The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
German Court Declares Judaism A Crime

Hard to believe, but that’s what the decision handed down by the regional court in Cologne, Germany means: circumcising a child under the age of consent is a crime, notwithstanding the religious beliefs of the parents.

Many judges who loyally served the Third Reich finished their careers in perfect peace and quiet after World War Two; in some cases, they are still collecting pensions for administering Hitler’s laws. However, Germany’s moral sensibilities are so refined and so pure today that the thought of Jewish parents (or Muslims for that matter) performing an immemorial religious rite is unacceptable.

Jews believe that the circumcision of infants is a necessary act; the command to circumcise male children at the age of eight days is the first command that God gives Abraham to mark their covenant; for thousands of years this has been a foundation of Jewish life. To ban infant circumcision is essentially to make the practice of Judaism illegal in Germany; it is now once again a crime to be a Jew in the Reich.

Some may have worried that the memory of past, ahem, problems in German-Jewish relations would inhibit German judges from the single most anti-Semitic state action taken anywhere in the west since 1945. Holm Putzke, a legal expert at the University of Passau, praised the court’s dedication to duty, telling the Financial Times Deutschland that “Unlike many politicians, the court has not allowed itself to be scared off by charges of anti-Semitism or religious intolerance.”

Well, thank goodness for that! If courts start letting themselves be inhibited because people will denounce them for being intolerant anti-Semites, how can we possibly build a clean and beautiful New Europe?

Perhaps those convicted of wrongful circumcision could be required to wear a yellow star?

Published on June 26, 2012 7:04 pm
  • Bryan

    Technically, Germany has not made being Jewish a crime: it has rendered illegal the act of making a Jew.

    As a thought experiment: if Germany indeed has made the act of bringing someone into the Jewish people illegal, does this technically fall under part (d) of the UN’s definition of genocide?

    “(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;”

  • James

    This is the sort of cheap, attention-grabbing headline I expect from the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast, not Via Meadia.

    In this case, the court was confronted with a series of conflicting rights. On the one hand, the parents have the right to practice their religion and raise their child as they see fit. On the other hand, the child has a right to bodily integrity and the (future) right to his own religious freedom.

    These rights necessarily conflict. When certain rights conflict, a court must try to reconcile them. If that proves impossible, a court must then weigh their various importance and determine which should take precedence. Reasonable minds can balance these rights differently. Perhaps Via Meadia thinks the parents’ rights should be granted precedence. Fine. Although conflicted by this case, I may even agree. But to smear the court as antisemitic and as having declared Judaism a “crime” is pure demagoguery and utterly beneath Via Meadia.

    Finally, I would note that the parents involved in this case are Muslim, not Jewish. Male circumcision is also an Islamic religious obligation, and there are roughly 100 times as many Muslims as Jews worldwide. So why not entitle this post “German Court Declares Islam a Crime”? Surely because the court is in Germany, and given Germany’s history the title “German Court Declares Judaism a Crime” will attract far more page views. For shame.

  • hoho eater

    Too bad they didn’t ban the unnecessarily cruel methods of Kosher and Halal slaughter too.

  • mark ames

    So how about African traditions of female circumcisions? Would it be religious hatred to be against them as well?

  • YE

    Yeah, I’ve seen this movie before. I didn’t like the ending then, either.

  • Jules

    Yet another hysterical outburst on the subject of Jews and Europeans. American conservatives really want to believe they are morally superior to Europeans. (Does being wrong about whilst the French and Germans were right stick in your craw that much?) And bringing up the Reich, or alluding to it, in almost every paragraph! Wow, subtle!

  • Jules

    Should read “Does being wrong about Iraq…”

  • werewife

    Just what is “the age of consent” in Germany? If it’s 13 or thereabouts, then Islamic circumcision is permissible, while the Jewish version is not. Hmm.

  • jacob arnon

    “Yet another hysterical outburst on the subject of Jews and Europeans.”

    Yes, Jules, we are just being Jews.

    ” American conservatives really want to believe they are morally superior to Europeans.”

    Not hard to be morally superior to you, Jules.

  • jacob arnon

    btw: I am glad the German court decided to outlaw Judaism from Germany. Now we can all go home and make Germany Judenrein again.

    Germany did so well the last time it was Judenrein (1939-1945).

  • Derek Footer

    The historical obtuseness of previous commenters is disturbing. The point is not that Prof. Mead is invoking Nazi Germany’s history to sensationalize a banal story, rather, that Nazi Germany’s history is so sensational, such a break with Europe’s civilizational trend, that for a modern German court not to be more aware of the religious role of circumcision for Jews and sensitive to the provocation banning it would be is, simply, sensational. The fact that Muslims circumcise as well is just more provocative.

    The rationale of this decision is simply not separable from the German context. And it cannot be separated from the reasonable accusation of anti-Semitism or German history. To do otherwise is to forget history, and God forbid that should lead to repeating it.

    (And to compare male circumcision to female genital mutilation is just a foul slander).

  • silia

    So, since US bans dog-eating, does it ban Chineseness? Since China ended foot-binding, is it no longer Chinese?

  • jacob arnon

    Circumcised Jews have been winning lots of Nobel prizes in the sciences and the arts and have been fighting and winning modern wars have been world famous doctors and lawyers and have made contributions to almost every field of human endeavor.

    Still, these ignorant European Leftists think that circumcision is a form of mutilation.

    Me thinks ressentiment (jealousy—-good ols antisemitism) is beyond such sentiments.

  • http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/ Luke Lea

    Better headline: Court declares circumcision a crime. Whether you agree with the decision or not, there is much more to Judaism than circumcision. Also there is the issue of whether children have a say in their own religion.

    Shame on ViaMedia for the headline.

  • http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/ Luke Lea

    Sorry. Didn’t realize this was a Muslim case. I guess that changes everything. Not.

  • Kranky One

    Dear German State

    Hands off my schmeckle!

    I don’t need another nanny-state-wannabe telling me or my tribe what we can and cannot do in the observance of our religion.

    Those who follow Islam rarely like me or my type, though many who follow Judaism fight hard for our collective rights to be free of constraint in the practice of our religions. Be the child Jewish or Muslim, it matters not. The practice is of no actual harm; being about the same danger as pierced ears. I don’t have post-traumatic stress disorder from the event, and I am reminded of it every time I take a piddlestopf.

    As for the note about banning the ritual slaughter for kashrut, or halal purposes, yes, some in the EU are working at doing exactly that. One of the Scandinavian countries managed to do this last year.

    As Jews, we have a history that teaches us that paranoia is a survival trait. Insufficient paranoia is a hallmark of a dulling of the senses, a lack of historical context, and an inability to detect the rhymes in historical periods. What has this to do with circumcision?

    Simple. The last time this country started down this path, it did not end well for us. It would be wise to pay very close attention to this, and see if its something to worry about as it metastasizes, or the idiocy of a single construction-of-new-rights-from-whole-cloth jurist, which are quite common on the left side of the political spectrum. I hope for the latter, but am not so foolish as to be blind to the possibility of the former. Sadly, many of my fellow tribespeople are blind to the former.

  • Berel Dov Lerner

    So here’s the new plan for Jewish males in Germany: have your parents raise you to appreciate the importance of circumcision and then, when you turn 18 and can finally give your consent, ask them why the [profanity removed] they didn’t take care of it when you were a baby.

  • http://www.reticulator.com The Reticulator

    “On the other hand, the child has a right to bodily integrity and the (future) right to his own religious freedom.”

    I’m trying to decide if this is a less extreme totalitarianism than we saw in the 20th century or if it’s more extreme.

  • Grumpy Old Man

    It’s a barbarous ritual. On balance, I come out against the state dictating to parents how children are to be reared in most cases, but it’s still barbarous.

  • Kris

    Quite an improvement. Germany has dialed it all the way down to Emil Fackenheim first stage: “You cannot live among us as Jews”.

    (I shall now pre-emptively roll my eyes at the inevitable engorgement of this comments section with the easily excited single-issue fanatics. Foreskin Man to the rescue!)

  • Tom

    “In this case, the court was confronted with a series of conflicting rights. On the one hand, the parents have the right to practice their religion and raise their child as they see fit. On the other hand, the child has a right to bodily integrity and the (future) right to his own religious freedom.”

    I find this paragraph to be misleading, at best. The rights of the child to religious freedom are in no way circumscribed by circumcision, and as to bodily integrity–maybe in the case of female circumcision (which Jews do not practice), but I’m pretty sure no one misses what gets cut off during male circumcision.
    In other words, there is no conflict of rights here. This is a plain violation of religious freedom.

    Side note: My parents did not have me circumcised at birth (for, interestingly enough, religious reasons.

  • Ed Snyder

    I find a lot to agree with in James’ comment, most importantly that the title of your post, Mr. Mead is misleading. It was, in fact, a Muslim family that was directly impacted by the ruling, even though the application to Judaism is inescapable.

    Another fact that weakens the argument that this is a German/Euro problem is the fact that a law banning circumcision was seriously considered in San Francisco not too long ago.

    I don’t know any other Gentile who takes as hard a line against antisemitism as I do, but the focus of this column is way, way off. The real danger–or the bear closest to the cabin, if you will–is the recent spate of decisions made by courts in Western democracies in which those courts think they have a right to make decisions regarding religious practice that are binding upon believers of a particular faith group. That’s the element of arrogance in these decisions. The element of ignorance is the idea that practice and belief are separable.

  • C. Philips

    Jules needs to be reminded that French president Chirac actually did believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He admitted as much in an interview with a major news magazine. (On being asked whether Iraq had such weapons, he said “probably” [or something close].) He was thus, in effect, defending Iraq’s banned weapons programs. Of course, among certain kinds of liberals, this counts as being “right”.

  • Bill

    ”Anti-Semitism”…. yawn

    Circumcision for religious reasons is so obviously child abuse its hardly worth arguing with people who dont understand that because they must have single digit IQ.

    The so-called ”medical benefits” are just self-interested propaganda from the USA .
    In NZ rates fell from 95% in the 1950s to 7% starting in the 70s. This happened because the medical profession in NZ spread the word that circumcision was an unnecessary and damaging procedure. There is no move in NZ to reverse this trend. Its pretty obvious that the baby’s right to not have functional body parts amputated by its parents is more important than the parents religious rights.

  • Bill

    The ”anti-Semitism” argument has been mis-used so often and so predictably for every conceivable situation that nowadays it has become a total joke.

  • http://thepencilofnature.net Lorenz Gude

    I have to agree with James that this is a really cheap and misleading headline. If I want to be emotionally manipulated I can watch MSNBC or Fox. This is an edgy decision on a touchy (sorry) subject. And the treatment is not humorous, but heavy handed (again sorry).

    That said this way of er…handling the story invites the kind of charge that Jules levels about a supposed need for American conservatives to feel superior to Europeans. I don’t agree with his point, but I see why he makes it.

  • Oh, booh-de-hoo. The cretinized equation of a contempt for Judaism with anti-semitism is a slander that’s of old vintage. Yeah, being against the genital mutilation of children is “anti-semitic”.

    If this was about ruling against the female (or even male) circumcision of Muslim children, would there be a complaint here? The question answers itself.

  • Tom Gates

    But of course any type of abortion is legal in Germany. O right, that is just fetal tissue, not a child.

  • http://www.reticulator.com The Reticulator

    I’ve decided it’s more extreme. Stalin, at least, found it necessary to back off from his program of abolishing the family to the degree recommended by James.

  • Jim.

    It’s times like this that call for civil disobedience.

  • Eurydice

    Wow, “Reductio ad Hitlerum”, but I guess that’s one way to spin this. Another might be to point out how Jewish and Muslim leaders have been brought together as one in protest. And another might be to point out that many countries have a problem with ritual surgery and Germany already has a law against female genital mutilation.

    But maybe this hysteria is really a test to see if your readers do any homework regarding the articles you cite. According to the BBC, this case involved a Muslim boy who had developed medical complications after a non-therapeutic circumcision. The doctor was acquitted, the judge’s ruling is non-binding, and any final say about the legality of male circumcision has to come from a higher court.

  • bob sykes

    Many non-Jewish men were circumcised at birth. It was once almost standard practice in the US, and in fact, it is still common.

    Considering the controversy over vaccinations, could the courts extend this decision to outlawing child vaccinations? The logic seems to go that way. Note how Griswold v Connecticut morphed.

    By the way, kosher slaughter was banned in Switzerland in the 1890s and it is stilled banned there. Bans on kosher slaughter have also been proposed in the US, notably San Francisco.

    As to anti-semitism, it is pretty obvious that it is rampant in Europe. The Norwegian teenagers and young adults who were murdered were in fact attending a camp that was indoctrinating them into anti-semitism. So, that the German judge had an anti-semitic motive that determined his decision is not incredible.

    It also should be noted that other Nazi practices like in voluntary euthanasia (not assisted suicide) are once again common in Europe. In the UK, it is believed that 29% of all hospital deaths are due to euthanasia. So, like anti-semitism, Naziism flourishes in Europe.

    By the way, we have our own problems. Note Princeton’s bioethicist Peter Singer, who argues that handicapped children should be euthanized.

    Brave Old World is back.

  • http://www.martinbermangorvine.com Martin Berman-Gorvine

    Am I the only one who noticed that “Putzke” means “little penis” in Yiddish?

  • Joe Eagar

    I’m confused. Germany is a civil law country, can their courts do this?

  • gorgo

    There will be a reversal of this ruling because of the large Muslim population in Germany.

  • Eurydice

    Derek @11 – No, the point is that Prof. Mead is invoking Nazi Germany to put “paid” on an issue which has troubled medical professionals and others for a while now. The question is whether it’s ok to inflict bodily harm on a child in the interest of the parents’ religious beliefs. The fact that this issue has come up in Germany, with its terrible history, requires extra sensitivity, but it doesn’t change the question.

  • Wifman

    It is nice to see that Germanophobia is alive and well in the United States.

    Or how else can you explain that a usually balanced and impartial writer on the world’s events finds that one German court’s decision to weigh the child’s right to self-determination higher than the parent’s rights to treat said child as their property is more soundly condemned than terror-sponsoring Saudi Arabia’s decision to tear down all churches on the peninsula?

    Let us first look at the case: A doctor circumcised a four year old (Muslim) boy. Two days later the boy was still bleeding and taken to the hospital. The hospital, as it should, reported to the attorney at law. He in turn sued the doctor in question for causing bodily harm, despite doing the procedure correctly. He was found not-guilty in the second instance. The court declared that circumcision was indeed a case of causing bodily harm, as the religious orientation of the parents cannot be inflicted upon the child without the child’s consent. The doctor was found not guilty, however, as he could not know this at the time.

    This is perfectly in sync with German law, that always puts the right of the person over the rights of the parents.
    In case you did not know, it is also illegal in Germany to spank your children.

    Furthermore, not all religious practice is acceptable in modern society. For example, it is religious law for Muslims that you can hit your wife.
    This is banned in Germany.

    It is religious law for Muslims that they should stone to death anyone who has sex outside of marriage.
    This is banned in Germany.

    It is religious law for Muslims that gay people should be killed.
    This is banned in Germany.

    And, just to make my point: It is religious law for Mormons that they are allowed to have more than one wife.
    This is banned in the United States.

  • Wifman

    @Tom Gates:

    Abortion is in fact not legal in Germany. It is illegal, though non-punishable if it occurs before the 12th week.

    Even embryonic research is banned as there were fears that embryos would be aborted for purely scientific curiosity.

    Slander, really. Do your homework.

  • Abby

    I love people who call circumcision barbaric. It’s routinely performed in hospitals now, because all of the research indicates that circumcision actually promotes better health throughout life, at least partly because it reduces infection risk via the genitals. Is it barbaric when non-religious people do it for the health reasons too?

  • http://theunfoldingcatastrophe.blogspot.com/ Michael Barger

    Professor Mead, I am dismayed that neither you nor the commenters here except one have understood a rather significant dimension of the Cologne court’s decision. It is not only anti-Jewish but anti-Islamic.

    The practice is wide-spread among Muslims throughout the world because two of the four great schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence hold that it is obligatory and the other two that it is not obligatory but highly recommended.

    Shia traditions also hold it is obligatory. All this information is readily available at Wikipedia http://bit.ly/KDlloE.

    There are only 18 million Jews in the world and 1.62 billion Muslims.

    This post should have been entitled “German Court Declares Judaism and Islam a Crime.”

    It ill behooves you as a scholar of integrity to fail to see this. I can only attribute it to the rabid animus toward the Shariah as the Halakah of Islam so much evident among my fellow conservatives.

    There are features of Shariah that are barbaric relics of the 7th century that need to be reformed out of Islam, but Shariah remains the religious law of all practicing Muslims.

    These reforms of Islam were carried out by the Muslim Gandhi Mahmoud Muhammad Taha and the Republican Party in Sudan in the second half of the 20th Century.

    Taha himself was a victim of judicial murder speciously justified by false interpretation of Shariah by a court during the Nimeiri regime.

    He was executed in 1985 for heresy and was a martyr for the cause of the reform of Shariah. He was exonerated after the regime fell.

    His defense lawyer was his Republican follower Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im who also advocated for his posthumous exoneration.

    An-Na’im is a Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law. His book Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a is absolutely essential reading.

    I challenge you to read it. It would take enormous courage for you to counter the attacks on Islam by the anti-Shariah forces, and I hope you are up to it. I firmly believe you have the intellectual integrity to do it.

    An accurate understanding of Shariah and reform movements is critical with Islamist regimes coming to power in Turkey and Egypt and almost inevitably Syria.

    Demonization of Shariah will not do and is ultimately self-defeating and damaging to the strategic interests of the United States.

  • Lord Garth

    The practical work around is that parents will take their kid to another country a few hours away and do the procedure there.

  • gmama

    In Africa they are suggesting circumcision as a method to prevent the spread of heterosexually transmitted HIV. Although there is conflicting evidence, many studies support this. Studies found circumcision was ineffective when performed on adults.

  • Torrance

    Circumcised Catholic. It’s not just a religious thing. Circumcision helps prevent some diseases. It’s a public health thing kinda like HPV shots and pap smears for teenage girls. Not like nothing has ever gone wrong with that.

  • Allison

    So let me get this straight: it’s ok to abort a baby boy a week before he is due, but it is illegal to circumcise him a week after he is born!?!?!?!?!

  • James

    Reticulator: the hyperbole and histrionics are just too much. Abolishing the family? Please. Parental rights are not absolute. The state places plenty of restrictions on parental autonomy and authority in order to protect the interests of the child. We can disagree on how expansive those restrictions should be. I would prefer for those restrictions to be minimal. And certainly, they could become so expansive that your concern about abolishing the family might become real. But I would submit that preventing parents from cutting off a piece of their son’s penis and thereby permanently disfiguring his body (which, remember, is what is at issue) does not seriously threaten the continued existence of the traditional family. Nor does it constitute a ban on Judaism or Islam.

    The purpose of my previous post was not to state whether the court’s decision was correct or incorrect. As I noted, I tend to think that it was wrongly decided. Tradition matters. But I’m ambivalent, and I can understand the court’s reasoning.

    And that’s the point! Reasonable people of good will can (and do!) disagree about this issue. To shut down the debate with accusations of antisemitism (in a case that involves Muslim parents!) and, in your post Reticulator, comparisons to Stalin is unserious. It represents a complete unwillingness to engage the issues and attempt to understand the other side. Which is fine at MSNBC or Fox News. But I expect more from Via Meadia.

  • bluerooster01

    cirtcumcision is certainly a serious event. I couldn’t walk for a year after I had mine.

  • http://datechguyblog.com datechguy

    I disagree this is only hard to believe if you haven’t been paying attention

  • Larvell Blanks

    The solution is easy: Partially deliver the fetus, then circumcise it before it’s all the way out. That way you don’t have to worry about the fetus’s rights. Just make sure it’s still got a toe inside or something.

  • Jeff

    Can the umbilical cord be severed,or must it wait until the age of consent?

  • ThomasD

    Abortion is legal Germany, but Heaven forfend a child have it’s foreskin ritually removed.

    I guess in the case of the ‘conflicting rights’ of a mother and the other human being inside her, rather than the mother ‘lose’ some rights for the term of the pregnancy, it is better that the child lose all rights to everything.

    Germans will be Germans.

  • Voluble

    Given how rampant and virulent antisemitism still is in Europe this is much more concerning than it would be elsewhere. Male circumcision is certainly a harmless practice which may or may not have health benefits so the only real motivation for banning it would be religious intolerance. I have never met or heard of a person who has lamented the loss of their foreskin as a child but I have certainly seen people who have had it removed as an adult.

    Europe has always been very backwards and intolerant about such things and the US has benefited greatly from taking in its religious refugees. We would welcome another influx of people yearning to be free. We seem to have a very considerable shortage of those at the moment.

  • Guest

    Remind me again. What is the Conservative position when the Mullahs start mucking around downstairs with female babies?

  • JB

    “Nor does it constitute a ban on Judaism or Islam.”

    Oh, well then, if you say so. After all you are a foremost authority on Judaism.

  • Milwaukee

    “So how about African traditions of female circumcisions? Would it be religious hatred to be against them as well?”

    Interesting that Female Genital Mutilation is ascribed to African traditions. I’ve only heard of FMG amongst Muslims, whether they be from Africa or not. I’ve never heard of FMG amongst non-Muslims. But ascribing it to African traditions helps clean up the Muslim image.

  • CatoRenasci

    James is off base.

    It may well be a Muslim case, and it may well be a Muslim ritual as well as a Jewish one.

    That’s essentially irrelevant – the Germans never killed some millions (let’s avoid the question of whether it was 6 million or some other number) of Muslims, they killed Jews.

    The fact that the ruling has the effect of AGAIN essentially making it a crime to practice Judaism in German is the outrage to Western sensibilities. The ruling is unacceptable – protect muzzie religious circumcision as well (but not female genital mutilation, which is not a required muzzie rite).

