James Rosen, a great reporter, asked Nancy Pelosi at a press conference last week why she hates the duly elected president of the United States. In her response, Pelosi detoured into another dimension, denying that she hates Donald Trump. “As a Catholic,” she lectured, “I resent your using the word ‘hate’ in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone.”
“My goodness!,” I thought to myself. “How utterly frustrated, bemused — even furious — sincerely devout Catholics must feel listening to this cheap politician, who represents billionaires in a district teeming with homeless, cloaking her hatred for President Trump in Catholic fabric!” Which part of her devout “as a Catholic” devotion leads Nancy Pelosi to be a leader in promoting abortions, gay marriage, and the Obama–Democrat agenda she shepherded? Where was this “as a Catholic” when the Little Sisters of the Poor were fighting their way to the Supreme Court of the United States, seeking SCOTUS protection in Zubik v. Burwell in 2016, from Pelosi’s Obamacare, which forced the nuns, against their Catholic faith, to provide birth control contraceptives to employees? (I know where I was. Together with my Orthodox rabbinical colleagues Rabbi Steven Pruzansky and Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, I submitted an amicus curae brief with the court in support of the Catholic nuns.)
I feel bad for truly devout Catholics who go to mass on Sundays, worship throughout the week, adhere to the doctrines of their faith, know and honor their catechism, look to the Vatican for the traditional theological guidance that came from Rome during the papacies of the likes of popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. Even under the current pope, the much more liberal Pope Francis, an abortion even of a sick fetus is inhuman eugenics, akin to hiring a “hitman” to perpetrate a murder. Even he is unalterably opposed to gay marriage. On homosexuality, he has said, “In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life.”
What it must feel like to be a devout Catholic in America, yet to be subjected 24/7/365 on the mainstream media to a long line of leading American liberal Democrat opinion makers who cloak their support for government-imposed contraceptive coverage, transgenderism, gay marriage, abortion, and so much else of that nature in their Catholicism. One after another: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, John Kerry, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Tim Kaine, Robert O’Rourke, the Castro Brothers, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Kennedy family of Massachusetts, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Jack Reed, Sen. Bob Menendez, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, dozens of pro-abortion House members like Ted Lieu of California, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and just so many others among American leftist celebrities, entertainers, and media personalities. In terms of overall numbers, Catholics tend to vote for Democrats over Republicans regularly. Many of these Catholics furthermore even are deeply allied politically with outright anti-Catholic and bigoted non-Catholics in the Senate — like Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, a Buddhist and anti-Catholic bigot; Kamala Harris, a Baptist; and Dianne Feinstein, supposedly a Jew but actually the child of a Russian Orthodox Church maternal line and a graduate of Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco — all of whom viciously have attacked federal judicial nominees for following Catholic teachings in their personal lives, with some attacking even having such Catholic social affiliations as being members of the Catholic fraternal order, Knights of Columbus.
And, yet, reasonable and fair-minded non-Catholics do not stereotype all Catholics in the way that, in a dark American era, the Ku Klux Klan did. We see through the “as a Catholic” gambit and charade because there are the others who not only follow the dogma and teachings of Catholicism but who actually do live it as it is theologically constructed, and they promote their faith prominently and proudly. Our own views are impacted not only by Catholics on the left but also by those on the right, such as Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Rick Santorum, Jon Voight, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Sen. James Risch, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Pat Toomey, Rep. Peter King, Rep. Devin Nunes, Rep. Steve Scalise, Newt Gingrich, and so many others.
In essence, among several “takeaways” from Pelosi’s “as a Catholic” gambit, two are especially pertinent here:
And that brings me — with no lack of equally pure disgust — to some of my own “peeps.”
