German Court Rules Circumcision To Be Unlawful

It may be me but there is something particularly unnerving about Germans declaring circumcisions illegal. Yet, a court in Cologne has declared that Jewish and Muslim parents who circumcise their sons for religious reasons are committing child abuse.

The Court held that a legal guardian’s authority over a child does not allow them to subject them to the procedure and further found that religious freedom does not justify the commission of physical harm on a child. The case involved a Muslim doctor, who performed circumcision on a four-year-old boy at his parents’ request and the boy had to be hospitalized due to complications. What is interesting is that the court somehow heard of the incident and launched a criminal investigation.

The decision strikes me as an overreach given the continued division of opinion over the benefits of the procedure. There is also the possibility of an appeal to the Federal Constitutional Court. Like many countries, Germany has more specialized courts than does the United States and this issue would appear ripe for such review.

Source: RT

59 thoughts on “German Court Rules Circumcision To Be Unlawful

  1. The Germans still haven’t learned to keep their noses out of other’s religions? I agree Professor, it is very unnerving. It is not a long stride from this decision and beginning to start a campaign of hate.

  2. I see nothing unnerving about banning a procedure that amounts to mutilation of a child with no life-saving or life-aiding benefit. It’s one thing to have a kid have surgery to correct something that will hurt them or kill them, but to mutilate someone for your religion before they have a choice is absurd.

  3. I’d love to hear what Berliner has to say about this, but I don’t think it will withstand review. Article 4 invoking religious freedom is pretty clear and so is Article 19’s “In no case may the essence of a basic right be infringed.” Since there are medical pros and cons to the procedure and the parents were acting in accord with their legal status and right to raise their children in a religious tradition they deem fit, it seems like the argument against this ruling probably has stronger footing than the child’s best interests. It’s not as if they acted negligently either. They took the kid to a medical doctor and reasonably relied upon his experience to the child’s detriment. Honestly, it sounds like either medical malpractice or misadventure depending on the nature of the complications.

  4. It is not just me. It was the United States which specifically outlawed the very conduct of this article and prosecuted lawyers and judges who approved it, condoned it, promoted it. A German judge in 2012 will have some semblance of history whereas we Americans will forget that which we once pledged Never Forget. Here is a description of a portion of the Nuremberg U.S. Military Trials held at the Palace of Justice:

    “The Judges’ Trial (or the Justice Trial, or, officially, The United States of America vs. Josef Altstötter, et al.) was the third of the 12 trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice. The twelve U.S. trials are collectively known as the “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials” or, more formally, as the “Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals” (NMT).
    The defendants in this case were 16 German jurists and lawyers. Nine had been officials of the Reich Ministry of Justice, the others were prosecutors and judges of the Special Courts and People’s Courts of Nazi Germany. They were — amongst other charges — held responsible for implementing and furthering the Nazi “racial purity” program through the eugenic and racial laws.
    The judges in this case, heard before Military Tribunal III, were Carrington T. Marshall (presiding judge), former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio; James T. Brand, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon; Mallory B. Blair, formerly judge of the Third Court of Appeals of Texas; and Justin Woodward Harding of the Bar of the State of Ohio as an alternate judge. Marshall had to retire due to illness on June 19, 1947, at which point Brand became president and Harding a full member of the tribunal. The Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution was Telford Taylor; his deputy was Charles M. LaFollette. The indictment was presented on January 4, 1947; the trial lasted from March 5 to December 4, 1947. Ten of the defendants were found guilty; four received sentences for lifetime imprisonment, the rest prison sentences of varying lengths. Four persons were acquitted of all charges.”

    Google this topic and get educated folks. There is a book in print called : Tyranny On Trial, by Whitney Harris. Great book.

    No, you can not cut part of my penis off for some religious dogma in Germany in 2012 and get away with it like maybe you could have between 1933 and 1945. This dog will see you in court. Preference of venue would be Nuremberg. The Jurors there might not have forgotten. Never Forget!

  5. Agreed, this is not a matter for court intervention. However, this story does raise the issue of who should perform circumcisions. I believe that such important procedures should be left to the experts. And in the case of circumcisions, those experts are what the Hebrews call the mohelim.