  • James

    @Tom (21): If you want a misleading comment, why don’t you look at your statement that “no one misses what gets cut off during male circumcision.” Simply not true. Spend 30 seconds on Google. There are support groups and discussion forums for many men who wish they had not been circumcised. There are surgeons who restore foreskin and products that promise to do so non-surgically. So you’re simply wrong on the facts.

    Now, you may find all that to be silly. Fine. But the point is that those men don’t find it silly. They, in their minds, have been permanently disfigured without any choice in the matter. This is the conflict of rights.

    As for the child’s future right of religious freedom, I agree that it’s not the strongest argument. But I don’t think it’s correct to state that the child’s religious freedom is in “no way circumscribed by circumcision.” Circumcision is permanent. Unlike, say, baptism, it is a life-long, physical marking of religious adherence. As I have emphasized in prior posts, I tend to think that, on balance, the parents’ rights should trump the rights of the child that I have outlined. But I’m having a hard time equating those who disagree–those who think this permanent, physically disfiguring act of religious practice should be a choice left to the child when he is of age–with Hitlerian antisemites or Stalinist anti-family zealots.

  • asdf

    To all these champions of the baby’s rights, I’ve got a few questions. Should ALL medical procedures be deferred until 18, when the child can give informed consent? Because otherwise, you’re appealing to the parent’s guardianship role, which is how they can consent to this.

    More importantly, obviously you’re claiming that, had the infant had the chance to exercise informed consent, they would have refused the procedure, right? Most American males, and virtually all Jewish ones, have been circumcised and are now adults. The article points out that one third of the men in the world, roughly a billion people, have been circumcised. What percentage are expressing their outrage and regret? I’m sure you can find someone, somewhere, but I’m asking what the percentage is.

    Attacks on circumcision or kosher slaughter rules or whatever, they always have some thin pretext. With circumcision, it’s necessarily vague, since the vast majority of American men have been circumcised for years now with no ill effects. Studies which demonstrate this (and incidentally, show benefits in disease-resistance) are dismissed by people muttering about the Jewish Agenda, but they can’t produce solid evidence to the contrary.

    Europeans have developed a unique style of passive-aggressive antisemitism. Why else would New Zealand pass a “humane slaughter law” that made exceptions for hunters, aborigines and every other ethnic group and situation… but not Jews. Countries that invoke these suspiciously specific “universal principles” seem to develop the ones that just happen to outlaw all kinds of unrelated Jewish practices. They also seem to be associated with the radical Left (California, New Zealand, Germany, Norway).

    Finally, I think WRM did a great job with this article. While many Muslims get circumcised, many don’t. But ALL male Jews must be circumcised on the 8th day after birth. While the ruling dealt with a four year old Muslim, its implications hit the hardest for Jews, which WRM rightly points out. Combined with the increasing number of violent antisemitic attacks in Europe, and the weird fixation on Israel-hate, we’re seeing a disturbing pattern.

  • Pettifogger

    Jules said: “American conservatives really want to believe they are morally superior to Europeans.”

    To the contrary, thoughtful conservatives understand that we all have within us the capacity for evil. That truth heightens the need for restraint. It’s the Left that is so sure of itself that it feels no need for restraint.

  • GalosGann

    “No, the point is that Prof. Mead is invoking Nazi Germany to put “paid” on an issue which has troubled medical professionals and others for a while now.”

    What bearing does a “troubled” medical professional have on how people choose to conduct their religion? Fine, they’re troubled. This isn’t a harmful mutilation like a clitorectomy. It’s a harmless cosmetic procedure. So these angst-ridden souls can decline to circumcise their own sons, and they can try to convince others of the rightness of their position. That’s all.

    If you spend even a moment on research you’d know that Nazism presented itself as a scientifically-sound social health platform, and many doctors were happy to promote it as such and enthusiastically support its policies.

    Medical professionals and judges who casually disregard the rights of people with whom they disagree don’t belong in any position of authority. I don’t think these men are Nazis, just tyrants cut from the same cloth.

  • MJ

    Male circumcision is not remotely the same as female circumcision. To be the same, one would have to completely cut off the male member. It also is not analogous to foot-binding, eating dog, or other purely social customs. The physical “damage” it does on the level of ear-piercing, tattooing, or surface scarring. But the spiritual significance for Jews is paramount–similar to baptism for Christians. Is Germany going to ban Catholics from infant baptism? I don’t agree with infant baptism, but I don’t think any government has the right to ban it.

  • CenterRightMargin

    Note that the (presumably) European commenters have zero conception of the freedom to practice one’s religion, in particular Judaism (or Islam), nor any willingness to countenance that as opposed a marginal infringement on a child’s “right” to control over their body.

    I guess having a girl’s ears peirced (where there is no religious justification) is also a cause for suit?

    This is blatantly Jew-hating, and Muslim-hating, act on the part of a German Court. Those who defend it are also Jew-haters and/or Muslim haters (they tend to be the former, though).

    How can I conclude this? Because circumcision is REQUIRED as part of the Jewish religion. Therefore, the effective outlawing of it is outlawing a tenant of that religion. Justifying the outlaw of a tenant of a religion requires EXTRAORDINARY justification.

    You can justify outlawing ritual murder of humans – sure. You can justify outlawing true mutilation.

    But circumcision, a widely accepted practice among NON-religious that exists without complaint for the vast, vast majority of those who underwent the procedure, simply does not come with that level of justification. No reasonable person could find that way.

    Which means the animus of this German court, and of the posters here protecting it, is PURE HATRED OF JEWS. Period.

    The NAZI evil is alive and well – in Germany, and on this comments section.

  • GalosGann

    “Reasonable people of good will can (and do!) disagree about this issue.”

    When reasonable people disagree they take reasonable positions. Banning a centuries-old fundamental religious practice based on a highly debatable interpretation of an even more debatable premise is not a reasonable position. It’s authoritarian, a position which is the very antithesis of reasonable disagreement.

    As for their alleged good-will, I don’t much care about the stated motivations of authoritarians, whether they’re communists, or national socialists, or greens, or fascists, or theocrats, or technocrats. I don’t care about hurting their feelings by comparing them to another flavor of authoritarian who’d do the exact same thing for a slightly different reason, because the results are indistinguishable, and that’s not an coincidence.

  • Adult circumcisee

    Speaking as someone who had to be circumcised as an adult (my parents raised me Catholic, but I reverted to Judaism as an adult) I can state two things in total confidence:
    (a) there’s no loss of “function”
    (b) during and after the procedure, I [bleep]ing wished it had been taken care of at age 8 days when you hardly have any nerve endings there.

    Also, the name “Putzke” for the clown praising this judicial monstrosity is worthy of a satirical novel.

  • FrankL

    >”This is the sort of cheap, attention-grabbing headline I expect from the Huffington Post or the Daily Beast, not Via Meadia.”

    Then you’re not very familiar with Via Meade. This is the stereotypical Meade posting. It’s impossible to parody this stuff.

    Anybody who bothers to read the linked story will see that: “The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes”.

    So, naturally, Meade wets himself at the thought of “intolerant anti-Semites”.

    Because if there is one thing Meade knows for a certainty, it is that the whole world revolves around Jews.

  • Holdfast

    Obviously this decision involved a Muslim child. Mead’s point, and the point of many commentators here, is not to ignore the impact of this ruling on Muslims, but rather to point out that, given that less than 70 years ago Germany had an official state policy of trying to exterminate all Jews and Judaism, one would think that a German judge, who is presumably at least somewhat educated (though clearly not learned), would think twice before effectively banning the practice of Judaism in Germany.

    Now, in real terms there are very few Jews in Germany, and to my mind any Jews who remain in continental Europe today are idiots, so if this decision stands and is affirmed by higher courts, the major impact will be on Muslims, who will have a legitimate grievance against the German government. How they end up expressing their displeasure will be interesting to see (again, any Jews who remain in continental Europe are idiots).

  • FrankL

    Anti-semitism has reached the same status as “racism”. It’s a charge which has been sprayed around with a fire-hose for generations and is now widely greeted with a roll of the eyes and a muttered “Oh, come on!”

    Mead can take a lot of credit/blame for this state of affairs.

  • Beth

    So, which antisemitic website sent all these vile commenters here to defend this blatantly antisemitic ruling?
    Is it a neonazi site, a “mainstream” (ha!) lefty blog, or one of those bed-wetting anti-circumcision (and covertly antisemitic) websites? These commenters are obviously not regulars around here, it’s pretty funny seeing them descend upon this article to RAAAAAAGE about their [genitals]. [Profanity removed]

  • RightWingNutter

    A similar law was attempted in San Francisco recently. It was stopped, primarily on 1st Amendment grounds. As I recall some rabbis put the city on notice that if it passed they would hold a mass bris and when arrested would contest the constitutionality of the law. Since the law had exactly zero chance of passing constitutional muster it was dropped.

    Note that San Francisco is one of the most “progressive” cities in the U.S. and that only a relic of conservatism originally enacted by dead white males enforced religious freedom.

    All y’all Jews from Cologne should c’mon over. The liberty is fine. And all us bitter clingers to our guns and religion intend to keep it that way.

  • Dan K

    The Jewish angle is certainly interesting, but the really startling thing to me is that this is a practice actually RECOMMENDED by most pediatricians for health reasons. Oh you “enlightened” progressives, what’s next? Bans on vaccinations?

  • ThomasD

    So, in Germany abortion “is illegal, though non-punishable if it occurs before the 12th week.”

    Perhaps they should amend the circumcision law to make the act illegal, but non-punishable if performed before the ninth day following birth.

    Because foreskin serves much more protection than an entire human being.

  • Hombre

    My wife and I considered circumcision for our youngest son and decided against it. That was a mistake.

    Recent studies suggest that uncircumcised males are less susceptible to HIV/AIDs. Our 9 year-old grandson just underwent circumcision for a medical condition. It was incredibly painful at that age. There are both health and hygiene reasons known to support early circumcision for males. Opposition appears to be based on ignorance or bigotry.

  • QET

    The whole bodily integrity thing is overdone. Soon we will have the protectors of bodily integrity getting some judge somewhere to hold that cutting the child’s hair is equally a violation.

  • http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/ M. Simon

    bluerooster01 says:
    June 27, 2012 at 10:24 am

    cirtcumcision is certainly a serious event. I couldn’t walk for a year after I had mine.

    LOL! and a LULZ!!11!!

  • Bowman2062

    I love it when you hate us. There it is. A german court does something which accords to the the universal human right of physical integrity. And suddenly all the haters pup out of the ground like mushrooms after a rainy day. These are the days where i know what to think about our so called friends and allies.

  • 30-year Prof

    Genital mulitation is a form of CHILD ABUSE and rightfully condemned whether the child is female or male and irrespective of whether the motive is cultrually-based or religiously-based.

    That both Jews and Muslims engage in this primative practice and have done so for hundreds of years doesn’t make it right. The Law cannot favor one religion over another by ignoring the mutilation when done by Jews while condemning it when done by Muslims. It can, however, protect children from everyone’s knife. And it should.

  • Wendy

    ” the religious orientation of the parents cannot be inflicted upon the child without the child’s consent.”

    If you applied that logic to Christians, you could make the case that pedo-baptism should be banned. Who knows? Maybe infants would catch cold or pick-up water-born bacterial infections because their “backwards” parents want to raise them as Lutherans or Roman Catholics. Afterall, doesn’t infant baptism conflict with a child’s right for self-determination?

    Also, what consitutes consent from a child and at what age does a child give consent to being baptised, circumsized, catechized, or given first communion? In most cases, even in progressive places like Germany, the determination of religious affiliation is
    seldom a child’s right. Like it or not, parents usually make these decisions for children.

  • 30-year Prof

    Polygamy was a “religious” practice of Josehp Smith and the Morman Church. The federal government forced them to stop. No First Amendment right stood in the way of that GOVERNMENT action. Why favor one religion (Judaism) over Mormans an the one hand and Muslims on the other. All religions are equal. The personhood of the victim, especially a minor, is what needs protection.

  • dm

    “To all these champions of the baby’s rights, I’ve got a few questions. Should ALL medical procedures be deferred until 18, when the child can give informed consent? Because otherwise, you’re appealing to the parent’s guardianship role, which is how they can consent to this.”

    No. The Court jugded that the circumcision with NO MEDICAL NEED is a crime.

    religious freedom vs. physical integrity

    Is that okay for you, when muslim parent’s kill their gay son, because their religion wants this?

    You must know, in germany all people have the same rights. And when i said all, i mean ALL. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, if you are a child or an adult. if you are gay or “normal”. if you a jew, muslim, atheist, …

    This rights are known as human rights.

    The physical integrity of your own body is a basic right. What do you think: why is murder and bodily injury a crime almost all over the world?

    And why are you thinking, that a baby has less right of physical integrity than an adult?

    i know that circumcision is a basic ritual for the jews and the muslims. But where do you stop? When is a religious law more worth than the right of an individual person of physical integrity of this body?

    it’s a dificult question.

  • Milwaukee

    I don’t understand how circumcision is “mutilation”? The unit works just fine afterwards. One point of FMG is to deprive the woman of pleasure while having sex. Interesting as well is that the Muslim boy in question was 4. My experience in living in a Muslim community was circumcision happened around age of 11, 12 or 13, as part of the “becoming a man” rites. It was a very public event, and the boys were celebrated as having done something. The stories of survivors of FMG describe it as a horrific event, where they were whisked out of their beds in the dead of night, blindfolded, and physically restrained. No comparison at all.

    While the case might have been brought concerning a Muslim, the effect on Judaism is undeniable. Muslims could wait until they are of an appropriate age. Jews don’t have that option.

    So, are ear-piercings violating a child’s personhood?

  • Blue Hen

    My favorite bit was that of forums for men expressing longing for their lost foreskins. There are people expressing fondness for mass murderers on death row. Sometimes they even send nekkid pictures. That doesn’t make it sensible.

    And who was stating that it was a “functional body part”!?! For what? Displaying advertising? Is there a chapter of the Kama Sutra we all missed?

  • dm

    “Recent studies suggest that uncircumcised males are less susceptible to HIV/AIDs. Our 9 year-old grandson just underwent circumcision for a medical condition.”

    yeah … right *lol*! Didn’t you learn in school, that the “exchange” of body fluids (spearm, blood, vaginal fluid) is the reason that the HI-Virus transfers from one host into another one.

    What the studis said that is called statistics correlation. In sweden in the 1920′s there was a high correlation between the birthrate and stork population.

    many storks = high birthrate
    less storks = low birthrate

    do you really think that the stork is brinning the babys? The statistics in the 1920′s said YES, but it’s not real.

  • Jamesmace

    Actually, childrend do die from complications due to circumcision and the dangers greatly outway the risks.

    Furthermore, it is a leading cause of erectile dysfunction. Removing that which covers the most sensitive part of the penis makes as much sense as taking the tire off the innertube – it goes flat a lot quicker!

  • dm

    “So, are ear-piercings violating a child’s personhood?”

    All niece i know want a ear-piercing of there own and almost there are old enough to said this to their parents.

    ear-piercing a baby, that ist ABUSE.

    You must know, in the german law the hair-cut is a bodily injury. If you cut someone’s hair without his or her permission, you commit a crime.

  • Mers

    I wish they never cut me up, I’d like to have the whole thing. What a silly thing to do to someone.

  • Rojas

    From a German:

    Not “Judaism” is considered a “crime” in Germany but imposing a circumcision on a child that is too young to decide whether or not it wants his foreskin irreversibly removed.

    So this court-decision is NOT to “suppress” Jews (or Muslims) but to PROTECT the rights of a child that is still too young to speak for himself.

    Anyone who`s 18 or older is free to have himself circumsised if he wishes.

  • Winston

    It is just an incredibly obtuse legal decision. It is a fundamental religious doctrine and it’s a procedure that is also medically rational. And the procedure performed on infants is really no big deal. For adults is a totally different story.

  • http://cardioblogy.blogspot.com/ Jens Fiederer

    One of the most distorted headlines I’ve read in a long time.

    The actual case is a complex one….I would guess most likely the vast majority of Jewish boys would, in retrospect, prefer to have been circumcised when they were too young to remember it; but you can’t put a foreskin back on the minority that feel otherwise.

  • Winston

    Btw, its hilarious to me that millions upon millions of infants undergo this procedure in the US but now supposedly it’s a cause of all manner of medical mischief.

  • http://paterzplace.blogspot.com DonM

    Question: What do you call a Jewish child that is not circumsized?

    Answer: A girl!

  • http://paterzplace.blogspot.com DonM

    There are illnesses that can stem from being circumsized, and other illnesses that can stem from being circumsized.

    Who should decide? A loving parent? An impersonal state bureaucrat?

  • Recovering Lutheran

    “Abortion is in fact not legal in Germany. It is illegal, though non-punishable if it occurs before the 12th week.”

    Really? “Illegal, though non-punishable” amounts to legal.

    At any rate, you are wrong. Abortion in German is legal through the first 12 weeks, which is when the vast number of abortions are performed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Germany

  • Skip

    The Nazis just joined the judiciary. Not as efficient, but less expensive and risky.

  • Russ

    Holy conflicting definitions of liberty, Batman!

    also,

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=abortion+in+Germany

  • asdf

    What does but shouldn’t surprise me is the ignorance and hysteria by the anti-circumcision nuts that have crawled out of the woodwork for this post.

    I’ve heard a number of bald assertions of “scientific fact” that are really just parroting what someone heard on a blog somewhere (because they are clearly unfamiliar with the medical literature on this issue) and one (blatantly false) claim about statistics. A vast body of research shows that male circumcision at birth is at worst harmless and very likely beneficial, though circumcision later is more dangerous.

    Your arguments get little or no traction in the USA because most men are circumcised and know better. Oh, and please spare me the pious insistence that you’re just doing this for the infants. I’ve yet to hear a percentage on people who regret being circumscribed as infants, for a simple reason: the overwhelming majority are satisfied that their parents made the right decision, and prove it by making that same decision for their own children. I don’t hear this bleating when we’re talking about fixing cleft palates, disfiguring birthmarks, or other essentially cosmetic surgeries on infants. I cut my daughter’s umbilical cord myself, and didn’t wait for her to turn 18.

    Then we’ve got Wifman, who repeats the claim that the Mormon church permits polygamy (it doesn’t). And despite the letter of German law, the government pays for abortions for low-income women. Aptly named “…” asks if these evil conservatives would have raised such a ruckus if the case involved a Muslim boy (actually, it does and we are). Several people make false comparisons to FGM (which occurs much later, is not a religious practice, is intended to remove sexual function, and HAS been shown to be harmful).

    So… lacking any good arguments to make, mostly what’s left is the old, sputtering “how dare you sir!” that is the self-righteous cousin of “‘Shut up,’ he explained.”

    Credit where credit is due, at least some of you show basic, middle-school level spelling and grammar, which can be hard to find among the circumcision hysterics these days. (ATTN “dm”: it’s called the Shift key. Use it once in a while.)

    Presumably, the Center for American Progress or some other leftie hate rag has decided to ride to the rescue of antisemi… oh excuse me, anti-*Zionist* judges in their beloved Europe.

    Europe is melting down right now, and part of the reason it its elites’ contemptible urge to meddle in the lives of their perceived inferiors. This is failing for three reasons: first, decision-making is optimized when it’s distributed across a population rather than concentrated in a few geniuses. Second, the self-declared “geniuses” aren’t actually all that smart. Third, making every decision political rather than personal inevitably stirs up tribal hatreds and bigotry. This case illustrates the moral dangers of the blue model’s underlying philosophy perfectly, even as their economic situation illustrates the system’s practical problems.

  • David Lieberman

    Some courageously nameless idiot writes: “The cretinized equation of a contempt for Judaism with anti-semitism is a slander that’s of old vintage.”

    Um, “contempt for Judaism” pretty much *is* the definition of antisemitism. Go back and read your Wilhelm Marr again — maybe you’ll get it this time.

  • http://knownofold.blogspot.com J R Yankovic

    You know, in a way there really is a certain consistency about Germany being the first(?) Western country to undertake this sort of legislative “protection” of the rights of children. And so far as I can tell, it has nothing DIRECTLY to do with either Nazism or anti-Semitism. I say that particularly in light of a certain rather distinctly and decidedly German liberal Protestant tradition of theology, going back at least to Lessing and Kant in the 18th century. One might call it an instinctive or unconscious bias on the part of many German scholars, when assessing the Scriptural foundations (or lack thereof, in the opinion of many) of orthodox Christianity, in favor of the Gnostic- or Marcionite-tinged heresies of the Church’s early centuries. The tendency was not seldom to polarize, or make antithetical, the physical and spiritual elements of both early Jewish religion and later Christian doctrine. E.g., to contrast the legal or visible or bodily “type” of a particular doctrine, as found in the OT, with its spiritual fulfillment in the New. How like, for instance, a German liberal Protestant scholar of, say, the late 19th century, to argue that Christian “circumcision of the heart” not only fulfills and supersedes, but is opposed to, its physical Jewish counterpart. Or even to suggest, perhaps, that “advanced,” individual adult conversion is no mere development, but has become also the antithesis, of “primitive” tribal infant consecration? Certainly any nation’s culture evolving through time is a complex thing. And all the more so as it intersects with world-historical religions, minority religious/ethnic groups, and the “imperatives” of its own military-economic survival and “progress.” You simply never can tell when “old” habits – and in particular respected intellectual ones? – and tendencies thought “long” buried, can suddenly crop up in the most unexpected times, places and segments of society.

