Where would we be without Benjamin Franklin? For starters, we wouldn’t have any Ben Franklin department stores. And, without him, that oval in the middle of a fifty dollar bill would’ve been blank.
Seriously, though, Franklin was a genius. For starters, he invented the Franklin stove and bifocals. But, perhaps his most important invention was the lightning rod.
Unfortunately, Franklin’s lightning rod was not greeted with gratitude by theologians. Many devout churchmen believed lightning was God’s way of sending His wrath on a wicked world. Using a lightning rod, therefore, defied the will of God.
Franklin introduced the lightning rod in 1752. Three years later, an earthquake rocked Massachusetts – causing some preachers to shout that this was God’s punishment for the “Franklin rods” installed on some buildings in their state. Soon, Bible scholars in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain united in denouncing Franklin’s invention as heresy.