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October 17, 2008

Joe the Plumber's Born Again Perspective

Even after years of reporting on religion in politics, God-o-Meter is always taken by how often a random voter turns out to be deeply influenced by his faith, and how often those voters hail from the born again tradition.

Take the newly famous Joe the Plumber's comments yesterday about he views what the U.S. has done for Iraqis:

"Everything that Americans take for granted, I mean these guys haven't had it - now they've got it. That's an incredible thing. I don't know if you guys are Christians or not, but that's like someone coming to Jesus and being saved. These guys have freedom."

Much as the establishment media overlooks the role of religion in the American electorate, interviews with average Joe voters often remind reporters that religion is an major force shaping how they see the world, and in how they vote.

(Originally posted at Beliefnet's God-o-Meter)

Comments

I do not know if this quote is taken out of context, but one would hope that no mature Christian would equate military action or material goods with the gospel of Christ.

Yeah, I'll bet those Iraqis feel soooo free as they watch their friends and family being blown apart in suicide attacks.

On June 28, 2006, Barack Obama mocked the Bible including Jesus Christ's teachings on the Sermon on the Mount. Obama stated, "Should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical that it is doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application." Putting campaign issues aside, as Christians, do we want a President who is willing to mock the words of our Lord? I think not. The video is on YouTube if you choose to watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnmS_vULPxw

I KNOW THAT THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WANTS BETTER HEALTH CARE OR CHEAPER HEALTH CARE. BETTER GOVERNMENT OR LESS GOVERNMENT. I KNOW THAT I DON'T WANT THE GOVERNMNET TO TELL ME WHAT DOCTOR I CAN SEE AND WHAT TREATMENT I CAN GET. I WANT THE FREEDOM TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION FOR ME.

IT SCARES ME WHEN I THINK OF OBAMA AS OUR PRESIDENT AND THE CONTROL HE WILL HAVE OVER THE AMERICAAN PEOPLE, MILITARY, OUR FREEDOM, RELIGION. HIS CHOICE OF WHAT IS TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS, HIS CHOICE OF SUPREME JUSTICE APPOINTMENTS. JOE THE PLUMBER IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF WHAT WE AS AMERICANS WILL HAVE TO PUT UP WITH IF OBAMA IS PRESIDENT. WE WILL HAVE OUR LIVES TURNED UPSIDE DOWN BECAUSE WE MADE A STATEMENT THAT OBAMA DOESN'T LIKE.

THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SPENT MONEY!! BADIN IS # 3 IN EAR MARKS IN THE U.S.A. THE TAX PAYER HAS BEEN PAYING FOR THESE EAR MARKS. LET THE GOVERNMNT GO AFTER THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ABUSE OF ALLOWING PEOPLE TO BUY HOMES WITH OUT SS NUMBERS OR WORK RECORD. ANY BANK THAT DOES THIS SHOULD FAIL, BUT WE HAVE JESSIE JACKSON AND OBAMA FIGHTING FOR THESE PEOPLE WITH YOUR TAX DOLLAR WITH THE CROOKS IN WASHINGTON AND CHICAGO. OBAMA ORGINATIONS, HE WORKED FOR, SUED THE LOCAL BANKS BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T GIVE LOANS TO LOW INCOME PEOPLE, PEOPLE THAT WERE PROBABLY ON WELFARE. WHEN I HAVE SOMEONE LIKE JESSY JACKSON WHO IS FOR OBAMA. THAT TELLS ME! WE ARE GOING TO BE IN A BATTLE TO GIVE TO THE PEOPLE THAT SIT ON THEIR BUTTS AND THE TAX PAYERS SUPPORT, JOE THE PLUMBER WORKS 12 HRS A DAY TO SUPPORT THESE 5 GENERATION WELFARE PEOPLE AND ILLEGALS. THE WELFARE SYSTEM HASN'T WORKED IN 5 GENERATIONS BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT ALLOWS THEM TO BECOME ALLERGIC TO WORK. RUDY HAS IT RIGHT ON WHAT HE DID IN N.Y. GET PEOPLE OFF WELFARE!! I AM ALL FOR DRUG TEST BEFORE YOU GET A CHECK!

