German court rules against religious circumcision

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    Jun 27, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    I guess not too many Jewish and Muslim boys will be getting snipped in the near future...

    http://news.yahoo.com/german-court-outlaws-religious-circumcision-172728400.html

    Circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents' religious rights.

    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", a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.

    "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.
    The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents' wishes.

    A few days after the operation, his parents took him to hospital as he was bleeding heavily. Prosecutors then charged the doctor with grievous bodily harm.

    The doctor was acquitted by a lower court that judged he had acted within the law as the parents had given their consent.

    On appeal, the regional court also acquitted the doctor but for different reasons.

    The regional court upheld the original charge of grievous bodily harm but also ruled that the doctor was innocent as there was too much confusion on the legal situation around circumcision.

    The court came down firmly against parents' right to have the ritual performed on young children.

    "The body of the child is irreparably and permanently changed by a circumcision," the court said. "This change contravenes the interests of the child to decide later on his religious beliefs."

    The decision caused outrage in Germany's Jewish community.
    The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was "an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination."

    The judgement was an "outrageous and insensitive act. Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries," added Graumann.

    "This religious right is respected in every country in the world."

    Holm Putzke, a criminal law expert at the University of Passau, told the Financial Times Deutschland that the ruling was "enormously important for doctors because for the first time they have legal certainty."

    "Unlike many politicians, the court has not allowed itself to be scared off by charges of anti-Semitism or religious intolerance," added Putzke.

    The World Health Organisation has estimated that nearly one in three males under 15 is circumcised. In the United States, the operation is often performed for hygiene reasons on infants.

    Thousands of young boys are circumcised every year in Germany, especially in the country's large Jewish and Muslim communities.

    The court specified that circumcision was not illegal if carried out for medical reasons.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:13 PM GMT
    I expect massive flames from those who are "mutilated" but still want the practice to go on. I'm glad Germany is standing up to the religious bull shit that allows infant boys to have their penis mutilated.

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    Jun 27, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
    Damned liberals!
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:37 PM GMT
    Wonderful news.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:47 PM GMT
    Lotsa head cheese in Germany now.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:51 PM GMT
    Or rather yet another message to Germany's sizable Turkish minority where Angela Merkel frequently accuses Turks of not wanting to integrate into German society, lol.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:53 PM GMT
    CrankySpice saidWhat some call "religious bullshit" is in fact one of the most basic requirements for a Jewish male. This amounts to making Judaism illegal in Germany.
    Hey, what a surprise! Germany! Making Judaism illegal! Who'd a thought...?!


    This.

    Also circumcision has been shown to reduce the risk of STDs.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:54 PM GMT
    CrankySpice said
    pocketnico saidOr rather yet another message to Germany's sizable Turkish minority where Angela Merkel frequently accuses Turks of not wanting to integrate into German society, lol.

    I hate to say it, but there are some places where the traditional folk custom of Jew hatin' is never very far from the surface.


    Just ask Mel Gibson's neighbors.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    Dallasfan824 saidLotsa head cheese in Germany now.


    EEEEW!!! LOL! icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    CrankySpice said
    pocketnico saidOr rather yet another message to Germany's sizable Turkish minority where Angela Merkel frequently accuses Turks of not wanting to integrate into German society, lol.

    I hate to say it, but there are some places where the traditional folk custom of Jew hatin' is never very far from the surface.


    Perhaps. Frankly, I'm surprised Europe still has any considerable Jewish populations left since so many have immigrated to the US and Israel since World War II.
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    Jun 27, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    pocketnico said
    CrankySpice said
    pocketnico saidOr rather yet another message to Germany's sizable Turkish minority where Angela Merkel frequently accuses Turks of not wanting to integrate into German society, lol.

    I hate to say it, but there are some places where the traditional folk custom of Jew hatin' is never very far from the surface.


    Perhaps. Frankly, I'm surprised Europe still has any considerable Jewish populations left since so many have immigrated to the US and Israel since World War II.


    Not to be snide, but there WAS a third factor that decimated Europes Jewish population during WWII.
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:09 PM GMT
    WhyWhySee saidI'm not Jewish, so it's very difficult for me to see how circumcision at birth is based on faith rather than tradition. Boys have to confirm their faith in Judaism at some point in their teens right? So why not let them confirm their faith before circumscision?

    If someone doesn't mind explaining the importance for me?


    A legitimate question. So infant circumcision represents God's covenant with the Jewish People. (It also recalls Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac.). On a practical level it has health benefits.
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:52 PM GMT
    I think if you look at this objectively, its hard to justify lopping off a body part of an infant for "tradition". The fact is, parents can still raise their child jewish or muslim. No religion should grant a parent the right to deform a child's body regardless of how steeped in tradition it is.

    This whole health benefits thing is nonsense too. If we were to chop off the entire penis there'd be immense reductions in STD transmission.
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
    While I am opposed to elective surgical procedures of any kind being done without the patient's consent, I am concerned that circumcisions are now going to be done subversively under questionable conditions, and that this is going to lead to all sorts of health risks for infant boys.

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    Jun 27, 2012 3:03 PM GMT
    xanadude saidWhile I am opposed to elective surgical procedures of any kind being done without the patient's consent, I am concerned that circumcisions are now going to be done subversively under questionable conditions, and that this is going to lead to all sorts of health risks for infant boys.


