German court: circumcising a child is bodily harm

Maq wrote:

I'm all in favour of people cutting the end of their dick off for religious reasons. As consistent with my stance on religion in general, however, I don't believe you ever have the right to practice your religion on other people. Especially not infants.

This is my view. If an adult wants to, hey go for it, it's your decision and your body. But children? No, sorry. Let them grow up and choose for themselves.

Uncircumcised males in the audience. Raise your hand if there's a chance in hell anyone in your family could tell you now you have to have your foreskin chopped off for religious reasons.

I am not. My two sons are not. Then again, the whole "religious reasons" thing doesn't rest well with me.

Please allow me to chime in, due to medical reasons I was circumcised in my teens. I can say from experience that it really didn't, for me, have a huge impact on sexual pleasure.

As to the law itself... I'm ambivalent.

Maq wrote:

Uncircumcised males in the audience. Raise your hand if there's a chance in hell anyone in your family could tell you now you have to have your foreskin chopped off for religious reasons.

I'm not. And I would kill to prevent it happening to me now. And you're not alone 1Dgaf, that article made me feel a bit sick too, metzitza b'peh is a thing? Ugh, that's disgusting.

Suppose someone were to have children and decide to cut off their ears at a young age because they happen to be a member of a cult that believes god told them to do so and hey why not, it's not like you need ears.

Clearly a legal line needs to be drawn somewhere and I'd have no issue supporting a move to push that line back a bit and outlaw the circumcision of minors. For a consenting adult or should medical reasons arise it's a hell of a lot easier to get it done than it is to undo it.

Suppose someone were to have children and decide to cut off their ears at a young age because they happen to be a member of a cult that believes god told them to do so and hey why not, it's not like you need ears.

But.. but... There are indisputable health-related benefits to cutting off one's years! One, this reduces a chance to every receive an ear frostbite down to absolute zero!

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

But.. but... There are indisputable health-related benefits to cutting off one's years! One, this reduces a chance to every receive an ear frostbite down to absolute zero!

Also the women-folk find a smooth head ultra-sexy, while having those flappy skin-things repulses almost everyone.

The circumcision conversations are always really weird for a number of reasons including:

1. If you were circumcised at a young age, then you don't look down at yourself and see a mutilated member. Therefore, it's hard to make a big deal out of it.
2. If you weren't circumcised, then the idea of cutting anything away from your member is repulsive.
3. If you are from America, a lot of people are circumcised because a lot of doctors will routinely perform the surgery. That is not the case in other parts of the world, particularly Europe and Asia.
4. American porn reflects the number of circumcised men in the country (I think)
5. There's a great big Judeo-Christian cultural element to this that doesn't even really seem to be about religion per se.
6. Nobody wants their dicks to look weird.

Learnings?
When you say the circumcision is like female genital mutilation, think about what that sounds like to dudes who are cut. "Your dick is mutilated." Just, uh, bear that in mind guys.

Grubber788 wrote:

Learnings?
When you say the circumcision is like female genital mutilation, think about what that sounds like to dudes who are cut. "Your dick is mutilated." Just, uh, bear that in mind guys.

Well sure, you can be sensitive about it, but I think it's important to remember the seriousness of a circumcision. You wouldn't be coy about denouncing the Ear Chopper Cult for fear of hurting the feelings of their victims.

I personally think circumcision is a tragedy, but if someone who's been cut looks down and doesn't see anything wrong, I don't see how my opinion should really matter to them anyway.

Redwing wrote:
Grubber788 wrote:

Learnings?
When you say the circumcision is like female genital mutilation, think about what that sounds like to dudes who are cut. "Your dick is mutilated." Just, uh, bear that in mind guys.

Well sure, you can be sensitive about it, but I think it's important to remember the seriousness of a circumcision. You wouldn't be coy about denouncing the Ear Chopper Cult for fear of hurting the feelings of their victims.

I personally think circumcision is a tragedy, but if someone who's been cut looks down and doesn't see anything wrong, I don't see how my opinion should really matter to them anyway.

I haven't seen enough to suggest that this is a particularly serious form of mutilation (from a medical point of view). From a human rights point of view? Yeah, I can get behind that. Keep in mind that from my cultural background (and I do claim this as a weakness), circumcision has more in common with getting your ears pierced than getting your ears chopped off. I view the ear chopping analogy as being a false equivalence with respect to medical severity because I have not seen enough scientific evidence (I don't count Rabbis as doctors any more than I do priests scientists) to suggest that the consequences of circumcision (whatever they may be) outweigh the benefits (whatever they may be).

In short, I view actions taken against minors' bodies for non-medical reasons to be wrong from a legal, human rights point of view, but--and perhaps this is my background speaking--I just don't see the data to suggest that circumcision is any more or less barbaric than other commonly accepted procedures such as piercings. I think that's why I, and maybe other cut individuals, c*ck our heads* in confusion when uncut people are claiming we're the victims of some tragedy.

