Saturday, June 30, 2012

German Court Declares Judaism a Crime

Thus reads a recent headline at Walter Russell Mead's blog Via Meadia.  Mead writes:

Hard to believe, but that’s what the decision handed down by the regional court in Cologne, Germany means: circumcising a child under the age of consent is a crime, notwithstanding the religious beliefs of the parents. 
Many judges who loyally served the Third Reich finished their careers in perfect peace and quiet after World War Two; in some cases, they are still collecting pensions for administering Hitler’s laws. However, Germany’s moral sensibilities are so refined and so pure today that the thought of Jewish parents (or Muslims for that matter) performing an immemorial religious rite is unacceptable. 
Jews believe that the circumcision of infants is a necessary act; the command to circumcise male children at the age of eight days is the first command that God gives Abraham to mark their covenant; for thousands of years this has been a foundation of Jewish life. To ban infant circumcision is essentially to make the practice of Judaism illegal in Germany; it is now once again a crime to be a Jew in the Reich.

Here's more from the Yahoo! News article "German court rules religious circumcision on boys an assault":

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 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."

I note that an Orthodox priest I'm friends with on Facebook shared Mead's blog posting with the comment: "Secularism continues its forward march.  Infant baptism could be forbidden under the reasoning of this court ruling.  Don't say, 'But that's Germany ...'"

And in response to others' comments he wrote:

... that is the nature of law.  It builds on precedent.  The invasion of the state into such a long-accepted and honored practice sets the precedent (especially in the age of discretion thing) for an invasion into Baptism.  It is a stretch.  Of course, unless we think of Baptism, we might also fail to properly appreciate the insult the state is offering to Jews in this ruling.  It is not a small thing.  My comments sound alarmist.  I am alarmed.

And he's right to be alarmed by this!

1 comment:

Robert F said...

The pretensions of the secular state are without limit and absolute. Any illusion of neutrality and tolerance is just the effect of a temporary dispensation that fades like morning fog as the values of secularism coalesce and reify. The day will come, sooner rather than later, when to confess the name of Jesus as Lord, and to live a life in obedience to him, will be as illegal in Copenhagen as it is in some places in the Two-thirds world. This is the meaning of the term "Antichrist."