    There is an old, classic fake commercial from Saturday Night Live, from the Dan Akroyd era that hilariously makes this clear. The point of the commercial is to show just how smooth the ride of a certain model car is. To demonstrate, a mohel is engaged to perform a circumcision on 8-day old male while riding in the back of the automobile driving at top speed. At the end of the brief speedy ride, the procedure is completed, and the mohel emerges with the child, and all, of course, is well.

    As for the “controversy” of the procedure, the arguments against it are much ado about nothing, and its most fervent attackers are from persons of most questionnable character and motives, such as certain political activists in San Francisco.

    In the Book of Genesis as a mark of the Covenant between G-d and the descendants of Abraham: “Throughout all generations, every male shall be circumcised when he is eight days old…This shall be my covenant in your flesh, an eternal covenant. The uncircumcised male whose foreskin has not been circumcised, shall have his soul cut off from his people; he has broken my Covenant”

    In Leviticus: “G-d spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites: When a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy … on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”

    The bottom line about circumcision is that it is a ritual that separates men from other animals, and it is a reminder that men should forever strive to live above the law of the jungle.

  6. I am sympathetic to those that would like to ban circumcisions, regardless, it should not be classified as child abuse and Germany is not the country to be taking point on this.

  7. Being against female “circumcision” – better: gential mutilation – it is only consistent to be against male circumcision as well.

    The right of the parents to practice their religion is not violated by this decision. And whoever wants to be genitally mutilated can still do it – as an adult who knows (or should know) what s/he is doing.
    However religion must not be an excuse to harm newborns or children.

    And the best method for not getting HIV is sex education and using condoms (or being abstinent, for those who believe that has any higher value) but certainly not genital mutilation of babies.

    Btw it was the doctor at the hospital who reported the case to the court.

  8. Bette Noir, but the majority of men and women with HIV are in Africa and in countries that have the highest rate of circumcision or rates commensurate with the US.

    And what Pulsar said.

  9. And a little more time on google shows studies that the benefits of circumcision vis a vis HIV may not be as previously reported.

    But that’s really neither here nor there. Nobody (or at least very few) people in the Western world would accept public health arguments or superstitious arguments for female genital mutilation. It’s past time that we stopped accepting them for male circumcision of infants. If a man wishes to be “cut”, let him do that when he is old enough to make the decision for himself.

  10. Ralph Adamo – heres what I have difficulty understanding, maybe you can clarify. God made us perfect, in his image. Then he tells us to cut the ends of our dicks off; whats up with that? Also Leviticus is very clear that anyone who mutilates their body is not permitted into the Temple and yet God told us to cut the end of our dicks off.

    German courts are no more confusing than that

  11. The court actually didn’t rule that “parents who circumcise their sons for religious reasons are committing child abuse,” they’ve ruled that the doctor performing a non-medically indicated circumcision commits “causing bodily harm” (German penal code §223) because the consent of the parents is void.

    (And what’s with the federal coat of arms? This was a North Rhine-Westphalian court, not a federal one.)

    Bette Noir,

    but small children (4 y/o in this case) usually don’t engage in sex and therefore aren’t at risk to get STDs at this point in their live anyway.
    If that boy gets old enough to consent to sex, he will be old enough to consent to a “preventive” circumcision too.

    Gene H.,

    “… Article 4 invoking religious freedom is pretty clear …”

    … but so is Article 2 guaranteeing bodily integrity.

    Religious freedoms are limited by the rights of other persons. And a child is a “other person,” it is neither a part of the parents body nor is it their property.

    The medical consent resulting form guardianship of the parents does only cover interventions “in the presumed interests of the child.”
    And to make an irreversible but purely religious motivated medical procedure before the child himself can freely choose his religion could reasonably be seen as not in the presumed interests of the child.

    IMHO the most convincing argument is “due to its history Germany shouldn’t do that before it’s the common position.”
    But that is purely realpolitik, not justice: if something is wrong, it’s wrong in Germany too.

    I don’t know how the Federal Constitutional Court will rule if it comes before them.

  12. In the US, between 1 and 5 boys per year lose their penis due to a medically unnecessary, religiously motivated circumcision.

    THEY LOSE THEIR DICK, FOLKS! I cannot imagine anything more disturbing, except for female genital mutilation, which is in the same vein.

    Anyone who does not oppose this ancient barbaric custom is insane.


    You hear me, you sick, brainwashed disgusting perverts? Stop fiddling around with your childrens’ genitals. Just stop! Civilized people around the world have had enough of this madness.

