A German court has taken aggressive secularism and it’s attempts to establish an atheocracy a step further, and we should all be concerned. What happens in a single European country often spreads elsewhere in Europe and even to the USA. In a case involving a Muslim family who had opted to follow their religion and have their son circumcised, the court ruled that circumcision,
” . . even when done properly by a doctor with the permission of the parents, should be considered as bodily harm if it is carried out on a boy unable to give his own consent” as the boy’s body would be “permanently and irreparably changed”, and that such an act is “against the interests of a child to decide for himself later on to what religion he wishes to belong“ READ MORE at the Guardian.
I have previously written a post which asked, “should a Christian circumcise their son?” and it is clear there that personally I am not an advocate of circumcision. I certainly do not believe that Christians are obliged by the Bible to circumcise for religious reasons, and I don’t share either a cultural background that supports this practice, nor do I believe the suggestion by some that circumcision may have significant health benefits (except in certain rare situations).
I know that many others would disagree with me about circumcision. I may not want to have my sons circumcised but I defend the right of other parents to choose to do so for religious, cultural, or perceived health benefits. I don’t want my Muslim or Jewish friends to be sued for following their religious traditions that have remained the same for thousands of years. I don’t want my Anglican or Roman Catholic brothers and sisters to be eventually told they cannot follow their church’s tradition to christen babies. Nor do I want the secularists to eventually determine that taking a child to church, mosque, or synagogue is also somehow robbing them of their freedom to choose later in life!
Ironically, given the wording of this ruling, I personally agree that it is important for a person to be allowed to choose their own religion, which is one reason why I don’t believe in christening babies, and is also why I repeatedly criticize certain nations who do not permit adult conversion to or away from a person’s inherited religion. But being circumcised does not necessarily impose a religion on a person for the rest of their lives.
The nature of true tolerance is precisely allowing other people to disagree profoundly with me in thought and action, without suffering negative consequences. Parents are the best judge of what is best for their children. Unless they are clearly demonstrated to be incompetent, we do not need a nanny state telling us what to do. Whatever is next, one has to wonder? Of course this attitude must have limits, so for example it is not tolerance to allow a child to undergo a violent exorcisim. But a child has a right to be raised within it’s culture, to have a sense of roots and belonging. If we are to force Jews and Muslims to give up thousands of years of heritage, how will the children involved feel? Will they feel like they are abnormal, and different as they grow up?
The ultimate reality is at there can be no religious freedom for children. They will inevitably be raised in the faith or non-faith of their parents. A militant secularist is removing the chance of their child from being raised as a Muslim just as surely as a child born to Jewish parents will not be brought up as a Christian.
This decision by the court is nothing less than the abolition of religious freedom in Germany. There is something quite perverse about such a monumental decision being made in a court room rather than by the sovereign parliament of that nation. Freedom that has been hard fought for over many centuries should not be snuffed out by a single judge.
We have got to learn to understand that different groups are going to think and behave differently. It is time we became much more relaxed about that as a society. I am shocked that in Germany of all places, given its past, such an anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim decision would be made!
Religious freedom is THE issue of the 21st century both in Islamic countries and the West.