May 15, 2003

Biblical Interpretation Quote of the Day
"I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I have you here. I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it OK to call the police? Here's one that's really important because we've got a lot of sports fans in this town: touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you?"

- fictional President of the United States Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) of "The West Wing", trying to explain to a group of reactionary religious conservatives exactly why we do not and should not live in a theocracy defined by a strict interpretation of the Bible.

Aaron Sorkin's last month on the show reminded me why I used to love it. I mean, who can beat John Goodman as Newt Gingrich?
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