    Nor do I mean to suggest that German courts were consciously drawing on Protestant academic traditions of contempt for the sacramental aspects of either Judaism or Christianity – any more than that the court’s decision was indicative of dormant or residual anti-Semitism, Nazi or otherwise, within German society. What I would suggest is that it is entirely consistent with and appropriate to SOMETHING ELSE, which may actually have helped to fuel the former: namely, the anti-Judaic, anti-sacramental, and even (“Religion is an ADULT’s decision!”) anti-Catholic bias of a particular strand of German Biblical scholarship, theology and spirituality – and one that played an increasingly prominent, and often highly politicized, role in the events shaping German “higher” culture right up to and beyond World War I.

    In short, while I don’t interpret the court’s decision as knowingly anti-Semitic (though I do find its historical callousness breathtaking), I can more than understand Via Meadia’s concern. And yes, even alarm.

  • Kris

    Beth@67: As I wrote in my previous comment, this swarm descending on us was entirely predictable. If you want to generate blog traffic, just write in support of circumcision and step back: the fanatics will inexorably sally forth. (I’ve also seen a similar effect when someone dares seriously to use the phrase: “There are no atheists in foxholes”.) I’m still not quite sure whether they think that if only their rhetoric is condescendingly passionate enough, we hicks will finally get it, or if they just want to intimidate all opposition.

    Derek@11: “The point is not that Prof. Mead is invoking Nazi Germany’s history to sensationalize a banal story, rather, that Nazi Germany’s history is so sensational, such a break with Europe’s civilizational trend, that for a modern German court not to be more aware of the religious role of circumcision for Jews and sensitive to the provocation banning it would be is, simply, sensational.”

    Nothing to add; just thought this should be repeated.

    For the record: I fully support the right of parents not to circumcise their sons.

  • thibaud

    Re. Via Meadia’s link baiting, sensationalism and Drudge-like tendency to whip up the Right, sigh.

    Mr. Hyde-Mead once again upstages Dr. Jekyll-Mead.

    One step forward, one step back.

  • asdf

    Oh, and bonus points to dm and others who insist that discussion the motivations for supporting the ban are off limits because they somehow “shut down debate”. You’re free to keep debating, the more the better, in fact. Eloquent as WRM is, you’re doing a better job selling his point than he can, because you’re *illustrating* it.

    Several people have tried to compromise, saying something like, “Well, some commenters think it’s medically dangerous and some think it’s harmless or beneficial. So who can say for certain? Therefore, let’s ban it for everyone.” Over and above the absurdity of that line of argument, or the fact that, for the Left, once again “compromise” means taking the most radical left-wing position possible, is the fact that the medical evidence is pretty clear-cut (zing!): infant circumcision is definitely harmless and probably beneficial.

    Jamesmace claims the harm greatly outweighs the risks. Well, show your math, please. Or at least provide the conditional probabilities you used to make that determination. You’re already free to decide for your children, but if you’re going to argue to take my right to make that decision for my children, you’ll need better evidence than some half-remembered assertion you read on the Daily Kos.

    Jewish tradition makes circumcision at eight days old not just a commandment, but the first and essential commandment for Jewishness. Bans on Kosher food (usually disguised as “animal cruelty” legislation that contains exemptions that cover every situation *except* kosher food) are bad enough, but this is an attack on the very notion of Jewishness. As many supporters are quietly, smirkingly, well aware.

  • Eta

    I have read most of the comments here and still have as mixed feelings about this ruling as I had when I first heard about it. However, the main counterarguments put forward in the above blog post and many comments are plain absurd (I also believe there is a considerable number of secular Jews who would agree with me on this):

    First, no matter which part of the world you are in, “religious freedom” seems to be the constant battle cry of those who actually mean religious privilege. The verdict of the court was based on pre-existing laws that were NOT created with any specific religion in mind. The right to bodily integrity is asserted in the second article of the German constitution.
    Why on earth should religious adherents be exempt from the very same laws that apply to anyone else? Religious freedom, like any other freedom, reasonably can only mean religious freedom OF THE INDIVIDUAL. Your freedom usually ends where it infringes upon the freedom and rights of another – as defined by law.
    And, if you disagree and put religion above the law, what stops me from making up my own crackpot religion to escape ANY law I don’t like?

    Invoking Nazism and the Holocaust is just as unconvincing for a number of reasons, but most importantly:
    a) The crimes of Nazism consisted of systematic abolition of the civil liberties and property of Jews, their imprisonment and torture in concentration camps and ultimately their attempted extermination. It seems one has to spell that out for some to see how irrational it is to compare this to a court ruling protecting the physical integrity of Jewish children, about which the Nazi party was most definitely not concerned.
    b) Some have suggested the court should not have made the decision out of mere consideration for German-Jewish history. They may not realize they are, in effect, saying that this history is sufficient reason to put Judaism and those who practice it above the rule of law. Certainly in Germany, and possibly elsewhere, too?
    Whatever sensitivity toward Jews (the majority of whom were born after World War II by now) is due today, this is an abstruse conclusion that contradicts the very principle of equality before the law.
    If, after careful weighing of arguments, a judge comes to the conclusion that some religious practice is illegal, there may be reasons for which he or she should change their mind. Historical association is not one of them.

  • Kris

    JR@96: Well written, but are you sure you’re on the right thread? Your comment is severely lacking in self-righteousness and spittle. :-)

  • thibaud

    Bravo to Wifman #37 and #38. Posts of the day. Danke.

  • Markus Becker

    Who wrote this BS?

    A lower court has ruled in a case where a muslim(!) boy had to be rushed to a hospital after suffering ‘complications’ from a circumcision. Complications as in severe bleeding.

    This circumcision, which was medically not necessary carried risks for the patient and acc. to the DA the patient’s consent would have been required, not his parent’s. The court agreed.

  • phygos2003

    As Atheist i want to tell you: This court decision was right.

    As medic i want to tell you: This court decission was right.

    As a democrat i want to tell you: This court decisson was right.

    As german i have to keep in mind: We don´t have friends. We never had and we never will.

    Thank you to remind us!

  • rrr

    Wow. Either Meade’s been slammed by anti-semite trolls or his readership leaves much to be desired. And they are so self-righteous about it! Impressive.

  • thibaud

    #74 Bowman2062,

    #103 Markus Becker,

    #104 phygos2003:

    Please don’t judge Americans by the fevered müßiggängeren who flock to this site – it’s just the usual noise of the anonymous political internet, with an American cornball twist.

  • jacob arnon

    “First, no matter which part of the world you are in, “religious freedom” seems to be the constant battle cry of those who actually mean religious privilege. The verdict of the court was based on pre-existing laws that were NOT created with any specific religion in mind. The right to bodily integrity is asserted in the second article of the German constitution.”

    Eta, no one is forcing you to circumcise and the idea of religious privilege is ludicrous.

    I said it above: Jews prove that circumcision is not mutilation.

    There is no downside to circumcision. Jews prove that every time they win a nobel prize, fight a war or get an olympics medal.

    Those opposed to it do it strictly on aesthetic grounds or else on some mythic notion of a “an integral human body.”

    Jew hatred drives this movement.

    There is, btw, and upside to circumcision for people who are in danger of getting AIDS. This is not a trivial point.

  • Markus Becker

    “Eta, no one is forcing you to circumcise and the idea of religious privilege is ludicrous.”

    Provided it is you who makes the decision, which was not the case in this case.

    “There is no downside to circumcision.”

    Provided your **** is not bleeding, which it was in this case.

    “There is, btw, and upside to circumcision for people who are in danger of getting AIDS. This is not a trivial point.”

    How about not boinking w/o a rubber?

    “Jew hatred drives this movement.”

    Oh yeah! In a German(!) court in 2012. Fat chance of that happening:

    http://news.yahoo.com/german-court-outlaws-religious-circumcision-172728400.html

    The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”, a judgement that is expected to set a legal precedent.

    “The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised,” the court added.

  • Tom

    @thibaud–

    I’ll take my stand with those you call müßiggängeren before I stand with you, or those you seek to placate.
    Those you denigrate have honor, those you placate have none.
    Doubtless you approve of that. Good.

  • Peter

    Hi iam from Germany.
    Its true, the Judge has made its Decision.
    But there doesnt exist any exact Law on this Matter in Germany, its right now not clearly defined. Now its Time for the Government to bring up a solid Frame about this Topic to adress this Problem. Its allways a difficult decision between the Protection of the Child and Religious believes of the Parents, its a minefield.

  • Hans-Peter Hammer

    Sorry, but this decision has nothing to do with antisemitism or islamophobia! As James (#2) says, the german constitution (Grundgesetz) declares: (Article 2, Sentence 2) Jeder hat das Recht auf Leben und körperliche Unversehrtheit. (Everyone has the right to live and of bodily integrity.)
    This belongs to the individual basic rights and – as far as I know – is also a human right (Declaration of Human Rights).
    To put the Cologne Court decision in context with Nazi-”Justice” is absolutely wrong (or propaganda)!
    Most europeans don’t understand why the Amarican Constitution allows people to wear weapons (becaus they do not know about the background), so do most of you and – seems – Via Meadia about german (or european) law!

  • http://knownofold.blogspot.com J R Yankovic

    Kris @ 101:

    And here I was worrying that I lacked moral character.

    Must confess, though, I do wish I could believe that for all my posts. Or even half of them. And not to push the blame off either (frankly I think in one degree or other we’re ALL part of the problem). But the spleen you speak of – great word, BTW – as I find it “bolstering” both sound and unsound arguments in threads like these, leaves me more and more convinced of something I’ve been suspecting for quite a while (you knew this was coming, didn’t you?).

    That, namely, the present Age (c. 1975-?) ITSELF is sick. And yet logical enough, when viewed in light of its own sick premises. I.e., WHY NOT reduce the person with whom I’m exchanging ideas to a mere embodiment of what he thinks, with nothing left over? With the result that, if his idea is “garbage,” so is he? (Although in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if nearly all our cherished ideas were garbage of one kind or another – at least compared to the inestimable treasures who hold them, and allow themselves to be crippled and enslaved by them.) How wonderfully simplifying and dismissive! We fasten our whole attention on what’s really important in the view of this Age – what we think and devise and conspire and engineer – regardless of how little any of these things truly satisfy us. Best not to think too much about what truly does or does not satisfy us, right? As opposed to what keeps us busy and bothered? Otherwise we risk opening that uncomfortable old worm-can of who and WHAT we are. Which latter habit – I find, anyway – has the most uncanny knack of inviting a certain Somebody Else into the picture, for its further elucidation.

  • Eta

    “Eta, no one is forcing you to circumcise and the idea of religious privilege is ludicrous.”

    The first part of the sentence is certainly true, but the issue at hand is if parents should be able to force the act of circumcision on their new-born children, and I am most definitely not a new-born child.

    The idea that religious communities sometimes like to claim a privileged role for themselves and self-servingly disguise that as a “struggle for religious freedom” is surely not ludicrous. It has happened in the past and it is happening in the present day, and the phenomenon is certainly not limited to one particular religion.
    I tried to explain above why I think it is the case here.

    You bring up the more important “where’s the harm”-argument. It’s probably true that there’s no non-trivial amount in which pain or illness are caused – don’t have any first hand experience. However, as someone else mentioned above, giving someone a haircut against their will under German law already qualifies as an assault on their physical integrity, so there’s actually nothing special about this particular verdict.

    You may still say that this kind of law doesn’t make sense and protects no one, but a case can be made for the opposite:
    Suppose some brillant scientist figured out a method of tattooing people without causing pain, physical harm, infection risk or anything of that sort. Actually, some studies come out that claim the new method is beneficial to health and getting such a tattoo reduces the risk of skin cancer (or something…). Now, would you defend the right of communist parents to have their children tattooed with images of Karl Marx and appropriate lines from the Communist Manifesto? Maybe something about the wrongness of gay marriage and redistribution of wealth for conservative parents and a portrait of Barack Obama for liberals?
    Probably not, even if they were in a place of the body that is not usually visible to the public. Why? Because they are leaving a permanent mark of a political ideology on the body that the children might not grow up to agree with.
    And in the case of political ideologies, this is quite easily seen as an infringement of their personal rights. But then you have to admit that this is at the very least a legitimate issue in the case of religious practices, too.

  • http://www.circumcisionharm.org Survey Programmer

    Anyone who believes that infant circumcision is harmless is not paying attention. In the past year alone, almost one thousand men circumcised as infants or children without medical necessity are documenting the long-term adverse physical, sexual and psychological consequences of this form of genital mutilation at the Global Survey of Circumcision Harm [www.circumcisionharm.org]. Many also include photos and video testimonies of their harm.

  • thibaud

    Yes, yes, Tom, but who will stand up for more votes for the decent folk?

    Just whom is kidding who?

  • Stephen Ryan

    Circumcision is brutal, barbaric, and a form of child abuse. It is very painful for the baby, and has no practical value. It is important for Jewish religious and cultural cohesion, I suppose, but should be banned for anything else. Male circumcision as a rite of passage has long been common practice but the early Hebrews were the only people that I know of who did it to neonates, a practice that continues to modern Judaism. It was a common practice to circumcise boys entering manhood in ancient Egypt. Ancient Hebrews loathed any practice that reminded them of Egypt. Except circumcision. Why? Because their hallowed leader, Moses, was circumcised. Moses had to be circumcised because he was Egyptian or raised as an Egyptian and was therefore circumcised. So all Jews had to be like him, to authenticate their Judaism. The only thing different was that Jews did it to neonates, unlike other practitioners of the practice. If Jews need it to affirm their identity, so be it, although I am sorry for their babies, but to apply it to non-Jews is an abomination. If Muslims want to do it to their adolescents, who cares.

  • Jason Suggs

    Like a dog returns to his vomit, so the German people return to their racist ways. Oddly, while claiming superiority, they demonstrate moral degeneracy.

  • jacob arnon

    Hans-Peter Hammer says: “Sorry, but this decision has nothing to do with antisemitism or islamophobia!”

    Your denial notwithstanding, it does have a lot to do with anti-Semitism. You are right that it has little or nothing to do with Muslims since they circumcise their children when they are already grown and can give consent.

    In any case, it’s you country and if you don’t want Jews to live there that’s your business. But if you do want them then your “constitution” will make it impossible for them to live there. I am not religious and I wouldn’t want to live in a country that doesn’t allow me or my fellow Jews to circumcise our children.

    Like I said above: circumcision hasn’t hurt Jews at all. Most of those who are against do so for equally mystical reasons” the integral body is a myth.

  • http://hertzlinger.blogspot.com Joseph Hertzlinger

    Being wrong about Iraq? In 2006 that made sense.

    In any case, if we ban the right of parents to cut off part of child’s body, we will ban children’s haircuts. I won’t more than mention that the idea that sexual pleasure must be maximized has led to epidemics of divorce (bad), illegitimacy (worse), and abortion (rotten).

  • Kris

    JR@112: People are not mere vessels for their ideas? Next you’ll be suggesting I meet these vessels in the flesh instead of crossing swords with them on forums such as this one!

    More seriously, that was a thought-provoking comment; I’ll have to give much more thought to the question of whether this is really a problem distinct to our Age.

    Thanks for redeeming this thread. :-)

  • jacob arnon

    “The idea that religious communities sometimes like to claim a privileged role for themselves and self-servingly disguise that as a “struggle for religious freedom” is surely not ludicrous. It has happened in the past and it is happening in the present day, and the phenomenon is certainly not limited to one particular religion.”

    I don’t know what you are talking about Eta. I don’t claim any special privilege when I decide to circumcise my infant son. (Look up the word privelage Eta.) I claim a right to follow my religion. I don’t claim that you have to follow my religion.

    As I said above, if higher courts in Germany uphold the lower court decision (which I doubt) then most Jews will leave Germany. I am not interested in debating with my right to circumcise my infant son.

    My circumcised son will probably contribute much to his country as his fellow Jews have done in the past but that country won’t be Germany.

    I would have thought that Germans would have learned by now what singling out Jews mean. I guess not. I feel sorry for you.

  • jacob arnon

    “Survey Programmer says:
    June 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm:”

    Survey programmer:

    You mean that out millions of circumcision you found a thousand people who suffered “psychological damage” from being circumcised?

    And how many people suffered psychological damage from having unnecessary cosmetic operations?

    If you take a million people you will definitely find a thousand of them with some kind of psychological damage. Ever hear of birth trauma?

  • Yehoshua Kahan

    As an Orthodox Jew, I found this article interesting, but do not necessarily agree with it.

    This reaction to the German judge’s ruling seems to me a bit overheated. As I understand it, this is an attempt to apply child abuse laws, laws which certainly do not admit of exceptions for parental religious belief. (Imagine that a religion existed which commanded its adherents to beat their children severely every Tuesday. Would we permit that sincere expression of religious belief?)

    If so, the judge might be factually wrong–circumcision might not be a violation of German child abuse laws–but there is no reason to assume that he is action out of anti-semitism.

    The better response, I think, would be to urge the German legislature to pass legislation explicitly permitting the circumcision of infants by their legal parents or guardians.

    It is, of course, true that if this law, or this interpretation of the law, stands, it will then be necessary for religiously observant Jews in Germany to either evade the law, engage in civil disobedience, or leave the country for the circumcision of their sons.

    Incidentally, it is incorrect to say that circumcision “makes a boy a Jew.” More accurately, a Jewish boy is Jewish from birth; Judaism simply imposes an obligation upon his father to circumcise him, and upon the boy himself if he reaches adulthood still uncircumsised.

  • Gerhard Laimer

    I am german and do believe in Wotanism. 2000 years old tradition is to throw newborn babies in a creek nearby and have them fished up a little later if possible. Lefty-german justice said, this could do harm. Ok! In the future my 18+ – children have to decide if they want to take a bath. Everybody is comfort and nobody thinks that Wotanism is declared as a crime.

  • dm

    @Gerhard Laimer

    “In the future my 18+ – children have to decide if they want to take a bath.”

    I hope they make allready their own decisions, if they are 18.

    And as a believer of aztec oder maya-gods, it’s okay to cut a heart of living human?
    That’s also a religion ritual.

    And the right of physical integrity is less worth than the freedom of religion. If this is true, it applies to all religions.

    Why is it so hard to wait until the child makes this own desicions? For Example at this 14′s Birthday?

    Why did someone define that your child is a real muslim or a real jew when you make a circumcision on him/her?

  • dm

    @Gerhard Laimer

    And what the [heck] has taking a bath something to do with a circumcision with NO MEDICAL NEED? I don’t understand?

    Did your children get injuries from take a bath or shower? That’s very strange?

    I think it’s okay for you to hit your children if you are in a bad mood. You are their father and you have all right to do that. And your children have no right. They must hear to their father and they must endure all the thinks that they father did to them. right? Because you are their father …

  • Chris

    @Jules What part of Iraq was America wrong about?? Go ahead, say WMD, I dare you. BTW, what flavor Kool Aid is your favorite, for if that is your response it’s clear that you’re a Kool Aid drinker-

  • Eta

    “I don’t know what you are talking about Eta. I don’t claim any special privilege when I decide to circumcise my infant son. (Look up the word privelage Eta.) I claim a right to follow my religion.”

    So, the only point when you see your religion in a privileged position is when others would be compelled to follow it. By the usual definition of the word, being exempt from the laws that apply to anyone else or getting special treatment from government institutions would constitute privilege. For a quick example, if there was a law Jehova’s Witnesses, who are not allowed to take an oath, do not have to be sworn in for public office, that would constitute religious privilege, too.

    I challenge you to work through my tattoo example from above and explain to me the difference to the case of religious convictions without invoking some kind of privileged position for the latter.

    “I would have thought that Germans would have learned by now what singling out Jews mean. I guess not. I feel sorry for you.”

    No “singling out” of Jews has happened, as the fact that this case actually involved Muslims (an about ten to twenty times larger fraction of the German population) should tell you. In fact, the thing you are actually accusing the court of is NOT taking into account your special needs as a Jew (and the need of others as Muslims), the very opposite of singling out Jews.

    I actually have mixed feelings about it myself: I never thougt about Islamic or Jewish circumcision as a particular infringement of the child’s rights before this decision. But now that I come to think about it, a lot CAN be said for that standpoint.
    On the other hand, from a perspective of common sense and practicality the court will not achieve much: It will either incentivize people to either have circumcisions performed outside Germany (nothing changed) and hope their children won’t sue them when they grow up, or leave Germany in masses as you predict (nothing changed, and yes, I would find that regrettable in most cases) or, worst of all, have the it done in secret by someone who is not a medical professional. So maybe it’s best that this decision will probably be overturned indeed (we actually agree on that prediction).

    However, the regional court of Cologne is not quite wrong here, either.

  • jacob arnon

    Eta: “So, the only point when you see your religion in a privileged position is when others would be compelled to follow it.”

    That’s an obvious example.

    “By the usual definition of the word, being exempt from the laws that apply to anyone else or getting special treatment from government institutions would constitute privilege.”

    You have it backwards, Eta. Not allowing circumcision to a minority that believes it is their duty is a punishment which most people are not subject to. The privileged class here if the law is passed would be the majority that doesn’t see circumcision as a duty.
    “For a quick example, if there was a law Jehova’s Witnesses, who are not allowed to take an oath, do not have to be sworn in for public office, that would constitute religious privilege, too.”
    No, it wouldn’t. It would constitute an exemption from the law. A privilege would be Jehova’s Witnesses were not only exempted but would be given a reward for being members of that religion.

    Not taking an oath is not a reward, it is a liability since these folk are not eligible to participate in the normal duties of citizens such serving on Juries or being draftees and consequently would not receive the benefits such service usually provides: benefits to veterans, etc.

    In any case, the law will not take effect and if it does Jews will leave Germany. That’s all that needs to be said about it.

    “No “singling out” of Jews has happened, as the fact that this case actually involved Muslims (an about ten to twenty times larger fraction of the German population) should tell you.”

    It singles out any religion that circumcises children under the age of consent. Muslims circumcise at age 13 or 14 when the child is old enough to consent to the practice. Jews circumcise after eight days of birth.

