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Jun 23 2012

Joe the Plumber is simply not very bright

The recent conversion of Leah Libresco has exposed some really stupid thinking: one of the junior woodchucks at Stedman’s site, for instance, chastised atheists for not realizing that “some people have good reasons for believing in God,” the kind of assertion that should make one stop and think, “Hmmm, and what might those reasons be?” They never follow through and explain what they are. And for the record, I think that Libresco’s reason, because she wants to personify her ethics, is pretty damned stupid.

But here’s a guy who makes Libresco and the Stedmanites look like super-geniuses of reason. Joe the Plumber explains why he became a “Bible-believing Christian” (in case you’re unfamiliar with the code words, that phrase means he’s a fundagelical wackaloon).

He first claims the Bible contains “everything we need to live a great life is right in the Bible”. Really, Joe? You get your plumbing instructions from the Bible? You live your life by the principles of blood sacrifice and retribution? Again, I wish these bozos would get specific: what, exactly, is the principle of life found in the Bible and not found anywhere else?

But then his big conversion moment comes from the fact that his doofus pastor shows him a science book and the Bible and points out that the science book gets revised, but the Bible never changes. My jaw dropped twice!

  1. That science adapts to new information is a strength, not a weakness. No one knows everything; as we learn more and more, an ability to change our ideas is a good thing.

  2. If the Bible were really that inflexible, it would be a terribly useless document — does he really think ‘everything he needs’ is to be found in the words of dead scribes and priests from an ancient iron age civilization?

    But mostly I wanted to ask him if he thought the Bible was originally written in English. I’d also like to see him babble if confronted with your average Christian bookstore, which will contain dozens of versions of his one true Bible.

Joe the Plumber: dumb as a soggy cardboard box full of bricks. And he’s running for congress. Why am I not surprised?

63 comments

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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    Joe the Plumber: dumb as a soggy cardboard box full of bricks.

    Yep, and he’s proud of it.

  2. 2
    a3kr0n

    Found God at the Big Boy
    Priceless…

  3. 3
    had3

    He’s gotta hate the US Constitution with all those amendments constantly changing it.

  4. 4
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    No revisions of the Bible? He bought that?

    Ahahahaha!

  5. 5
    Jasper of Maine

    his doofus pastor shows him a science book and the Bible and points out that the science book gets revised, but the Bible never changes.

    These people don’t have a problem with science exactly. They have a concept with the basic concept of learning – something that converges on the correct answer over time instead of instantaneously.

  6. 6
    Inaji

    personify her ethics

    Really? Okey dokey.

    And he’s running for congress.

    Oh for…<headthud>

  7. 7
    Part-Time Insomniac

    As if Congress needs this chucklehead in its ranks, making them look even worse than they already are.

  8. 8
    sundiver

    The REALLY scary thing is that there are fecally encephalized teaturds who will vote for the dimwit precisely because he IS stupid. You know, the-I-want-my-congressman-to-be-like-me types. FSM forbid anybody with two adjacent brain cells got elected, “them smart peoples always doing sumpin we don’t unnerstan”.

  9. 9
    rogerfirth

    The air conditioning in my car stopped working. Could somebody please post the bible chapter and verse with the repair instructions?

    Thanks!

  10. 10
    DLC

    PHOK!

    Seriously, PHOK! (old time chat shorthand for Pounds Head On Keyboard )
    The Bible Never Changes! *cough*choke*congress of nicea *cough*
    *choke*Apocrypha *sneeze*. Septuagint *redfacedguffaw*

    Of course science books change. they’re supposed to bloody change, you moron! If science texts never changed we’d still be teaching medical students to balance the humors. Now, excuse me, I have to go fill in some Dirac Holes.

  11. 11
    anteprepro

    No revisions of the Bible? He bought that?

    It is rather strange to find a Christian who is unaware of the New Testament. Apparently when God changes his mind, just because, it’s A-okay. When scientists do it based on new information, it just shows that science is “just, like, your opinion, man”.

    The air conditioning in my car stopped working. Could somebody please post the bible chapter and verse with the repair instructions?

    I may need to post this, or variations of it, on every Christian forum I can come across. I am suddenly feeling compelled.