  13. I will repeat for those who have difficulty comprehending things:

    The bottom line about circumcision is that it is a ritual that separates men from other animals, and it is a reminder that men should forever strive to live above the law of the jungle.

    When the procedure is perperformed by a mohel, there are no problems. However, I do also understand that some of you would rather be animals than human beings, and prefer the law of the jungle, so your objections to circumcision are noted.

  14. Berliner, Thanks for weighing in, you added so info the original article did not have and that’s helpful.

  15. “The bottom line about circumcision is that it is a ritual that separates men from other animals.”

    So does wife-beating, taxes, and thermonuclear war, what is your point?

    The quaint days of just accepting the mutilation of young boys against their will appears to be ending.

  16. As a circumcised man, I thank my parents for having the procedure done! I have friends who are uncircumcised and the majority of them wish they had been. A couple of them actually had the procedure done as adults and the pain and discomfort they endured was far from pleasant (not to mention the higher risk of the procedure being done at a later age)! While it may seem traumatic to a baby to be circumcised, it is a painful memory which is quickly lost. I suspect that all of you who are vehemently opposed to circumcision are of the same group who want the rest of us to stop eating meat, fried food, drinking sodas and anything else that they find offensive for themselves. I say live your own lives and leave the rest of us to enjoy our “unhealthy”, but happy, lives!

  17. James in LA: You conclude that animials do not engage in wife-beating, taxes, and thermonuclear war. You are wrong. They may not have man’s technology, by they do the very sme things. For example, instead of taxing, the strongest animal simply steals from the weaker animals. Thermonuclear war? I will take some hungry wolves and throw you into their midst, and you will experience a methaphor for thermonuclear war. Getting my point? If you are still experiencing problems with circumcision, I’d suggest that you see a psychiatrist.

  18. Ralph you only make my point for me: there is no actual superiority of man over animals. You have to invent it by mutilating young boys against their will so that you can fulfill the tenants of your magic-thinking. It’s all invented, and you are free to go on living in your make-believe world, but please do not pretend like the baby boy has any say in it whatsoever.

  19. Ralph – I noticed you didn’t reply to the poser I laid down about mutilation and piety. Skipped right over that one to call us animals. If a flap of skin is all that separates man from animals we are in more trouble than even I imagine.

    Berliner – mein Dank an die anderen, die ich hinzufügen.
    Hope I got that close – its been years

  20. I’d like to add my 2 cent imeters worth , and seeing how in the days before my memory I quite literally did, I do have some skin in the game.
    I have no experience of experiencing a little more of the fore.
    If I had remained whole as a baby and were offered a choice at age 18 to decide to chop or not to chop, I Garrrrranteeee all readers of this post my answer would be NOOOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!
    The genius of this ancient custom at infancy, is a guaranteed compliance to the tenets of the elders Religious custom. It is a lifelong mark of it. I believe in ancient times depanting a male and observing his “condition” was at times sufficient information to kill the depanted. Talk about lifelong commitments. I understand in these days some woman attempt this procedure with their husbands, in a metaphorical fashion, to ensure compliance with their demands.
    I hope my bloviating has helped to nip this controversy in the BUD……

  21. I’m going to put the old Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center on notice. Sure hope they still have their records from ’46.

  22. Svoogle, anyone can find instances in which virtually anything results in death. Unless there are at least multiple instances of problems, then you have proven nothing. (That said, I would never permit my son to be circumsized involving any oral contact, as that is clearly unsanitary, and was the problem in the particular case you cited.)

    But if you believe that one solitary example proves something, then you should never have oral sex because you could die from it.

    Take the case of Felix Faure, who died via oral overstimulation. Faure was the president of France, and died in 1899. There’s some murkiness about his death but the prevailing theory is that he died while receiving oral sex, either in a brothel or from his assistant. Furthermore, Faure’s death made the woman go into shock and suffer from lockjaw… so his dead, rigor mortising genitalia had to be surgically removed from her mouth. Go ahead, look him up.

  23. It’s a subject that makes me feel very, very uncomfortable, but without even reading this closely I am surely the one that makes most sense on the topic surely is “my friend” Mooser over in the “dissenters” lounge, once termed the “right/left posse”. They sometimes go a bit over the top, but that seems to happen if you discuss topic like this. Maybe Otteray Scribe can tell us why?

    I will look more closely into this, for me local as a Cologne citizen it’s a local affair. Who is the judge? What do we know about him? It won’t hold up.

