Please excuse me for this, because I am certainly no authority on the subject of the male sexual organ. But something interesting has happened in Germany these past few days which is worth a little further examination.
A Cologne court has ruled that circumcision of young boys can be considered bodily injury even when parents give their absolute consent.
I have no idea what was going through the head of the judge. He was hearing a case of malpractice, so to speak. A doctor had botched a circumcision of a four year old, (ooo, fathers... have you ever had THAT nightmare?), and the parents were justifiably upset. The article says that the judge decided to "issue some clarity" regarding something which has been unclear in German law. Should a child's right to self-determination come before the religious views of its parents?
Next you must understand that aside from Jews and Muslims, the percentage of circumcised men is much less in Europe than in say, America where it is around 55%. On average, only 11% of Germans are circumcised.
OK, so there are health benefits. I understand that the transmission of AIDS, for example, is considered somewhat easier when men are uncut. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence to back up the health benefits talk.
So why are the great majority of circumcisions in western society being performed? For religious reasons. Hmm... Decided by Mom and Dad before the kid is even self aware. Maybe the adult who will grow out of that kid would not choose to have this procedure performed. Maybe he would. But shouldn't that be determined by the individual when they are of age to make an informed decision?
Yeah, yeah, I get it. This has been performed as a religious ceremony for many centuries. But just because it was done in the past, does that necessarily mean that it should continue? I mean, when was the last time you had leeches attached to your body so as to drain out the "bad blood"? But this "medical procedure" was also performed for 2,000 years.
Female circumcision is ALSO a religious ceremony. But throughout most of our society it is considered female genital mutilation. Why is male circumcision NOT considered mutilation? It removes sensitivity, just not AS MUCH as female circumcision. For that matter, how can we tell those performing female circumcision that what they are doing is wrong while we are doing something rather similar to many of our boys. Perhaps they are just doing things the way they've been done for centuries.
The Jewish and Muslim communities in Germany have joined together in unity, calling for this ruling to be reversed because it is an infringement on the rights of their religious communities. But my head keeps responding to that with the question, what about the rights of the child?
Let's say for the sake of argument that my religion/tradition dictates that my daughter should have her feet bound in the style of the Chinese? Would you call the police if you found me wrapping her feet, effectively crippling her for life? But that could be my culture's tradition. I have my rights. See? These black and white decisions get a little grey.
As you can see this subject actually just raises a bunch of questions for me. I have no idea what side to land on with this topic. It all ends up in even more questions circling my head.
Care to weigh in with your feelings?