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freedom of (practicing) religion at knife's point


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11-Jul-2012, 05:17 PM #1
freedom of (practicing) religion at knife's point
Well, keeping state (secular) and religion sufficiently apart to guarantee that neither one may superimpose itself upon the other, sure seems to have caused Germany some headaches.

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16088448,00.html

The whole mess clearly arises from a court weighing the liberties (right to remain unharmed) of individuals against the right to pursue practices central to one's religion, with the former gaining greater import.

The core issue is that circumcision of male children, where not medically indicated, infringes upon the child's rights at a time when it is not old enough to defend itself, hence the state having taken over. Medical complications in a circumcision not medically warranted having been the trigger.

Jews and Muslims in Germany are obviously outraged.

It needs to be understood that the verdict is not about banning (religiously motivated) circumcision outright, but about postponing it to a later date when the child may choose for or against, at the same time declaring its religious affiliation (or not). One also needs to know that by German law, children may choose their religion at age 14, of a necessity including the option of choosing any other (or none) than the one raised in.

Is this overdoing the separation of state and church(es)? Or does (should) the right to remain unimpaired (physically) pull more weight?
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11-Jul-2012, 05:47 PM #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by buffoon View Post
Well, keeping state (secular) and religion sufficiently apart to guarantee that neither one may superimpose itself upon the other, sure seems to have caused Germany some headaches.

http://www.dw.de/dw/article/0,,16088448,00.html

The whole mess clearly arises from a court weighing the liberties (right to remain unharmed) of individuals against the right to pursue practices central to one's religion, with the former gaining greater import.

The core issue is that circumcision of male children, where not medically indicated, infringes upon the child's rights at a time when it is not old enough to defend itself, hence the state having taken over. Medical complications in a circumcision not medically warranted having been the trigger.

Jews and Muslims in Germany are obviously outraged.

It needs to be understood that the verdict is not about banning (religiously motivated) circumcision outright, but about postponing it to a later date when the child may choose for or against, at the same time declaring its religious affiliation (or not). One also needs to know that by German law, children may choose their religion at age 14, of a necessity including the option of choosing any other (or none) than the one raised in.

Is this overdoing the separation of state and church(es)? Or does (should) the right to remain unimpaired (physically) pull more weight?
Yes.
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11-Jul-2012, 11:54 PM #3
in this country the court's ruling would be a clear violation of the first amendment: freedom of religion.

the supremes believe: as a religion you can pretty much do as you want unless you violate civil law.

in the country the parents would simply get a good jewish lawyer and take the doctor for everything he is worth
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11-Jul-2012, 11:56 PM #4
Where does Parenting end?
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12-Jul-2012, 12:31 AM #5
It's more of a matter (for me) of the right of religion vs. the right of the individual. For me the individual will always come first. Let's look at this analytically. Let's rephrase the situation. Consider the right of the individual not to have his body altered without his consent for any reason.

Again, I will state that in a secular nation, the rights of the person should come before the rights of any religion or culture. Take the polygamy practiced by certain religions and cultures wherein young girls not even of consenting are are forced to marry against their will, even to close relatives.
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12-Jul-2012, 12:32 AM #6
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Originally Posted by ekim68 View Post
Where does Parenting end?
Conversely, in some cases, where does it start?
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12-Jul-2012, 01:17 AM #7
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Originally Posted by 1956brother View Post
in this country the court's ruling would be a clear violation of the first amendment: freedom of religion.

the supremes believe: as a religion you can pretty much do as you want unless you violate civil law.

in the country the parents would simply get a good jewish lawyer and take the doctor for everything he is worth
................which in this case, in Germany, is what happened. In fact the procedure entails breaching the constitution with regard to every individual's right to remain physically unimpaired.

That same constitution clearly states that no one may be subjected to "persecution" on grounds of his/her faith, creed, gender, race etc. In the case in question, the two "values" were weighed against each other (by the court) and the "persecution" aspect seen as not fulfilled. Seeing how the verdict is not about banning circumcision but about waiting with it until the person subjected to it is old enough to decide by himself whether he agrees to it or not.

Islam actually puts no time line (minimum age) on it although more fundamentalist factions will attempt to point out the corresponding passage in the Qu'ran (which incidentally holds none such). Judaism has the stipulation (found in the Torah) that circumcision must occur by the 8th day after birth.

Last edited by buffoon; 12-Jul-2012 at 01:24 AM..
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12-Jul-2012, 01:18 AM #8
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Originally Posted by pyritechips View Post
Conversely, in some cases, where does it start?
I would imagine that some twelve-year old Girl whose Marriage was determined by a Patriarchy would even understand Individual Rights...What a Lost World....
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12-Jul-2012, 08:23 AM #9
Thanks for the topic Derek, been dead around here.

