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Giuliani Still Flummoxed by Faith

August 10, 2007

On Wednesday, I described how 2008 GOP presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani found themselves snared by a faith-based trap of their own making. Proudly declaring themselves men of deep faith, the GOP early front-runners then shied away from explaining their faith to voters. Today, the AP provides an addendum to the tale of Rudy Giuliani and the Pandora's Box he opened regarding his Catholic beliefs.
As the AP details, the self-proclaimed mayor of 9/11 is only too happy to pontificate on his faith when it suits his needs:

"My first class without prayers was my first day of law school," he said last month in Le Mars, Iowa, drawing chuckles from voters at a family restaurant. An audience member had asked Giuliani to talk about his faith.
"I believe in God," Giuliani said. "I pray and ask him for help. I pray like a lawyer. I try to make a deal - get me out of this jam, and I'll start going back to church."

In 1999, Giuliani told American Enterprise magazine, "No, I don't attend Mass regularly, but I go to Mass occasionally."
Given his courtship of the religious right begun in 2006, Rudy should consider going more. The twice-divorced, historically pro-choice and occasionally cross-dressing Giuliani counts among his closest associates the disgraced Monsignor Alan J. Placa, a figure at the center of past clergy sex abuse scandals. It's no wonder Giuliani was singing from a different hymnal on Tuesday when it asked whether he was a Catholic in good standing:

"My religious affiliation, my religious practices and the degree to which I am a good or not so good Catholic, I prefer to leave to the priests. That would be a much better way to discuss it. That's a personal discussion and they have a much better sense of how good a Catholic I am or how bad a Catholic I am.
I believe that things about my personal life should be discussed personally and privately. It's just sort of gossip. I've never been big on gossip."

Sadly for Giuliani, that cat is out of the bag. When you announce your piety in an attempt to win over the zealots of God's Own Party, you have to answer the follow up questions.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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