DC Regular Mattapult On Church Lightning Rods

The subject of lightning rods on churches comes up occasionally on DC. I found some quotes on that subject in a biography on Benjamin Franklin. The context is discussing Franklin's experiments flying a kite in storm clouds, making sparks, and saving electricity in Leyden Jars.

How bad was the problem of lightning striking churches?
“For centuries, the devastating scourge of lightning had generally been considered a supernatural phenomenon or expression of God’s will. At the approach of a storm, church bells were rung to ward off the bolts. “The tones of the consecrated metal repel the demon and avert storm and lightning,” declared St. Thomas Aquinas. But even the most religiously faithful were likely to have noticed this was not very effective. During one thirty-five-year period in Germany alone during the mid-1700s, 386 churches were struck and more than one hundred bell ringers killed. In Venice, some three thousand people were killed when tons of gunpowder stored in a church was hit.”
Franklin's results are well known: he discovered that the electricity could be directed to a lightning rod which would save the building from being burned down. Most were delighted to find protection from this disaster, but not everybody:
“In some circles, especially religious ones, Franklin’s findings stirred controversy. The AbbĂ© Nollet, jealous, continued to denigrate his ideas and claimed that the lightning rod was an offense to God. “He speaks as if he thought it presumption in man to propose guarding himself against the thunders of Heaven!” Franklin wrote a friend. “Surely the thunder of Heaven is no more supernatural than the rain, hail or sunshine of Heaven, against the inconvenience of which we guard by roofs and shades without scruple.”
I'm sure most believers today could look back and understand the foolishness of opposing lightning rods—indeed, try to find a church that doesn’t have one and insurance. They could correctly identify how faith clouded the judgement of earlier believers. If only they could recognize the same effect today as it applies to evolution, homosexuality, birth control, etc.. It's the OTF with a dimension of time. Sadly, faith still holds the same power, only the details have changed.

Excerpts From: Isaacson, Walter. “Benjamin Franklin.” Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. iBooks.
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