Finally, some reason is breaking out in the world!!!
Germany has outlawed childhood circumcision for religious reasons!!!
(Well, one part of Germany, anyway…but it will affect the country as a whole.)
From The Sun:
‘On Tuesday, the district court ruled circumcision would “irreparably and permanently” harm a boy and performing one for religious purposes “contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs.”‘
After all, a child is too young to give informed consent to such an invasive surgery. Male or female, removing bits of their bodies to reduce sexual pleasure later on (and, yes – that is the purpose of religious circumcision: reducing sexual pleasure to keep the mind on God, not sex) is inexcusable and abusive.
‘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.’
I’ve been using almost exactly these same words to express these same sentiments – for years. Circumcision, even for boys, is not a trivial matter.
And when it comes to competing rights, it seems reasonable to me to go with the ‘permanent’ versus ‘changeable’ test: once removed, a body part cannot re-grow. It can be reconstructed, but once those nerve endings are cut off, they are gone – permanently. So, that is something a person cannot change.
Other things I consider ‘permanent’ are, among other things, race, physical disability/disfigurement, and to a lesser extent, gender.
Religion – that is changeable.
People change their religions all the time!
This, in my never-humble-opinion, means that when the right to bodily integrity – a ‘permanent’ outweighs the right to religion, which is variable. But, that is just my opinion. It is nice to read that courts in at least some jurisdictions agree with me!
And, even though the ruling was sparked by a case of a botched circumcision on a young Muslim boy, the Jewish community is already crying anti-Semitism…. which just goes to show that all you need to unite the ‘official religionists’ in Jewish and Muslim communities, to get them to work together, is to dangle a secular humanist in front of them!
And yes, I do stress the ‘official’ in the religionists’ description: because it is the busybodies within their communities who hold power over their fellow co-religionists by interfering in their lives in the name of whatever faith it is they are ‘official religionists’ of!
I suspect that most moderate people, of all faiths, will be relieved by this ruling. It will be a tool for them to keep their children safe from the imposition of traumatic religious practices which could potentially leave them with serious sexual dysfunction.
From the National Post:
‘The decision caused outrage in Germany’s Jewish community.
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.”’
Individual humans have the freedom to practice their religion, so long as they do not break the laws of whatever land they are in.
You know, like sacrificing virgins, or chopping body parts off of babies and/or children!
In any country, the same set of laws must apply equally, to each and every individual – or rule of law, which has improved our living conditions and, according to some experts, reduced the amount of violence we experience in our everyday lives to unprecedented low levels, will indeed break down.
A ‘community’ – religious or not – only has self-determination when it is recognized as a nation-state.
And that is how it must remain!
It is individuals – not communities, religious or otherwise – who have rights!
As Asma Jahangir has said (and I am paraphrasing), we must not give special privileges to ‘minority communities’ because the leaders of these ‘minority communities’ will use these privileges to assert their power and to oppress the other members of these communities. She was speaking of religious minorities in particular…
So, yes – it is about time the practice of childhood non-medical circumcision became not just outlawed, but socially unacceptable.