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Boston, MA - Lawmakers Reject Circumcision Ban

Published on: March 18, 2010 04:44 PM
By: Community Guardians Group
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Boston, MA - A bill calling for prison time and fines for those who perform circumcision on any male under the age of 18 was rejected by the Judiciary Committee of the Massachusetts state legislature. [Originally reported first by VIN News here]

The text of the proposed measure specifically mandated that no exception be given, even though the law would obstruct religious observance of the commandment of circumcision.

The measure also called upon the Department of Public Health to implement an educational program to discourage religious groups from carrying out the commandment of circumcision.

A goal of the legislation, according to an advocate group’s website, included enforcement by local police.

In a letter to the Committee following their vote, the Community Guardians Group (CGG) wrote that the people of Massachusetts “are inheritors of a rich heritage of courageous thinkers and leaders who have sought to advance the causes of righteousness and justice for all people… But there are also matters which lie outside the power entrusted to government.” The CGG mentioned that included among the things not to be restricted by government, is the commandment of circumcision, given by G-d Almighty.

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The CGG offered thanks to G-d Almighty that this attack on their religion was halted, and commended the members of the Judiciary Committee for definitively rejecting this hateful plan.



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Read Comments (13)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 18, 2010 at 04:58 PM Rivqah Says:

Who the heck do lawmakers think that they are???? They have no right to ban circumcision when it is an important part of the Jewish faith. They are no better than pagan governments that banned it in the time of the Maccabees. That they didn't vote for the ban is irrelevant. That even such a bill could be considered should be a real wake-up sign to people in this country who care about religious freedoms. And non-Jews need to be concerned about this too. Today they come for us. And if they ever get away with it, they will try to ban your freedoms tomorrow!

2

 Mar 18, 2010 at 05:55 PM What were they thinking Says:

According to these nuts it should be illegal to draw blood from a child for the sake of a blood test, as the child might have not consented to it. How about making it illegal for a parent to have a childs ear pierced for the sake of earings.

4

 Mar 18, 2010 at 06:02 PM Anonymous Says:

reply to #1. If you would have read the original story, you would have known that it was a private citizen that submitted the bill, which by law the committee must review. It was never expected that it would go to vote, and if knowing that there are private citizens that are anti-circumcision is a wake up call than I guess a lot of things would suprise you

5

 Mar 18, 2010 at 06:08 PM MeirYaakov Says:

Reply to #1  
Rivqah Says:

Who the heck do lawmakers think that they are???? They have no right to ban circumcision when it is an important part of the Jewish faith. They are no better than pagan governments that banned it in the time of the Maccabees. That they didn't vote for the ban is irrelevant. That even such a bill could be considered should be a real wake-up sign to people in this country who care about religious freedoms. And non-Jews need to be concerned about this too. Today they come for us. And if they ever get away with it, they will try to ban your freedoms tomorrow!

Under some quirk of Massachusetts law, individual citizens are allowed to introduce bills through their state representative/senator even if the state representative/senator opposes it, which is what happened in this case (if you check the VIN archives you'll find the article on this); from what I can tell a grand total of 0 elected officials supported this.

6

 Mar 18, 2010 at 06:27 PM krekshen Says:

to #4, actually, I phoned the Massachusetts State Senate Judiciary Committee office earlier on your question. A lawyer on staff there told me that although the state consitution allows citizens to submit a bill by petition, that's not what took place here. The citizen asked his Senator to sponosor it "on request." That means the senator walked it in the door in the name of his consitutent and said "this is what a voter gave me." The Senator was not required to do it. Its even less clear that the Committee was required to give an offifical audience to this rhetoric by holding a public hearing.

7

 Mar 18, 2010 at 08:50 PM Avi Says:

Reply to #6  
krekshen Says:

to #4, actually, I phoned the Massachusetts State Senate Judiciary Committee office earlier on your question. A lawyer on staff there told me that although the state consitution allows citizens to submit a bill by petition, that's not what took place here. The citizen asked his Senator to sponosor it "on request." That means the senator walked it in the door in the name of his consitutent and said "this is what a voter gave me." The Senator was not required to do it. Its even less clear that the Committee was required to give an offifical audience to this rhetoric by holding a public hearing.

I don't like the bill any more than any Frum Yid, but to say that it was wrong for an elected representative to ACTUALLY do his job is just plain stupid. He represented a constituent -- exactly as every single elected official SHOULD do.

8

 Mar 18, 2010 at 09:06 PM Anonymous Says:

This is a good decision. For most yidden, milah is NOT discretonary and had the law bene enacted, the Bostoner rebbe would have quickly become the Bridgeporter Rebbe. I understand why the law was considered under state legislative procedures but this was a complete waste of time and money.

9

 Mar 18, 2010 at 09:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
What were they thinking Says:

According to these nuts it should be illegal to draw blood from a child for the sake of a blood test, as the child might have not consented to it. How about making it illegal for a parent to have a childs ear pierced for the sake of earings.

