such as Hosea Williams, legislator and minister who fed thousands each year at a massive Thanksgiving buffet, or Jimmy Carter, who builds shelter for the homeless.

Franklin, as far as I can determine, did nothing such as this. He devoted his life to being, essentially, an easily dismissed buffoon known more for idiotic- and unconstitutional, don’t forget- attempts at lawmaking, instead of using his faith and public office to actually do something, anything for those in need. No, Bobby Franklin was more comfortable with the judgmental aspect of faith, not the charitable. He was much like the former co-worker who I watched for three days during the horror of Katrina attempt to get a semi full of Gideon bibles to New Orleans. When I finally could take no more and asked why didn’t he try to get a truck full of say, WATER to those poor people, he was deeply offended and replied “People need bibles too!”. Not as much as they need food and clean clothes, you self-serving shithead. I imagine Franklin would have sided with my Gideon co-worker, unfortunately.

The Catholics say “Faith without works is dead.” And it died alone in an empty house, after achieving what, exactly? Now that is sad.

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