How good is the good book? | Third Space

How good is the good book?

Fri 1 Nov 2019
Responding to Jed Bartlet's West Wing tirade
Media and current affairs, Ethics, justice and social welfare
David Robertson, Stephen McAlpine, Ed Shaw, Jed Bartlet, The West Wing, The West Wing Bible Speech, The West Wing Bible Quote, Bible, food laws, The Bible and slavery

What’s so good about ‘The Good Book’?

A clip from the popular ‘The West Wing’ television show in which President Bartlet humiliates a female radio show host, calling her out for self-righteous judgementalism has had well over 1 million views on You Tube. David Robertson notes this to be the number one clip sent to him by his atheist friends, to call into question his Christian faith.

President Bartlet extensively quotes the Old Testament laws in Exodus and Leviticus, particularly as they relate to food and sexuality. How would you respond to Jed Bartlet’s tirade? Should people who have had gay sex be put to death? Should slavery be sanctioned in today’s society? Does touching the skin of a dead pig make you unclean?

David Robertson, Stephen McAlpine and Ed Shaw discuss a proper understanding of 'The Good Book'.


  • Alt
    Sun, 10/11/2019 - 9:24am reply

    Great episode. Loved the clip and how you dissected it. Will be sharing.

  • Alt
    Sun, 17/11/2019 - 12:44am reply

    The 6th Commandment states: Thou shalt not kill.
    Are you reinterpreting the Bible now?

  • Alt
    Tue, 19/11/2019 - 7:35am reply

    ''The biblical teaching is quite clear. Sex is sacred and is to be kept within marriage – and marriage is between a man and a woman. Sex outside marriage whether heterosexual or homosexual is wrong''
    David Robertson.(the weeflea)

    I wonder how Ed Shaw feels about your views, David?

  • Alt
    Thu, 21/11/2019 - 5:48pm reply

    So many original meanings (Truths) are lost in the process of translation. Exodus 20:13 "Thou shall not kill", for example. What if the original language said, "Thou shall not commit murder"? If Murder is the correct translation (and it is) then there must be legitimate reasons for "killing" and all other "killing" would be murder. Is killing for self or national defence actually murder? Is killing a killer actually murder? Of course not. All of the questionable passages mentioned by "The President" have adequate, defensable answers. It was just another Hollywood drive by shooting.

    • Alt
      Fri, 22/11/2019 - 11:59pm reply

      ''If Murder is the correct translation (and it is) then there must be legitimate reasons for "killing" ''

      The Torah is clear on what constitutes a legitimate reason the death penalty, murder being one.
      It is also explicit regarding incest , blasphemy ,idolatry and homosexuality, to name a few which demand the death penalty

      If there are legitimate reasons to kill as per the bible why do we ( in the West at least) not execute people for being homosexuals or blasphemers, when it is clear as day that God demanded the death penalty for these supposed heinous transgressions?

      Is it possible that, in fact, such laws, as are all the others in the Torah, simply man-made?

  • Alt
    Sun, 24/11/2019 - 5:37pm reply

    We are all guilty and deserve Death. Blood atonement must be made. It has been required from the beginning. God instituted the sacrificial system. Then, when it was time, He sent Jesus, His sinless Son. The sinless Son of God shed His Blood for all Mankind and thus began the New Covenant of God's Grace. The reason we don't kill for certain sin is because we are being Christlike when we extend Grace. He Himself said that He is not willing that any should perish (at the final judgement) but that all should repent. Grace is being given the time to repent of a life lived in denial of the Truth. Yes, many (most?) laws are man made. The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) are from the Hand of God. There are seven different words in the Old Covenant that, in English, mean "to kill". The one used in the sixth commandment is murder. God hates all Death and it is the last enemy to be defeated.

    • Alt
      Fri, 29/11/2019 - 4:13am reply

      ''We are all guilty and deserve Death''

      Really? And guilty of what exactly? What evidence can you provide for such a sweeping statement? Most civilized countries have moved away from executing wrong doers.

      ''The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) are from the Hand of God.''
      Are they, indeed? And what evidence do you have to verify this assertion?

      ''God hates all Death and it is the last enemy to be defeated.''
      Sounds like fear driven fundamentalist apologetics with no evidence to support such a statement.
      Furthermore, your god created death apparently and according to the Bible was responsible for the genocide of the entire human race save for one incestuous family.
      Doesn't strike me as the action of someone who hates death, but rather that of a meglomaniacal genocidal despot.

  • Alt
    Fri, 29/11/2019 - 6:41am reply

    I have discussed The Good Book with many people such as yourself who have their mind made up already. I have found that it doesn't work. If God Himself were talking to you would you know it? No, because you are convinced already that He doesn't exist. Today is Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the many blessings I have that have no explanation for being, other than my God. For me, this is the worst that life will ever be. For you, it is the best it will ever be. Jesus does Love you!

    • Alt
      Fri, 29/11/2019 - 8:13pm reply

      ''I have discussed The Good Book with many people such as yourself who have their mind made up already''

      My current stance is open to change, especially if evidence is provided that can verify the position you adopt.

      ''If God Himself were talking to you would you know it''

      And how do you know this?
      Has your god talked to you? If so please provide evidence. Thanks.

