Rick Perry Could Take Lessons from Arnold Vinick

I’ll file this in my List of Things the Current Republican Presidential Candidates Will Never Say:

(Thanks to Seth for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Amy

    Oh how I wish that were real. I would vote for him in a nanosecond.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I have a tear in my eye…. :-p

  • Anonymous

    “The West Wing” is an awesome show, but fantasy for the most part :s

  • http://www.facebook.com/katie.griffin.siebert Katie Griffin

    too bad this is not real… what happened to republicans that behaved like this??

    • http://thegodlessmonster.com/ The Godless Monster

      He died. His name was Senator Barry Goldwater(R) from Arizona.

  • Gwen

    Republicans? You wouldn’t see a DEMOCRAT acting like this either! It would be political suicide……unfortunately…

  • Anonymous

    That’d be a politician I’d vote for… Republican, Democratic, Independent — it doesn’t matter. The fact that there isn’t one politician that that’s willing to step up and say this should inform everyone of the death-grip religion has on our government, and our society. More importantly,  it says a lot about our politicians in general.

  • GentleGiant

    The West Wing… Best TV show evar! 
    Oh how I miss it.

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever see a politician with this kind of character.

  • Anonymous

    Except that going to church is not that great a way to learn what you need to about religion.

  • Grayswandir

    IIn the original script, Vinick won. Hell, I would have voted for him.

  • Rich Wilson

    With the talk of debt ceiling, this seems very current.  I know the show was cancelled- anyone know when this episode aired?

    • Ben

      It’s called “In God We Trust” and it aired in March, 2005. The scene before this is of the president and Vinick eating ice cream in the White House kitchen where Vinick explains how he became and atheist from reading the bible. He doesn’t actually say he’s an “atheist”, but it’s pretty obvious. He also says earlier in the episode that he stopped going to church after his wife died.

      This episode isn’t all good though. The Democrat, Santos, answers a question about intelligent design by saying, “I believe in God, and I’d like to think that he’s intelligent.” He later sides with evolutionists over public education, but the episode has an interesting irony (typical for WW) featuring a pious democrat and an atheistic Republican.

      The biggest problem with this episode was that Vinick never got pressed on his religious views for the remainder of the campaign. For that, this episode was absurd science fiction.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t just “like” this page. I LOVED this page!!!!!! Oh, that it could really happen…

  • Dan W

    If only politicians in real life were more like this.

  • http://prodigalnomore.wordpress.com/ Benjamin Baxter

    Paraphrase, off the cuff: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and bearing a cross.”

    That said, “religious test” is specifically only applied to the government. All of us in the electorate are free to vote however they choose and on whatever basis, and they do, and for a lot sillier reasons than by looking at the moral foundation which guides a politician. Obama famously said a similar thing in rebutting claims of inexperience, to the effect that voters should look to see if a man has good judgement and good character. By a prima facie case much stronger than “words matter,” it is simple and supposedly sound reasoning that strong faith is shorthand for good character and, presumably, good judgement. Carter and Bush 43 were disasters enough to deny the validity of such a test, but that is another question.

    By the by, if there is anyone who scrutinizes a politician to see if he passes a “religious test”  for public office, it will be not merely in the legalistic, bureaucratic way of a series of check boxes. It will be by looking at the man’s background, i.e. Does he reek of used car salesman and posturing, or is his name Ron Paul?

    Don’t be too quick to denounce the faithful as dunderheads.

  • Anonymous

    The West Wing was excellent.  It had politicians and media people with character and scruples.  Such a shame that it wasn’t true.

  • http://politicsandpucks.blogspot.com Mike Brownstein

    If you haven’t seen the entire episode you really should. It’s a very good take on the religious interference in politics.


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