More American Jewish voters are Democrat liberal. Yes. But other American Jews are intensely conservative, including but not limited to Mark Levin — the Great One broadcasting from the underground command post deep in the bowels of a hidden bunker somewhere under the brick and steel of a nondescript building. And Dennis Prager. And Ben Shapiro. And Jeff Jacoby. And Michael Savage. And Norman Podhoretz. Add to that Caroline Glick, Lucianne Goldberg, David Horowitz, Pamela Geller, Ben Stein, the late Andrew Breitbart, Noah Pollak, and Dov Hikind. Add the 1,000 Orthodox rabbis of the Coalition for Jewish Values, including the most powerful voices in American Orthodox public commentary, like Rabbi Aryeh Spero, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, and Rabbi Yaakov Menken. (I leave it to the reader whether or not to include my name on the list.) Add the National Council of Young Israel, an umbrella body of 25,000 families and 175 synagogues. The Zionist Organization of America. Sheldon Adelson. The late Milton Friedman. The largest-circulating independent Jewish newspaper in America, the Jewish Press. The prominent online English-language news source, Israel National News, which covers American news in its news and opinion sections. Jewish World Review, an amazing collection of conservative voices. So the stereotype is darned unfair.
Like devout Catholics, we observant Jews utterly cringe when we hear the words “as a Jew.” Ouch! It is like the “Niagara Falls!” meme of Abbott–Costello ignominy. I still remember the time when I attended a private meeting with the mayor and closest advisers in Irvine City Hall for the purpose of getting the city’s final approval of an eruv for our Orthodox Jewish congregation. The city had been dawdling for as long as it could, making one excuse after another and setting up one expensive hurdle after another, and now I just recently had been hired as the new rabbi in town. I am not like other rabbis because I also bring with me more than a decade of very successful high-stakes litigation, and I came to that meeting determined to get the eruv approved, once and for all. After we all sat down and exchanged phatic language for openers, I introduced myself as the new rabbi in town and made my presentation. Then the mayor began to respond with the magic Pelosi words: “As a Jew … ”
That was all I needed to hear. I knew how that sentence would end, so I shifted gears automatically from “N” (Nice Rabbi) to “D” (Devastating Litigator). When the “as a Jew” found out how much our lawsuit would cost the city, especially in punitive damages and attorneys’ fees after they would lose — and what that cost to the taxpayers would do for the mayor’s future aspirations later to run for Congress — we got our eruv soon enough. We observant Jews and other Jewish conservatives cannot abide the “as a Jews.” And don’t tell us, Fiona Hill, that “it is anti-Semitic to criticize [the despicable] George Soros.” Rather, it is anti-Semitic to say that legitimate and fully deserved criticism of the evil and despicable George Soros is “anti-Semitic” because that reveals that the Soros defender is identifying that evil despicable lout by his Jewish ancestry. There is nothing particularly Jewish about him — except for an accident of birth, his role during the Holocaust as a teenager when he survived by presenting as a “Christian” and dutifully helped his Nazi guardian record properties confiscated from Jews, and his efforts to sabotage Israel nowadays by funding J Street with approximately one million dollars. It is no more “anti-Semitic” to attack that weasel than it is “racist” to oppose Obamacare, or Obama’s secretly sending $400 million cash on a plane to Iran, or the eight years of economic stagnation that Obama’s wrong-minded policies caused. (And, yes, because the Left sees everything in identity terms, they wrongly do ascribe fair-minded criticism of Obama’s legacy of failure, much as they try protecting Soros.)
Many of the “as a Jews” actually are anti-Semites of Jewish ancestry. Hard to believe? Really? Have you never seen a Catholic publicly desecrate and execrate Catholicism? How about this iconic moment? And so Karl Marx’s father started as a Jew, then converted to Christianity, the religion in which he reared his Jew-hating son, Karl. Karl Marx devoted much of his life to hating Jews and Judaism. He was like a Hitler, only without the power. But closer to home, it has been an American “as a Jew” powerless communist, Bernie Sanders, who opened the doors for anti-Israel prejudice to find a newly honored place in the Democrat party. He made anti-Israel bigotry an acceptable position to take because “as a Jew” he gave it credence. “As a Jew” he responds to each anti-Semitic rant by Rashida Tlaib and says it is fine. “As a Jew” he regularly gives his blessing to Ilhan Omar’s Jew-hate. And the Jew-haters then reciprocally endorse Sanders. Res ipsa loquitur — the thing speaks for itself. Dov Hikind, a New York assemblyman of 35 years, recently has written,
[A]rming antisemites with one’s Jewishness is perhaps the greatest and most vile of sins one Jew can commit against another. That’s why Bernie Sanders rightfully deserves to be called an antisemite.… But what absolutely confirms that Bernie is a self-hating Jew who uses his identity to provide cover to the worst kind of Jew-haters like Linda “don’t humanize Israelis” Sarsour, his proud presidential campaign surrogate, is his lack of reaction to her latest antisemitic tirade.… Instead he’s reinforced the notion that even a Jew can be an antisemite, and when they are, they end up being worse than the antisemites themselves. With Jews like Bernie, who needs antisemites?
