After Germany passed a law permitting ritual circumcision last December, it seemed like we could start putting the circumcision wars behind us, and that Jews would be allowed to carry out their traditional practices in peace.No such luck. On Tuesday the Council of Europe took up the issue again, calling circumcision a “violation of the physical integrity” of human beings. The Telegraph:
It has passed a resolution calling on all its member states – 47 nations in total – to “initiate a public debate, including intercultural and interreligious dialogue, aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards”. Eventually it would like member states to go even further than just having a debate, and to “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted”.
For now, nothing the Council has said has the force of binding law for any of its member nations, but the fact that it passed a resolution effectively calling for anti-circumcision laws is profoundly disturbing, given the rapidly worsening fortunes of European Jewish communities.This resolution is something that should outrage all of us. If you’re not, consider its wider implications for just a moment:
What we are witnessing in the great circumcision scare is the exploitation of so-called children’s right as a means of undermining adults’ rights, parental rights and fundamentally a community’s right to cleave to beliefs and practices it considers to be historically and religiously important. Lawmakers and assorted atheists are turning children into battering rams against religious liberty. I find that infinitely more grotesque than circumcision.
We couldn’t agree more.[Image of Jews praying from Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock.com]