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← German politicians pledge to protect religious circumcision

black wolf's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by black wolf

As Schrodinger's Cat has mentioned, the parliament's plan runs into problems with the German Constitution (Grundgesetz). 1. The articles in the GG are ordered by rank. Lower numbered articles supercede later ones. Provisions against gender discrimination as well as religious freedom come after the sanctity of bodily intactness. 2. Singling out religious male circumcision to be allowed while continuing to prohibit female genital mutilation of all types violates the principle of non-gender-discrimination. 3. Parents have the right to educate their child in any manner that does not decrease the child's wellbeing. This is why corporal punishment was also banned, religious reasons or not. 4. Nobody may be forced to participate in religious rituals against their will. Most rituals are non-invasive and are therefore protected by the right to educate, but -> 3.

That's just the first problems that come to my sleep-deprived mind. Our parliament would have to make severe changes to some of the most important articles of the GG, and would open a Pandora's Box by forcing courts to re-evaluate sub-laws and rulings on literally thousands of cases.

I don't think that's going to happen. They just haven't thought this through. And as the speeches on this issue have shown, none of the circumcision favoring representatives have substantially considered, or are willing to consider, both the above legislative problems and the medical facts. It was a knee-jerk reaction of a religious leadership to assist fellow faith-heads against "aggressive secularism". It's not at all surprising that with such a mindset, considering reality and the ethics following from that, is not the first thing on their minds. Could there be anything more ridiculous than a religious head of government accusing opponents of child abuse of dragging the country's international image into looking like "a nation of comedians"? That's what Mrs. Merkel, a doctorate physicist, thinks of this discussion. She apparently thinks there are no arguments against circumcision that could possibly overweigh religious tradition. She thinks Germany would be isolated internationally (because of course suffering of children needs not be considered if Saudi-Arabia was annoyed, and they'd stop buying our weapons, right?).

Sun, 22 Jul 2012 01:49:39 UTC | #949784