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The Crime of Circumcision

Michael Gerson begins his column today with a quotation from Genesis 17:10: “This is my covenant which you shall keep, between me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised.” As this text shows, the practice of circumcision is at the heart of Jewish piety, yet it is under assault from the modern liberal idea that a “child’s right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents’ rights.” Gerson writes:

A strain of modern liberalism contends that only individuals and their rights are real in the legal sense — and there is no other acceptable sense. It is the role of the state to defend individual self-determination against oppressive institutions, including religious institutions. Since circumcision is coerced, it is unjust. The same claim might be made — and has been made — of early religious indoctrination of any kind. Liberalism thus leads to an aggressive form of assimilation to the values of the liberal order.

Modern liberalism is upside down. On the one hand, it supports the right of a woman to kill her unborn child in utero for whatever reason or no reason at all. On the other hand, it opposes a parent’s prerogative to have their baby undergo a safe procedure that incorporates them into a community of faith. Does that make sense to you? Me either.

Read the rest here.

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