Kevin Rudd is no Jed Bartlett. He’s certainly no Aaron Sorkin, the creator of liberal TV watchers’ favourite fake president on The West Wing.

The Prime Minister’s quip on the ABC’s Q&A last night to a pastor questioning marriage equality in the face of biblical precedent — “the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition” — won a hearty round of applause and had gay marriage supporters cheering. But Bartlett, via Sorkin, said it just a little better:

“I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had 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 ’cause 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?”

A little more Sorkin and Rudd might just have won this thing.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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