    Bbut considering that “every cloud has got a silver lining”, this means that Muslim and Jews have a common way to go? Maybe they will unite here in Cologne, of all places. This would be a step ahead considering the debate surrounding the building of the Mosque. For this Cologne citizen it wasn’t so easy to swallow, how it could be that a Jewish German survivors like Ralf Giordano, someone I respect a lot, and at least one ardently German-Israeli, a manager of the self-proclaimed axis-of-the-good, joined the extreme right in their propaganda against the Mosque. ….

    Personally, and I can’t talk about the sensational bereavement, from a female perspective it feels like quite an aesthetic solution. Besides I know a few Christians that did it to their sons, mainly surgeons and their friends admittedly, but these guys obviously considered it a hygienic beyond the the religious, the Bris, the covenant. I heard the same about the US, maybe these groups can join the Muslim and Jews with their non-religious argument?

    Or is there any male that can enlighten us to his sensual bereavement? Must be somehow hard to tell, it feels.

  24. Ok, I shouldn’t have sent that since I did make changes again, without checking if the changes are complete. I shut up again.

    shamefully yours.

  25. Leander, it’s a bizarre thing and a troublesome and somewhat bizarre topic. The very idea of Jews in Germany is peculiar to me — I can’t even contemplate VISITING Germany because in spite of everything, it is still Germany! It would be like putting an old, disconnected electric chair in the livingroom for furniture because it could be sat in. But I did not have my own son circumsized — a weird story after all but irrelevant there — and he reached 18 with still not wanting it done, much to my relief (and he never blamed me although perhaps it would prevent him from marrying a Jewish woman who was observant). Anyway, can’t contribute anything…

  26. Frankly, for someone who follows a legal blog, you sure haven’t learned much about the law, or even logic. However, I will explain things for you so that you will not have to think. We don’t want to cause too much difficulties for you, as yu obviously seem to have problems enough,

    The idea that “G-d created man and woman in his own image” does not refer to a physical resemblance. G-d is not a hermaphrodite, except, perhaps in the depraved minds of certain residents of San Francisco. Rather, the words from Genesis refer to spirit and soul of man and woman. The words are irrelevant to the covenant that I spoke of.

    As for Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the L-rd,” that clearly refers to body piercings and tattoos. So Leviticus tells you that you should not expand your earlobes so that you can insert giant rings in them, nor put rings or chains through your nose and face. (The tattoo portion speaks for itself.) Again, your suggestion is irrelevant.

    On the other hand, the Biblical references to circumcision are very specific:

    In the Book of Genesis as a mark of the Covenant between G-d and the descendants of Abraham: “Throughout all generations, every male shall be circumcised when he is eight days old…This shall be my covenant in your flesh, an eternal covenant. The uncircumcised male whose foreskin has not been circumcised, shall have his soul cut off from his people; he has broken my Covenant”

    In Leviticus: “G-d spoke to Moses, telling him to speak to the Israelites: When a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy … on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”

    The bottom line about circumcision is that it is a ritual that separates men from other animals, and it is a reminder that men should forever strive to live above the law of the jungle.

    Note that I said “strive” to live above the law of the jungle. Circumcision is a DAILY REMINDER of the covenant, and that man and woman should strive to live above the law of the jungle.

  27. The German court did not reference religious law for this decision. The religious law cannot be enforced by a civil court.

  28. “Religion” imposed through surgery performed by big people with knives upon eight-day-old male infants. What a concept. Sounds like the Law of the Jungle — i.e., Might Makes Right — to me.

    I think I’ll side with the German court on this one. When males reach the age of legal consent, they can clip some skin off their own dicks — or have someone do it for them — if they want. No branding at birth by others allowed.

  29. it is still Germany! It would be like putting an old, disconnected electric chair in the livingroom for furniture because it could be sat in.

    I can understand you. What I can say? This disconnected “electric chair” is still around somehow. It surfaces again in the shape of “Lost Art”, what a stupid name in this context.

