The West Wing on Religion

Anyone who knows me knows that I love the West Wing. I watch very little TV, but I could watch the West Wing all day long. During the show’s run, it spoke eloquently about religion many times. Here are some favorite intersections of the West Wing and religion:

In this scene, President Bartlett lays the smack down on a Christian radio show host who calls homosexuality an abomination. Bartlett eloquently points out that evangelicals ignore many other uncomfortable portions of Leviticus:

President Bartlett and his wife talk about the service after church. Mostly Bartlett complains about the lack of oratorical skills of the preacher, but he also brings up the idea of being “subject to one another” that is discussed in Ephesians. This is one of those golden nuggets that I have kept with me after leaving Christianity. One of the reasons Christianity is so successful is that, when it works, the individuals of the faith community come together and support one another:

Senator Vinick (the Republican Presidential candidate in the seventh season) and President Bartlett share a few moments in the kitchen of the White House, where they discuss religion. Vinick is frustrated that candidates must pass a religious test. The Senator shares that the reason he stopped going to church is because he read the bible cover to cover, and could no longer believe in the God he read about:

Congressman Santos (the Democratic candidate for president in the seventh season) discusses the importance of the seperation of church and state:

One of the most compelling scenes from the entire series, from the episode “Two Cathedrals.” In the National Cathedral, President Bartlett expresses his fury at God. When he is speaking Latin, he says (roughly) “Thank you, Lord.Am I to believe these things from a righteous God, a just God, a wise God? To Hell with your punishments I was your servant, your messenger on the earth, I did my duty. The Hell with your punishments! And to Hell with you!” When I was a Christian, I could definately relate to this low point of faith:


7 Responses to “The West Wing on Religion”

  1. Why did you leave Christianity?

  2. It’s my favourite clip too. Really powerful.

  3. Great clip….never seen it before, but enjoyed immensely. Thank you for highlighting it.

  4. I just saw the Two Cathedrals episode and came online looking for a translation of what he says in the church. Very powerful; i really enjoyed it. you should include the closing scene of an episode from the 1st season concerning the death penalty. I forget the name of the episode, but I’m sure you know it. 🙂 Nice site! I appreciate the work you put in to it.

  5. Thank you for this website. Don’t feel about about not being able to be a christian, you seem better suited to be a stoner. Alister McGrath and C.S. Lewis turned from atheism to Christianity, and they are much more intelligent than you and some Hollywood hack, so your opinions really mean nothing.

  6. The west…

    […]The West Wing on Religion « Carried The Cross[…]…

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