Tuesday, June 26, 2012

German court bans religious infant circumcision

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Flowchart: “Should I circumcise my newborn son?” → “No.”

A German court has done what courts in the U.S. failed to and outright declared that parents’ religious freedom doesn’t entail the right to slice up their infants’ genitals before they’re old enough to have any say in the matter:

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."

"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.

Bravissimo! A perfect encapsulation of all the relevant arguments made by anti-circumcision advocates for years: that having the right to believe in whatever they wants does not – or damn well should not – give people the right to do whatever they want to their children’s bodies as if they were possessions in need of a retooling. Circumcision should be perfectly legal in the same regard as permanent tattoos or body piercing: as personal decisions that people can make once they’re old enough to decide for themselves.

But of course, none of that stops the whingers from taking up the “religious persecution!” mantle:

“The Court’s decision is unacceptable and gravely violates religious freedom,” says Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, vice president of the Rabbinical Center of Europe. “The decision is contrary to human rights charter of the European Union, to which the German legal system is committed, and undermines the basic right to worship in the German Constitution.”

Some people just won’t stop bitching until they’ve earned the legal right to do whatever the hell they want to anyone else for any reason they choose, so long as they can shroud it all in the tired cloak of “religious liberty”. Thankfully, at least one court was willing to call out their bullshit and give these self-righteous cranks a little dose of that secular reality.

(via Joe. My. God.)