AMERICANS AND FELLOW CHRISTIANS IF YOU WANT TO COMPETE WITH THE 22 MILLION ILLEGALS, FOR JOBS, THAT OBAMA WILL GIVE STATUS. TOO. WHEN WE LOSE OUR LIBERTY, FREEDOM AND OBAMA HAS HIS OWN FLAG AND PRESIDENTAL SEAL AND PROBABY A FEW STATUES IN WASHINGTON I WILL LOOK LIKE THE FORMER IRAQ. GOD BLESS AMERICA. GOD BLESS MCCAIN/PALIN AND THE PRESIDENTAL VICTORY FOR MCCAIN. AT LEAST I KNOW I WILL HAVE FREEDOM OF IN MY LIFE, RELIGION, HEALTH CARE, THE FREEDOM TO MAKE MISTAKES, FREEDOM OF SCHOOLS, FREEDOM TO DRIVE MY CAR.

OBAMA MADE A STATMENT THAT REALLY GOT TOO ME. "I WANT TO TEACH MY GIRLS TO HAVE MORAL STANDARDS BUT IF THEY MAKE A MISTAKE I DON'T WANT THEM BURDENED WITH A BABY". THANK GOD HIS MOTHER DIDN'T THINK OBAMA WAS A BURDEN AND HAD AN ABORTION. OBAMA WILL SUBMIT TO KILL HIS GRAND KIDS SO HIS GIRLS WILL NOT BE BURDENED.

Is not the Gospel of Christ similar to military action? No you say. There is a context of righteousness in military action. If it gives people liberty from opressors, I would think so. How do you think the United States became a Republic. The British weren't to excited about giving the colonies liberty from england. I would imagine the slaves in the southern states were a bit happier that the North won over the south in the Civil War. You may have your point of view Jon, and I can see part of it, but your hope is a bit narrow minded and restrictive. I'm glad the founding Fathers of the United States didn't have your point of view, and were willing to militarily and economically willing to put it all on the line for my sake, my kids sake, and my grandchildrens sake.

If Joe the plumber wants to really follow Jesus, why doesn't he work on paying his taxes (give to Caesar what is Caesar's, said Jesus)?

Is the gospel of Christ incompatible with God's message delivered through Jeremiah?

This "Joe the plumber"character is a fraud -- his name is Samuel Wurzbach, and he's not even a plumber. Surely you wouldn't want to enlist him as an ally in the culture wars?

Should we rejoice that this kind of "religion" shapes the perspective of the American electorate? IMHO, it's better that the media establishment ignore this kind of ignorance. It only invites more scorn and disbelief.

Re Jon's comment: I appreciate his values, but think he missed the analogy. It's the awesome difference between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of Light! Sarah Palin's maturity as a Christian is being demonstrated to the world daily as she lives this difference out before us with God's grace.

Poor Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher, from Columbus, Ohio, is taking a shellacking these days from press. And, believe me, we don’t have to read between the lines on this one. It is pretty obvious he simply asked the wrong question at the wrong time and when he didn’t get a straight answer he didn’t have enough sense to stop pressing for one.

Because of that, we now know that he once had a tax lean placed on him by the I.R.S.; that he once belonged to the Natural Law Party, a spinoff of the teachings of Mahesh Yogi, the transcendental meditation guy; that he is a single dad with past marital problems; and that he is now a weird “born again” Christian who is against abortion and believes in creationism.

Oh, yeah, he also thinks that it was an honorable thing to liberate the Iraqis from the clutches of a mad dictator like Saddam Hussein, a man who gassed 40,000 Iraqi Kurds in one fatal swoop. Joe feels too that we should stay there until the last remnants of Al Quada are wiped out, just to make sure we don't face another 911 in the future. So, apparently, the media doesn’t like him much for that either.

