Joe, the Plumber II

Written by Father Bill 4 Comments

Esolen’s second essay on Joe the Plumber’s encounter with a media-babe is now online.  Enjoy.

Esolen highlights but does not mention or expound directly the fact that at the heart of masculinity is unadorned, uncultivated dirt.  That is the first and most direct reason given in Holy Writ for his creation – to cultivate the dirt (cf. Genesis 2:5).  This aspect of his origin appears today in the things Esolen discusses about authentic men:

[Joe the Plumber] was about to handle hard, sometimes apparently intractable, materials, things that don’t oblige our utopian dreams.  The iron pipe does not condescend to political correctness.  It won’t say, “I see that I should move into place no matter who or what is lugging me, because that would be the democratic thing to do.”  There’s a bracing reality in such things as iron, or earth, or even PVC, not to mention water, that wondrous bringer of life that can bring ruin, too, if it’s not under control. 

Man’s raison d’etre is uncultivated dirt, to cultivate it and bring forth from it what could not be without cultivation.  Woman’s raison d’etre (according to Genesis) is the man, already functioning in a stewardship, responsible to God for the Garden.  Her being from him and for him goes a very long way to account for the distinctives of men over against women and their relationship to one another.


  1. Don Johnson   |  Wednesday, 22 October 2008 at 10:38 pm

    hey, Bill

    That last paragraph sums up the distinctiveness quite nicely. And plainly.

    I knew there was a reason I used to run around with rocks in my pockets when I was a kid. I don’t think my mom understood it though.

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  2. Michael McMillan   |  Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 7:52 am

    > Man’s raison d’etre is uncultivated dirt

    That probably explains why I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology!

  3. Fr. Bill   |  Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 8:18 am

    Hi, Don,

    Long time, no chat. Good to run across you again.

  4. Don Johnson   |  Thursday, 23 October 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Bill, yeah, I finally got smart and subscribed to your RSS feed.

    I am still tilting at windmills as you may be observing…

    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

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