    Last year Avner Falk learned that one Thora plateof the Thora his grandfather had donated to his local synagogue in Zgierz in memory of his dead parents had survived on the shelf of a well respected Protestant theologian at the University in Tübingen and was donated to the local Museum after his death. The official story this scholar had told his daughters cannot be true. The eldest of the sisters blocks entry to the university archives in Halle for closer research into her father’s story. This guy managed to be both a SA and party member and a member of the oppositional Confessing Church, not the German Christians which was the part of the Church that was taken over the Aryan mindset even before Nazis seized power. One foot in both camps? The red card of the Confessing Church was his evidence after the war that he had always been a dissenter. Problem is this story can’t be quite true, just as the story the girls were told, that the Thora plate was rescued from the synagogue in Tübingen in the Kristallnacht in 1938. That red card was what he showed to Martin Buber when he first met him.

    Even if you don’t understand the German in the upper video about 0:10 in you can see the plate. Another such “Lost Art” items, interestingly part of a Thora Scroll was found in the legacy of another professor that after the war taught Hebrew for a while next to Otto Michel in the theological seminary in Tübingen. Do they belong together? The scroll shows the names of Aver’s great-grandparents, thus he could be found and contracted via the Yad Yashem database in Jerusalem by a German historian. But the scroll cannot be so easily attributed, it will probably remain “lost art”. Avner was pretty furious about the whole bureaucratic machinery, and too harsh for some “sensible German souls”. I didn’t have a problem, I can understand. Is it any wonder? It is the only thing that survived of the huge family of his mother, the plate awakens the family memories of the times. Only his mother and her elder sister survived in Israel. And suddenly there is this little item a remnant of the scroll they once brought to the rabbi of their hometown. What happened to the rest? How did it get in Otto Michel’s hands? Did he have soldiers during a short vacation among his students in Tübingen, were he occupied the chair of one of the most rabid Nazi theologians for a while, or earlier during his time at the university in Halle, were he also worked as a chaplain for the army at same time? That would be much closer to Poland.

    In the end his lecture was very, very mild to us Germans, it hadn’t been in it’s earlier stages, I can assure you, it was much, much harsher. But still, if you watch the video, you can see many people sitting and listening to him with their arms firmly crossed in front of them to keep away the evil and of course never mind the mild lecture the old lady the profs eldest daughter sits somewhere in front and keeps shaking her head, although there is nothing about what he says to shake your head about.

    Avner sent me a very strange Israeli article about us Germans when Günter Grass published his provocative poem. Obviously Grass exaggerated, he wanted to provoke. But in spite of all I wrote about above, I didn’t respond as the German before me, in one short sentence: Grass is crazy, since I think that Netanyahu and his American spokesman The point of No Return Jeffrey Goldberg may be much more crazy just as crazy as their miles deep US war-mongering support. I thought I never would hear of him again, but I hate to say something I don’t feel, so I accepted that when I pushed the sent button after a long mail.

    But I see that he is looking at Anders Behring Breivik, while I am looking with you at the Trayvon Martin case. I have no idea if I will ever manage to read Breivik’s infamous pamphlet, maybe since I had too much of this stuff in the last decade. To me it feels much more interesting to look at a smaller human scale. No big ideology but simply too human beings and a big: Why?

  30. Wow! Ralph Adamo is a fervent believer in biblical (old testament) literalism. What he is saying without saying is that any male not circumcised is nothing more than an animal. I think that Ralph should consider the FACT that we “animals” experience sex at a level that Ralph cannot even imagine. Foreskins have 67% of the fine tactile nerve tissue that God gave the penis. We don’t have to pummel the female to get our release. Proponents of circumcision (male genital mutilation) don’t seem to care much about what it takes to give women pleasure. From reading the old testament, that isn’t too surprising. Women were marginally more valuable than cattle.

  31. Well, we could debate this for years. The fact is this legal decision is coming from Germany, the nation that–not very long ago–ruled that circumcized men must by law be sent to gas chambers for extermination. And there is no doubt in my mind that the judge rendering this decision not only had Nazi relatives, but is himself a closet Nazi-sympathizer. Thus, the decision of this Nazi-judge really has little to do with circumcision itself, but it has everything to do with the promotion of anti-Semitism. Little by little, Germany is returning to its old ways yet again.

  32. Ralph exposes himself. It’s no longer about the Old Testament. The whole ridiculous “jungle” argument was a smokescreen. It’s those pesky nazis. Again.

    Where is your proof this judge is a “closet Nazi-sympathizer?”

    Let me save you the time of your adolescent response: you made it up. Such is your M.O., evidently. You are free to make up and live in any fantasy world you chose, where every whiff of things you do not like is automatically “anti-semetic.”

