First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her family are quite possibly the highest-profile Modern Orthodox Jews in American history. Ivanka, who converted in 2009, has spoken about how her family observes the Sabbath, keeps kosher, and celebrates various Jewish holidays together. And now, for some reason, the media has taken it upon itself to become the "kosher police."
Take, for instance, this gem from the Washingtonian, where the writer took the mind-boggling step of phoning a chef to inquire about what Ivanka and her husband ordered for dinner.
But given that Trump and Kushner are orthodox Jews, their dining choices have some murmuring: Wait, don’t they keep kosher??
Based on their dining destinations, it’s safe to say that the couple isn’t strictly observant.
However, many Jews who keep kosher at home will dine “kosher-style” in restaurants. What that means can vary by individual, but Stern says they’re likely not eating meat at all in restaurants. (Chefs at Tosca and RPM Italian declined to comment on what Kushner and Trump ate.)
Golly. And then there have been pieces criticizing Ivanka for her clothing choices, saying that they're counter to modesty standards, plus criticism for riding in a car on the Sabbath during the inauguration. (I never thought I'd see the day that TMZ covered Jewish law, but here we are.)
Of course, all of this is absurd when compared to the treatment that another high-profile religious woman in politics received: I'm talking about Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Pelosi, who served as Speaker of the House, was, along with Vice President Joe Biden, one of the most powerful Catholics in the United States at one point.
Pelosi is an unapologetic and enthusiastic supporter of abortion rights and other family planning measures, which are violations of central tenets of the Catholic faith. While the conservative and Catholic press was quite willing to criticize Pelosi for going against fairly basic practices of the faith, these were relatively absent in the mainstream press. In fact, the New York Times published a rather fawning profile of the representative and her views on abortion and how they conflict with those of the Church.
For Ms. Pelosi, the notion of disagreeing with other Catholics about abortion has not weighed on her sense of faith. “I think everyone grants everyone their position,” she said. “The church has their position, and we have ours, which is that a woman has free will given to her by God. My family is very pro-life,” she added, noting that she has lived with the conflict all her life.
What's at least slightly more troubling is how Pelosi has attempted to twist the Church's teachings in order to justify her stance on abortion. She's also referred to late-term abortion as "sacred ground," and said that Catholic hospitals invoking conscience rights will result in women being harmed. Additionally, she attempted to claim that the Church has only been opposed to abortion for about half a century. For all of this, she's been given a pass by the mainstream media, and is still regarded as a "good Catholic."
Granted, the media really shouldn't be playing religion police--for anyone, regardless of practice or political affiliation. It is, however, rather hypocritical to take the step of calling a restaurant to nosy into someone's eating habits and to let someone else literally committing heresy to go off scot-free. Leave the Kushners alone.