    Of course it’s meant to single out Jews. Why can’t you be honest Eta and say that you don’t like circumcised people (maybe you are afraid of them) and let it go at that.

  • thibaud

    A classic Via Meadia thread. Putzes and walking putzes, Wotan, the Iraq War.

    Coming soon to a comedy house near you.

  • Kris

    dm@125,126: If you were thinking clearly and weren’t so overheated, you might realize that Gerhard@124 was actually supporting your position. But then if you weren’t so vehement, we might not understand just how morally depraved circumcision actually is, obtuse sheep that we are.

  • Eta

    jacob, it really seems you are the one who has a really convoluted concept of the meaning of the word “privilege” and should look it up.
    If people have equal rights and duties under the law, there is no privileged group, and this is the case here – non-Jewish parents would run into problems, too, if they wanted to circumcise their children just for the fun of it. If a certain group (like people with a religion that commands circumcision at birth) has rights and duties different from the rest, they are privileged. And yes, exempting Jehova’s witnesses from the very same procedure that any other officeholder has to undergo would be a privilege. Exemption from the law is merely a form of privilege, and yes, it even would be a form of reward for following that particular religion. After all, non-adherents of Jehova’s witnesses who don’t want to take the oath either couldn’t do anything about it provided they want to take office.

    Also: “The privileged class here if the law is passed would be the majority that doesn’t see circumcision as a duty.” Do you really think there is anyone who is jumping for joy about their “privilege” not to be allowed to circumcise their infants when they didn’t want to in the first place?

    Moreover: Would you argue similarly if there was a religion that commanded the littering of parks with garbage on certain sacred days? Or ritual acts of shoplifting on every New Year’s Eve? Or any number of other similar examples you can think of? I also still miss an explanation of where the difference between the tattoo example and the case of circumcision would lie.

    The actual case concerned Muslim parents, look up the news item!

    “Of course it’s meant to single out Jews. Why can’t you be honest Eta and say that you don’t like circumcised people (maybe you are afraid of them) and let it go at that.”

    Sorry, but it’s actually really incredibly presumptuous and arrogant to remote diagnose the motivations of people you do not know and whose thoughts you can not read. It’s also disingenuous to assume opinions that disagree with your Judaist point of view are automatically motivated by “Jew-hatred” or, in my case, general “dislike of circumcised people”. Well, for what reason should I? I actually do not bear any grudge against Jews or Muslims (which you will not believe me, but I actually have more knowledge about this than you do).

    The problem, to me, is rather one of secularism and equality before the law, even if I don’t necessarily like the conclusion these principles lead to in this case. I do actually realize that religion is a powerful spell on people’s mind (having been under the one of Christianity for some time of my life) and that a verdict like this puts religious Jews and Muslims in a tough spot, and I can’t really blame them. The verdict does make perfect sense from a moral and logical viewpoint (if you like it or not, that’s sometimes how it is), but, as emphasized above, I think this fact ultimately renders it impractical.

  • Jan Barnowski

    Ok so the age of consent in Germany is 14 for most things (well, for sex at least). So basically it’s not THAT bad for Muslims who need to do it at the age of 12 or so if I remember correctly.

    This was an anti-Jewish decision meant to force the remaining Jews of Germany to flee or disappear AS JEWS. You see when the Germans invaded Poland they did not only kill Poles. There were some Polish groups they tried to force to become German and they also try to des-nationalise the Polish nation by burning and destroying its rich historical heritage. Please note that the equally brutal Soviets did not do this, either to Poles or to Germans.

    So yeah, keepin’ it classy, Germany….

    It’s obvious though the problem these people have is with Jews. Now they use the excuse of “Palestine” to bash them, the other century was another excuse. If Jews would have the custom of shaving their heads, they would ban that. Civilised people do NOT behave like this. Please note though that this does NOT happen in Austria which is, allegedly, more “conservative”, “right-wing” or even “far-right”. I don’t know maybe the yodeling Tyrolean peasants hate Jews more than the refined Berliners, I have no idea, possibly. But the Austrians have yet to behave uncivilised, so we should acknowledge civilisation where it exists.

    The thing is, for all you types that praise this verdict, have you ever imagined what it would be like to be a Jew right now in Germany? What do you do? Stop being Jewish, ywah you could do that. Not that you personally have EVER experiences anything remotely like that (in Europe a lot of us did). Most people can’t abandon their identity and would rather die when others force them to. It’s not really about religion, or not just about religion, it’s about identity, and use of force against people in order to thin their numbers. So say you’re Jewish in Germany, what do you do? If you can’t imagine it, imagine that you live as an expat in Germany, but speak only English and suddenly they decide to ban speaking English and punish it with jailtime. What do you do? Figure that one out.

  • richard40

    I dont quite know which is worse, the German court decision, of some of the comments from the fanatical anti circumcision commenters. The jewish religion makes infant circumcision a manditory rite for Jewish parents to raise their child Jewish. Apparently it is the same for Muslims. And unlike other religios accomidations, this affects nobody outside of the religion. So basically you are denying the right of Jewish parents to raise their children in their own religion, for a conflicting rite that is pretty trivial. Considering Germanies history regarding Jews, that is indeed barbaric.

    There is no comparison to african female genital circumcision since it is a cultural rather than a religious practice, and also that rite clearly has health drawbacks, and can cause lots of pain and loss of functionality as the girls grow up, whereas any health drawbacks to male circumcision are highly speculative, and probably nonexistent.

    There is also no comparison to allowing Burkas for example, since these accomidations do affect others outside of the religious group involved, like employers who may be forced to hire somebody in one of these getups.

    We have an operation, male circumcision, that causes no proveable harm, and you are willing to deny Jews and Muslims the ability to raise their own children according to their own religion, so a bunch of anti circumcision fanatics can have their foreskins. You guys idea of “balancing rights” is pretty warped.

    I can understand prohibiting infant circumcision for religions where it is not manditory (although even in those cases, I think parents should be able to make those decisions for their children, unless their is proven harm to their future health in the procedure), but for those where it is, that is pure religious bigotry.

  • http://www.circumstitons.com Hugh7

    “Perhaps those convicted of wrongful circumcision could be required to wear a yellow star?”

    And why was it wrong to make Jews wear a yellow star? Because it identified them as Jews without their consent – just like infant circumcision. Except that they were physically able to take the star off.

    But this is not about Judaism or anti-semitism, but human rights, which by definition inhere in all humans, regardless of their parents’ religion.

    Where this differs from all other aspects of “raising your child in your religion” or “decisions that parents make for their children” is that it is irreversible, reductive and lifelong.

  • Kris

    Eta: How noble the law, in its majestic equality, that both Jews and Gentiles are equally prohibited from circumcising their children!

  • Eta

    Kris, concerning the point that you implicitly seem to make:
    Our laws may sometimes distinguish between different personal circumstances of those it applies to (e.g. unemployment benefits only paid out to those who actually need it). But it’s perfectly justifiable to limit this to objective, real-world conditions: For if the subjective religious, political, ideological or other conditions of a person were enough to give her an exempt status, anyone could make up some religion or ideology placing them outside the realm of any law at any time. That’s hardly reasonable.

    Another, similar issue that came up in Germany a while ago was that some Muslim parents did not want their daughters to participate in swimming lessons at school (they couldn’t convince the court, either). Do you support their cause, too?

  • Eta

    *”subjective religious, political, ideological or other conditions” should actually read “subjective religious, political, ideological or other convictions”.

  • jacob arnon

    Eta says: “If people have equal rights and duties under the law, there is no privileged group, and this is the case here – non-Jewish parents would run into problems, too, if they wanted to circumcise their children just for the fun of it.”

    “For the fun of it” now there is the rub, Eta.

    Jews don’t circumcise their children “for the fun of it.” For them it’s both a religious duty and cultural requirement. If you don’t like it: tough.

    For you (Aryans) not being circumcised is a cultural requirement. For some Christians I am sure it may also be a religious requirement. (Christian have traditionally despised Jews for, among other things, being circumcised. In the Merchant of Venice Antonio projects his own hatred of Jews on Shylock by claiming that Shylock hates him because he is not circumcised.)

    Of course you cite your “constitution” and the law. But it’s a law made for and by uncircumcised German Aryans. (That’s your right, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a universally valid moral law.)

    All you are proving with your obsessive anti-Circumcision stance is that Jews are not welcome in Germany.

  • jacob arnon

    Eta, I am aware that Germany and Europe has among them large minorities of Muslims that refuse to follow valid laws, but going after circumcision is not the way to deal with these problems.

  • http://knownofold.blogspot.com J R Yankovic

    “JR@112: People are not mere vessels for their ideas? Next you’ll be suggesting I meet these vessels in the flesh instead of crossing swords with them on forums such as this one!”

    I will bless your meeting them in the flesh under any circumstances you choose so long as you promise not to cross swords . . . or knives . . . or scalpels . . .

  • Berel Dov Lerner

    Parents should not be allowed to impose a particular language upon their children – let children decide which language they wish to speak when they turn 18!

  • Eta

    “Jews don’t circumcise their children “for the fun of it.” For them it’s both a religious duty and cultural requirement. If you don’t like it: tough.”

    jacob, I was fully aware that Jews have different motivations than “having fun” for circumcision. I was bringing that up only to point out that non-Jewish people are not in any way a privileged class under this law.

    “Of course you cite your “constitution” and the law. But it’s a law made for and by uncircumcised German Aryans.”

    As a matter of fact, among the German lawmakers who have been around since 1945, there probably have been some Jews. But it doesn’t really matter who makes the law – a fourteen-year old delinquent could not defend himself by saying that “the law is made by and for grown-ups”. As a matter of fact, the law applies to everyone in the country, regardless of their religion or cultural heritage.

    “That’s your right, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a universally valid moral law.”

    If the laws applied in this case were fundamentally unjust, I would agree with the criticism directed at them. Maybe some civil disobedience would be justified then, too. (In this case, it would be the German legislature’s move to fix it. It also wouldn’t necessarily be about the Jewish, Islamic or any other religion.)
    Instead, as I tried to explain above, I think that after a weighing of all arguments I have to view this as more morally (and not legally, I`m not a lawyer, anyway) justified than not.

    “All you are proving with your obsessive anti-Circumcision stance is that Jews are not welcome in Germany.”

    Once again, I didn’t even ever think about the issue before this decision. After it made me think the issue through, I came to the conclusion that the court was (morally) right, but that the verdict still shouldn’t be upheld, anyway.
    You seem to use accusations like this as a protective skin to not have to face any rational argument that would go against your personal religious interests.

    “Eta, I am aware that Germany and Europe has among them large minorities of Muslims that refuse to follow valid laws, but going after circumcision is not the way to deal with these problems.”

    I would not defend the court for one second if the only reason to do this was to torment Muslims as some form of collective punishment (or if the intention was to torment Jews, for that matter).

    It is, however, interesting that you are critical of Muslims who don’t follow the law, but once the law is not on YOUR side, you raise accusations of “Jew-hatred” and say that it’s “made for and by uncircumcised German Aryans”. This is _exactly_ the mode of thinking by which some of the Muslims you mentioned disobey valid laws.

  • jacob arnon

    “jacob, I was fully aware that Jews have different motivations than “having fun” for circumcision. I was bringing that up only to point out that non-Jewish people are not in any way a privileged class under this law.”

    “As a matter of fact, among the German lawmakers who have been around since 1945, there probably have been some Jews.”

    Probably? Don’t you know if there were any Jews or not? If there were any do tell me.

    Btw: How many of these jurists had been on the side of the Nazi regime until then?

    In any case you brought up the term “privilege” which doesn’t apply here.

    You are nitpicking, Eta, and beginning go around in circles.

    Eta, we have fundamental disagreement about this anti-Semitic law. It’s justness as well as its meaning.

    “It is, however, interesting that you are critical of Muslims who don’t follow the law, but once the law is not on YOUR side, you raise accusations of “Jew-hatred” and say that it’s “made for and by uncircumcised German Aryans”. This is _exactly_ the mode of thinking by which some of the Muslims you mentioned disobey valid laws.”

    Another ridiculous assumption: It is precisely because Jews follow valid laws that they are protesting so vehemently against this unjust law banning Superstition.

    If the law goes into effect which I doubt except most Jews to leave Germany as I said before. Jews will not stay in a country that demeans their Judaism and which has contempt for circumcised people.

    Yes this law was made by German Aryans for German Aryans.

  • Jonathan

    (quote) Jews believe that the circumcision of infants is a necessary act (/quote)

    Um … what about the ones who don’t? You can be an Israeli Jew and disagree with barbaric, outmoded religious [profanity removed].

    Circumcision of anyone, either gender, is disgusting, baseless mutilation. If you circumcize your infant child you are assaulting and mutilating it (congrats for being brainwashed!). If your beliefs and practises and customs are as beautiful and unproblematic as you seem to believe, there should be no problem convincing your kids to get THE CUT when they turn 18. Are you afraid none of them would ever want to give up the end of their manhood after enjoying its full function for eighteen years? Obviously, yes, because you keep mutilating your babies.

  • Jonathan

    [QUOTE] Jews don’t circumcise their children “for the fun of it.” For them it’s both a religious duty and cultural requirement. If you don’t like it: tough. [/QUOTE]

    What a creepy, creepy thing to believe/say/write! I was born into a Jewish family that did not have me circumcized and I could not be any happier about it. If I had been, I would have grown up to be very upset about it, and hearing my parents say ‘well TOUGH’ would not exactly have gone any ways toward explaining much less helping the situation.

    Do you go about your entire life in such a blindly unquestioning fashion? This is the way is it — tough!!

    I don’t think legally banning circumcision is the right move to slowly curtail it, but I think it needs to be curtailed! Let them get whatever procedure they want done when they can understand what is going to happen to their bodies. Anything short of that is unacceptable from a purely humanitarian viewpoint. Your beliefs, yes YOURS, are not yours to force upon your children, who may not believe the same, however much you want them to.

  • Jonathan

    Addendum: above I wrote “Circumcision of anyone, either gender, is disgusting, baseless mutilation” but elided the important words AT BIRTH!

    It is a cosmetic surgical alteration of the body. So my comment above reads as anti-Semitic the way I wrote it — but I am not universally anti-circumcision (if you elect to have it done on yourself), I am only against circumcision foisted onto children and infants.

    Frankly, I don’t think the age of consent for this needs to be even 18 years (which is the age of majority in most places). I think a 13- or 14-year-old boy can probably trusted to understand the gravity of the decision he is making if he opts to have his penis cosmetically altered.

    However, I reiterate, forcing an irreversible cosmetic procedure upon an infant child is SILLY at best, CRAZY at worst. Don’t talk about cleanliness or prevention of problems or reduction in disease transmission: to make any of those arguments is to dissemble utterly. This is about religion and tradition, and nothing else. Some of you believe your religion freedoms ought to encompass non-necessary surgical procedures performed on your children. And that, hilariously, is exactly why the law needs to step in as it does here: to protect your children from the physical repercussions of other people’s (their parents’) barbaric beliefs.

  • jacob arnon

    “I was born into a Jewish family that did not have me circumcized and I could not be any happier about it.”

    Where you, in what way were they Jewish, Jonathan?

    “Circumcision of anyone, either gender, is disgusting, baseless mutilation. If you circumcize your infant child you are assaulting and mutilating it (congrats for being brainwashed!).”

    You are the one brainwashed by those who believe the magical powers an “intact body has.”

    This is a stronger form of superstition than people who circumcise their children.

    Your irrationality is in evidence when you decide to use insults instead of making an argument. It’s also in evidence in your decision to assimilate into the majority while pretending to be some kind of “free thinker.”

    From my point of view there is nothing wrong with people being circumcised or with people not being circumcised.

    However, being circumcised is something most Jews do and do it for cultural or religious reasons.

    Uncircumcised Jewish children are not fully Jewish. Yes, Jonathan, that’s the way it is.

  • Eta

    “Probably? Don’t you know if there were any Jews or not? If there were any do tell me.”

    I can’t, because I do not usually screen my lawmakers for their religious views (nor will you easily find a database on that). It’s no surprise that there’s not an enormous number of Jew lawmakers in Germany, as only about 1 in 400 Germans is Jewish. However, it’s also statistically unlikely that there never were any.

    As mentioned above, this whole discussion is beside the point, anyway.

    “Another ridiculous assumption: It is precisely because Jews follow valid laws that they are protesting so vehemently against this unjust law banning Superstition.”

    Well, you may not intend to actively break the law, but you still demand exemption from the rules by which others have to play and special treatment (also called “privilege”, to repeat the word you have rejected once again without a glimpse of rational argument).
    Also, you reject the court’s decision – which was based on law that has existed for decades before – not just on the ground that you think their interpretation of legal principles is false, but on the ground that these should be only valid “for German Aryans”. You could not have distanced yourself more from the idea of abiding the law.

    “You are nitpicking, Eta, and beginning go around in circles.”

    The reason may have to do something with you repeating the same unfounded accusations over and over, but not replying to most of the actual points I make…

    Let me, therefore, just make three final points before I end this conversation for good from my side:
    1. As much as you would like to make it easy for yourself, a ban on circumcision is not equivalent to feeling “contempt for circumcised people” and there is not even a trace of logic in that statement.

    2. If a Jew followed Deuteronomy (or Devarim, if you prefer) 13:6-11, or many other commandments of the Thora, I think even you would be in favour of having him arrested. Some practical compromising my be necessary, but the default case in a modern Western society should be that the human rights of the individual take precedence over religious beliefs and commandments.

    3. Religious privilege still is so present in our culture, and we are so conditioned to accept it, that we often fail to notice it: You are not being honest with yourself when you say that this case is just about Jews’ right to practise their religion. It is about Jewish parents (assumed) right to practise their religion USING SOMEONE ELSE (their children) for this practice. To mention it once again, I fail to see the difference to the political tattoo example, that makes very clear in what sense this is harmful (namely, by being disrespectful to the child’s status as an autonomous individual).

    Under this ruling, you can still practise your faith to the extent that it concerns yourself and consenting adults. You can also still explain your children the importance you think Judaism has in the process of raising them. But you ultimately will have to respect their own decision, even if you do leave Germany. Not having them circumcised would of course contradict a commandment of your religion, but see point 2. for that. Millions of Jewish girls and women apparently can uphold their cultural identity without ever being circumcised.

  • jacob arnon

    Me: “Probably? Don’t you know if there were any Jews or not? If there were any do tell me.”

    Eta: “I can’t, because I do not usually screen my lawmakers for their religious views (nor will you easily find a database on that). It’s no surprise that there’s not an enormous number of Jew lawmakers in Germany, as only about 1 in 400 Germans is Jewish. However, it’s also statistically unlikely that there never were any.”

    Before the Nazis came to power there many Jewish intellectuals, doctors, lawyers. The fact that we were a tiny minority didn’t stop from contributing heavily to this society.
    Germany rewarded its Jews by literally cleansing them. We all know the details, so I don’t need to rehearse them here.

    Had there been any Jews who framed the post war German constitution we would have heard about it.

    This like all your points is pretty disingenuous.

    “Under this ruling, you can still practise your faith to the extent that it concerns yourself and consenting adults. You can also still explain your children the importance you think Judaism has in the process of raising them. But you ultimately will have to respect their own decision, even if you do leave Germany.”

    It’s not up to you to tell us how to practice our faith.

    Jews respect the decisions of their children and don’t need German law to tell them that. However, it’s obvious that you don’t respect Jews.

    Everything you write shows an old German style of anti-Semitism. They too railed against circumcision as a Jewish superstition.

  • jacob arnon

    Why didn’t you post my response to Jonathan?

  • Steeevyo

    Classic trolling for comments article.

    A good day to you from Germany.
    A country where the rule of law is still upheld as opposed to a certain big ally across the pond.

  • jacob arnon

    Steeevyo says: “A good day to you from Germany. A country where the rule of law is still upheld…”

    Germany always lived under “the rule of law.” Here on my side of the pond we prefer some anarchy to the “Nuremberg Laws.”

  • jason friedman

    To call the German court decision anti-semitic is nothing but libel. The court upheld the right of the child to remain unharmed.

    Why can’t muslims and jews wait until the new member of question is old enough to decide for himself whether he wants a part of his body cut off in honor of an imaginary entity?

  • jason friedman

    @Jacob Arnon:
    “Everything you write shows an old German style of anti-Semitism. They too railed against circumcision as a Jewish superstition.”

    Hitler was a vegetarian. Does that fact make all vegetarians anti-semitic? Yes, circumcision is (in the religious case) based on superstition. What’s anti-semitic about stating this fact of the matter?

    I don’t see how opposing a specific Jewish practice qualifies as anti-semitism. In this case, all liberal Jews would be anti-semitic if viewed from the perspectiv of orthodox believers – and vice versa.

  • Eta

    jacob, you have such a talent for making one breath-takingly self-righteous statement after another that, for one last time, I will break my resolution to ignore you from now on. Consider yourself flattered:

    It is not anyone else’s place to tell you how to practice your faith AS LONG AS THIS PRACTICE ONLY CONCERNS YOURSELF. Just like any other freedom, your religious freedom ends where it infringes upon the freedom of another.
    If Jewish parents respect their child’s right to an own decision on their faith at a later point, it’s still very much in contradiction to that to leave a permanent mark and symbol of it on their body.

    And your vague historical association with old-style anti-Semitism and Nazism is the disingenuous thing here. Anti-Semites did not raise legitimate criticisms of the Jewish religion and its rites (which you have to live with just like Catholics, Muslims and Buddhists have for a long time), but rather spewed made up and slanderous and false accusations against Jews. That’s because they were not critical of the Jewish religion, they just hated Jews. You may not see the difference, but rest assured that there is.

    And now for your next round of insults and accusations which I will not reply to in any case.