    The quaint days of doing so while mutilating young boys against their will appear to be ending. Deal.

  33. Ralph Adamo,

    First, they’re jungle animals, and now nazis?

    You didn’t save anything for an encore! How can you top this? Perspiring minds want to know!

    No, James, don’t discourage Ralph!

    I await his next post. I shiver in antici…………………..pation!

  34. I think the practice is barbaric. I wonder why my brothers were all circumcised? My parents weren’t religious nor non-practicing Jews. I think there are practices in the hospitals to do circumcisions on a routine basis. My parents are gone. I’ll have to check with my siblings to see what their experience was with their sons. None of the females have been circumcised.

  35. And there is no doubt in my mind that the judge rendering this decision not only had Nazi relatives, but is himself a closet Nazi-sympathizer.

    I am afraid, if you need to look for the Nazis involved, you have to look further than the judge. It all started with medical staff at the University Hospital Cologne, who must have reported the case of a boy brought in by his mother, when she couldn’t stop the bleeding two days after the circumcision. I do not know the medical laws, and the extend they have they have a duty to report harm to children children, and how much flexibility they have. Then you have to need to look at the attorney that responded to this information, or the Cologne prosecution.

    The judge himself seems to be relying on an extensive juridical debate surrounding the topic. He acquitted the accused doctor twice, the second time when he confirmed his acquittal after the prosecution entered a caveat. His decision: Objection overruled. But he upheld the boy’s right to not be bodily harmed.

    The problem lies indeed as Berliner above indeed in section 223 Bodily Injury

    (1) Whoever physically maltreats or harms the health of another person, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine.

    So strictly you should not look for a neo-Nazi judge, even if I instinctively and uninformedly responded exactly as you did, even may have suggested this to you? You have to look more carefully into the larger legal debate. What surprised me after reading more closely about this, is that the circumcision had been made by a doctor, and no professional reason could be found for the resulting problems.

    But how do you suggest to resolve the issue of protection against bodily harm, which basically Muslim and Jewish boy have too; with an exemption based on the religious tradition?

    I am no lawyer, but I can see if you want to protect children this exception may bring in problems.

    There is a Wikipedia page concerning circumcision and the law. E.g. in Australia non-medical circumcision is banned in all hospitals, only religious circumcisions are allowed. Which seems to create the same legal uncertainty the judge it was willing to sent one process higher up for decision. How do you arrange this with equal rights? What about my doctor that did this to his boy although he wasn’t Jewish?


    Finally a word on the Nazis and their relative, and I suppose their descendants, after all there aren’t many of the perpetrators left that were old enough to matter. My associative chain; the Nazis Sippenhaft or kin liability comes to mind.

    This feels like a completely different issue than accepting German guilt, which I do. But which also raises a series of new questions and my amalgamated answers over the years may not even be close to yours. The most important work for me was the one of the late Dan Bar-On, who does not not even have an English Wikipedia page, only one in German, Russian and English. But the problem for my generation was indeed the Legacy of Silence.

    Little by little, Germany is returning to its old ways yet again.

    Yes, little by little we are returning to our intrinsic nature. ;)

  36. sorry, I should have proofread this:

    but on thing I would like to correct:
    only one in German, Russian and English Hebrew

  37. Hey Ralph, is your god circumsized?
    If I ever run into you, I’m going to cut off your penis. Because my god told me to.

  38. I think that Ed’s last comment pretty much sums up the views of most of those posting messages here that agree with the decision from the Nazi-German Court attempting to abrogate freedom of religion. Ed and others of his ilk want to see a world in which most animals are civilized by comparison to human beings. I understand how you feel Ed, bettykath, Bob Kauten, James of LA, Frankly, and any others I may have missed with this view. You prefer the law of the jungle, and you applaud the abrogation of the rights of those who wish to follow Biblical law, which has been the most powerful civilizing force this world has ever known, and is the basis for ALL laws that have been created to help civilize humanity.

  39. “You prefer the law of the jungle, and you applaud the abrogation of the rights of those who wish to follow Biblical law, which has been the most powerful civilizing force this world has ever known, and is the basis for ALL laws that have been created to help civilize humanity.”

