Den sekulära kandidaten?

Jag hade länge fått intrycket av att Rudy Giuliani var en någorlunda sekulär kandidat. Kanske har jag fel på den punkten? Historikern David Greenberg hävdar i alla fall det. Via Washington Post:

The ”social” and ”cultural” issues that divide Americans encompass much more than guns, gay rights and abortion. They include state support of religion; the legitimacy of dissenting speech; the president’s right to keep information secret; the place of fair procedures in dispensing justice. The Bush administration’s hard-line stands on these matters have polarized the nation as much as the Iraq war has. And on these issues, Giuliani is just as hard-line as the man he’d like to succeed.

If you’ve managed to keep liking President Bush, you’d have no trouble loving President Giuliani.

Consider the first of our freedoms: free speech. One emblematic act of Giuliani’s mayorship was his 1999 attempt to censor an art exhibit because it featured a painting of the Virgin Mary that used an unusual form of mixed media — clumps of elephant dung, to be precise. (Others were also upset by the cutouts of female genitalia.) Giuliani, a Catholic who attended parochial schools and once aspired to the priesthood, understandably took offense. But he then converted his religious sensibilities into policy, unilaterally withholding a $7 million city subsidy to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. When that failed to get the painting removed, he tried to evict the museum from its century-old home. Ultimately, after losing in court, he was forbidden to retaliate against the museum. So much for moderation.

Those who deem Rudy a liberal might also recall his plan to fund parochial schools with city money. His goal went far beyond letting Bible groups meet after hours in public classrooms: The mayor personally phoned Cardinal John O’Connor to hatch a plan that would have placed public school students in church-run schools with overtly Christian curricula — including catechism and excluding sex education. It was the real liberals on the school board who stopped the plan.

Detta visste inte jag. Kan vi verkligen lita på Rudy Giuliani? Om dessa exempel är representativa för vad vi kan förvänta oss av fyra med Giuliani är svaret, helt klart, ”nej”.

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