Here's my first comments/questions/etc, before I respond in full.

Although the medical benefits are debatable, period, what are the medical risks of such a procedure at a later age? I would think the complications would be greater, but I really just don't know. Just looking at the obvious...fully developed organs, more fully developed psyche...etc etc.

Also, what age would be considered the age? 18? Because if we're going to start talking about choice and legal responsibility for one's body I can't see any less.
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12-Jul-2012, 10:52 AM #10
This is yet another topic who's theme can be described as a cultural/religious clash with established Western values. More than one nation is beginning to rule that religious and cultural "rights" are not open ended. From the original article Goldschmidt states that they have been doing it for 4,000 years but that doesn't make it "right".
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12-Jul-2012, 11:25 AM #11
I just read an interesting medical debate on this subject via my phone. I'll see if I can find it again when I get home. Not googling that at work.
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12-Jul-2012, 12:51 PM #12
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Originally Posted by ckphilli View Post
Thanks for the topic Derek, been dead around here.

Here's my first comments/questions/etc, before I respond in full.

Although the medical benefits are debatable, period, what are the medical risks of such a procedure at a later age? I would think the complications would be greater, but I really just don't know. Just looking at the obvious...fully developed organs, more fully developed psyche...etc etc.
Well, it's not as though they're cutting everything off. Apart from this having been medical practice in parts of the West on grounds of hygiene until some years ago (nowadays generally refuted as unnecessary), the specific religiously motivated custom hasn't produced any sizable figures that could be found, of neurotic male Jews. Nor do empirical figures for Muslims appear to exist.

Nevertheless the missing medical indication is the issue here, serving as sufficient ground for the practice to be judicially condemned when superimposed upon a minor, not as yet sufficiently mature to express either dissent or consent.

Quote:
Also, what age would be considered the age? 18? Because if we're going to start talking about choice and legal responsibility for one's body I can't see any less.
Bit of a conundrum in Germany itself, where adulthood sets in at 18 but freedom of religious choice at 14. The latter age is rather theoretical since an objective choice would necessarily constitute the minor to have been brought up in an atmosphere totally devoid of (parental, societal) influence wrt that issue.

Rabbis and Imams as well as their respective flocks are making the case of their youths being precluded from a rite that "makes them belong", thus causing them emotional conflict. I can well believe that.

They also say, wrt religious indoctrination, that one would then have to go the whole hog and preclude Christian baptism from happening before a person's age of decision (or maturity or both) is reached. Where I don't hold the sprinkling with water to fulfill the criteria of personal impairment inflicted (it's still a bit far off from waterboarding), the anti-indoctrination concept can of course be easily turned around here.

Seems to me that the critical issue (foremost) is the fact that no group may place itself outside the law of the land. And Jews in Germany currently invoking history to scream about the holocaust doesn't really help the overall discussion, let alone their particular cause. Where secular influence groups are inviting dialogue aimed at solution by compromise, those groups affected resort to indignantly slapping away the proffered hand, accusing its holder of Nazism.

Which in the case of Muslims is quite amusing, seeing as how most of them were quite fond of Adolf in their time, holding the holocaust to be a brilliant idea.

But the enemy of my enemy............
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12-Jul-2012, 12:53 PM #13
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Originally Posted by pyritechips View Post
This is yet another topic who's theme can be described as a cultural/religious clash with established Western values. More than one nation is beginning to rule that religious and cultural "rights" are not open ended. From the original article Goldschmidt states that they have been doing it for 4,000 years but that doesn't make it "right".
It's the original justification for reverting to the merits of living in trees.
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12-Jul-2012, 09:09 PM #14
the courts ruling does open up a whole new subject: do the parents have the right to bring up their child as they see fit?

a child born into a christian home. can they not teach the child about jesus and christianity?

or do they have to wait until the child is of the age of consent?

if the child decides to be a muslim, can the parents be prosecuted for teaching the child christian beliefs?
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12-Jul-2012, 10:26 PM #15
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Originally Posted by 1956brother View Post
the courts ruling does open up a whole new subject: do the parents have the right to bring up their child as they see fit?

a child born into a christian home. can they not teach the child about jesus and christianity?

or do they have to wait until the child is of the age of consent?

if the child decides to be a muslim, can the parents be prosecuted for teaching the child christian beliefs?
56bro, the above are all "slippery slope" arguments and miss the point. Nobody has proposed that Christian parents cannot teach their children about Jesus. Nor has anybody of one faith, to my knowledge, been prosecuted for teaching about other faiths. The issue here is religious and cultural "traditions" that have the parents mutilate their childrens' bodies when they are too young to decide or understand why it is being done. Again, I say the rights of individuals come before those of any religious or cultural tradition.
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