    Wrong as a matter of historical fact. Actually the oldest set of laws predates the Torah by ~1100 years and the Bible by (generously dating Mark) by at least 1750 years and is known as the Code of Hammurabi. Being that codified law exists nearly 2000 years before the Bible kind of makes any claim that the Bible is the “basis for ALL laws that have been created to civilize humanity” kind of ridiculous. That statement also begs the question that it is laws that make humanity civilized when the counter argument – civilization makes laws to enforce rules commonly agreed upon as either desirable and/or necessary – is actually quite easy to make and indicated by the historical evidence of how laws evolve within a culture. Commonality of interests in seeking mutual benefit within a social and economic group create civilization and civilization creates laws to define and police the social compact of that civilization. And if by “civilize” you mean start numerous wars and pogroms that resulted in millions of deaths and some of which carry on to this day, then yes, the Bible has had a civilizing influence. Theocracy is a stupid idea, Ralph. Governance not based on fact, but based on belief leads to inherently bad decisions and history shows that time and again. That’s why our Founders specifically created a secular state. They knew first hand the problems state sponsored religion could create from the experiences of Europe. If you want to live in a place controlled by Biblical based law, I suggest learning Italian and get ready to pay those steep Vatican City rents.

  40. Well said, Gene H.!

    Hey Ralph,

    Thanks for including me in such distinguished company. You…haven’t actually read the Torah…have you? Are you saying that that collection of self-contradictory tales of incest, rape and murder, was what civilized humans?
    If you’d like a very detailed analysis of that collection of myths, read “Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine. You can follow along by Googling the texts. I did.

    You’re correct that the behavior depicted there does shed favorable light on animal behavior.

    After the Torah, along came Saul of Tarsus, who laid the basis for most Christian intolerance, today.

    You could, also, read actual history, like Gene H. has, and learn what really happened in those days, and thousands of years before.

    By the way, Ralph, what exactly is the law of the jungle? Evolution?

    Or is it fanatics murdering each other in the name of whatever invisible friend they follow?

  41. You write artfully, but your ideas are jejune when examined in the daylight. Secular nation of the Founding Fathers? You are stunod. Nearly 50% of ALL persons who signed the Declaration of Independence held seminary or Bible school degrees. I’m not going to waste any more time talking with creature della giungla.

    However, I will leave you with the wise words of two of the greatest Founding Fathers of this nation for the ciuccio posters among you who want to see this nation’s values continue to deteriorate:

    “Here is my Creed. I believe in one G-d, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.” Benjamin Franklin.

    “Suppose a nation in some distant Region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.” John Adams.

  42. So what, Ralph? The religious choice of the individual Founders has zero impact on the form of government they created by choice no matter how you try to revise history, but if you want to play the quote game:

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

    – Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

    “The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.”

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    “I must admit moreover that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency of a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded by an entire abstinence of the Government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect against trespass on its legal rights by others.”

    – James Madison, letter to Reverend Adams, January 1, 1832

    “We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth ‘that religion, or the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.’ The religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and that it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.”

    – James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, June 20, 1785

    Given that Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and Madison was the chief drafter and architect of the Constitution and both were ratified and adopted as written, I think I’ll take their words over whether or not ours is a secular form of government over yours and people like the “scholar” David Barton (who seems to have learned his history from reading bathroom stalls and listening to lectures by Grandpa Simpson).

    And I’ll leave you with the plain wording of the 1st Amendment;

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

    You don’t get to use the force of law to impose your religion on others, Ralph. Just so, other religious groups cannot use the force of law to impose their religion on you. You are free to pick your own religion of choice, but not dictate the choices of others. Your desparation in attempting to revise history to make others think this is a “Christian nation” when it was specifically founded as a secular nations is not only intellectually dishonest, but it shows a remarkable lack of faith in the inherent value of your religious tradition that you’d use governmental force to foist your beliefs upon others who may not and do not share them. So until the 1st Amendment is repealed? I suggest you learn to live with the fact that America is historically and legally a secular country whose legal system has no basis in the Bible or any other religious text. It was designed that way on purpose.

  43. But most importantly, Ralph, what did Franklin and Adams and Jefferson and Madison think about circumcision?
    Did they write anything about penises into the Constitution? Mmmm…nope. I just looked.
    Too bad you weren’t around in those days, to ask them about it.
    I would love to have heard their response to such a question.
    Would their response have included the word, “Impertinent”?

  44. This guy will have an opinion about everything, a sure sign of a useless mind. The opinions expressed in this forum are not by the Ralph Adamo who lives in New Orleans.

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