  • jacob arnon

    jason friedman says “To call the German court decision anti-semitic is nothing but libel. The court upheld the right of the child to remain unharmed.”

    The court hasn’t shown that “the child” is harmed by circumcision. It just assumed it. It also made no distinction between kinds of circumstitions practiced by different religions. There is also a difference between circumcision done by medical doctors or trained personnel and those done by non-medical doctors.

    Yes, the decision was anti-Semitic and as I read it, it was aimed at Jews more than at Muslims even though the hearing dealt with a Muslim child.

    “Why can’t muslims and jews wait until the new member of question is old enough to decide for himself whether he wants a part of his body cut off in honor of an imaginary entity?”

    Jason your question shows me that you know nothing about Jewish practice. Muslims perform circumcision till the age of 12 or 13 so they can wait. Jews perform circumcisions eight days after the child is born hence it is the parents who make the decision.

    I was circumcised and am living a very productive and happy life. I am not religious and I don’t feel that I was circumcised for god. I am a proud Jew and it is a venerable Jewish practice. I don’t won’t to assimilate into a majority culture and lose my Jewishness. This is one but the only reason why Jews circumcise. Of course religious Jews do it for because it’s a commandment and I will fight for their right to do so.

    Me: “Everything you write shows an old German style of anti-Semitism. They too railed against circumcision as a Jewish superstition.”

    Jason: Hitler was a vegetarian. Does that fact make all vegetarians anti-semitic? Yes, circumcision is (in the religious case) based on superstition. What’s anti-semitic about stating this fact of the matter?

    This is a false analogy. Wait till a German court decides to outlaw meat eating then we can talk.

    “I don’t see how opposing a specific Jewish practice qualifies as anti-semitism. In this case, all liberal Jews would be anti-semitic if viewed from the perspectiv of orthodox believers – and vice versa.”

    Again: wrong assumptions. Circumcision isn’t just any Jewish practice. It’s one of the most important Jewish practices. I also don’y know what you mean by “liberal Jews.” I am a liberal Jew and I support the practice most Jews in the US are liberal and also circumcise their children.

    The main thing is that circumcision as practiced by Jews doesn’t harm the child. This should be obvious given the contributions Jews have made in all field of human endeavor.

    The law is based on superstition and it is anti-Semitic.

  • jacob arnon

    “jacob, you have such a talent for making one breath-takingly self-righteous statement after another that, for one last time, I will break my resolution to ignore you from now on. Consider yourself flattered”

    Eta this is a public forum and whether you answer or read my comments doesn’t matter to me. If on the other hand you make a comment that I think is false, I will challenge not for since I doubt you will change your mind but other readers.

    “If Jewish parents respect their child’s right to an own decision on their faith at a later point, it’s still very much in contradiction to that to leave a permanent mark and symbol of it on their body.”

    It is not the place of Eta or the German law to tell Jewish people how to respect their children. I find it laughable that Eta or the judge in this case is concerned about Jewish children.

    From a Jewish point of view not circumcising one’s child is a sign of not respecting him. Just as not training him (and or in this case his daughter) for bar mitzvah is also a sign that the parents don’t respect their Jewish children.

    “And your vague historical association with old-style anti-Semitism and Nazism is the disingenuous thing here. Anti-Semites did not raise legitimate criticisms of the Jewish religion and its rites…”

    Antisemites and Nazis held that Jewish circumcision was a barbaric practice and showed that the Jews could not be trusted. Of course for circumcision was only one of the practices they didn’t like about Jews, but it wasn’t an insignificant one.

    “That’s because they were not critical of the Jewish religion, they just hated Jews. You may not see the difference, but rest assured that there is.”

    Wrong, Eta the Nazis hated the Jewish religion which they called a religion of pacifism and cowardice. They hated Jews and Judaism: you can’t separate the two. It is like trying to distinguish between the dancer and the dance.

    Now , Eta, you also said above that “Anti-Semites did not raise legitimate criticisms of the Jewish religion and its rites (which you have to live with just like Catholics, Muslims and Buddhists have for a long time)…”

    This again begs the question that Jews do not live within the bounds of the law. It assumes it and it is a false assumption. Jews are among the most law abiding members of any society.

    You are right about one thing given your anti-Jewish prejudices (you assume that Jews don’t respect their children, that they harm them, that they don’t follow the laws of the countries in which they reside) it’s useless to talk to engage you in conversation.

    You know nothing about real Jews, Eta.

  • leschmuck

    sorry to sound pompous but I live in Germany and though many here are (thankfully) on the right side of the issue (from my point of view of course) you are all still missing the big picture.
    The best selling political book of the last 30 years is by Thilo Sarrazin and came out in the last 2 years. It says the same thing as Hitler, the Germans are genetically superior to….Turks (this time). The only real difference is he is not calling for mass murder. This is hard to believe but its is completely true (just dont ask a german, they are crazy and either Nazis or in denial that this is happening).
    The name of the book is “Deutschland schafft sich ab” by Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the SPD to this day!

  • leschmuck

    as to the whole mutilation “disscusion” what about cutting a childs toenails, also mutilation?

  • Eta

    “as to the whole mutilation “disscusion” what about cutting a childs toenails, also mutilation?”

    That’s hardly a fair comparison: Cutting the toenails is not an irreversible procedure, but rather automatically reversed by nature. It is also sort of a medical necessity (ingrown toenails can cause intense pain). And, in our society, it has no connection to any ideology or religion.

    I have asked this question before in this thread, although so far I’ve only gotten nasty misinterpretations of what I said, so perhaps you can answer it:
    Would you also be OK with parents having slogans of their political ideology tattooed on their children’s thighs or butts? Even assuming it was crucially important to them and there was a painless and medically riskless method of doing so? If not, where is the difference?

  • jacob arnon

    “Would you also be OK with parents having slogans of their political ideology tattooed on their children’s thighs or butts? Even assuming it was crucially important to them and there was a painless and medically riskless method of doing so? If not, where is the difference?”

    There may be some Maori cultures (and a few others) that do that. So what? Why does that bother you Eta?

    I know many gay men, who dislike the idea of circumcision from an aesthetic point of view? In a diverse world you will find all sorts of customs that you don’t like (or that I wouldn’t endorse) but it’s not up to you (or me) to set universal standards.

  • RN

    Religion does not tell the State what to do.

  • Eta

    “There may be some Maori cultures (and a few others) that do that.”

    Maybe, but this still somewhat dodges the question: The point was not that there was some different practice involved, but that the type of ideology was different (political, rather than religious). We are all accustomed since childhood to certain special standards for religion compared to other views on other topics, and people tend to get emotional when it is questioned. Therefore, I think applying the logic used for religion in other contexts helps us perceive these double standards:
    If a conservative American parent got their child a (permanent) “Morning in America”-tattoo or a more left-leaning parent picked the slogan “We are the 99%”, I think we would all be highly critical of it. After all, as an adult, the child might have vastly different political convictions from those expressed that way.
    Of course, my take on a hypothetical Maori religious tattoo ritual would be the same as on Jewish circumcision. And let me emphasise that I am criticising the ritual and not the parents, who may easily be loving, caring individuals. For I DO distinguish the dancer from the dance, like most people. Or do you actually dislike everyone who is bad at dancing?

    “it’s not up to you (or me) to set universal standards.”

    To set certain universal standards that limit acceptable cultural practices is the very idea of human rights. (And yes, admittedly, there are much, much more serious human rights issues than this one, but the above is still where, to me, logic and reason seems to lead to.)

  • Black Caiman

    Mr. RN, I don’t know whence you hail, but in my nation, the 1st Amendment–should Judge Roberts still find Court favor with that yellowing document of Ye Olde Days–tells us also that the State does not deign to tell religion what to “do” either in its rituals and practices, unless it really does involve the fires of Moloch or provable social harm. Circumcision of a piece of tissue less injured than the common site of the OWS brats on the phenomenon of “Tong Ling” (tongue rings) hardly passes the test of Moloch.

    Now then:

    asdf said, in part:

    “Attacks on circumcision or kosher slaughter rules or whatever, they always have some thin pretext. With circumcision, it’s necessarily vague, since the vast majority of American men have been circumcised for years now with no ill effects. Studies which demonstrate this (and incidentally, show benefits in disease-resistance) are dismissed by people muttering about the Jewish Agenda, but they can’t produce solid evidence to the contrary.

    Europeans have developed a unique style of passive-aggressive anti-Semitism. Why else would New Zealand pass a “humane slaughter law” that made exceptions for hunters, aborigines and every other ethnic group and situation… but not Jews. Countries that invoke these suspiciously specific “universal principles” seem to develop the ones that just happen to outlaw all kinds of unrelated Jewish practices. They also seem to be associated with the radical Left (California, New Zealand, Germany, Norway).”

    Exactly.

    Balancing out the “state’s interest” in such matters, as alleged by our betters (who after all, know better than we parents what is and what is not acceptable) is always a tricky proposition, regardless of the nation doing the “das ist verboten!” moves, or conversely making allowances that leave other groups rituals mostly intact.

    Or…..IS it?

    Perhaps it’s just that some groups are not quite as favored as others?

    In the name of PC fairness and Multi-Culti considerations, or “MC”, for short, we have the schizoid phenomenon of allowing some Native tribes to slaughter some kinds of endangered raptor birds because of the wholesome savor of certain ceremonies, as well as limited hunting of whales for meat and just good plain good times and family wigwam fun on the shores of Alaska. Yet some desire that a claim for a ritualistic rite of passage that involves a harmless removal of skin that even the waffling American Academy of Pediatrics says has medical benefits? Verboten! Or, so they would wish.

    No, the US does not ban circumcision…yet. Though to be sure there are numerous busybody groups bucking for this, and–as recent events have demonstrated–the First Amendment (or any of the others, for that matter) is no more a guarantee of basic core rights today than it was a few days ago, when the land’s highest court turned the Founders a certain famous document into just another yellowing parchment under helium glass, perhaps now best served as toilet paper or maybe even confetti for the coronation of King Charles someday, under the auspices that it was all folly, old chaps, and we Yanks are sorry for all that brouhaha about freedom garbage and other daft, rube notions no longer adequate to confront the “modern” world. So don’t depend on the mighty pen of Judge Roberts to save your soul and religion any more than his idiotic ruling has spared your pocketbook in paying other people office visit bills by force of law.

    But, regarding America’s own aforementioned Left Coast nuts and fruitcake SecProg ethics–brought to attention above, on California—now is a good time to point out (since also mentioned elsewhere that Muslims far outnumber Jews) that in the case of the World Revolutionary Republic of Cally and San Fran in particular, that while this fact of Jews being a tiny minority in San Fran was surely known, the cute little pictorials placed on the anti-circumcision sites and handouts and flyers portraying the evils of “male cutting” always showed dark eyed, dark hatted characters holding up knives who looked astonishingly like Orthodox Jewish rabbis. The pictures were curious for their emphasis on a tiny sliver of Cally and indeed all US population. But no one dared show same wild=eyed Mullah wielding a knife in these anti-circumcision sales pitches handed out to passersby on the street and the Net. Mullahs holding knives? Pace Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl and 10,000 gory decapitation vids later, I guess that would be too over the top even for the statists who run California. We shan’t cause offense by associating certain religions with the things their more stern practitioners do as an afternoon shiggles in the name of the Prophet, shall we?

    Or, rather, best not to push certain envelopes with certain groups is more like it.

    Germany will also find this out, likely the hard way, as shrinking demographics among the Wunderkind blue-eyed boys and girls gives way to more business in the nursing homes rather than the nursery, with the exception of adherents of Islam; most children now born in Germany are the offspring of proud moms who look oddly covered in the hijab. Whatever one feels about this, we can be sure that if current trending remains in place, no force of law or edict or contradictory Germanic tradition of banning this or that practice or situation will stand for long against a far more, shall we say, sterner culture than the one that now tries weakly to steer Europe’s remaining history away from a dark Eurabian night.

    Or, as Mark Steyn placed the real issue going on here for posterity (or rather, post-mortem Europe when what USED to be called “Europe” is culturally absorbed into greater Islam due to demographic downshifting by the natives now fretting over what the Jews are doing):

    “Mr. Mead has a point, but there are very few Jews left in Germany and, as “legal expert” Holm Putzke sneers, Germans are less inclined than ever to be “scared off by charges of anti-Semitism” – or, as the mordant crack re Holocaust guilt goes, Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.

    But the boy who prompted the case was a Muslim. Muslims are the fastest-growing population in Germany, in contrast to the natives, who are in steep demographic decline. Islam is the principal generator of population growth in every major German city, and will be a majority in many of them within a generation. Analogy-wise, this is more like the Fuhrer going after the penises of every blond, blue-eyed Aryan youth singing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” in the beer garden. Telling young Muslim males the contents of their trousers have to assimilate when very little else has would seem to be an unlikely recipe for social tranquility.”

    Spot on.

    In this unhappy ending, regardless of Europe’s self-implosion due to massive social program outlays, bureaucratic overload, Nanny Statism nitpicking, and passive-aggressive hatred of Jews (note that the same nutcase nations that ban circumcision across the board also have this odd affinity for the Sons of Allah’s habits when pushing for the de facto destruction of Israel by coddling up to true barbarians among the so-called “palestinians”, invented by sheer humbug fiat in 1967) we shall find that Islam will handle this with much aplomb, as it always does Euro-centric notions of the mellifluous cross-pollination notions of Multicultural muck–they’ll put your heads on sticks. You will NOT be telling hundreds of millions of angry young Muslim males what they will or will not being doing with their private parts any more than you’re now telling them they can’t do female genital mutilation and agitation in the streets. Which, I’m afraid, they do anyhow.

    Europe generally has never had any trouble ginning up anti-Jewish sentiment; indeed, whether local or express, in the town or overseas, their alleged Zionist nabobs and cabals and conspiracies are the stuff of legend when it comes to how Europeans generally handle their own angst, and they’ve served as the scapegoats for every woe, folly, or misfortune Europeans themselves concoct. But the Jews are few in number these days. The sane ones remaining would be well advised to get the Sheol out of Europe altogether before a combination of PC Nannyism and Islamist tinkering makes gravestones the leading feature yet again of what used to be Judaism in whatever’s left of Europe in 30 years or so. Rabbis as far flung as London and Maalmo and Amsterdam are advising their flocks it’s perhaps time to split the scene as European notions of “tolerance” become once again intolerable for certain groups. That the Mullahs can openly threaten the Brit bobbies in Yorkshire is no clear indicator that anyone else could get away with pelting the police and threatening beheadings and not get locked in cuffs. So, yes, what happens to certain religious groups more active members depends largely on who you are, and indeed just how large you are.

    Be that as it may, as to the commentator who said we Americans wish to feel morally superior to the guardians of pathetic Euro-rot? Half true. That might be the case in some quarters, but you’ll be glad to know the times, they are-a-changing’ . People bring up issues like the Mormon Church and the blatantly obvious harm of polygamy that has to be stanched in our culture (though in Canada, it’s getting more free reign with…ahem….certain demographics due to MC consideration), but the problem is that this is not really comparable to circumcision, which does not materially harm society at large as does polygamy, or tossing kids in the fires of Moloch, or what not.

    Fear not, however, due to the “rule of law’ mantra that someone mentioned, and some rather pretzel-like mangled twisted rulings of late from the nation’s highest court, I am now pleased to say that rich honky chicks like Georgetown agitator and part-time law student Sandra Fluke will probably be getting free contraceptives even if working for putatively Catholic institutions, and taxpayer funded anti-stork pills and creams and jellies and lotions and abortificants will now be all on the taxpayer dole for fairly much all Americans—regardless of one’s religious affiliation. Happy now. Fear not, Germany, They say in hell you’ll be somewhat better off if you have your pals with you. We’ll be joining you very soon.

    Moreover, why NOT go the only step further one can now make? Drawing on another comment above, this one a bit snarky, perhaps all language AND all religious instruction and ceremony/rite should be BANNED outright (as Richard Dawkins and others have proposed on the latter two), for any child under the age of 18. We would not wish to unduly cause mental “harm” to the child. And who’s to say which language is better than another? Is it REALLY fair to force German or English on to hapless kiddies and cloud their heads with linguistic folly and untold double entendre, when some tribal dirge is perhaps better for the soul?

    In point of serious fact, though, yet again Germany takes the lead, followed now by Sweden also from the Loony Bin of Older Nations, with the NEA here in America hot on the heels of these bold progressive moves for religious freedom–salivating over the notion–in BANNING homeschooling, for example. The putative grounds being (as all Statists and neo-Stalinist types deign) that the little people and their bonehead parents need not worry their eggplant noggins over education, as that’s best left to the “experts”–like the ones who now run the USA’s crummy public school systems, for example. Oh yes, and then there’s the ludicrous claim that forcing all the kiddies into the public school system creates social harmony and “diversity” of ideas and other cross-pollinations of culture and habit. Yes, that’s how you create diversity—by cramming everyone into a one-size-fits-all motif of state worship and forced deference to bureaucratic overseers. Of course.

    The reality: Germany’s actual reason for banning homeschooling also has to do with the issue of religious instruction of some groups. Merely an incidental connection here, I’m sure. I must say, however, that comparisons to polygamy of America’s yesteryear look rather daft. Germany’s motives here are less about their bogus health and humane concerns for children and more about a weak attempt, as with banning homeschooling, of driving religion to the margins of society. As with the secular “progressives” here, they claim all is cool with your faith, be it Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Rastafarian, or just contemplating the veins of leaves while doing yoga, but in reality what they mean by this is that you’ll eventually be forbidden to show any outward signs of religion whatsoever. Religion is to be banned from public life and therefore public display and therefore must reside only in the contents of your skull. Just as with the grin of the Cheshire Cat, it’s a multi-step process that eventually removes the body and leaves only the teeth, and then later something close to nothing but the inisdes, the rest being hidden from view.

    Praise such actions or damn them, but deny the trending at your peril:

    True, Germany has never had trouble being on the forefront of marking off the “Verboten” checkboxes in quite a few categories faster than most other nations, but religion is the main issue here.

    While in full denial mode that anti-Semitism plays any part of recent obnoxious edicts, Germany’s name oddly comes upon us yet again, proudly among the “progressive” cadre of the same kook nations that find favor with the Sons of Allah overseas firing rockets for decades on end onto the heads of Jews in Israel, and yet also finding room to once again think harmonious relations at home involve banning whatever private practice that causes no real harm. Curiously, Germany has NOT recommended to the residents of Gaza they desist the “barbarity” of circumcision as the high-minded trade-off for helping the Pallies drive the Jews into the sea once and for all via UN mandates and “freedom flotilla” nonsense. Presumably because said residents would tell even one of their prime benefactors to go pound sand, and that would be the end of that. Which is exactly the point, and the problem: You can try as you might at home to stanch the bleeding by sweeping laws pretending to bring balance and social harmony and pretend that what goes in Gaza shan’t go at home. More fool you. The Sons of Allah will tell you to go nick off regardless of where they happen to be making the morning calls to prayer over the ever-increasing loudspeakers that used to only be a common feature in actual Islamic lands.

    My unbidden counsel to Germany’s courts and (more importantly) citizens in general: You know it’s true. And you also know you’re not going to do a hell of a lot about it, and they know that YOU know they’ll just do their cutting in private and defy you, as they do with the issue of FGM, where laws on this are routinely disobeyed to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Muslim girls per year being sent off elsewhere to get the deed done, and returned sans certain parts, to their families. So stop pretending already.

    You think the Jews will not follow suit, and due their tiny presence in your nation they will either obey the law, or will find greener pastures elsewhere. And indeed they may yet, but in the long run, the Cheshire Cat’s sardonic smile is about to be all you Germans have left, not people of faith.

  • jacob arnon

    “Of course, my take on a hypothetical Maori religious tattoo ritual would be the same as on Jewish circumcision.”

    Eta, you must be very desperate to put up hypotheticals against real serious religious practices. Besides, the the nature of your hypothetical based on aesthetic criteria is no real counterpart to the serious moral implications ( be one a believer or not) of the religious practice.

    Even on the aesthetic level, you didn’t answer by objection that it’s not up to you (or me) to set universal standards for religious or aesthetic practices.

  • jacob arnon

    “You think the Jews will not follow suit, and due their tiny presence in your nation they will either obey the law, or will find greener pastures elsewhere. And indeed they may yet, but in the long run, the Cheshire Cat’s sardonic smile is about to be all you Germans have left, not people of faith.”

    Probably many if not most will, but the few who don’t will have their births elsewhere and then return to Germany, if they return at all.

    One of the more serious problems with the threatened law is that Germany would have criminalized whole peoples.

    Can one imagine being a circumcised student in a German school taunted by uncircumcised Germans. Don’t you think that will be reminiscent of the German recent past?

    I doubt the ruling will be upheld.

  • thibaud

    Black Caiman – [negative characterization of commenter deleted], but I like your style.

  • Black Caiman

    jacob arnon said, in part:

    “Probably many if not most will, but the few who don’t will have their births elsewhere and then return to Germany, if they return at all.”

    Is that legal?

    You can do that with gambling in the US (board a ship and leave the coastal zone just out of reach of jurisdiction, play the cards, have some drinks, and then head home to port), but not sure about laws on physical alternations of minors.

    In any event, you could be right some could try that, but at that point it’s a real question if they’d even bother coming back anyhow.

    It WILL be interesting to see if this splatter of a ruling sticks to the wall very long.

  • Eta

    “Eta, you must be very desperate to put up hypotheticals against real serious religious practices.”

    The Maori example was yours, and I have brought up mine almost from the start. The logic in these hypothetical examples would be in no way different from the logic in real-world examples, which is why they help perceive faulty moral reasoning.

    “Besides, the the nature of your hypothetical based on aesthetic criteria is no real counterpart to the serious moral implications ( be one a believer or not) of the religious practice.”