Amazing is it? Amazing how vicious and cynical the press is. How they can turn on an innocent guy like Joe “The Plumber” or a popular governor with an 80%+ approval ratings and almost over night turn them into villains? Make them look stupid, dumb, and just plain idiots and poke fun of their Christian commitment. Whereas, another can shout “God damn America” from the pulpit and the lemmings in the press dismiss it as just another example of Black preaching. Friends, I have a few preacher friends who also happen to be black and I can assure you that they don’t use that kind of language in or out of the pulpit.
Christians, it really does not matter what political persuasion you are it is high time that you and I stand up for honesty and civility. We have a right to demand honesty from the press and our public officials. Why should we stand idly by as our precious Savior’s name is dragged through the mud and born again Christians are portrayed as a bunch of dimwitted fools simply because they believe in the sanctity of life and that God created the heavens and the earth with all that is there in?
We need to remind these enemies of God and righteousness that we are in the mess we are in not because of what born again Christians have done to this country, but rather what greed, avarice, sexual immorality, lairs and thieves have done to this country.
Honestly, I could care less what a person’s politics are — Democrat, Republican, Independent, Constitutional, Green Party, Pink Party, whatever, it doesn't matter; or whether they think that Barack Obama is better qualified to be President than Sarah Palin is to be Vice President. That's all immaterial. What is material is which candidate is defending the principles that made this country great. Things like the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman; or the protection of an unborn child regardless of the viability of the fetus; or a simple thing like keeping one's word. These are the things that count.
Things that don't count in the long run are things like: how much money a person has in the bank; what house they live in or the model of car they drive. The church has gone green all right; but it has nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with the color of money. Americans can vote their pocket book, if they wish — and they probably will; however, a Christian's ballot belongs in the box that stands for righteousness. And, if we can not find that box, then we need to get in the fray and build one!

That's not what Joe said. He didn't equate, he likened: political freedom to freedom in Christ.

Hey Jon.....it sounded to me like Joe was saying that freedom was the important thing we have(and take for granted) and now the Iraqis have it too!

It is definitely a different kind of freedom he is talking about. I wonder how much fredoom Iraqi CHristians have in Iraq.

Jon,

He wasn't equating the gospel with material goods. He was saying that getting political and social freedom (nothing to do with military or material) is a life changing experience similar to what happens when we are born again. Obviously, there is a difference between the two, but give the guy a break. We all know what he meant.

Unfortunately, Wayne, Iraqui Christians in the north are reportedly being persecuted.

And, Jim Roane, also unfortunately, it IS born again Christians George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their associates who ARE largely responsible for the mess we are in. Where did you got your PhD? (Not a hostile question; I just wondered.

Unfortunately, Wayne, Iraqui Christians in the north are reportedly being persecuted.

And, Jim Roane, also unfortunately, it IS born again Christians George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their associates who ARE largely responsible for the mess we are in. Where did you got your PhD? (Not a hostile question; I just wondered.)

Thank you, Jim, for your voice of reason. Poor "Joe the Plumber" probably rues the day that he asked Obama a question, and that's sad. We should be able to respectfully question our elected officials without fear of being investigated as if we've committed a crime. Forget what Joe's beliefs may or may not be, whether he is a plumber or isn't - the questions he asked were legitimate questions, and the way in which he's been treated is the aspect of this whole thing that disturbs me.

Those Iraqis-why can't they appreciate the freedom we gave them and behave, so we can bring our troops home in victory.....

Brenda...one quibble...Joe is not being investigated and examined because he asked Obama a question. He is being investigated and examined because McCain made him a centerpiece of his campaign. Had Joe's name not come up during the last debate, Joe would probably not even be on the radar screen right now.

Wes,

So Joe asked a question that McCain picked up on. That still doesn't excuse the media's treatment of him. Sorry, but this campaing has gotten the most lopsided coverage I can remember.

Sounds like some of you came over from a liberal blog

Jacci -- thank you for your great words of wisdom. If only all Christians were concerned about the rights of the unborn instead of their wallets. I can't help but wonder how God will feel when so-called Christians vote for a President who supports sodomy, and murdering the unborn. God help America.
I wish more Christians paid attention to Jesus' words: you MUST be born again. Until I experienced a spiritual birth, I thought like the world, yet I thought I was a Christian. The DECEIT of the enemy has succeeded in corrupting the church. If not for the Holy Spirit moving, there'd be no hope. The church needs help - people are dying and don't even know it. I didn't. Pray for God to pour His Spirit upon this nation and WAKE US UP!! Pray for America and the world - each day we get closer to the end of the age.

Get back to work. Close your browsers.

Shame on you people who are taking cheap shots at Joe the Plumber. If you're living a double life of being a left-winger and a Christian, it won't work. No Christian can vote for an abortion proponent, and no Christian looks to a candidate or to the government as their hope. Jesus Christ will have the last word, and it will be a word of judgement. Repent.