Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Friends of the Court, Foes of Human Rights

An interesting custody battle is going to be decided by the Oregon Supreme Court later this fall. The case involves a divorced father who recently converted to Judaism, and wants his 12-year-old son to undergo circumcision. The mother, a non-Jew, is against it.

I've been following this story since I have an affinity for foreskins, and because this case touches upon basic constitutional rights. The father's argument makes little sense to me. How can one's freedom of religion overrule a child's right to his own body? I hope reason and sensibility will prevail, and the Supreme Court will decide this case based on this young boy's wishes, when he's old enough to decide this for himself, and not based on anybody else's agenda.

But of course, not everyone sees things as I do. The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America has joined with other Jewish organizations in filing a "friend of the court" brief with the Oregon State Supreme Court urging the court to allow the father, James Boldt, to complete the conversion of his son Mikhail to Judaism by having him circumcised.

To these organizations I say, "Phooey! Shame on you for pushing your agenda when it clearly infringes on a minor's basic rights."

Would the OU or the Anti-Defamation League defend Muslim parents wishing to circumcise their daughters? Is maiming a minor child against his mother's wishes the Torah-true way? The hypocrisy of these special-interest groups cuts like a knife.

P.S. Mazel Tov to my good friend, M., who will shortly be bringing his son into the covenant of Abraham and Ismail ;-)

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