    It is based on the self-ownership and autonomy of each individual. That goes way beyond mere aesthetics. The question I asked was WHY the moral implications should be taken to be more serious in the religious case.

    “Even on the aesthetic level, you didn’t answer by objection that it’s not up to you (or me) to set universal standards for religious or aesthetic practices.”

    No idea what you mean by that. I could repeat the last lines of my previous post on this opinion of yours, but I think there is a deeper difference between the two of us behind all that (correct me if I do you any injustice here):
    You think of people as extensions of their culture and religion or the respective communities, and hence believe that defending the rights and freedoms of cultures is the equivalent of defending the rights and freedoms of an individual. I disagree and believe that only the latter can claim any rights. To repeat, mine is essentially the position behind the entire human rights movement.

  • Eta

    “Can one imagine being a circumcised student in a German school taunted by uncircumcised Germans. Don’t you think that will be reminiscent of the German recent past?”

    The court did NOT rule that it is OK for students to bully their classmates for being circumcised. In fact, it’s not OK for any reason. (Gasp!)

  • jacob arnon

    Sorry, Eta, but there is an existential difference between a hypothetical and a real example in the actual world.

    Ten hypothetical dollars isn’t worth anything in the real world.

    “You think of people as extensions of their culture and religion or the respective communities….”

    It’s not an either or, Eta, not even for you as you seem to believe that an intact body is sacrosanct. This is part of your belief system.

    People are individuals as well as part of their culture. (I see religion within the context of culture.)

    All of us are born into a culture which shapes in the way we are: the language we speak isn’t chosen by us prior to birth nor do we name ourselves.

    Circumcision is an external marker and hence the least interesting aspect of our lives except for those for whom sexual aesthetics is primary.

  • jacob arnon

    “You can do that with gambling in the US (board a ship and leave the coastal zone just out of reach of jurisdiction, play the cards, have some drinks, and then head home to port), but not sure about laws on physical alternations of minors.”

    I don’t see why not, though it would have to ruled by a court in Germany if the law is left standing which I doubt given that many German officials have pledged to nullify the ruling.

  • Black Caiman

    thibaud said:

    ..”but I like your style.”

    Over here at Mutilation Central, we “aims to be a-pleasin’” as our rube, redneck, cousins say sometimes in these here necks of the woods.

    And with that, it’s time for the kids to get haircut, a toenail clip, and perhaps other forms of mutilation before the company arrives and the party begins.

  • Eta

    “Ten hypothetical dollars isn’t worth anything in the real world.”

    Open any textbook on economics, finance or business administration: You will find that they illustrate their points by quite a lot of fictional examples involving business transactions that never actually happened and lots of “hypothetical dollars”. That’s because the basic logic of an idea is the same in a hypothetical example as in a real one.
    Frankly, I think this is pretty obvious.

    “It’s not an either or, Eta”

    Sometimes it isn’t, sometimes it is. The point is that in those cases where it isn’t, I believe that only the individual rights count, while you apparently hold a different view.

    “you seem to believe that an intact body is sacrosanct.”

    No. I am, however, defending the rights of the people who do. Or who do not really hold such a view, but are strictly opposed to having a symbol of a religion they disagree with on a sensitive part of their body. You have claimed they are only a fringe minority, but that makes them no less deserving of protection.

    “All of us are born into a culture which shapes in the way we are: the language we speak isn’t chosen by us prior to birth nor do we name ourselves.”

    Neither can be characterized as an “ideology you might disagree with as an adult”. But even if you don’t like your language, you are free to learn another one later and move to a country where it is spoken. You can not uncircumcise yourself. Most importantly, both are essential to functioning in everyday life, while circumcision most certainly is not.

  • jacob arnon

    Eta: “But even if you don’t like your language, you are free to learn another one later and move to a country where it is spoken. You can not uncircumcise yourself.”

    When you are old enough that choice your original language will already have imprinted itself in your psyche and speech in such a way that you will never be able to get rid of.

    No human individual is born into a completely virgin world. You are given an identity at birth which you can never completely shed.

    Circumcision is just another such marker.
    Most importantly, both are essential to functioning in everyday life, while circumcision most certainly is not.

    I’ll forego arguing with the rest of you response, Eta, since it can go on forever and we will never agree.

    From my point of view neither you nor the State has any right to forbid circumcision at birth. It can be regulated for hygienic reasons but not forbidden.

  • Eta

    “When you are old enough that choice your original language will already have imprinted itself in your psyche and speech in such a way that you will never be able to get rid of.”

    That is true, I just wanted to point out that language is not quite on the same level of irreversibility as circumcision, the other argument I gave was the more important one.

    “No human individual is born into a completely virgin world. You are given an identity at birth which you can never completely shed.”

    Of course, I agree with this, too. However, the individual reaction to the cultural factors surrounding someone is always different, and some (actually, I think, most) people will reject several notions of their community and their parents when they are grown up. Jewish (and any other) children may not share their parents’ religious views or even become “gay men who dislike circumcision from an aesthetic point of view”.
    They will do so in the process of and after forming a personality of their own which is the prerequisite for making such a decision, and whatever culture and education is their background will play a role in this as a matter of course. (You will not hear me say anything against preparation for bar mizwa or similar things in other religions, unless they contain a moment of violence or indoctrination.)
    This does, however, not mean that we can predict how exactly this process will play out. Therefore, I would still object to a ritual where you irreversibly (that’s what it’s mostly about) leave a mark on the child’s body that clearly stands for a very certain path it may not choose to follow. If one advocates this, wouldn’t one also have to defend the parents in the political tattoo example? (See above.)

    Still, your decision to quit the discussion is probably wise, as we will never agree on these matters. Also, because we actually agree that the state should not try to ban these rites, although for different reasons (in my case, because in practice, virtually nobody will actually benefit from such a ban, also see above).
    And, lastly, because this debate will not have much impact on the real world. It is highly unlikely that this ruling will be the last word in 10%-theocratic Germany.
    Have a nice day!

  • leschmuck

    I live in Germany and the Germans are going crazy that´s why this is happening as I tried to mention before (Thilo Sarrazin writting the nations bestseller saying the same thing as Hitler…oh, never mind)

    But I really don´t understand this whole back and forth amongst what I am supposing are US citizens. Almost everybody in the US is circumsised regardless of religion because we decided a long time ago that circumsision is not only not a problem, but medically (and some say aesthetically) beneficial. So what´s this all about are you tuning into crazy people too? Don´t believe in progress and common sense anymore? Against evolution too? The world is flat?

    THE POINT HERE IS SARRAZIN!

  • leschmuck

    Also if you [persons with whom this reader disagrees] insist on dwelling on this real re-manifestation of nazi ideology in a legal vein (totally missing the point) then where are the plaintiffs? Where are the injured circumsised ones who are bringing the case? Without them it seems that even from a legal eagle point of view the case is moot (and has long beeen resolved at least in the states).

  • leschmuck

    the thing to remember here is the fact that one of the first things the Nazis did was to outlaw Kosher slaughter in the name of animal rights.

  • Margaux

    Hey leschmuck if you are really living in germany (I dont) then I know that you are willfully distorting the Sarrazin story to incite more hatred towards Germans that is entirely undeserved.

    First of all Sarrazin wrote about genetic advantages of Jews compared to Turks. This was the key scandal of his book. And through every medium by every expert he has been trashed for these remarks.
    The fact that his book was highly popular is because there has been and there always is a lot of money to be made when you pick out a minority group and trash them. This is not a German phenomenon. Societies change and people feel uncomfortable with it so all it needs is a smart enough writer to exploit on these fears. These fears Sarrazin is exploting is directed towards an alleged Islamisation of the country and the alleged willingnes to let the trash into the country instead of for example, and I quote Sarrazin here, ‘to enforce russian jewish immigration beyond the current level instead.
    More outrageous books are published in the anglosphere every week than those two bestseller that Sarrazin wrote. And again: He wants more Jews and less Muslims in Germany. That is the very questionable message that he presents and that is what makes people buy his books. But the reality of Germany is a different one and will stay a different one. Just look at their current national team that the huge majority also cheers. Full of immigrants and Muslims. You should seriously reconsider your hate and resentment towards Germany. It is not about nations. It’s about evry single individual having a decent attitude.

  • Eta

    leschmuck, I am probably, as crazy as you claim for coming back here once again, but just one little personal comment:

    I would concede that, in a country like the US, were most people are circumcised for non-religious reasons, my own point about it being a symbol of religion that the child might not agree with at a later time would be more questionable. But in European societies where this is not the case, it is clearly identifiable as such.
    Similarly, the insignia of any political movement or party (this comparison always helps) might be meaningless in a country where it is not known or where they are already have a different meaning. In Germany, a red elephant might appear on an ad for the next zoo. In the US, it would be a symbol of the Republican party.

    I think all your other points have already been hotly, and sometimes bitterly, debated above (sorry), and it seems improbable we will get consensus on any of them. However, the discussion really has nothing to do with Sarrazin. Also, his views, whatever you think of them, are actually a far cry from Adolf Hitler’s. As far as I know, Germany (unlike e.g. the non-Sarrazin-influenced Netherlands, that are moving to ban it right now) has special legal rules for kosher and halal slaughter in place. And a guaranteed place for representatives of Christianity and Judaism on the boards of the major public TV stations. And state-funded Religious education as a subject in public schools that is explicitly meant to be religious instruction. And a (not-so-often applied, but still existing) law against blasphemy.

    As I said before, it is unlikely, and would actually be inconsistent, for this ruling to be upheld in semi-theocratic Germany.

  • leschmuck

    first of all thank you Margaux and Eta for actually responding to what I wrote, thank you.

    Perhaps I should explain that I have been trying to see the best in the germans for nigh on 30 years and now have decided (largely due to sarrazin) that the situation is untenable and I am leaving. This means that right now i have a lot of time (about a month) before I get out of here so I will answer your comments in detail. First of all the facts:

    Sarrazins 1st book is the best selling political book in Germany in 30 years.
    All major polls have shown that 63% of ALL GERMANS agree with the books basic tenants, this includes 55% of the Green party! Now remember that roughly 10-15% of german inhabitants are foreigners and you see just how scary that is… the remaining ca 20% of Germans didnt really say anything at all about this. The most active move “the people” made was to keep Sarrazin from getting thrown out of the SPD in the name of freedom of speach (Wha?!), he is to this day a full member of the SPD though he has recused himself from his more international position as head of the Bundesbank which he used to hold.

    Margaux said:
    “You are willfully distorting the Sarrazin story …First of all Sarrazin wrote about genetic advantages of Jews compared to Turks. This was the key scandal of his book. And through every medium by every expert he has been trashed for these remarks.”

    Are you claiming that Sarrazin´s book was not about Germans and their genes, only about jews and turks and their genes? But you are admitting that it is about issues of “genetic advantages” that is to say genetic superiority. That is basically all I am saying: A book of this popularity in Germany about genetic superiority should be enough to raise alarm bells the world over, have we learnt nothing?
    The fact that the German media that was being “critical” concentrated on his one remark about Jews being genetically superior (this time, thank you very much indeed) and ignored the fact that he was calling the Turks (10% of the German population after all) genetically inferior (to Germans of course) just goes to show how crazy things are here. IT DOES NOT CHANGE THE FACT THAT THATS WHAT THE BOOK SAYS. German genes are being dilluted by inferior Turkisch genes hence the name of the book “Germany is disintigrating itself”

    Margaux said: “The fact that his book was highly popular is because there has been and there always is a lot of money to be made when you pick out a minority group and trash them. This is not a German phenomenon. Societies change and people feel uncomfortable with it so all it needs is a smart enough writer to exploit on these fears. These fears Sarrazin is exploting is directed towards an alleged Islamisation of the country and the alleged willingnes to let the trash into the country instead of for example, and I quote Sarrazin here, ‘to enforce russian jewish immigration beyond the current level instead.”

    This is no doubt some sort of explanation of what is happenig but it also an explanation of why Hitler happened and I think you would agree that it doesn´t really make the situation any less disgusting or disturbing. The thing at the end about jacking up jewish immigration is once again a complete side point to his main theory of how the genetically inferior Turks etc are destroying the “Heimatland”. It is in effect an attempt to buy off or bribe people critical of talking about genetic superiority in Germany once again. Like: “Look hes being nice to Jews so it´s OK?” Really are we that cheap? Genetic superiority crap is all right as long as its directed at the other guy and we get to be superior this time, WHEE! what fun!
    Seems to work though and that in itself is to me perhaps the single most disturbing thing about this.

    Margaux said:”More outrageous books are published in the anglosphere every week than those two bestseller that Sarrazin wrote.”

    Please name any book that proclaims the genetic superiority of any anglo-saxon country or culture that is a 30 year bestseller and has 63% approval in that country and hardly any critical voices with the right arguments…in every other country even the netherlands these are fringes, clearly indentifies as such even if they do reach shocking levels such as 20% (front national, in france etc) but the majority is flat-out outraged, which is DEFINITELY NOT THE CASE IN GERMANY. As I said the guy is still a prominent member of the SPD! The single most centralist party!

    Margaux wrote:”But the reality of Germany is a different one and will stay a different one. Just look at their current national team that the huge majority also cheers. Full of immigrants and Muslims. ”

    well definitely germany has a lot of structures and good ideas in place as a reaction to what they did in the Nazi period in order to try and prevent it from happening again. The scary thing is its happening again anyway thats why this circumsision ruling is so troubelsome. In spite of a system rigged to avoid such things in spite of 50 years of feeling guilty, here they go again. I mean genetic superiority as an acceptable political argument in Germany need I really say more?

    About the football team. Ever notice how all the “foreigners” don´t sing along to the national anthem and not just mildly, they stand there defiantely not singing, wonder why? The chances for advancement of foreigneres are very low in Germany the lowest in the whole OECD studies that includes places like mexico and brazil and the US! In fact the UN has sent an envoy (Edgar Munoz) to investigate “human rights violations” in the german school system because they kick almost all the turks into a special school “Hauptschule” in 4th grade at the tender age of 10! The only country in the world to seperate kids so early!

    just the other day there was a stir because of some hate tweets sent out about Özil (the turkish star on the team) upon reading the comments on Yahoo I once again could not believe my eyes. 7 out of 10 comments were downright racist “papers alone dont make a german” etc, the other 3 were like “being reasonable”: well he is a german and he plays well but on the other hand..bla bla bla!

    so dear if you want to go ahead and blame me for reality be my guest these are facts…and i am leaving.

    The real question is why is the rest of the world so slow to catch on to what is actually happening here, its not like his book is a secret, though this bestseller has never been translated. I guess there just not much of a market for German genetic superiority out there. Talk about willful blindness!

  • Eta

    leschmuck,
    personally, I still feel this story is rather off-topic (the court drew on the work of legal scholars such as Prof. Putzke mentioned in the above story, but certainly not on the work of Thilo Sarrazin).

    However, in spite of living in Germany (like me), you grossly misrepresent the facts here, possibly misled by others. So if someone really thinks this is important background information, here are a few corrections: Sarrazin did NOT claim that Germans are genetically superior to Turks. Instead, he wrote a book claiming that German society was threatened by present demographic trends. The main theses he put forward were

    a) There is a major danger in the various integration problems of Muslim immigrants, most notably from Turkey, in German society, combined with their comparatively high birth rate. The integration problems he cited included the lack of success of Turkish immigrants in the educational system, relative to other groups. He did not, however, blame this on genetic factors, but on cultural factors. In fact, he has explicitly denied he saw genetics as the cause and called claims to the contrary the biggest media distortion of his views.

    b) He did, however, argue that the average IQ of Germans would sink as a result of genetics: Because people with academic background and university degrees got fewer and fewer children (regardless of any “racial issues”), and intelligence was genetic to a large extent, the average IQ in Germany would decline over the next decades, too, threatening our economic competitiveness.

    Several people in the media, sometimes out of intellectual incompetence, sometimes clearly in a very malicious act of manipulation and deception, ignored the distinction between these two issues, and spun this into: “Turks are genetically inferior to Germans.” The closest Sarrazin ever came to this was, indeed, the bit about all Jews sharing one certain gene (and Basks sharing certain genes), which he took back as to imprecise a summary of actual scientific studies. He did not ascribe any kind of “superior” or “inferior” properties to that alleged gene.

    You can argue over the factual accuracy of these ideas and the rightness of his politics. Sarrazin has, at times, used inflammatory rhetoric and said things that are reprehensible. He has also said a number of things that are correct (what is true is true, like it or not). But, to repeat it, I think such views are a very far cry from the Nazi propaganda.

    Sarrazin is, however, shunned and hated as a crypto-Nazi by most of the German left, including the leading figures of his own party, although they failed to expell him some time ago, as you correctly note.

  • leschmuck

    what can I say? Must be a very fine line indeed.

    Here, argue with two of the most renowned and previously respected figures in German recent hisrory. Günther Walraff the journalist and Heiner Geißler CDU politician. Both calling Sarrazin Nazi ideology and their take on the book is apparently that it is totally about genes. I guess the book leaves a lot open to interpretation, huh?

    “Zu sagen…also hier geht es um genetische Komponenten und Menschen, die bestimmte Rassen haben, andere Gene, die sie bevorzugen und herabsetzen.

    Ich meine, das ist wirklich Rassenideologie, das ist NS-Ideologie. Und damit hat er (Sarrazin) wirklich eine Grenzlinie überschritten…selbstherrlich wirklich als Herrenmensch auftritt .”

    (my translation: To say….that this is about genetic factors and people that have a certain race, other genes that favor or debilitate them… I mean that truly is race ideology („Rassenideologie“ a term associated with the Nazis), it is Nazi ideology. In doing so he (Sarrazin) has truly crossed a line…pompously presenting himself as a Herrenmensch)

    -Günther Wallraff, one of the most famous German journalists.

    http://www.dradio.de/dkultur/sendungen/interview/1261105/

    “Er (Sarrazin) bleibt auch bei nachgewiesenermaßen falschen Thesen

    Ich kritisiere ihn, weil er einen verengten Begriff von Intelligenz hat, die Muslime genetisch negativ bewertet und dadurch diese Menschen beleidigt und verletzt.

    Sie (die Muslime) sind also minderwertig, die Nazis sagten abartig. Das ist Rassismus. Diese Theorien stehen im Gegensatz zu dem, was sich heute auf der Welt entwickelt.

    … diesen (muslimischen Kindern) nicht den Intelligenzquotienten vererben, der notwendig wäre, um Deutschlands Zukunft zu sichern. Er geht eben von einem falschen Intelligenzbegriff aus und unterstellt eine genetische Identität der Völker, wie er das explizit von den Juden sagt. Da sagt er (Sarrazin) das gleiche wie die Nationalsozialisten. Auch sie verwarfen den kategorischen Imperativ und behaupteten den territorialen, der auch durch die Gene begründet würde …er beruft sich zu Unrecht auf wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse .

    Natürlich ist das Verhalten des Menschen auch abhängig von seinen Genen. Aber es ist weder ausschließlich erlernt, noch ist es völlig angeboren. Auch was im Genom verankert ist, ist durch Lernprozesse veränderbar. Und zwar durch die Fähigkeit des Menschen, durch freie Assoziationen von Informationen weiterzukommen – ein wesentlicher Vorgang bei allen Intelligenzleistungen. Die Fähigkeit, Gedächtnisinhalte zu kombinieren ist nicht davon abhängig, welche Gene ein Mensch trägt, sondern welche Bildung und Erziehung er genossen hat”

    -Heiner Geißler CDU politician (thank god)

    http://nachrichten.t-online.de/heiner-geissler-zerlegt-sarrazins-thesen/id_42713914/index

  • Eta

    Sorry, leschmuck, but that is a form of blind obedience to authority: You want to refute what I say, but to do so, you don’t produce a quote from Sarrazin that we all could evaluate to contradict my assessment of the facts. Rather, you quote two figures repeating the same, false claims about Sarrazin’s argument that you made yourself, believing it would be harder for me to argue with them because they are among “the most renowned and previously respected figures in German recent hisrory”. They both also produce some of the least reasonable political commentary our country has to offer, not only on this particular topic. I prefer to go by my own mind.

    And no, the points I mentioned are not really open to interpretation, unless you want to believe them in the first place. Actually, Sarrazin’s rejection of genetic racial theories is not even the most decisive point that distinguishes him from a Nazi ideologue. It is that he emphasizes the statistical nature of his comments on Turks, that do not allow for a conclusion on each individual. Oh, and also that he is not calling for mass murder, something you called the “only difference” to Hitler, as if this was some minor, unimportant point of disagreement.

    Anyway, to get into this any further would be too much for me, so I leave the last word on these matters to you…

  • leschmuck

    I mean even if you think about your a) and b) approach it makes no sense

    In a) you say:

    “…lack of success of Turkish immigrants in the educational system, relative to other groups. He did not, however, blame this on genetic factors, but on cultural factors. In fact, he has explicitly denied he saw genetics as the cause..”

    and then in the space of a few lines in b):
    “(he believes)intelligence was genetic to a large extent”

    These two things can hardly be believed by one person at the same time unless this person believes that intelligence has nothing to do with success in the educational system.

    This does´nt pass the laugh test, you´re not fooling anyone.

  • leschmuck

    Or more simply, [material deleted in the interest of a more pleasant web site]
    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. To believe that some races/classes are born with something that would make it to a “large extent” ( won´t forget your so very reasonable qualifier) impossible for them to learn or understand something about the world is the antithisis of modernity…it is EVIL in fact.
    We all know about Genes but we also know (to finally use Einstein´s qoute in the right way) that we all only use 5% of our brain, so its not about Genes. It´s not it´s simply isn´t GET OVER IT!
    Welcome to modernity.
    Or Not!

