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. 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.

  2. 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”?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. “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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. sorry, I should have proofread this:

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

  9. 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. 😉

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. “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.

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