And yet it takes away the absolute defining male symbol of an ethnic heritage, based on an understanding of the rights of children that is very much in dispute, and on which reasoned adults can disagree without forcing their disagreements on each other.
I'm circumcised. I'm not Jewish. I do not feel I was harmed by this process and have in fact always been grateful I don't have to deal with dick smegma, but thanks, German judge, for protecting victims like me from shit I never asked to be protected from.
The fact that something is "traditional" doesn't mean it's right, or just. It doesn't mean it's not barbaric, or that people should be entitled to keep doing it to their own kids just because.
Yes, because religious people are so open to rational criticism of their traditional practices.
Afroblanco: Perhaps I shouldn't feel this way, but the fact that it's Germany doing this makes it extra-scary
Jehan: The article in the Commentary Magazine is a little too excited
Actually the same argument could be made for baptizing the living as well. Doesn't that happen at roughly the same age as (jewish) circumcision?
I guess the broader question is: does the harm caused by this medically unnecessary procedure, with both reported risks and benefits, merit the state stepping in on and intruding on a religious ceremony of tremendous symbolic importance?
3. No smegma.
Um, you know it retracts, right?
Whatever your stance, it is interesting that bodily autonomy is the principle here, (as quoted above) something that has historically been denied to children. Even in the land of John-Wayne-rugged-individualists, there's little legal consideration for bodily autonomy.
And yes it did leave me scarred.
I can easily believe that germany is not intending to be anti-semitic here, but it still seems incredibly stupid. This is such a minor point of interest - it basically hardly matters to most men which way they are, and life and sex go on just fine - but with such major connotations for the jewish community. The german government must know that this is poking at a sore wound. Why would they do it? I mean, okay, your penises are important, but surely the strength of a respectful relationship with minority/non-aryan religious groups is more important.
Abraham circumcised himself as an adult, didn't he? Does the bible/torah specifically state that it must be done as a child?
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.
3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
See, e.g., Matter of McCauley, 409 Mass. 134 (1991) (holding that hospital could administer life-saving blood transfusion to an eight year old girl over her parents’ religious objections); In re Duran, 769 A.2d 497 (Sup. Ct. Pa. 2001) (holding that adult had right to refuse life-saving blood transfusion).
Especially relevant is Lundman v. McKown, 530 N.W.2d 807 (Ct. App. Minn. 1995), in which the court held “A parent may exercise genuinely held religious beliefs. But the resulting conduct, though motivated by religious belief, must yield when—judged by accepted medical practice—it jeopardizes the life of a child. Religious practices must bend to the state’s interest in protecting the welfare of a child whenever the child might die without the intervention of conventional medicine.”
5. Potentiality arguments are dangerous. The argument is something like, "If uncircumcised now, this child might become an adult who would want to remain uncircumcised; therefore, circumcising now is wrong." But think about the parallel to abortion: "If not killed, this fetus might become an adult who would want to remain un-killed; therefore, killing now is wrong." If the first argument is good, why isn't the second one good? If the second one is bad, why isn't the first one bad?
It remains true that according to my argument neither abortion nor the killing of neonates is properly considered a form of murder. Perhaps it is understandable that the law should classify infanticide as murder or homicide, since there is no other existing legal category which adequately or conveniently expresses the force of our society's disapproval of this action. But the moral distinction remains, and it has several important consequences.
Would it be okay for the founder and sole member of the Cult of van Gogh to cut off their infant's earlobe as a religious identifier?
How did the rabbis, from the medieval period to the early Jewish Reform movements in Europe, respond to the Christian charge that the non-circumcision of Jewish women made the ritual cutting of the foreskin obsolete? Cohen presents four distinct Jewish responses: circumcision indicates that the normative way of being Jewish rests with Jewish men, thus relegating women to a lower status (Chapter 5); circumcision signals a moral (and ontological) defect in men, namely an excess of lust, for which the cutting of the foreskin is a cure (Chapter 6); faith, not circumcision, is the determining sign for Judaism—a position advanced by Maimonides—and hence women and men can be equally Jewish (Chapter 7); finally, Jewish women possess a bodily quality analogous to the male rite of circumcision: the blood of menstruation and of circumcision are both interpreted as covenantal blood (Chapter 8)....
... It is especially intriguing to read Chapter 5 and 6 side-by-side, since the positions introduced here cannot be reconciled. Whereas the former demonstrates a Jewish view that declares only men to be "real" Jews, thus celebrating Jewish manhood, the latter argues the opposite, namely that circumcision remedies "some defect that inheres in Jewish men" (p. 143). Philo of Alexandria, the famous first-century Jewish philosopher, identified the male "defect" as an excess of lust and pride; circumcision, he reasoned, would decrease and suppress these impulses. In the twelfth century, Maimonides picked up on the same theme, and later commentators developed such thinking further into theories about sexual pleasure: Circumcised men, they argued, were less capable of sexually pleasuring women....
The Gooch: Within the past generation of so, Germany systematically rounded up Jews for the intended purpose of torturing and killing them.
small_ruminant: It's a little early to tell people to "just get over it, already."
knoyers: Okay, here you go then: A blanket ban on circumcision is not a ban on Judaism.
Like saying, "A blanket ban on taking communion is not a ban on Catholicism." Yes, it is.
Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In the case of circumcision, in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision. It is legitimate for parents to take into account cultural, religious, and ethnic traditions, in addition to the medical factors, when making this decision. Analgesia is safe and effective in reducing the procedural pain associated with circumcision; therefore, if a decision for circumcision is made, procedural analgesia should be provided. If circumcision is performed in the newborn period, it should only be done on infants who are stable and healthy.
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