  12. 12
    dougittner

    He’s a Republican. It’s a pre-requisite for any GOP candidate to be a knuckle dragging moron these days. He was showing off in a commercial by shooting fruit with a shotgun 20 feet away. Yeah, the point of shotguns is that you can hit something without having any skill. Sheesh, this guy is an idiot, and he’s not even a plumber.

  13. 13
    Zeno

    One of the lovely things about “Joe the Plumber” is that his name isn’t Joe and he isn’t really a plumber. He’s a complete fake, as well as having hard vacuum for brains.

  14. 14
    Mike

    I have run across this thinking with people I went to school with. How can it be that they got better grades than I did yet totally fail to learn a damn thing? I can’t quit asking myself that question. None of them seem to bother with discovering the origins of their own faith but they spend hours twisting half truths and outright lies together with a deftness that would make a Times Square dip blush to denigrate their idea of what science is. “Science keeps changing it’s story so that you don’t know what the truth is anymore” is what I hear. I ask them all the time what their grade point average was because I can’t fathom that I ended up with a better education than most of them without one day of college. And they all have kids that they are passing this tripe on to. My kids have to deal with the stupidity of my old schoolmates in the form of kids their age whom my old schoolmates have mind-poisoned. Those kids are getting awesome grades too, telling the teachers what they want to hear I suppose. It’s all just so damn maddening, all the time.

  15. 15
    thisisaturingtest

    Jasper of Maine:

    They have a concept with the basic concept of learning – something that converges on the correct answer over time instead of instantaneously.

    Exactly. They don’t want to earn the answers, by learning them- they want the answers to be revealed to them.

  16. 16
    Larry

    Wanna bet ol’ Joe is yet another bible-lovin’ xtian who hasn’t read the book he loves ever so much? If you were to ask him to quote 10 of his favorite passages, ones that he lives his life by, he’d give you a blanker stare than Palin did when asked what her favorite newspapers were.

    This jackass is a fraud larger than that huge jebus statue that burned down awhile back. The only one’s dumber will be those who vote for him.

  17. 17
    Ruby

    Don’t worry about that last bit though. The probability of him beating Marcy is less than zero.

  18. 18
    lizdamnit

    I refuse to believe he’s not a John Waters character. That little detail about the Big Boy is just too *too*.

  19. 19
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    For right-wing authoritarians, inflexibility is a feature and not a bug. They never have to open their minds, let alone change them.

    The esteem of The Right Answer, Forever at the expense of actual truth, at the expense of human well-being, is your first clue you’re dealing with someone who’s not interested in truth but in power.

    Beatrice, regarding revisions of the Wholly Babble: I once saw someone claim in an internet debate that the multitude of revisions was proof that gawd gave it to us. It’s been years, so I don’t know if I can fully replicate the “logic” anymore.

    Dougittner, the point of that ad had nothing to do with skill and everything to do with showing Wurzelbacher to be a Tough Guy™ who knows how to put Certain Undesirable Types in their places.

  20. 20
    ChristineRose

    Wait, my Bible says Revised Standard Version, right there on the cover! His probably says New International Version. This is completely different though, as the politically driven choices of the NIV agree with his preconceived notions.

  21. 21
    millssg99

    But then his big conversion moment comes from the fact that his doofus pastor shows him a science book and the Bible and points out that the science book gets revised, but the Bible never changes. My jaw dropped twice!

    But it is Joe the Plumber’s science book. His youth pastor told him to bring his “science book”. Science is a subject “near and dear to his heart”. Then he put his “science book” on the table.

  22. 22
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    God changes his mind? Impossible!

    It’s not like he would create the whole world and then decide that fuck it, those humans aren’t worth the effort and destroy them.

  23. 23
    Nemo

    Gotta say I called it on Leah Libresco. After skimming her blog for a few minutes. The odd thing to me is that nomination.

  24. 24
    Randomfactor

    “some people have good reasons for believing in God,”

    And some for shooting heroin. Just ask them.

  25. 25
    esmith4102

    The Dunning Kruger Effect and fremdscham written in bright neon lights for all to see.

  26. 26
    puppygod

    the science book gets revised, but the Bible never changes

    ‘dis true! I have this Bible I got from my grandmother and it’s still the same, word for word, as it was three decades ago. Now look at, say, biology book. Thirty years ago dinosaurs were slow, scaly and hunched. Nowadays they are quick, feathered and hold their heads high…

    I may need to post this, or variations of it, on every Christian forum I can come across. I am suddenly feeling compelled.