      ''No, because you are convinced already that He doesn't exist.''
      Again, a position that can change. Provide evidence that your god exists and there is a good chance I will accept that atheism is untenable.

      ''Jesus does Love you''
      According to the bible the character Jesus of Nazareth
      was put to death for sedition by the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate in approximately 33CE
      How would a dead person love anyone? Please explain.
      Regards Ark.

  • Alt
    Fri, 29/11/2019 - 5:46pm reply

    Do you believe that all 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God? I believe that you have had this same discussion with others and have come away unconvinced. Why don't you just ask The Creator/Author of the Book? If I could change your mind then another person could change it again. You are in search of an argument, not Truth.

    • Alt
      Fri, 29/11/2019 - 8:20pm reply

      ''Do you believe that all 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God?''

      There is no evidence to support this view, so why should I believe it?

      ''You are in search of an argument, not Truth.''

      You are defending a position I consider untenable. The site owners have stated they welcome interaction from non believers. If you consider your position to be valid (Truth - and why on earth did you capitalize the T?) then defend it - not with rhetoric and apologetics, but with evidence.


  • Alt
    Sun, 01/12/2019 - 1:43pm reply

    I am a finite being. I can't possibly "prove" God exists. I can't demand or in any way cause Him to appear. He is Infinite. My only proof is me. All I know is what happened to me when I asked Him to forgive me for being a hard, evil man. I was good for nothing and getting worse. I could see where I was headed and it wasn't good. Some of the guys I hung out with are dead now. I asked Him to forgive me and instantly He forgave me and gave me a will and power to change. He made me not want to be hard and evil. I repented. No more drugs, no more getting drunk, no more filthy mouth etc. I have Peace. Life isn't perfect because I'm not but I am on the road. I have a relationship with my Creator, I know That He loves me, The whole Bible says He does. I don't fear Death. An outside force is changing me. Read the book of John in the Bible (three times). Another good read is Josh McDowell-Evidance that Demands a Verdict.

    • Alt
      Tue, 03/12/2019 - 1:23am reply

      ''I can't possibly "prove" God exists.''
      I didn't ask for proof, this is usually reserved for mathematics, I believe - I asked for evidence.

      ''He is Infinite''
      Is he? How do you know this, and how do you know your god is a 'he'?

      It seems your problems were primarily emotional and linked to drugs and alcohol. Glad you pulled yourself right.
      But this is not evidence of divine intervention, although it is an oft-cited claim.
      How do drug users that are atheist who come right and remain atheist manage without your god?

      McDowell? I was wondering when you would suggest I should read one of the infamous apologists.
      Should I recommend Sean Carroll or Hitchens for you, perhaps?

      As I mentioned, I'm pleased you are free from drug and alcohol addiction bit this in no way demonstrates any sort of god.

  • Alt
    Sun, 01/12/2019 - 3:30pm reply

    Jesus was put to death, you are correct in your belief. He died. Many saw Him die, His executioners proved He was dead before they took Him off the cross, it was their job and they were very good at it. You believe He died but don't believe what the same Book says happened next. You wouldn't cherry pick Edger Allen Poe so why the Bible? Read Psalm 22, written a thousand years (or more) before Jesus. God is TRUTH, 2Chronicals15:3, Jeremiah10:10. John3:33&17:3, Romans3:4, Colossians2:2, 1John5:20. I find YOUR position to be "untenable". Everywhere I look I see complexity, from electron microscope to Hubble. Who, What, Where, When, Why, How? God. Genesis1:1-In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. In the beginning(Time), the heavens(Space) and the Earth(Matter). Job26:7-He stretches out the North over empty space and hangs the Earth on nothing, written thousands of years BEFORE micro and macro, back in "caveman" days. How? Read the Book for Science, Law, Finance, Diet, Horticulture, Agriculture, Genetics, Geology, etc and leave GOD out of it, then tell me HOW cavemen could know these things. Forget "the theory of panspermia". Won't work either. So, I can't "prove" God does, you can't prove He doesn't. In the End where do you want to be? Answer the big "what if". If I am wrong, I'll gladly be a Fool.

  • Alt
    Tue, 03/12/2019 - 1:31am reply

    ''God is TRUTH, ''
    Which god? And again , why the capitals? IS you caps-lock key stuck?

    ''You believe He died but don't believe what the same Book says happened next. ''
    You are referring to burial in a tomb? Unlikely as executed criminals were usually buried in a communal grave.
    Furthermore, what tomb and where is it?

    ''So, I can't "prove" God does, you can't prove He doesn't. In the End where do you want to be? Answer the big "what if". If I am wrong, I'll gladly be a Fool.''

    You'll have to excuse me as I am a bit confused with your question of where do I want to be.

    Without preempting your thoughts, could you clarify this, please.



  • Alt
    Tue, 03/12/2019 - 1:54am reply

    Oh, and you haven't cleared up the issue regarding your claim that humans are all guilty and deserving of death.
    Can you please explain exactly what they are guilty of and why they are deserving of death?
    For example, I cannot think what my kids are guilty of that they deserve to die for it. Sounds a thoroughly revolting idea to be honest. Probably best you explain this one!


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