A day after Kevin Rudd's response to a pastor's challenge on his recent decision to support gay marriage, Sydney media have revealed a "suspicious similarity" to a line from a famous episode of the US television series, The West Wing.
After being questioned by Pastor Matt Prater on ABC's Q&A how the Prime Minister could call himself a Christian after changing his position on same-sex marriage, Mr Rudd asked whether the New Hope Church Pastor thought homosexuality was abnormal - a response that won him much applause and support on social media.
Pastor Prater, also a conservative radio host, replied that "I just believe in what the Bible says and I'm just curious for you, Kevin, if you call yourself a Christian, why don't you believe the words of Jesus in the Bible?", to which Mr Rudd replied "Well, mate, if I was going to have that view, the Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition."
The Sydney Morning Herald's Tony Wright has now recalled an episode from 2000 when the show's US President Josiah "Jed" Bartlett, on the very eve of a tight mid-term election, recited a similar theatrical flourish.
In the scene, which takes place in the White House, President Bartlett meets radio talk-show host, Dr Jenna Jacobs, who regularly gives advice to her listeners.
When President Bartlet tells Dr Jacobs "I like how you call homosexuality an abomination", Dr Jacobs replies "I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr President. The Bible does."
The conversation continues to further mention slavery, with the president wanting to sell his daughter into slavery "as sanctioned by Exodus 22.7".
Mr Rudd's office, during his first period as prime minister, was regularly abuzz with staffers reciting lines from The West Wing. The show was apparently so popular in the prime minister's office that staff would squabble over who was most entitled to be known as their favourite character of the show.