    That’s the holy spirit!

  27. 27
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    OP:

    Joe the Plumber: dumb as a soggy cardboard box full of bricks. And he’s running for congress. Why am I not surprised?

    I want to know who has convinced this guy that he’s still relevant.

    I hope they’re laughing their ass off right now.

  28. 28
    anteprepro

    Beatrice, regarding revisions of the Wholly Babble: I once saw someone claim in an internet debate that the multitude of revisions was proof that gawd gave it to us. It’s been years, so I don’t know if I can fully replicate the “logic” anymore.

    Is something along the lines of “God’s message is so complicated that OBVIOUSLY us mere mortals would take a while to get it right” in the ballpark?

    That’s the holy spirit!

    I’ll let them know that I was compelled by the Holy Spirit when they wonder why I am asking them what part of the Bible tells us mortals where we can find a torrent to download Debbie Does Dallas and the latest season of Glee. I’m guessing the answer is in Numbers, but it could be Deuteronomy. It’s bound to be in there somewhere.

  29. 29
    ChristineRose

    I’ll let them know that I was compelled by the Holy Spirit when they wonder why I am asking them what part of the Bible tells us mortals where we can find a torrent to download Debbie Does Dallas and the latest season of Glee. I’m guessing the answer is in Numbers, but it could be Deuteronomy. It’s bound to be in there somewhere.

    Oh, we fooled you. It’s in the book of Enoch just after the fall of the sexy angels. You’ll need to talk to a Ethiopian Christian if you want that stuff.

  30. 30
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I expect nothing less from a person who claims that gun control laws lead to the Holocaust and is to blame for the continuation of slavery in the US. Never mind that slave owners armed themselves out of fear of a slave uprising.

  31. 31
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    The recent conversion of Leah Libresco has exposed some really stupid thinking

    I wish we’d had an actual thread about Leah, but since I don’t wanna get too off topic, I guess all I’ll say is that based on her “virtue ethics” and “frequently quoting G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis” that her conversion ain’t all that recent.

  32. 32
    dragon

    Joe the Plummer should submit that to William Lane Craig.
    That there is some sofistigated feology. Beats Kalam hands down.

  33. 33
    raven

    I wish we’d had an actual thread about Leah,…

    No. No. No.

    It’s been blogged to death and it was interesting but not that interesting.

    If you really care, there were two multi-hundreds comment threads at Jen’s FTB or Camels with Hammers, FTB.

    The topic of conversion is sort of interesting though. Like most here, I was not a convert to xianity. I was born into it and brainwashed as a young child, although it was pretty low key brainwashing.

    What we are (mostly) is converts to No Religions or Nones. Conversion is a two way street and these days millions are converting out of xianity every year.

  34. 34
    allytude

    HE also looks like Larry the Cable guy.

    Does he also believe in curing disease by blood letting and leeches? And driving demons out? And what is he doing on a magic moving picture show?

  35. 35
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    It’s been blogged to death and it was interesting but not that interesting.

    Obviously I mean I wish we’d had a thread when it was timely, not now.

    And no, Leah herself converting isn’t that interesting, but I do find the phenomenon of atheists converting to religion interesting because I see it happen so rarely.

  36. 36
    Ing

    @Rah

    Ing’s abridged version of the story: She converted because she’s not terribly bright and is taken in by SOPHISTICATED thought, and lacks a strong enough moral compass to actually give a shit about other people. Her view of ethics is about feeling like a good person rather than being one; for which Catholicism is a perfect fit!

  37. 37
    Ing

    Shorter Ing: “and nothing of value was lost”

  38. 38
    consciousness razor

    And no, Leah herself converting isn’t that interesting, but I do find the phenomenon of atheists converting to religion interesting because I see it happen so rarely.

    As I understand it, she was already some kind of dualist, so while she may have been an atheist in the strict sense, she’s hardly a paradigmatic example of an atheist converting to religion (or at least, I hope not). That, and I haven’t seen anything where she gave a reason for believing in a god, just in some Catholic version of “ethics.”

  39. 39
    yoav

    @Janine: History’s Greatest Monster #30
    This ad was a real doozy. poor Herman Cain, he couldn’t even hold to the title of dumbest candidate in history.

