Flawed Circumcision Defense: Waxman, Lowey, Berman, et al.

Twenty members of Congress sent a letter (PDF) to German Ambassador to the United States Peter Ammon. It’s a standard pro-circumcision talking points effort without any thought and without any acknowledgement that a (better) counter-argument exists. It’s the view of people living in a fantasy world. From the press release (emphasis added):

The letter, which was sent to German Ambassador to the United States Peter Ammon, objects to a June 26, 2012 decision in the District Court of Cologne as an affront to religious freedom because Jews and Muslims consider circumcision a fundamental rite of passage and affirmation of faith. …

It should be an affront based on objective criteria. In addition to the issue being a fundamental rite, circumcision is harmful to the recipient in objective ways. Prohibiting its imposition on a non-consenting individual (e.g. a child) would be an affront if the second issue were not involved. It is. This is an issue of competing rights. The District Court of Cologne ruled on that basis. These members of Congress, incorrectly meddling in the legal and policy affairs of another country, do not address the court’s ruling in their letter. They do not engage the facts.

For example, the press release concludes:

“A not so veiled assault on tenets central to religious expression is underway in Europe’s courts and legislatures,” added Rep. Berman. “We must let it be known to our friends in a clear and unequivocal voice that such measures are harmful assaults on religious freedom and should not continue.”

An attempt to regulate an activity is a “harmful assault” on an idea. I can accept that as a possibility, although the idea can’t be injured. It isn’t happening with a prohibition on non-therapeutic child circumcision. There is no assault on a valid freedom, just a child being injured during a non-therapeutic surgery. That is the only harmful assault involved. The Representatives are pushing empty platitudes as public policy at the expense of the rights of citizens.

For the letter itself, it’s linked above. I urge everyone to write a letter in response, especially if one of the twenty members is your representative. But we must remember to be respectful. Stick to the ideas. Do not engage in ad hominem or insinuation based on superficial factors. Focus on their words and how they contradict logic and equal human rights.

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