*you know what, pun intended.

krev82 wrote:

Suppose someone were to have children and decide to cut off their ears at a young age because they happen to be a member of a cult that believes god told them to do so and hey why not, it's not like you need ears.

Suppose a group of Germans murdered your whole family 60 years ago because you were Jewish. Suppose Germans, other Europeans, and Russians spent hundreds of years harassing your people and killing them in pograms, and suppose the German legal system never offered you any protections when it counted. Now, a few years later, the same people come in and tell you, "Hey, we don't like that you circumcise your kids, so we're going to prohibit it even though you've been doing it a few thousand years and it's kind of central to your religious beliefs." Think that might cause a bit of a problem?

You guys always want to denigrate religion, and that's fine. But it's worth remembering that for Jews, their religion was something that got them murdered by the German state. The Germans, and other Europeans, surrendered the right to question Jewish rituals after they spent a thousand years in pograms and killings.

Outside that context, I don't really care about the issue of cut versus uncut.

So German and European gentiles, born post-WWII, have no place questioning the validity of performing a non-essential surgical procedure on a child's genitals?

I can understand the first part of your post in terms of trying to understand the context, but the second part is confusing. Are saying that to 'the Jewish mind' the Germans and Europeans no longer have that right? Of course that's assuming that all Jews are pro-circumcision.

What about muslims that oppose the ruling? Yes, there's a history of war between Christians and Muslims dating to crusades, but - as far as I'm aware - the Germans didn't kill muslims in the same numbers in WWII. WHat validates their stand? Religion? Tradition? What about data and research?

EDIT:

FWIW I don't think children should pierce their children's ears. The only reason I can see for altering a child's body is if not doing so would risk the survival of the child.

Now, let's imagine a tribe (or clan) in hostile environment. The only way to survive is to stay with the tribe. The tribe has a rule that children must be circumised and have pierced ears. Without them, the child is banished - no matter how young - and will die.

In that situation - perhaps - there's a justification for a parent to do it. They are guaranteeing the child's safety.

But what if the tribe moves to a fertile environment without any predators? What if it moves into a village? Or a city? What if the same threats are no longer plausible?

That's analogus to what's happening now. So circumcision is done for religious reasons - which I consider clinically invalid - and tribal ones. But is that enough?

Never gave it much thought, as it seems something that can has its medical benefits, but also drawbacks.
In the end I agree that the person should be able to decide for himself and that the parents are totally
in the wrong if the operation wasn't for a good medical reason. Therefor, if it is done for any other reason I consider
it mutilation and find it a very wrong thing to do.
Totally agree with this ruling.

1Dgaf wrote:

So German and European gentiles, born post-WWII, have no place questioning the validity of performing a non-essential surgical procedure on a child's genitals?

Pretty much. I get that this seems confusing to the young European mind that wants to wipe the slate clean. It's similar to when white people in this country want to go, "Hey- all that stuff about discrimination about black people and a few hundred years of slavery? We don't do that anymore. So it's all irrelevant now. History doesn't matter."

It's a very easy thing to disregard when you're not Jewish and didn't have your family murdered, and when you don't read history books about all the times European gentiles decided to get a hard on for killing someone Jewish and then went on a big spree of jew killing. We're not talking about something that happened 500 years ago. There are people alive who still remember what it was like to be Jewish in Europe, and what being Jewish cost them. So why start f*cking with them?

If we were talking about some kind of ritual jewish murder of the kind that European gentiles used to say happened all the time in Jewish ghettos, okay. Got to stop murder. But removal of a foreskin? That's very minor. It's not even considered as a negative thing by millions of people. Deciding to mess with Jewish culture under the circumstances seems wrong to me.

As for the muslim side of the question, I don't know about their culture or their situation in Europe. I'm not going to try to argue for or against something from a position of complete ignorance.

OK, here's a African American corrallary (sort of). Soul food - slave food - is, as far as I'm aware, quite popular in black communities over there. This food has a history; it would have been a result of recipes taken from Africa combined with ingredients available to slaves. High fat, high calorie food was useful to them because of the energy they expended.

With a sedentary nation, that diet isn't 'useful' in the same way anymore. It's changed from essential to cultural. Would it be wrong for a white doctor to say to a black patient 'You need to cut back on these recipes'?

1Dgaf wrote:

With a sedentary nation, that diet isn't 'useful' in the same way anymore. It's changed from essential to cultural. Would it be wrong for a white doctor to say to a black patient 'You need to cut back on these recipes'?

Wouldn't the comparison be a judge ruling that feeding your kid soul food is a form of child abuse and should be treated as such by the legal system? In your formulation, the doctor is merely giving advice, and the patient could disregard the advice or possibly eat less soul food to remove the negative consequences.

Good point. It was a bad example, because you can be a bit fat, but you can't be a bit cirumcised. (Well, you can. Which is part of the problem.) I was trying to show that the history between two communites shouldn't always defer to medical fact.