  40. 40
    RahXephon, Waahmbulance Driver for St. Entitlement's Hospital

    As I understand it, she was already some kind of dualist, so while she may have been an atheist in the strict sense, she’s hardly a paradigmatic example of an atheist converting to religion (or at least, I hope not). That, and I haven’t seen anything where she gave a reason for believing in a god, just in some Catholic version of “ethics.”

    I’m not making a No True Atheist argument, I do think she was an atheist, but I do know people who have…I guess you’d say a fondness or at least a lack of critical perspective towards the RCC. Maybe Leah grew up as a Catholic, or around Catholics, or knows Catholics personally. She seems taken with Catholic culture, like quoting the writers I mentioned, and one of her latest posts is about how much she OMG luvvvvvvs the Liturgy of the Hours. Her writing reads like she’s enamored with Catholicism and was finally looking for a reason to go for it.

  41. 41
    Didaktylos

    @Mike, #14:

    They didn’t learn the subject – they got trained how to pass the examination in it.

  42. 42
    timgueguen

    It’s funny how so many people have a problem with the truth of science changing. Why should it be any different than any other part of life? The truth of everything is always changing. Or do they get upset when they find out that Upper Volta no longer exists, because the government changed the name to Burkina Faso? After all the truth has changed.

  43. 43
    Pilum

    Of course it doesn’t say what revision number it’s at. It’d be too embarrassing. :D

    I had to facepalm when they made a big fuss about releasing a newly translated version of “the unerrant word of god” using contemporarely language a couple of months ago.

  44. 44
    txpiper

    “…people have a problem with the truth of science changing. Why should it be any different than any other part of life? The truth of everything is always changing.”

    Good thought…one apparently attributable to James Lovelock, who

    “..responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he’s never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence. Indeed, that’s how science advances.”
    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

  45. 45
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    For those who are not familiar with txpiper, xe is a creationist troll who mainly stays in the SB version of Pharyngula.

  46. 46
    Owlmirror

    Good thought…one apparently attributable to James Lovelock, who

    “..responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he’s never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence. Indeed, that’s how science advances.”

    It’s interesting that you agree with Lovelock, txpiper:

    Lovelock still believes anthropogenic global warming is occurring and that mankind must lower its greenhouse gas emissions

    It’s also clear that Lovelock was making extreme claims about climate change that other climate scientists were not making.

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11144098-gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change

    Since you are so inspired by the example of Lovelock, you no doubt will now renounce YEC, right? Since YEC is nothing but error after error after error.

  47. 47
    txpiper

    “Since you are so inspired by the example of Lovelock…”

    I wasn’t inspired, but it is interesting (and rather rare) to see someone change their mind when something in their ideology isn’t working. That’s a difficult thing to do because people tend to believe what they like, and disbelieve what they don’t like.

  48. 48
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I wasn’t inspired, but it is interesting (and rather rare) to see someone change their mind when something in their ideology isn’t working.

    Then why do you believe in imaginary deities when they don’t exist? Why not change your mind????

  49. 49
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    txpiper : can’t see the trees for the forest.

    How can you get the big picture right but fail so hard to recognise your own view doesn’t mesh with reality? How can you be aware that states of cognitive dissonance affect people, yet argue that your reality matches the facts when it has been shown that it does not? It’s like cognitive dissonance squared. Or trolling.

  50. 50
    Owlmirror

    I wasn’t inspired,

    Why not?

    but it is interesting (and rather rare) to see someone change their mind when something in their ideology isn’t working.

    Note that atheism is rarer than religion: Religious ideology doesn’t work, for the most part; indeed, sometimes it cannot possibly work, and yet religious people generally prefer not to change their minds. But it does happen — have you read any of the “Why I am an atheist” essays?

    And of course, nothing about creationist ideology can work. There are, however, converts from creationism, including some in the essays I just mentioned above.

    That’s a difficult thing to do because people tend to believe what they like, and disbelieve what they don’t like.

    Why do you like believing in creationism?

    Why do you dislike science?

  51. 51
    txpiper

    “Why not?”

    Because climate change is just another mindless preoccupation.

    -

    “Why do you like believing in creationism?”

    For the same reason I believe in last days forecasts; the available data matches.

    -

    “Why do you dislike science?”

    It is the religious absurdities of scientism that I have a problem with.

  52. 52
    Owlmirror

    Because climate change is just another mindless preoccupation.

    How is the result of actual science a “mindless preoccupation”?

