Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Now comes a report very disturbing -- especially because of the history of Nazis and Jews in Germany. I quote: “On June 26, the District Court of the Federal State of Cologne ruled that circumcision of children for religious reasons at the instruction of parents constituted the infliction of bodily harm and therefore was a punishable offense.” Of course, for observant Jews, circumcision of male children is not optional. It is required as a matter of Jewish law. To prohibit it is, in effect, to forbid Jews from being Jews.
You can read the whole report here with additional links.
The observance of a faith is seldom merely a matter of the heart. It is an internal conviction that drives external behavior. Values mean choices and those choices are as distinctive as the religion. Here is but one example of an attempt to define religious freedom merely as the freedom to believe and worship without the accompanying practice of that faith. If an age old religious practice such as circumcision can be banned, then this does not bode well for religious freedom in general. BTW circumcision is not merely the domain of Judaism but is also practiced by Muslims and other religions.
My point is that we are seeing in various places and in various ways a subtle and yet deliberate movement to restrain religious practice in a way that undermines the very security of religious freedom. It comes in different forms -- the HHS mandates for birth control, abortifacients, and abortion... or a ban on circumcision... or the forced silence of religious whenever their position challenges the prevailing modern social trend (gay and lesbian marriage, for example). It is a disturbing trend that goes across national boundaries and transcends peoples. From Canada and its insistence upon public approval for government position on gays and lesbians to the US and the attempt to restrain Christian witness against abortion to Germany and its judicial ban on circumcision to sharia law which refuses to allow the practice of any faith but Islam to France and its ban on religious symbols -- we are all surrounded by a tolerance which is intolerant of disagreement. Frankly, though some would insist there is a difference, I do not see much difference in the examples cited before. It is governmental enforcement of belief and practice defined by those in power -- designed to constrain the religious freedom under which every belief is guaranteed equal rights to practice their rites...
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I don't quite understand the logic in banning circumcision, when 12 hours before, these same politicians weren't convinced that it was even a child.
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