So what are European Gentiles allowed to comment on, or what rulings can they make, when it comes to citizens that are Jewish?

possibly eat less soul food to remove the negative consequences.

Funken: Now, how do you circumcise less, as opposed to circumcising more?

Rezzy wrote:
Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

But.. but... There are indisputable health-related benefits to cutting off one's years! One, this reduces a chance to every receive an ear frostbite down to absolute zero!

Also the women-folk find a smooth head ultra-sexy, while having those flappy skin-things repulses almost everyone.

Ha!

Also, this is my wife's stance. She's kind of creeped out by the un-cut variety.

If we had had a biological son (mine is adopted and we didn't get to make that decision), I would have pushed for not having him cut. As stated by others, I'm perfectly fine with whatever an adult wants to do with themselves for religion. But to cut off pieces of a kid with no choice in the matter for religous or cultural reasons seems wrong to me.

1Dgaf wrote:

So what are European Gentiles allowed to comment on, or what rulings can they make, when it comes to citizens that are Jewish?

I don't know. Do you have any other issues in mind that represent a conflict between modern European political/social mores and traditional jewish culture? They seem rare enough that we don't have to set a general, one-size-fits-all rule.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:

Funken: Now, how do you circumcise less, as opposed to circumcising more?

IMAGE(http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/20611761.jpg)

Kosher slaughter.

EDIT:

And opposing child circumcision isn't a social more. Taking a knife to a child's genitals isn't a dinner-party issue.

If you're going to go down the route of moral relativism and deference to religious texts, then anything can be justified.

Wish this had helped me in the USA, where genital mutilation is alright as long as you are a male.

Prior history of persecution tells us that we ought to be mindful of how or when we might criticise other's cultural practice. But prior history of persecution is neither a validation of, nor an argument for a cultural practice. It is not a rebuttal of the argument that circumcision is tantamount to bodily harm.

In the meantime here's two reports of baby boys dying after ritual circumcision in the UK in the last month alone;
http://endmalecircumcision.blogspot....
http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/q...

Grubber788 wrote:

The circumcision conversations are always really weird for a number of reasons including:

1. If you were circumcised at a young age, then you don't look down at yourself and see a mutilated member. Therefore, it's hard to make a big deal out of it.
2. If you weren't circumcised, then the idea of cutting anything away from your member is repulsive.
3. If you are from America, a lot of people are circumcised because a lot of doctors will routinely perform the surgery. That is not the case in other parts of the world, particularly Europe and Asia.
4. American porn reflects the number of circumcised men in the country (I think)
5. There's a great big Judeo-Christian cultural element to this that doesn't even really seem to be about religion per se.
6. Nobody wants their dicks to look weird.

Learnings?
When you say the circumcision is like female genital mutilation, think about what that sounds like to dudes who are cut. "Your dick is mutilated." Just, uh, bear that in mind guys.

1. I look down at mine and know I was mutilated. I
3. Those doctors should not have their licenses. 'Do no harm.'
6. I don't care if my dick looks like a one-eyed monster. The benefits of an uncircumcised penis vastly outweigh any aesthetic concerns. Personally, I think uncut looks better anyway.

Mutilation is mutilation. There shouldn't be any varying degrees of it. If you lop something off of someone without their consent, you are mutilating them.

Can someone tell me what Judaism has to say on the matter of conflict between Jewish sacred laws and local secular laws? That German ruling doesn't say circumcision is wrong, it says doing it to an 8 day old baby is wrong. I'm willing to bet it's entirely consistent to interpret the religious circumcision requirement to "as soon as practicable" and if the law of the land prohibits it until the child is of age then that's a compromise that can be reasonably made.

Just for clarification: is the point being made that Jews get to circumsize babies because of WWII?

No, that nobody in Germany or EUrope can tackle on them on the issue. Japanese Jews can be ruled against by Japanese courts.

1Dgaf wrote:

Kosher slaughter.

Considering that the Nazis went after the jews for kosher slaughter, yes, that might be considered something I'd consider verboten right now.

1Dgaf wrote:

And opposing child circumcision isn't a social more. Taking a knife to a child's genitals isn't a dinner-party issue.

mores: folkways of central importance accepted without question and embodying the fundamental moral views of a group.

1Dgaf wrote:

If you're going to go down the route of moral relativism and deference to religious texts, then anything can be justified.

Not really. Some religious practices are incompatible with social conventions or modern social organization. Others aren't. It's a balancing test, as it always is in issues of freedom and government control.

1Dgaf wrote:

No, that nobody in Germany or EUrope can tackle on them on the issue. Japanese Jews can be ruled against by Japanese courts.

Right, because there are so f*cking many Japanese Jews. This is turning into one of those discussions where people don't want to argue about history, don't like the other side's arguments, so now it will become, "Let's all rephrase the other guy's arguments as snark."

Funken I think you might be letting a bit more emotion than normal into your posts. I don't know if you're wrong (haven't thought about the topic critically yet), but...well, you don't usually use the f word so generously.