San Franciscans may soon have the opportunity to ban circumcision in their city:
Self-described “civil rights advocates” say that a ballot proposition to ban circumcision is on track for gathering signatures, meaning that San Franciscans may vote on the measure this November.
It’s part of a national push to end the procedure, which some say is steeped in tradition but poses risks and has little medical benefit. TheAmerican Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association do not recommend routine circumcision.
Browsing the various comments, it appears that most conservatives oppose such a ban because it would infringe on freedom of religion. I think it goes without saying that freedom of religion should only apply when no real harm is done to the child. Thus, male circumcision is okay but female mutilation is not okay.
One comment, in particular, seemed more rational than the rest:
BRANDONCHESHIRE Regarding Free of Religion arguments: This is protecting the religious freedom of the infant strapped into the circumstaint who may not grow up wanting half his penile skin system removed and/or participate in the parent’s religion. There is nothing in this law preventing adults from circumcising themselves if they so choose it for themselves and their religious beliefs. If your religion wants to perform rituals on those who cannot give consent or decide for themselves whether they want to be a part of your religion or not, you need to rethink what religious freedom means.
Brandoncheshire’s comment makes sense, at first glance, because he adopts a position of total individual freedom and this appeals to libertarians like myself. But I think that an important element is missing from the whole debate: ownership of our own children. As a libertarian, I am somewhat hesitant to make this point, but it seems obvious that many of the things we call “ours” are located at different points in the ownership continuum – at least in relation to morality. Absolute ownership and absolute morality often find themselves at odds. Absolute ownership implies that I may do anything I wish with the object I own. Hence, since I own my cat, I may do away with her by any means I choose if I no longer find her convenient. But by doing so, I would be violating a moral code and a bystander would have the right to intervene and rescue my cat. But what if I choose to have her declawed? Few would claim the right to intervene and rescue her from this fate.
We own our children. This ownership is not absolute; it does not give us the right to torture them or do away with them at our whim. But, just as we may choose to declaw our cats, so too may we subject our children to certain ritualistic modifications. Where do we draw the line? This is a question that can only be answered, with authority, by the moral compass of our culture and community. Though most of us consider female genital mutilation to be inexcusable, would we invade a country in order to save their girls from this fate? A better approach would be to try to enlighten them through peaceful means. If this does not succeed, it is unfortunate but no escalation is justified in my opinion.
The only way to make moral decisions, and to justifiably uphold them by law, is through our culture and community. Multiculturalism, by definition, destroys cohesive cultures and communities. It replaces them with a hotchpotch of values and mores. A confused jumble of definitions of right and wrong. It should not be surprising when moral chaos ensues. It is the equivalent of trying to use a compass in outer space, where there is no North or South, up or down.
As Western civilizations fall to multiculturalism, and their moral codes are eroded, so too do their property rights erode. It used to be that a business owner could choose his employees based on whatever criteria he chose. But now that there are numerous peoples and cultures in close proximity, government has an excuse to slide his ownership ever more to the left in order to accommodate the “new morality”. Morality inflation comes at the expense of ownership rights. It used to be that few would question an individual’s right to own a gun. But now multiculturalism has thrown our old morality into uncertainty, more individuals become confused even when it comes to taking another human life. This gives government an excuse to slide gun ownership ever more to the left in a vain effort to offset the violence that its own multicultural policies have wrought.
As multiculturalism eats away at property rights, it was only a matter of time before the matter of circumcision became a referendum. It is also not surprising that it would take place in a city like San Fransisco.