Friday, July 13, 2012

To cut or not to cut

A German court has ruled that circumcision of young boys amounted to bodily harm.  This has prompted Germany's Medical Association to tell doctors not to perform circumcisions.

Here's what the BBC says:


Ignoring Russell Crowe's impetuous comments about circumcision for the moment, surely a surgery that is needless and irreversible should not be done on a child who is unable to consent to it legally?  There are medical conditions that require circumcision but we are not talking about those.   What about female circumcision which is commonly done in some parts of Africa?  Everyone agrees female circumcision is wrong and barbaric.  We say it's purely cultural and not religious but who are we to say that the traditional beliefs and practices of people in some parts of Africa are merely cultural and not religious?  Would we think differently if one of the major religions adopted female circumcision as a requirement?  Why does a practice suddenly become right when it's religious?

But religion is a touchy subject.  For the moment, two major religions adopt circumcision of young boys as its religious prerequisite.  Was the German court wrong to rule against religious practices?

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