Even Sanders’ staffers include Jew-haters. Thus, Darius Khalil Gordon was named deputy director of constituency organizing for Sanders. His tweets were exposed by other media as so anti-Semitic that Sanders had to fire him. What does it say about whether or not Sanders is an anti-Semite when Jew-haters like Linda Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib all race to endorse him among 20 choices for president while other Jew-haters sign up to play leading roles on his staff and as campaign surrogates? Sanders is part of a long line of “as a Jew” renegades and apostates going back to the Middle Ages and before. In Bernie’s beloved former Soviet Union, where the communist economy resulted in extraordinarily long bread lines that he praised as a “good thing,” Jewish anti-Semites worked in association with Stalin to destroy and eradicate Judaism and Jewish culture, closing down synagogues, banning Hebrew and male circumcision, arresting, imprisoning, and murdering rabbis. In time, fittingly, these “as a Jew” anti-Semites, organized by Stalin in the “Yevesektsiya” of the Communist Party, ultimately “got theirs.” After doing Stalin’s dirty work for him, they were closed down in 1929, and most of their leaders were murdered during the Soviet Great Purges of the 1930s. Even as they were being shot they never figured out that Stalin, the communist Hitler, actually had targeted each one of them “as a Jew.”
There is a unique psychological sickness that drives so much of the “as a Jew” mindset. Invariably, these people do not observe the Sabbath according to its ways. They do not restrict themselves to kosher foods. They do not observe the holiest of Jewish holy days as we observant Jews do. They mock Judaism in ways that respectful non-Jews never would. These “as a Jew” sorts gleefully cross those lines. The despicable “as a Jew” class in Hollywood create the most vicious and demeaning Jewish stereotypes in their films and television programs, images they would not dare portray if representing, say, Blacks, Muslims, gays, or other intersectionality favorites. One watches two or three episodes of Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, in which the Jewish butcher is depicted as selling pork chops, the young adult children roll their eyes when their father speaks of having saved and employed survivors of Hitler who made it to America, and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel eats and drinks on Yom Kippur Kol Nidre night at a comedy club. If those same “as a Jew” sorts tried making a mockery of Muslims and Islam that way, not only would all of Amazon Prime TV now be off the air but Amazon itself would also be for sale on eBay — and the screenwriters would be hiding in Area 51.
Nancy Pelosi does not fool non-Catholics when she does her “as a Catholic” charade. She is pure hatred. She “prays for him every day”? Yeah, right. She preys for him every day. Likewise, non-Jews should not be fooled by “as a Jew” theological miscreants and outright apostates. They agitate against Israel. They call Israel’s duly elected government and leaders by horrible names. They play footsie with Ilhan Omar, sympathize with Rashida Tlaib, and endeavor to force their utterly non-Judaic values onto Israel, as though they have earned a say in Israel’s internal affairs. That is why Israelis and we observant and other politically conservative American Jews know that our best friends in America include so many scores upon scores of millions of Christians all throughout the United States, but not the “as a Jews.” The “as a Jews,” from Bernie Sanders and George Soros to J Street and the “as a Jew” tenured professors who boycott Israel and brainwash college students to hate Israel, all are a disgrace. Moreover, they never have figured out that, in the end, others do not respect people who do not respect themselves. Thus, all their wonderful friends — Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg — are in the front tier of attacking Israel and its democratically elected leaders and policies with contempt for their “as a Jew” apostates but ever eager to pick their pockets in exchange for a selfie.
Nancy, I see through you. And I see through Bernie Sanders and his ilk. As a Jew.