    “Why do you like believing in creationism?”

    For the same reason I believe in last days forecasts

    What does that even mean?

    the available data matches.

    The only available data that there is only matches evolution. That’s why evolutionary biology is a science.

    Creationism has no match, since it has no data in the first place. Creationism is just an ideology that states that the data that matches evolution should be ignored and rejected.

    Why do you like believing an ideology that states that the available data that matches evolution should be ignored and rejected?

    It is the religious absurdities of scientism that I have a problem with.

    People who sneer at “scientism” are usually people who dislike science, and use “scientism” to refer to the science that they dislike.

    What does your use of “scientism” refer to, and why do you dislike it?

  53. 53
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    For the same reason I believe in last days forecasts; the available data matches.

    There you go, riding your dirt-bike through the forest, and WHAM!, right into a tree.

    It is the religious absurdities of scientism that I have a problem with.

    Classic. “Dogma is bad when it isn’t my dogma.” It’s too bad you can’t see the fire extinguisher hanging from that tree you just hit.

  54. 54
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    For the same reason I believe in last days forecasts; the available data matches.

    Lies, lies, and more lies. No evidence matches creationism, as there is no evidence for your imaginary deity. Produce some, or shut the fuck up as a proven liar and bullshitter should do if they had honesty and integrity…..

  55. 55
    Ing

    Classic. “Dogma is bad when it isn’t my dogma.” It’s too bad you can’t see the fire extinguisher hanging from that tree you just hit.

    If you’re going to call someone a cocksucker, please first ensure there is not a cock currently in your own mouth~Jesus H Christ (paraphrased)

  56. 56
    Hurin

    As wonderful and cathartic as it was seeing the McCain campaign sink like the titanic, it really is a shame that it didn’t take Sarah Palin, and Joe the moron to the bottom of the north Atlantic with it.

  57. 57
    jnorris

    Nobody, and I mean nobody, tell Joe the Plunger that until recently everyone had a phone book that included the Yellow Pages. People used the Yellow Pages to find phone numbers of plumbers and other services. They used the White Pages to get the telephone number or address of people who live in their town.
    People really depended on that book and it was REVISED every year! How could anyone depend on the phone book if it changed constantly? How did we survive as a nation?

  58. 58
    goidaym8

    I’m afraid poor Joe’s intelligence is lower on the intelligence scale than a blowfly, because of equally great and valid reasoning as Joe’s reasons for belief in the Bible.
    Yes, a blowfly knows where the real bullshit lies.
    Joe hasn’t even a clue.

    Aye M8z! :D ;)

  59. 59
    goidaym8

    True jnorris: “How could anyone depend on the phone book if it changed constantly?”
    Trouble with annual revision is that in one suburb 30% of the occupants sold up and moved within a year.
    The phone book would be only 70% accurate for most of the year, updating on the web would be far more accurate.
    The Bible wasn’t even accurate at the time of molestation by Constantine’s mates who re-designed it for their own political agenda.
    If it was a phone book, most of the world has moved since then, so it would be 0.0% accurate today.
    Though it’s real accuracy as a book on “The Meaning Of Life” is around the same accuracy as it would be as a phone book.

    Aye M8! :D ;)

  60. 60
    Nemo

    @goidaym8 #59:

    Though it’s real accuracy as a book on “The Meaning Of Life” is around the same accuracy as it would be as a phone book.

    At least the phone book is about real people.

  61. 61
    gussnarp

    The good news is that, while he’s running for Congress, he won’t win. The district he’s running in is the result of Republican gerrymandering, but it was designed to force Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich to run against each other in the primary, thus eliminating one of them from Congress. It blends two of the strongest Democratic congressional districts in the country into one, there’s no way Joe the Plumber wins that district. Just like there’s no way I will be represented by a Democrat any time in the near future given the Gerrymandering of my district to make it more solidly Republican.

  62. 62
    Sili

    Joe the Plumber: dumb as a soggy cardboard box full of bricks. And he’s running for congress. Why am I not surprised?

    He does sound like a natural, yes.

  63. 63
    Sili

    As wonderful and cathartic as it was seeing the McCain campaign sink like the titanic, it really is a shame that it didn’t take Sarah Palin, and Joe the moron to the bottom of the north Atlantic with it.

    Sadly, the door was indeed big enough for two.

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