Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Like You Just The Way You Are

Open Letter to Ivanka Trump

Dear Ivanka,

What are you thinking, girl? Convert to Orthodox Judaism?! What does your dad have to say about this? I have nothing against Judaism or any faith for that matter, but you should think twice about taking such a big step as taking on another religion. As someone who has been in a few interfaith relationships, as well as having seen the relative success of multi-faith relationships versus ones where a partner converts, I discourage you for the following reasons:

  • You will be living a lie. Unless you come to a faith of your own volition and belief, you are not being true to yourself and what you really feel.
  • The uber-righteous will never accept your conversion and recognize you as a full-fledged member of the "tribe". In countries where Islam and sharia law are observed, women who convert and then divorce their husbands are cast out of the family and lose custody of their children altogether. This applies particularly in communities where your faith is part of your genealogical heritage. In fact, some religions do not allow or recognize converts and shun those who marry them. I doubt your Kushner would-be in-laws would do this, but what about the broader congregation?
  • Children need examples of "different" people getting along. There is so much hatred and bloodshed over which book to accept as the ultimate word of God. Set an example for your progeny. Instead of falling in line and being like Daddy, stick to your roots and focus on the shared core values that embody decent human beings. Expose them to two philosophies. Allowing them to think for themselves will empower them to be more critical as they grow up.
  • What about Christmas?! Granted, I am not a huge fan of the commercialism and pressure around the holidays, I enjoy decorating and sharing meals with my family and loved ones. Christmas can be a huge sticking point with non-Christians because of the drive to have an identity that doesn't revolve around Santa and the baby Jesus. Some people don't care and enjoy celebrating it, but others can be militantly opposed to any expression of holiday cheer.
  • Is Jared Kushner worth it? Really, you've already broken up once for whatever reason. In my opinion, changing who you are for a spouse can cause resentment down the track. There are millions of heterosexual men who would have you just as you are. If he's not brave enough to be with you as-is, he sucks, move on.

Think about it sweetie. You already own half the world, you deserve the best.