    This is one of the drawbacks I first thought of from the ruling. It certainly won't stop some Jewish and Muslim families from circumcising their boys, but now they'll have to do it illegally in secret.
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:06 PM GMT
    pocketnico said
    xanadude saidWhile I am opposed to elective surgical procedures of any kind being done without the patient's consent, I am concerned that circumcisions are now going to be done subversively under questionable conditions, and that this is going to lead to all sorts of health risks for infant boys.


    This is one of the drawbacks I first thought of from the ruling. It certainly won't stop some Jewish and Muslim families from circumcising their boys, but now they'll have to do it illegally in secret.


    Great point! Back alley circumcisions!
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:26 PM GMT
    Get the court out of my pants please!! I would get a lawyer (but i'm American its a hobby, kidding), does Germany not have Church & State laws? The court has no right to interfer in the decison parents make regarding their child. That procedure has been being performed for over 2,000 years. Hell Jesus was circumcised and I'm sure some Catholic out there has the foreskin as a relic.
    One procedure goes wrong and I might add on a 4 year old (not right after birth) and right away the court is involved handing down edicts for the rest of
    mankind! Nein!!
  • drypin

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    Jun 27, 2012 3:39 PM GMT
    I think it's time to bring in circumcision of girls to prove our point that we're not going to take it lying down. After all, most Germans aren't cut and the STD transmission rates here are astronomically high!

    You can't go into a gay bar without being overpowered by the odor of head cheese and the sight of every second person downing his ARVs with a vodka Redbull.
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:41 PM GMT
    mikkel49 saidThat procedure has been being performed for over 2,000 years. Hell Jesus was circumcised and I'm sure some Catholic out there has the foreskin as a relic!!


    Ew! Gross.
  • drypin

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    Jun 27, 2012 3:42 PM GMT
    mikkel49 saidGet the court out of my pants please!! I would get a lawyer (but i'm American its a hobby, kidding), does Germany not have Church & State laws? The court has no right to interfer in the decison parents make regarding their child.


    That last statement might be a little over the top. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:48 PM GMT
    CrankySpice saidWhat some call "religious bullshit" is in fact one of the most basic requirements for a Jewish male. This amounts to making Judaism illegal in Germany.
    Hey, what a surprise! Germany! Making Judaism illegal! Who'd a thought...?!


    I always try to stay away from religious discussions, but, would you be OK with a group of people's mutilating a little baby's,... say..., pinky finger because their religion tells them to do so?

    In parts of Africa it's OK to perform genital ablation in women (which basically is the female circumcision), as it is OK for islamists to hang gay people (I know, islamism is more than a religion) But, that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

    All people living in a country must conform to that country's laws and constitution. If it's not OK to mutilate any baby's body other than for scientifically proven health reasons, I think that should go for everybody, not just for the non-jewish.

    As much as I respect everybody's religion.
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    Jun 27, 2012 4:16 PM GMT
    Circumcision is obsolete with the use of modern showers, anyway. You just have to put in more effort to clean yourself. A lot of the reason why tradition starts is because there was some political mumbo jumbo that the ancients felt a need to incorporate into their religion. There was a lot of disease and famine back then, which was why we have traditions such as no eating pork, circumcise your boy infants and no eating beef. (milk is renewable and has protein and carbs. Apparently the ancients knew this one too)

  • Jun 27, 2012 4:17 PM GMT
    In South Africa the government Department of Health is currrently encouraging Medical circumcision as as a way of HIV prevention and to combat Xhosa/zulu botched circumcsions done in the bushveld during rites of passage - Manhood.

    That said I had the snip done mainly for religious reasons as an adult as as when I was born I was a premature baby and mildly affected by CP otherwise I am just a normal dude!

    I don't regret it! personally prefer it and in my personal view more hygienic!

    Nothings more gross than cock cheese! I want to vomit when I see it.

    A lot of guys (not all) are so lacking in the hygiene department yuck!!

    When I was in high school and at a boarding school I knew this guy who never retracted his foreskin and cleaned ....down there.... needless to say it was very fishy smelling.

    Once night in the shower my best friend instructed him on matters of hygiene and to wash down there I/we even spritzed a light diluted solution of Savlon disinfectant on his member!

    If I have a son by some amazing miracle, he will be circumcised end of story!

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    Jun 27, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    I'm curious to see what the Turkish reaction will be to this because it affects them at a greater scale than the Jews. The Jewish population in German remains fairly small in comparison to other ethnic and religious minorities. Meanwhile, Turks in Germany make up roughly 5%-7% of the population, which means this ruling could have a large impact on them (at least Turks who still practice Islam).
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    Jun 27, 2012 4:21 PM GMT
    Don_Fitandbi_de_Jersey saidIf you don't think this is anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim, then riddle me this: why should late term abortion be protected in Germany under this court's balancing test? (Is it protected? I don't know.) If an eight day old boy has a fundamental right to bodily integrity, doesn't a fetus have a right to live? Even if we accept that circumcision is harm (which I do not), it is certainly significantly less harmful than loss of life.


    I think for most people, the distinction is that an 8 day old or 80 days old, is still a human being. A fetus doesn't have the same human rights legally. I'm neither pro nor anti abortion but just saying I believe thats where the distinction is.