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Department of Things Germany Shouldn’t Be Banning

Religious circumcision.

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Isaac's circumcision from the Regensburg Pentateuch, made in Germany circa 1300.(By Rachel-Esther/Flickr.)

This is probably not the best idea:

A Cologne district court ruled on Tuesday that parents may not have their sons circumcised for religious reasons. The ruling has angered Muslims and Jews. Non-medical circumcision is a “serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body,” the court declared, essentially criminalizing religious circumcisions performed by Jews and Muslims, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported.

I must confess to having mixed feelings about circumcision: There’s a compelling argument that it’s a violation of a child’s rights to bodily integrity, but not an ironclad one. Combine the ambiguity about the rights question with the potential medical benefits of circumcision, and it’s an entirely unsettled question. We don’t override religious freedom protections for unsettled questions.

And certainly not in Germany.

German Court Criminalizes Religious Circumcision [Jewish Press]

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Afrayedknot says:

What’s that sound you hear? It’s Andrew Sullivan having a massive orgasm over this.

hang on, wait a minute. Let’s not rush to judgment here. Circumcision is NOT a Jewish or Muslim issue. it is part of the Abrahamic Laws that govern, among others, Christians. Especially in the US, where fundamentalism demands circumcision, the rite of passage for young boys is indeed a cruel and ritualistic practice of sacrifice to a god. To have a German court state the obvious is NOT a crime, nor should this be seen as an anti Semitic expression. Germany has moved (thank God, pun deliberate) to a post religious society, in which religion is subordinated to the Law. When considering the VICTIM of an action, it is quite logical to ban barbaric practices from the Stone Age. If that child does want to self mutilate his (or her? why not her?) genitals at age 18, fine.

The real hypocrisy is this: the people who are anti abortion are almost universally pro circumcision, and those who are “pro choice” are often often anti circumcision.

Protect the weakest in our society from those that would damage them. That is one of the basic reasons for a government. seems to me that the 7 day old infant finally has a voice and that voice says: NO, do not cut off the skin from my penis unless I allow you to do so.

Vive L’Allemagne!


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Department of Things Germany Shouldn’t Be Banning

Religious circumcision.

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