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Rudolph Giuliani: Dionysian Catholic

By Michael Moriarty
web posted December 26, 2001

I first responded to the Rudolph Giuliani/Howard Safir Revolution within the New York Police Department with typical, liberal, knee-jerk self-righteousness. After reading the Bob Herbert articles in The New York Times, excoriating the NYPD for on-sight shootings in black and Hispanic communities, I displayed the same smug, liberal, self-congratulatory indignation that was eventually displayed by New Yorkers after the police shot a member of the Orthodox Jewish Community.

After the sickening torture of a Haitian in a precinct house (a nightstick was jammed up his rectum), the uproar was considerable. Then the police refused to come to the aid of Latino women who were being molested at the Hispanic Day Parade. This neglect was predictable, considering that New Yorkers loved the low crime rate but considered cops 'bad guys'.

Mayor Giuliani and Police Commissioner Safir had, in effect, turned the police into criminals with badges. After a summary court appearance by the officers, no charges were laid. It might appear that Giuliani had torn a page from the book of Mussolini and Hitler, whose Gestapo policies no doubt lowered the petty crime rate in the Berlin and Rome of the 1930s.

Rudolph GiulianiSubsequent events, however, throw Giuliani in an entirely different light. It is not just the bastion of strength he gave New York in the wake of September 11, but the lifestyle he'd chosen to publicize. After leaving his wife, he moved in with a gay couple, openly celebrating their right to choose this alternative sexual lifestyle. His appearances in a rainbow of theatrical costumes sent the message that the North American citizen will not be circumscribed by hypocrisy and smugly judgmental Pharisees.

In effect, Giuliani had become a Catholic Dionysian.

"Life is a cabaret," he seemed to be proclaiming. I caught up to the idea and increasingly decided to support Giuliani's remarkable vocation as a Catholic Dionysian. Nothing will infuriate the North American enemies within Communism and Islam more than the continent's longstanding freedom to celebrate life. The Communist/Islamic tyrannies are the antithesis of everything that North American democracy stands for. Add to that Giuliani's unswerving loyalty to Israel and one is witness to a remarkably imaginative response to ugly religious fanaticism born of Communist/Islamic jealously, self-pity, self-entitlement and vengeance. In early 1996, Hizzoner flew over to Jerusalem and rode a crowded bus up and down the Jaffa Road all day long -- after a wave of suicide bombings aboard buses. Talk about solidarity. Yay, Rudy!

The question for me was, as North America approaches election year 2004, should Giuliani replace George W. Bush as President of the United States?

Much to my surprise, I began to think that Giuliani knew more about fighting this evil than did Bush. Giuliani's Catholicism makes him spiritually the deeper Christian. Catholics have traditionally been the Marines or foot-soldiers of Christ. Enflamed, their unyielding dogface courage could make the Bin Laden troops look cowardly.

It was rather exciting to watch the evolution of Giuliani's persona. He'd torn a book out of Ancient Athens, where the God of wine, Dionysius, held sway for two weeks out of every year. Tales of this god's adventures also included the most vicious of vengeful enterprises. As a god, he held the power of life and death over humans. His sense of justice was more reminiscent of Yahweh, God of the Old Testament, than Christ, as Christians had conceived of Him. The Book of Revelations portrays the Second Coming of Christ as an entirely different personality than the all-forgiving, non-violent Jesus of Nazareth. The Christ Returned is wrath itself. He judges without pause and punishes without hesitation.

Meanwhile, the sense of Dionysian trance, the feeling that Christ would not only be the sword of justice but also the God of dance, wine, sensuality, celebration and freedom meant that the heaven He promised was already afoot.

To celebrate joyfully in the face of the enemy is to "heap coals upon his head."

God Bless Rudolph Giuliani, and may he stay the course, and guide all of America to the freedom and abundance Christ has promised.

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe winning actor, best known for his role as Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone on Law and Order. Moriarty is also building a new political party in Canada -- The Realists.

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