  • GermanJew

    As a medical doctor and secular Jew living in Germany, I fully agree with the court’s ruling. While relgious traditions and customs need to be respected, they do not stand above a person’s right of bodily integrity and health. It was very much foreseable that this decision would cause uproar within the Jewish community, but again, religious traditions do not stand above a country’s law which is there to protect its people.The ruling was neither antisemitic nor against Islam. It should also be noted that the rate of circumcisions is declining world wide as it is becoming clearer and clearer that there are no medical benefits to circumcision, it was largely propaganda coming from the US that started this trend. Today, there is a growing number of circumcised men who speak up against this practice which is not as risk free as some make it to be, as the example of the Muslim boy in Germany shows. Why even liberal and educated Jews still hold on to this archaic tradition is beyond me.

  • GermanJew

    Btw, I don’t believe that this decision will drive away Jews from Germany. Most Jews in Germany are from Russia and as such, have a very liberal and imho sensible approach to religion, if they are religious at all. They eat their pork an don’t speak one word of Hebrew and are still Jews if THEY see themselves as such.

  • leschmuck

    There you go US penis proganda is ruining the world!
    But as a jew you must surely understand that even if all you say is true (which I sincerely doubt) wouldn´t it be better if some other country than Germany the previous executioner would lead the charge? Common sense? No?

  • leschmuck

    To all those who really don´t understand.
    Circumsision is basically the celebration of having pants or of being human not animal.
    As to health benfits and “risks” I suggest this link to a government agency website its just the facts:

    http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/circumcision

  • Margaux

    It’s a good discussion, away from the actual topic but I am happy that things are presented now in a more diverse way.

    I would like to add that another highly important factor of Sarrazin’s success has been the reaction of the mostly liberal media and of high ranking politicians through all political parties.
    The climax was reached when Angela Merkel called the book “not helpful” while admitting that she never read it.

    So the population that holds politicians in pretty low regard these days and was appalled by the insane concentration of ad hominem attacks in the media naturally teamed up. For Sarrazin a win win situation. He could not have hoped for more. The publication of his book and the reaction of the elites to it made it a success.
    It was a people’s vote to show the media and politicians, you can sweep issues under the rug all you want but they won’t go away just because you wish to ignore them.”
    For me personally this was an important and powerful demonstration of the German people that they can see through the smokescreen of political correctness and are not willing to be taken for a ride just that easily.

    Again I don’t agree with a lot of the book’s content and I guess many people have reservation especially with the genetic talk. I also think to project a current trend into the future almost never works because trends always change.

    As a German it saddens me if somebody feels they have to leave the country because the climate became unbearable. I wish it wasn’t so because I don’t see the climate changing. The society is changing yes but despite the bumps its an upward curve. Sarrazin is cashing in on the bumps.

    I left Germany 6 years ago (in part out of disillusion and a belief that Germany could not be reformed). But watching the country from outside while living in various countries around the planet has reconnected me with my “tribe” and I feel I can look at things more objectively and I feel very much reconciled.

  • Eta

    Okay, leschmuck, it seems it is foolish to withdraw from a discussion like this thinking that your views will not be misunderstood and misinterpreted, so I will clarify once more, but stand by my promise to leave to you the last word. After all, you must somehow justify to yourself your hysteric overreaction to what is largely a media hoax. (And the fact that, for one time in their post-1900 history, Germans saw through it.)

    So:
    The genetic stuff is relevant to differences INSIDE a population group. That does not mean that culture, education, upbringing do not play a role and cannot be the major cause for the differences between people from two vastly different cultures. Of course, the fact that genetics plays a role at all is not something everybody likes. It is, however, backed by science, unlike the idea that we use only 5 or 10% of our brains, which is NOT due to Einstein.
    I suggest you just google “Rindermann Rost Sarrazin” and read the very first article that shows up.

  • GermanJew

    @leschmuck:

    People will find a reason to attack any country if they want to. I find it odd that absolutely not one single post on this website touches upon the fact that the Muslim boy suffered from a complication caused by the circumcision. This is why the incident was brought to court in the first place, since one shouldn’t operate on people if there is no medical reason. “Nihil nocere” (“do no harm”) is a fundamental principle of good medical practice. Furthermore, did you read the website you referred to ? It clearly says that the American Academy of Pediatrics does NOT recommend routine circumcision.

    All in all, this is not a scandal about Germany being anti-semitic once again, it is much more about the fragile Jewish/Muslim identity and the question whether you can base important decisions in life on the bible. You can’t was the answer of the court in Cologne and that’s my viewpoint as well. We don’t live on trees anymore and should not let dusty old books guide us in our decisions.

  • Eta

    “Circumsision is basically the celebration of having pants or of being human not animal.”

    Read Genesis 17:10, it is a symbol of a covenant with God. Of course, there is also some celebration of humane ideals in many religious rites, but nevertheless: There is NO guarantee that the boy will grow up to believe in God, or if so, not even that he will believe in the Jewish version. Most of those who don’t probably (I don’t know) regard their circumcision as merely an anatomical curiosity of little importance. But the above discussion HAS produced examples of people who felt violated, and you can’t alter the facts.
    We have been all over this before, of course.

  • leschmuck

    This thread is actually a discussion of whether it is good that Germany should forbid circumsision of underaged males.

    I have lived in Germany for basically 40 years so when I tell you that this is just the first tangible result of very slippery slide right back down. I am speaking from experience, that is no proof of anything of course but just to let you know this is not just theoretical. I have tried (and am at this very moment trying) to talk to these people. Although I must confess I have given up and am leaving the country.

    To understand where this is coming from you must consider the last couple years in Germany.

    1. the “Fussballsommer” when the German flag made its official public comeback, why this was a big deal I have yet to this day to understand, but the consequences make it clear

    2. A year later came Thilo Sarrazins bestselling political book in germany in the last 30 years saying the germans are genetically superior to …Turks (this time)..63% of all germans agree with these “theories” which are indeed basically the same as what Hitler said. This is the major first thing that happened aftet the flag “came back”, straaange brewww….

    3.various strange covers of respected monthlys the last being this months very strange Spiegel cover of a pregnant woman entitled “the birth of the I, how 9 months formed our psyche”, just odd, pseudo-scientific stuff….weird. It goes on and on.

    4. and now bannng circumsision in the name of human rights which obviously only affects jews and moslems . Why Germany? Why in the world is it their job to do this (we can argue about whether its good or bad later). Why does it have to be the country that executed Jews that is the one to now “correct” their practices (and that of moslems of course). Not to mention that one of the first thing the Nazis did was to outlaw Kosher slaughter in the name of animal rights…sound familiar? The shame has completely dissapeared. CONGRATULATIONS!

    Various (German) contributors to this site have taken issue with what is completely obvious about Sarrazins bestselling book that it is all about German racial/genetic superiority, thats what this post will be about since it is definitely the main issue, the main obvious change in what is ok to say, think etc in Germany….genetics AGAIN! And they won´t even admit it!

    For the American and the americanised reader let me just sum it up:
    A member of the Bundesbank, ex-senator of Berlin and a member of the very centralist SPD (of which he is to this very day a member) named Sarrazin made a strange stew of a book mixing the theory of genetic “advantages” in intelligence of different cultures and classes with the fact of high birth rates of foreigners (Turks) and came up with the conclusion that GERMANY IS BEING DILUTED AND IS BECOMING GENETICALLY STUPID! (that is the name of the book “Deutschland schafft sich ab” “germany does away with itself “ or “dilute itself”) He said all kinds of terrible and disgusting Nazi like things along the way in case anybody was confused about what he really represents. Even if this wern´t Germany with all its baggage it is pretty darn clear where this is all leading or what part of it appeals to the German on the street (63%!!!! agree with the book say all major polls!!!): We are gentically superior and these damn Turks are lazy and gentically stupid and will ruin our beautuful Heinmatland if we don´t…i don´t know…kill them perhaps? God knows, he left out the next step.
    In America we have saying: “If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….”

    The facts:
    Sarrazins 1st book is the best selling political book in Germany in 30 years.
    All major polls have shown that 63% of ALL GERMANS agree with the books basic tenants, this includes 55% of the Green party! Now remember that roughly 10-15% of german inhabitants are foreigners and you see just how scary that is… the remaining ca 20% of Germans didnt really say anything at all about this. The most active move “the people” made was to keep Sarrazin from getting thrown out of the SPD in the name of freedom of speach (Wha?!), he is to this day a full member of the SPD though he has recused himself from his more international position as head of the Bundesbank which he used to hold.

    And now to those of you who would like to argue the fine points of insanity. Everybody else just go back to your life unless you are interested in a descent into the inner working of Hannibal Lectors psyche.

    I will just sum up and comment on what happened in the discussion with Eta and Margaux since post number (181) where Margaux talked about Sarrazin for the first time in this thread.

    But first let me point out that Eta and Margaux were both not identifiable as German or even non-english speakers at first since their command of the English language and idioms is truly pitch perfect. This is really what is so disturbing to me in Germany today. These are obviously highly educated individuals and people with real experience in an english speaking environment and yet…..

    Margaux 181:

    She is arguing that the book is not about German gentic superiority:

    “First of all Sarrazin wrote about genetic advantages of Jews compared to Turks. This was the key scandal of his book. “

    “He wants more Jews and less Muslims in Germany. That is the very questionable message that he presents and that is what makes people buy his books. “

    .As I point out in my extensive answer to this post (182) this hardly makes any sense since this book is about Germany and Germans after all. She is all over the subject of “genetic advantages” and yet (she is apparently claiming) German genes do not come up (if they do are they better or worse than Jewish and Turkish genes? Must be one of these two options, logic, No?)

    Also interesting because Eta later claims that Sarrazin never said anything about superior genes or genetic advantages (unless of course in his mind genetic “advantages” is not the same thing as genetic “superiority”, wouldn´t surprise me after some of the things I have heard people say in Germany: “saying someone is gentically inferior is not the same as saying you are genetically superior”-an airplane pilot for Lufthansa explaining why Sarrazin was different than Hitler, I left him and his Brazilian (!!!) wife finish their cofee alone after that comment).

    Later on however (193) Margaux claims people bought the book as an act of rebellion (not because of the “questionable message”, see above):

    ”The publication of his book and the reaction of the elites to it made it a success. It (the success of the book) was a people’s vote to show the media and politicians, you can sweep issues under the rug all you want but they won’t go away just because you wish to ignore them.
    For me personally this was an important and powerful demonstration of the German people that they can see through the smokescreen of political correctness and are not willing to be taken for a ride just that easily.”

    A contradiction.

    Eta 184:

    Also arguing that the book is not about German genetic superiority:

    “Sarrazin did NOT claim that Germans are genetically superior to Turks. Instead, he wrote a book claiming that German society was threatened by present demographic trends. The main theses he put forward were
    a) There is a major danger in the various integration problems of Muslim immigrants, most notably from Turkey, in German society, combined with their comparatively high birth rate. The integration problems he cited included the lack of success of Turkish immigrants in the educational system, relative to other groups. He did not, however, blame this on genetic factors, but on cultural factors. In fact, he has explicitly denied he saw genetics as the cause and called claims to the contrary the biggest media distortion of his views.
    b) He did, however, argue that the average IQ of Germans would sink as a result of genetics: Because people with academic background and university degrees got fewer and fewer children (regardless of any “racial issues”), and intelligence was genetic to a large extent, the average IQ in Germany would decline over the next decades, too, threatening our economic competitiveness.”

    Eta´s a) and b) approach makes no sense. In a) you say:
    “…lack of success of Turkish immigrants in the educational system, relative to other groups. He did not, however, blame this on genetic factors, but on cultural factors. In fact, he has explicitly denied he saw genetics as the cause..”

    and then in the space of a few lines in b):

    “(he believes) intelligence was genetic to a large extent”

    These two things can hardly be believed by one person at the same time unless this person believes that intelligence has nothing to do with success in the educational system. Also:

    “He did, however, argue that the average IQ of Germans would sink as a result of genetics:”
    If he is worried about a “German genetic decrease in averagte IQ” (what a crazy idea no matter what that is supposed to be it would take hundreds of years to change genes, at least. Planning a thousand year…something? Can I come?) then he is saying there is such a thing as a “German geneticlly influenced average IQ” so then there must also be a “Turkish geneticlly influenced average IQ”. So is the “Turkish IQ” lower than the “German IQ” right now? Or perhaps its a higher ? Nooooo! Just kidding. So which one is it? Oh what? Sarrazin didn´t say who was superior? BECAUSE THIS IS NOT ABOUT GENETIC SUPERIORITY!
    But the Turks are multiplying and your not (maybe thats your problem?) is that good or bad, we need to know who has more genetic average IQ advantage!
    Obviously somwhere in this stew of racially charged stereotypes that is this god-awful book there must be a connection between a) and b) or else why not write two seperate books? And how does he come to the conclusion that German genes are being dilluted. If b) has nothing to do with a)? Haha, what a joke!

    “Several people in the media, sometimes out of intellectual incompetence, sometimes clearly in a very malicious act of manipulation and deception, ignored the distinction between these two issues, and spun this into: “Turks are genetically inferior to Germans.” The closest Sarrazin ever came to this was, indeed, the bit about all Jews sharing one certain gene (and Basks sharing certain genes), which he took back as to imprecise a summary of actual scientific studies. He did not ascribe any kind of “superior” or “inferior” properties to that alleged gene.”

    The “distinction” ah yes..well I just dealt with that. A fine line, a fine line…..(that doesnt even make any sense)
    So races have “different” genes not “superior” genes . This is definitely true. I just hope that all of the 63% of Germans who support this book didn´t miss the distinction….ha ha…we all know that if people can have different genes maybe they can have superior genes. This is what he is hinting at, you think that`s slick? It´s dead obvious, very clumsy! Oh but he “took it back” phewww! I was scared there for a second. Straaange Breewww……….a fine line indeed..and why, why in Gods name is a German of all people playing with these toys? All better? Cured? (they think they payed their dues and now…here we go! )
    This does´nt pass the laugh test, you´re not fooling anyone.

    At this point in the thread (185) I qoute the only two renowned and reverred public figures in Germany I have ever been able to find that actually came out and said the right thing: This is Nazi ideology plain and simple.Günther Walraff, the famous explosive undercover journalist and Heiner Geißler an age old member of the CDU.( I witnessed on “Berlin Mitte” how the moderator told Geißler to shut up and pushed his arms down when he raised his hands and implored the German public “this is Nazi ideology, what are you thinking?!” The lady from the Green party just sat there and blushed (55% of her party agrees!))

    Eta 186:
    “Sorry, leschmuck, but that is a form of blind obedience to authority: You want to refute what I say, but to do so, you don’t produce a quote from Sarrazin that we all could evaluate to contradict my assessment of the facts. Rather, you quote two figures repeating the same, false claims about Sarrazin’s argument that you made yourself,

    This was actually when I realised Eta was German, So typical this invocation of “blind obedience” as a no no (because of the Nazis) when all I was doing was qouting two of the most famous and respected thinkers in Germany. I can´t explain it, anyone that has lived here knows what I mean I think, it´s just weird… a little too ready to accuse someone else of your own faults .

    “They both also produce some of the least reasonable political commentary our country has to offer, not only on this particular topic. I prefer to go by my own mind. “

    To my knowledge neither of them has ever been accused of falsehoods, quite to the contrary. Walraffs underground work is monumental in German workers rights for foreigners and Geißler is from the countries most conservative party, the CDU, and though sometimes truly someone “of his own mind”, the worst thing he ever did was to suggest that the pacifism of Weimar lead to the Nazis. They are both unreproachable in terms of factual correctness. Why would they be making this up?

    “Actually, Sarrazin’s rejection of genetic racial theories is not even the most decisive point that distinguishes him from a Nazi ideologue. It is that he emphasizes the statistical nature of his comments on Turks, that do not allow for a conclusion on each individual. Oh, and also that he is not calling for mass murder, something you called the “only difference” to Hitler, as if this was some minor, unimportant point of disagreement. “

    And now the freak show really gets under way. The same guy who was (see above) as Eta admits quoted as saying different races have different genes and thought this was important enough to bring it up. The guy with genetic arguments pulsating through his very veins, and through his book as Eta admits is now to be applaude for his “rejection of genetic racial theories “ because that makes him different than the Nazis.
    Oh, I hear the cry:” In the book he talked about genes but not with regard to races only with regards to intelligence” right, right because (see above) a) has NOTHING to do with b) right. He just said that other stuff and then he took it back, right I get it sure (quack, quack…duck sounds).

    But the next sentence really takes the cake (so far):

    “It (he most decisive point that distinguishes Sarrazin from a Nazi) is that he emphasizes the statistical nature of his comments on Turks, that do not allow for a conclusion on each individual.”

    WHA?
    Congratulations dear reader. If you have penetrated this far then you have now reached the heart of darkness of the German mind 2012.

    “Oh, and also that he is not calling for mass murder, something you called the “only difference” to Hitler, as if this was some minor, unimportant point of disagreement.”

    Groan!…the lack of understanding of irony, perhaps the single most identifiable trait of a pyschotic character. (I am seriously coming to the conclusion that Germans suffer from a sort of mass psychosis, wish I was joking) He is referring to (159) me:

    “It (the book) says the same thing as Hitler, the Germans are genetically superior to….Turks (this time). The only real difference is he is not calling for mass murder. This is hard to believe but its is completely true (just dont ask a german, they are crazy and either Nazis or in denial that this is happening).”

    I mean “le schmuck” get it I`M JEWISH you think that I think the holocaust was a minor point?

    Margaux 193:

    “So the population that holds politicians in pretty low regard these days and was appalled by the insane concentration of ad hominem attacks in the media naturally teamed up(on Sarrazin). For Sarrazin a win win situation. He could not have hoped for more. The publication of his book and the reaction of the elites to it made it a success.
    It was a people’s vote to show the media and politicians, you can sweep issues under the rug all you want but they won’t go away just because you wish to ignore them.
    For me personally this was an important and powerful demonstration of the German people that they can see through the smokescreen of political correctness and are not willing to be taken for a ride just that easily.
    Again I don’t agree with a lot of the book’s content and I guess many people have reservation especially with the genetic talk.”

    This is a contradiction to her statement in (181) as I pointed out at the very beginning:

    “He wants more Jews and less Muslims in Germany. That is the very questionable message that he presents and that is what makes people buy his books. “

    But it also make no sense by itself. What really got me mad at the beginnig of Sarrazin going public is that nowhere was he referred to as a racist or a espouser of Nazi ideas he was CONSISTENTLY (even in liberal papers) referred to as a “provacateur” that is the term the German media greed on UNANIMOUSLY and they stayed with it.
    What is she saying? That a person running around with genetic hate talk is rightfully being hailed as a hero because politicians realised that this was Nazi talk and therefore the people stood up and rebelled against the politicians by buying the book written by a Nazi? Thats what she is saying, literally..
    I find the fact that the only post Sarrazin did resign from (not his SPD membrship) was his position as head of the Bundesbank intersting. I guess international business doesn´t really apppreciate Nazi talk (at least not openly, how stupid).

    Eta 194:
    “ … for one time in their post-1900 history, Germans saw through it (the media hoax theory as presented by Margaux)”

    They are feeding from the same sources, this is rampant here I´m telling you. The craziness of the argument is that it is being framed as having finally overcome their previous mistakes in the Nazi period. It doesn´t get more absurd, supporting a genetic hate talker in the name of having overcome the Nazis.

    “So:The genetic stuff is relevant to differences INSIDE a population group. That does not mean that culture, education, upbringing do not play a role and cannot be the major cause for the differences between people from two vastly different cultures. Of course, the fact that genetics plays a role at all is not something everybody likes. It is, however, backed by science, unlike the idea that we use only 5 or 10% of our brains, which is NOT due to Einstein.”

    Wha? Ha? Oh yeah a) and b) (184) have nothing to do with each other..intelligence is genetic…but not education… races have genetically influenced average IQ´s but I´m not going to tell you who is superior. the Germans or the Turks (you should know 63%)…and genes only count inside a culture not outside and jews have different genes than bask , no wait I take that back,…genes are not racial… I am opposed to racial genetics “

    Never mind what Günther Walraff and Heiner Geßler said. This is NOT I repeat NOT about gentic superiority…

    you think the 63% got the message?
    YEAH THEY DID.

    ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL. To believe that some races/classes are born with something that would make it to a “large extent” ( won´t forget your so very reasonable qualifier) impossible for them to learn or understand something about the world that others can is the antithisis of modernity…it is EVIL in fact.
    We all know about Genes but we also know (to finally use Einstein´s qoute in the right way) that we all only use 5% of our brain, so as far as the brain goes at least ….its not about Genes. It´s not it´s simply isn´t GET OVER IT!
    Welcome to modernity.
    Or Not!

    by the by the “Zentralrat der Juden” has condemnde the book as purely racist propaganda.

    And really what IS he saying?

    …QUAK QUAK IT´S A DUCK!

  • leschmuck

    to the editor thats all im finished!

  • leschmuck

    One last link. This is the best article about Sarrazin I have found in English (or German for that matter) but it was written BEFORE his book!
    It has qoutes etc…

    http://www.dialoginternational.com/dialog_international/2009/10/thilo-sarazzin-racist-hero.html

  • Eta

    leschmuck,

    I will not comment on your long rant about Sarrazin, as promised. It pretty much speaks for itself, and an intelligent reader of this thread (if someone is left at comment #197, about a week later) will be able to figure out for himself what is wrong with it.

    I do, however, apologize, if my remark about you mentioning the Holocaust like it was a “minor difference” hurt you personally. It wasn’t meant to, and I did not find is obvious that the sentence: “The only difference to Hitler is that he is not calling for mass murder.”, was some kind of irony. Nor did I know that you were Jewish until now.

