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Not any more June 26, 2012

Posted by Ezra Resnick in Ethics, Freedom, Religion.
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A step in the right direction by a German court:

Circumcising young boys on religious grounds causes grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents’ religious rights.

The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents,” a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.

“The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised,” the court added…

“The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision,” the court said. “This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.”

What arguments do outraged members of Germany’s Jewish community offer in defense of their tradition? It’s rather pathetic.

The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination.”

But “self-determination” needs to be determined by each individual for himself. A community doesn’t have the right to force an unnecessary medical procedure on anyone, least of all a child who hasn’t had the chance to determine whether he wants to be part of that community or not.

The judgement was an “outrageous and insensitive act. Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries,” added Graumann.

Just like slavery used to be.

“This religious right is respected in every country in the world.”

Not any more.

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