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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Germans Do Not Favor Male Circumcision

Circumcision of a Jewish baby boy

Photo Credit: Gershon Elinson/Flash90

A joint statement of the Rabbinical Centre of Europe, the European Jewish Association, the German Turkish-Islamic Union of Religious Affairs and the Islamic Center Brussels, said that the Cologne verdict was “an affront to our basic religious and human rights.”

The critics of the Cologne verdict were supported by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the Catholic Archbishop of Cologne. “We have to speak out against the tendency to restrict religious freedom and the right of parents to raise their children in a religious way,” he said. He was supported by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican’s Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Protestant Church also criticized the verdict. Hans Michael Heinig, the president of the Institute for Ecclesiastical Law of the Evangelical Church, called the verdict “a triumph of antireligious zealots.”

The verdict also drew criticism from Germany’s three major political parties, the Christian-Democrats, Social-Democrats and Liberals. Last Thursday, the governing Christian-Democrats and Liberals teamed up with the oppositional Social-Democrats to call on the government to “present a draft law in the autumn … that guarantees that the circumcision of boys, carried out with medical expertise and without unnecessary pain, is permitted.” The cross-party motion explicitly acknowledges that “circumcision has a central religious significance for Jews and Muslims” and adds that “Jewish and Muslim religious life must continue to be possible in Germany.”

The new law would overrule the decision of the Cologne court. For the time being, however, the verdict still stands, as does the advice of the German Medical Association for doctors not to perform religious circumcisions.

An opinion poll indicates that, despite the political initiative to have the Cologne verdict overruled by a law later this year, a majority of Germans favors a ban of male circumcision. In a Europe that is becoming ever more secular, there is a real danger that religious practices will gradually be pushed aside in order to assure that the impression is not given that little children and (in ritual slaughter) animals are made to suffer.

It is indicative of this trend that the doctors’ associations in Germany are mostly in favor of the ban on religious circumcision of boys. Outside Germany similar attitudes are gaining ground. In the Netherlands, for instance, the Royal Dutch Association of Physicians published a paper two years ago advocating a ban on non-medical circumcision of boys, analoguous to the ban on female genital mutilation. In violation of their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, doctors are interpreting a medical practice in purely religious terms — choosing religion over science.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: Peter Martino is a European affairs columnist for the Gatestone Institute.


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5 Responses to “Germans Do Not Favor Male Circumcision”

  1. Circumcision has no health benefits whatsoever, which is why no pediatric association in the world, not even Israel's or the US, endorse circumcision. Many national pediatric associations actually encourage parents against it. The author seems to be deluded into believing that European and German parents don't care about the health of their babies, and that the leading cause of death is Europe is foreskin. This is patently false and health statistics do not show any any reason to subject babies to the risks of circumcision. People who favor circumcision will claim that it cures everything; from the common cold, to HIV, but if you look at the figures those claims are not supported or are wildly exaggerated.

  2. Rc Fowler says:

    You are an ignorant fool–you need to educate yourself in the truth–and then WISE UP!

  3. You didn't dare to point out what was ignorant in what I said because I can back up my words with facts. The author of this post has the ridiculous position that European don't care about public health. I guess he thinks they like being sick. The reality is that European are very healthy, a lot healthier than Americans as a matter of fact, despite having a foreskin.

    So who is fool?

  4. Hugh Intactive says:

    Female genital cutting is entirely comparable with male genital cutting, when you compare like with like. 50 boys have died of tribal male cutting in one province of South Africa alone this year. Millions of little girls are cut surgically, minimally, by doctors in Indonesia and Malaysia, in the name of Islam, yet that is outlawed in the developed world. The proposed age-restriction will just close this double standard.

    The Cologne court simply interpreted the Basic Law, which is based on the Unviersal Decraration of Human Rights, drawn up in 1949 to ensure that the horrors of 1933-45 could never happen again. But it can be traced back to 1765, and Sir William Blackstone:
    "Besides those limbs and members that may be necessary to man… the rest of his person or body is also entitled by the same natural right to security from the corporal insults of menaces, assaults, beating, and wounding; though such insults amount not to destruction of life or member…." – Commentaries on the Laws of England.

    It will be very hard for the German government to formulate a law that allows any infant male genital cutting, forbids any infant female gential cutting AND upholds the equality of the sexes.

    The "massive medical evidence" all comes from societies that already circumcise as a custom (which began in the US to punish masturbation). The health of intact men in, say Scandinavia, is better than in the USA.

    "In violation of their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, doctors are interpreting a medical practice in purely religious terms — choosing religion over science."
    The reverse of this statement makes more sense: In upholding their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, doctors are interpreting a religious practice in purely medical terms, choosing science over religion – as doctors ought, unless they are witchdoctors.

  5. Deniz NoEnbridge Casserole says:

    What's funny is that at the end of this article, i has a pretty anti-circ paragraph:

    "It is indicative of this trend that the doctors’ associations in Germany are mostly in favor of the ban on religious circumcision of boys. Outside Germany similar attitudes are gaining ground. In the Netherlands, for instance, the Royal Dutch Association of Physicians published a paper two years ago advocating a ban on non-medical circumcision of boys, analoguous to the ban on female genital mutilation. In violation of their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm, doctors are interpreting a medical practice in purely religious terms — choosing religion over science."

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