Funny, They Never Thought of That

Something’s definitely going on in Europe. When a German court ruled recently that a doctor who performed a circumcision on a male child for religious reasons could be criminally liable, most Americans thought the ruling was an aberration. But then, as my colleague Marc writes,  it turned out that that certain hospitals in Austria and Switzerland had suspended the practice out of a concern for criminal liability. Now, according to a story in Haaretz, Norway’s children’s-rights ombudsperson, Dr. Anne Lindboe, has helpfully proposed that Jews and Muslims in her country replace circumcision with a nonsurgical, symbolic alternative. Circumcising infant boys — at eight days, for Jews, and around seven years, typically, for Muslims — violates their rights, Dr. Lindboe argues, and causes unnecessary pain. Dr. Lindboe did not herself attempt to devise a new ritual for Jews and Muslims; she doubtless believed that respect for religious freedom counseled letting them come up with their own alternatives. At least for now. (H/T: Religion Clause).

2 responses

  1. You know, I hate to say this, but does anyone else find it macabre that German authorities are worried that Jews might harm their children?

  2. We, as Jews, have long endured the efforts of our enlightened-in-their-own-eyes contemporaries to “adjust” or “correct” our religion. This is not new; it goes back at least to the period of Greek predominance between Alexander the Great and the rise of Roman power. We have not bent until now; we shall not bend now, either.

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