    However, it is also not really a sign of a civil tone on your part if you call people who think about these issues like Margaux or like me “psychotic” and even compare us (or is this mainly directed at me?) to Hannibal Lector type psychopaths.
    Here is a hint: Before getting outraged at something someone else says, first take a deep breath and ask yourself if they could have a reason for thinking what they think or if they could believe they have one. Try to understand their point of view before condemning it. Ask yourself if you may yourself be adhering to irrational views without questioning them.
    Unfortunately, and the above thread has produced several examples of it, way too many people apparently prefer the reverse order: Reserve judgement for after you have gotten outraged and furious. Lash out at others first, think later.

    Let’s hope at some point, people will be wiser than this.

  • Eta

    OK, I will make one tiny last comment on the link you gave in #199, because I just can’t stand misrepresentation of important issues.

    It quotes Sarrazin as saying: “Forty per cent of all births occur in the underclasses. Our educated population is becoming stupider from generation to generation. What’s more, they cultivate an aggressive and atavistic mentality. It’s a scandal that Turkish boys won’t listen to female teachers because that is what their culture tells them”
    This is actually a truncation and contraction of things said in this interview: He said each of these sentences at a different point in the conversation, and quoting them this way makes it appear as if he suggested ideas that he did not. It’s not hard to look up the original interview (in German).
    (Of course, you seem unable to understand the distinction between the various different issues touched upon here, anyway.)

  • leschmuck

    the last thing (I swear). I said:

    “just dont ask a german, they are crazy and either Nazis or in denial that this is happening”

    I guess I forgot a case. Many of them it seems are promoting Nazi ideas while at the SAME TIME beimg in denial that this is happening….I feel sick.

  • Eta

    Me: “Before getting outraged at something someone else says, first take a deep breath and ask yourself if they could have a reason for thinking what they think or if they could believe they have one. Try to understand their point of view before condemning it. Ask yourself if you may yourself be adhering to irrational views without questioning them.
    Unfortunately, and the above thread has produced several examples of it, way too many people apparently prefer the reverse order: Reserve judgement for after you have gotten outraged and furious. Lash out at others first, think later.”

    Why, oh why, did I ever assume these words could NOT be completely lost on you, leschmuck?

  • leschmuck

    “A large number of Arabs and Turks in this city, whose number has grown through bad policies, have no productive function other than as fruit and vegetable vendors,”

    -Thilo Sarrazin the man Germans, according to Eta and Margaux, valiantly saved from a “media hoax” by making him the bestselling author in Germany 30 years, congratulation Germany you are really making progress, good thing you over came your past.

  • Eta

    leschmuck,

    you can’t give it up, can you?

    Neither can I, it seems. I ought to have my head examined for trying to explain things once again to you, as you already have a proven track record of not even making an effort to understand why someone could be on the other side of this issue. However, I have to prove to myself if it is really impossible to appeal to the reason of someone who thinks he is on the right side of history and fancies himself a valiant fighter against racism and bigotry. (You are not, sorry.) Call me an idealist.
    So let me go very slowly through the issues. Please, for one moment, put all your outrage aside and try to follow the argument for a different position then yours. Or, if you should choose to reply, at least do me the favour of reading it to the end (it’s long, sorry), because it’s mostly written for you personally.
    Since our poor moderator must already be violently banging his or her head on the desk each time a new comment on this matter pops up, let me mention that at least the last part is relevant to things said in the circumcision debate, too. So here it goes:

    1. Talking about Turks and Arabs
    In your very last post, #204, you quote one very harsh statement of Thilo Sarrazin about these two ethnic groups, referring to the situation in Berlin. It is, however, based on real, actually existing problems of these groups having low achievements in the educational system and being dependent on the welfare state way too often.
    Of course, “native Germans” are not all brillant geniusses who will get a job for sure, either. However, if there are cultural factors that make these problems appear in the Turkish and Arab communities significantly more often, these MUST be discussed openly. And yes, Germany also has a right to select what immigrants to recruit, and do it on the basis of productivity (“productive function”). The US has been on the forefront of such efforts for quite a while, I think.
    But couldn’t he be more polite and sensitive to the feelings of these minorities in bringing that up? He could, and in my view he often should. I mentioned before that, even in my eyes, he has said some reprehensible things.
    However, I think it’s too much to base your whole opinion of someone on a few uncivil (but basically correct) statements. If you beg to differ, let me present you with a little best of of your own comments:

    “just dont ask a german, they are crazy and either Nazis or in denial that this is happening”
    “I live in Germany and the Germans are going crazy”
    “If you have penetrated this far then you have now reached the heart of darkness of the German mind 2012.”
    “I am seriously coming to the conclusion that Germans suffer from a sort of mass psychosis, wish I was joking”

    You are doing the very same thing as Thilo Sarrazin, without even noticing: You pass judgment on the – in your eyes rotten – culture and thinking of a whole ethnic group (Germans), and the only justification you could have is the same as Sarrazin’s, too: You believe your opinion is based on real facts that must be mentioned, and you don’t believe in holding back when talking about it. That is your (and Sarrazin’s) right, but it is ironic for you to criticise him, then.
    Unless you believe it’s only OK to do that to Germans because of “German history”, which is your magic wand to justify any kind of madness. Let’s look at that one at the end.

    2. Nature, nurture, genes
    You argued, or rather, non-argued, that it is impossible to separate the issues a) and b) that I identified in Sarrazin’s book: a) The fact that Turkish immigrants are one of the least succesful groups in the German educational system, and that this has to do with the tradionalist culture many of them come from. b) That the low birth rate of academics and well-educated people, combined with the large extent to which intelligence is genetic, might lead to the dropping of German average IQ. (Since you are confused why to write one single book about these separate issues: The common denominator is that they are both demographic trends concerning the economic competitiveness and possibly social cohesion of our society.)

    When commenting this, you said something about me having to postulate a difference between education and intelligence. There is, as sometimes smart people underachieve at school, while less intelligent people are favoured by their teachers. However, this was not even remotely the point, and these things clearly have a lot to do with each other.
    What is the point is that some people don’t get that you can at the same time believe that most of the variation in intelligence is genetic, and that cultural and educational factors STILL have an enormous influence. An analogous mode of thinking in another context would be this: “A majority of Europeans is white…” “Hold on a minute: Are you denying the existence of people of all kinds of colours of skin on our continent, and their heavy contribution to our societies? How dare you?” “But I’m not denying this, I’m just saying that most people here, for reasons that should be entirely obvious…” “How dare you??”
    Since nobody is denying that culture HAS a say in a person’s intellectual development, it is entirely possible to believe the differences between people from two cultures are purely due to nurture, and Sarrazin does. In his own words:
    “A ‘classic’ is the claim I wrote that Muslims were genetically dumber than others. Even at my first book presentation I blamed the lack of integration of a portion of Muslim immigrants on cultural differences [...]. The inheritability of intelligence does not play a role in my book’s discussion of immigration and integration. Instead, it comes into play in the analysis and evaluation of the different birth rates by social class in Germany.” (From the foreword of his book, translation mine.)

    He has said a few thing that can be taken as saying Jews are genetically superior. However, what you (and Margaux, too, actually) overlook is that he said that Eastern European Jews had a 15 points higher IQ than the average German, not just Turkish immigrants. (And don’t forget that he talked about the enormous success of Vietnamese kids, too.)
    Perhaps you still do regard it as racist (positive and negative prejudice have something in common, after all), but are you sure you are being consistent about the direction of that alleged racism? If he is saying Turks perform worse in education than the rest, people like you regard this as a racist and xenophobic insult. When he is talking about Vietnamese or Jews performing better then non-Vietnamese or non-Jewish Germans, you are (I imagine) calling this racist against the Vietnamese and Jews? If you want to take his remarks as racist AND stay consistent, you have to regard them as just as anti-German as they are anti-Turkish. Isn’t this a strange kind of Nazism, where you proclaim the inferiority of your own people?

    When I said that all this is not even the most crucial difference to Hitlerist ideology, you greeted it with incredulity and said such remarks were at the “heart of darkness of the German mind 2012″. The decisive difference that I named was that Sarrazin emphasized the statistical nature of his claims, that does not allow for conclusions on each individual. Your take on this was a simple: “Huh?” So let me explain this as well:
    Imagine you know the average income of a certain neighbourhood (I love explaining points by example). It is a normal, middle-class income: Not very rich, not very poor. However, this is not the same as saying that every single person in that area is an average earner: There is a rich Wall street broker in this house, a homeless person in that street, a slightly-above-average paid engineer here, a slightly-below-average worker there. The statistical average does not preclude the fact that there is variation around it. Possibly a lot. Hence, people are not mere representations of any statistical average of any group they belong to. They may deviate from it greatly. However, when local politicians want to make considerations on the economy of that area, they WILL take the statistics that are based on the full picture of things into account.
    The same is true when you discuss the behaviour or educational achievements of minority groups: Policy decisions concerning them should take the statistics on these groups into account (though that’s sometimes not the sole thing one should go on, of course). These statistics determine probabilities of what to expect when you encounter a member of that group, but not more: Each person ultimately can only be, and deserves to be, judged as an individual.
    Even knowing that there is some group difference in IQ and/or educational attainment between population group A and B, and it is in favour of A, there still can be fools, dim-wits and idiots belonging to the former, and geniuses, future Nobel prize winners and extraordinary minds in the latter.
    Compare this to Nazism: They did not judge every person as an individual. They did not care about statistical variation. Instead, they followed a racial theory that would reduce every single person under their rule to nothing more than a representative of their respective group. As a sidenote, they also banned intelligence testing, because they couldn’t stand Jews getting better results (on average) than the self-proclaimed Aryan master race in these tests.
    And, to repeat, they also had vastly different practical conclusions from all this, namely first abolishing the civil rights of and later trying to eradicate Jews in Europe. Unlike you say, Sarrazin did not leave quite open what should be done about the problems he talked about: Abolish what he views as false incentives in our welfare system, be more demanding, regulate immigration. What about these two things is even comparable? Explain it to me!

    Last, but not least, you never stop to think if the things that Sarrazin DID say about genes might actually be TRUE and FACTUALLY CORRECT. I recommended you to google “Rindermann Rost Sarrazin” and read the article that pops up, but it seems you didn’t. So here it is (German): http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/2.1763/die-thesen/intelligenz-von-menschen-und-ethnien-was-ist-dran-an-sarrazins-thesen-11041641.html
    Two relatively renowned psychologists and researchers on intelligence discuss the book “Deutschland schafft sich ab” (I would translate the title as “Germany abolishes itself”, I have no idea how you arrive at “Germany dilutes itself”). They come to the conclusion that there are no major factual mistakes in its theses on intelligence, its argument is “remarkably subtle for a layperson”, that he accurately discusses opposing viewpoints, and that even the kinds of models he presents for (non-racial, to emphasize it once again) IQ decline have been put forward by serious researchers.
    Also, when I said his comments on Jewish and Basque genes were recognized by himself as too unprecise, you were wrong to take that as first espousing genetic theories and then chickening out: There actually are studies (including some by Israeli researchers) that show certain patterns in the genetic makeup of Jews and Basques, and he never had to deny that, because it’s true. The imprecision lay in claiming that there is one single gene that all Jews in the world share, which isn’t true. But, anyway, so what of it? Two people can share a lot of genes and still be vastly different. We all share 95% of our genome with chimps!

    3. “Germans must not toy with this stuff.”
    Both on circumcision (now we come back full circle) and on – what shall I call it? – “Sarrazinism”, you have said things along the lines of “even if you were right, Germans should not say or do this or that, because of their past”. Other people here have argued along similar lines before. But this strikes me as a strange position to take: If a position is defensible, an argument is right, a fact is correctly evaluated, in one country, isn’t it true in another, too? Why should matters of truth, ethics or moral justice be relative to its history? Or do you actually fear that the remembrance of the German past will make Germans MORE likely to descend to the same moral depths again? Implausible. Or that there is a “German gene” that would cause such a thing? Do you even realise how close you occasionally come to the very people you attack?
    You also claim, with respect to the circumcision debate, (no idea if it’s even true) that the very first thing the Nazis did was outlawing kosher slaughter for reasons of animal protection. I have encountered this pattern in this thread before: “The Nazis attacked the Jewish religion, therefore, everyone who is critical of the Jewish religion (and NOT Jews, many of whom lose their faith or never have any in the first place, too) is a Nazi.” “The anti-Semites of old denounced circumcision. Hence, anyone who has critical thoughts about it must be one of them, too.” But that’s just faulty logic: If a hunter shoots a gun in the wood, you hear a bang. But if you hear a banging sound, it’s not necessarily a hunter. A tree might also have been felled, or any number of other reasons you can think of. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it might still be an imitation designed by a clever ethologist. Or the kid who played the duck at the last school play.

  • Eta

    Dear, overworked moderator: I am sorry to post such a long essay in the same league as leschmuck’s previous comment, especially since it is only a minor aspect of the actual topic. In light of how all this went, I thought I had a responsibility to explain the points I have made as clear as I possibly could to leschmuck. I will not do it again, for if he or she does not understand where I’m coming from now, he or she never will.
    Once again, sorry, and I hope I am not taking too much liberty here.

  • GermanJew

    Wow, all his talk about Thilo Sarrazin makes my head spin. Could we please stop focusing on him ? It has got nothing to do with the topic.

    LeSchmuck, I’ll assume you read German, right ?

    Here’s some info in German on the complications of circumcision.

    Every Jewish family should know about the pros and cons of circumcision. Afaik, there are no pros other than doing a mizwa.

    http://www.pflegewiki.de/wiki/Komplikationen_der_Beschneidung#Komplikationsrate

  • GermanJew

    Here’s another link:

    http://www.circinfo.org/USA_deaths.html

    Of course, the authors behind these studies could all be Nazis who want the Jews to disappear, lol.

  • leschmuck

    OK fine, like I said I have nothing to do right now because I am leaving. I will respond in detail but please before I do you that coutesy have the decency to comment on the fact that the “Zentralrat der Juden” has found Sarrazins book to be balatant racism. And this is the book that 63% of the Germans support.

  • Eta

    @GermanJew:
    I agree that Sarrazin was sort of a sidetrack, but I thought somebody did owe leschmuck a detailed explanation of the other side of this issue.

    Personally, I did not focus too much (read: at all) on the medical aspects of the topic, because I’m not a doctor and the information from EITHER side might be agenda-driven.
    However: While there are studies that claim medical benefits of circumcision, there also seem to be criticisms thereof: http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2012/05/when-bad-science-kills-or-how-to-spread-aids/
    I am not too sure if I would use the risk of complications in some cases as an argument: When you take your child along for a car ride, you also risk the “complication” of it dying in a car crash. This is dependent on the probability of something happening (haven’t read your material yet). Nevertheless, there is one side effect of circumcision that you can not evade: Pain. I have, so far, held the believe that circumcision only caused that to a trivial extent. But after reading this: http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/goldman1/ (from the British Journal of Urology), I am not so sure anymore.
    Of course, studies showing negative effects of circumcision could have been poorly conducted by agenda-driven researchers, too. But it’s way too cheap to jump for joy any time you hear about a study that shows positive effects of circumcision, but dismiss all work to the contrary as anti-Jewish propaganda. Unfortunately, too few people learn what “confirmation bias” means.

  • Eta

    @leschmuck:
    Please forgive me if I will not comment on your announced response, or will do so only very briefly. I HAVE things to do right now, and I already spend more time than I care to admit on my previous post. I DO, however, promise to read what you will write.

    As far as the Zentralrat der Juden (“Central Jewish Council”) is concerned, here is a brief take on that: I think they are wrong. Unlike you say, there has been an enormous number of German pundits saying the very same things as you, Wallraff, Geißler and the Zentralrat, or more accurately its general secretary, Mr Stefan Kramer. Many of them commented on arguments the book did not make (the genetic theory of German vs Turkish intelligence) and didn’t seem to have read it (have you, BTW?). Even if they did, neither the Central Jewish Council nor anyone else is always right, and I gave the reasons why I think they are wrong above.
    Also, one of Sarrazin’s most outspoken defenders was Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder. So apparently, Jews can hold different opinions on the topic, too.

  • leschmuck

    So Geißler, Walraff, the Zentralrat der Juden (representing what must be at least a couple thousands Jews, who even according to your own racist theories are more intelligent than even you) me and finally Margaux are all just completely wrong and you are right?
    This is your position? Fine.
    Just one more question before I start analysisng your “reponse” above.
    So all these people got it wrong, what about the 63% of Germans who agree with this book, they all got it right? They understood all the FINE DISTINCTIONS that all these other people just can´t seem to grasp?
    this is what you honestly believe?
    just making sure that I understand correctly here.

  • Eta

    leschmuck,

    I honestly believe that most people have forgotten or never known anything about even basic high school genetics and react instinctively, rather than intellectually, to such debates: They sensed that people in the media misquoted and sometimes flat out lied about someone who was being very explicit about problems that are otherwise not always discussed openly and clearly. They sensed that it was attempted to screw someone for speaking his mind (although it backfired later). If you confront one of them about the genetic aspect of the topic, they may emit nonsense and bullsh*t, like the Lufthansa pilot who had to finish his coffee without you. Others may understand the issues and think about it similarly to me.

    I wrote before that you do not even make an effort to understand other positions than yours and I wanted to make a last attempt to see if you are really beyond the reach of reasonable argument. I hoped you wouldn’t be. The condescending tone of your response, your amazing ability to mix up the opinion of one spokesperson of a population group (Jews) with the opinion of everyone in the population group and your usual “If enough people say something, it must be true, no matter the facts”-thinking all make abundantly clear that you actually are. Even if these left any doubt about it, your bit about “Jews, who even according to your own racist theories are more intelligent than even you” shows that you are not even capable of understanding the difference between individual data and group statistics I tried to explain to you above.

    I feel sorry for you, and leave you with this quote:

    “There are no evil thoughts. Evil is just the refusal to think for yourself.”

  • Eta

    Just to clarify the above, and for you, there apparently can never be enough clarification: I believe that most of the 63% of Germans don’t know and don’t care about the genetic aspect of the discussion.

  • leschmuck

    “an enormous number of German pundits saying the very same things as you, Wallraff, Geißler and the Zentralrat, or more accurately its general secretary, Mr Stefan Kramer.”

    could you name some that i have not mentioned please I have never found anyone in Germany who denounced Sarrazin as a nazi or even just outright as a racist asides from the ones i mentioned.

  • leschmuck

    but as margaux said in her first post that was the scandal…the genetic thing…how can the 63% then not know about it?

  • leschmuck

    hitler wasn´t evil?

    maybe you are missing a bone in your body…the humerus

  • leschmuck

    [This discussion has gone on long enough and it seems unlikely that more light will be generated by continuing it. The contributors are welcome to find another venue to continue this discussion if they wish. ed]

  • leschmuck

    or are you claiming that Germans don´t know (remember) what genes are? They have forgotten what Nazi ideology was all about? It does seem that way actually. I personally think it is a form of mass schizophrenia. I mean “German Genetic superiority 2012 sounds like a good idea…never heard of it before. Sounds about right I feel superior anyway.” that seems to be whats going on in the minds of the 63% its stunning. But it really fits with all the pseudo-scientific selfrealization stuff in Spiegel and Stern like the recent cover I mentioned “the birth of the I”. Its like they are reinventing the egg. Like they are starting from Zero again…but making exactely the same mistakes…incredible.

  • leschmuck

    sorry editor just making sure that i am sure i want to leave here thanks all doubts have been alaid….PEACE

  • leschmuck

    sorry one of the most important points about the book has not been made, sorry (last):

    “However, if there are cultural factors that make these problems appear in the Turkish and Arab communities significantly more often, these MUST be discussed openly.”

    There is a factor and it is the reason why the UN sent Edgar Munoz to investigate human rights violations against foreigners in the german school system.

    The separation of kids in the 4th grade at the tender age of 10. Almost all Turks wind up in what has become their own ghetto school the “hauptschule”. This is of course the one thing Sarrazin never talks about.

  • leschmuck

    the only country in the whole wide world to seperate kids at such an age!

  • GermanJew

    Sarazin himself had to admit in a tv talkshow that he doesn’t know a thing about genetics and that he regrets his statements concerning the relation between genes and intelligence when asked by Michel Friedmann. I don’t know any educated person that takes him seriously. He is one clever charlatan though who managed to bank some serious coin with his book.

    Sadly, no one on here is actually interested in the actual topic.

    Does it make sense to obdiently adhere to ancient rituals from the bible such as the brit mila IF it actually turns out that it is potentially harmful ?

    I say no. I only do what I find makes sense.
    Putting my child at risk because of some religious belief does not make sense.

  • GermanJew

    @ Eta:

    you cannot really compare a car ride with a circumcision. Yes, both have risks. But you must also see that the medical field is regulated. A doctor who operates on perfectly healthy children just because the parents want the operation will lose his licence. I don’t think that circumcisions for non medical reasons were ever legal in Germany anyway, it has just never been persecuted by law.

    What if parents came in for surgery to have the appendix of their child removed, or the left earlobe, because, according to their religion, this is what they must do. Or take the Witnesses of Jehova as an example: they demand that their followers don’t receive any blood transfusions under any circumstances.

    This means death for the affected person in case of a strong bleeding during an operation.
    If this happens to a child, doctors are NOT going to respect the religious beliefs of the parents and withhold life saving blood transfusions, of course.

    This is why religion has absolutely no place in medical decisions. For many Americans, this seems hard to understand, I guess.

  • Eta

    “The contributors are welcome to find another venue to continue this discussion if they wish.”

    Absolutely not. You have been very patient with us, anyway.

  • leschmuck

    “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come”-Victor Hugo

  • leschmuck

    also, I wonder what happens when the first moslem doctor gets arrested by the germnan ant-circumsision police….things could get ugly… FAST

  • JGandhi

    ATTN: Wifman

    Correction to your post No.37:

    Killing adulters, beating wife, killing homosexuals, etc are not original Islamic law but copied from the Judaic law; the Tanakh stipulates all the said punishments but you do not find them in the Quran