While I do not support banning bris mila, your argument will fall apart against those who don't support it. Drawing blood is for health care needs and has a benefit, ear rings are not a significant modification to a human organ and is not permanent, while bris-milah is a significant modification to a human organ which reduces its full functional capacity, in terms of nerve function, sensitivity .
Circumcision's roots were not grounded in medicine, but in a pure religious belief of some holly covenant. To some in society these days, slashing off flesh from a baby's organ to be accepted by God just sounds primitive in thinking of tribal Amazonians and is viewed as cruel.
As younger generations of Americans are becoming less committed to religion ie Christianity, compared to their parents and grandparents, I would not be surprised if in future, the American public's view will shift towards European sentiments when it comes to this ritual. Then we will have a real challenge with these types of bills.

10

 Mar 19, 2010 at 12:58 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Rivqah Says:

Who the heck do lawmakers think that they are???? They have no right to ban circumcision when it is an important part of the Jewish faith. They are no better than pagan governments that banned it in the time of the Maccabees. That they didn't vote for the ban is irrelevant. That even such a bill could be considered should be a real wake-up sign to people in this country who care about religious freedoms. And non-Jews need to be concerned about this too. Today they come for us. And if they ever get away with it, they will try to ban your freedoms tomorrow!

Why don't you do a little research and find out who was behind the bill and then let everyone know. It's ridiculous to blame ALL lawmakers because one or a few tried to pass a law we find heinous, instead blame those who are responsible. And remember that the majority voted AGAINST the bill, be thankful for that.

11

 Mar 19, 2010 at 01:51 AM Zachary Kessin Says:

Reply to #1  
Rivqah Says:

Who the heck do lawmakers think that they are???? They have no right to ban circumcision when it is an important part of the Jewish faith. They are no better than pagan governments that banned it in the time of the Maccabees. That they didn't vote for the ban is irrelevant. That even such a bill could be considered should be a real wake-up sign to people in this country who care about religious freedoms. And non-Jews need to be concerned about this too. Today they come for us. And if they ever get away with it, they will try to ban your freedoms tomorrow!

Um Rivqah, you did note that they voted it down? It got put up by a private citizen, who had the right to do so under state law. The leg realized this was a bad Idea and got rid of it.

The process worked here!

12

 Mar 19, 2010 at 03:23 AM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

While I do not support banning bris mila, your argument will fall apart against those who don't support it. Drawing blood is for health care needs and has a benefit, ear rings are not a significant modification to a human organ and is not permanent, while bris-milah is a significant modification to a human organ which reduces its full functional capacity, in terms of nerve function, sensitivity .
Circumcision's roots were not grounded in medicine, but in a pure religious belief of some holly covenant. To some in society these days, slashing off flesh from a baby's organ to be accepted by God just sounds primitive in thinking of tribal Amazonians and is viewed as cruel.
As younger generations of Americans are becoming less committed to religion ie Christianity, compared to their parents and grandparents, I would not be surprised if in future, the American public's view will shift towards European sentiments when it comes to this ritual. Then we will have a real challenge with these types of bills.

Circumcision has shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission by almost half, so there is a definite health benefit.

13

 Mar 19, 2010 at 06:50 AM Chossid Says:

What a wonderful country America is. Any citizen, including you and me, however crazy the bee in his bonnet, can go to his local elected representative and ask him to help him get his meshugaas into law.
Then it goes before a committee and the judiciary and then to congress and ultimately to the president. If the proposal has any real merit it will become law and if, like this one, it is a meshugaas that is how it will stay.
G-D bless America and democracy.

14

 Mar 19, 2010 at 12:40 PM What were they thinking. Says:

Reply to #9  
Anonymous Says:

While I do not support banning bris mila, your argument will fall apart against those who don't support it. Drawing blood is for health care needs and has a benefit, ear rings are not a significant modification to a human organ and is not permanent, while bris-milah is a significant modification to a human organ which reduces its full functional capacity, in terms of nerve function, sensitivity .
Circumcision's roots were not grounded in medicine, but in a pure religious belief of some holly covenant. To some in society these days, slashing off flesh from a baby's organ to be accepted by God just sounds primitive in thinking of tribal Amazonians and is viewed as cruel.
As younger generations of Americans are becoming less committed to religion ie Christianity, compared to their parents and grandparents, I would not be surprised if in future, the American public's view will shift towards European sentiments when it comes to this ritual. Then we will have a real challenge with these types of bills.

Circumcision at birth is something that many americans do regardless of their faith. It's regarded as a healthy choice that has many benefits. Circumcision has been offered for my son by the hospital when he was born.

This ban was directed toward the ritual fashion of how it's being done, especially without medical supervision. Foul play incidents are so rare, that it sounds crazy that this was even considered.

This ban was not against removing the foreskin - it was a direct antisimetic hit against the jewish ritual.

15

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