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San Francisco's anti-circumcision initiative faces court challenge
June 22nd, 2011
05:58 PM ET

San Francisco's anti-circumcision initiative faces court challenge

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The Anti-Defamation League and a number of individuals have filed a lawsuit challenging a San Francisco ballot initiative that would criminalize the circumcision of males under age 18.

The lawsuit asks the Department of Elections to remove the proposal from the ballot for the November election on the grounds that San Francisco would not be able to enforce the ordinance even if it was approved. The petition asks that a judge intervene so the city and its residents will be spared from "wasting resources debating and voting on an ordinance that cannot become law."

"Existing California law is clear," said Nancy Appel, Anti-Defamation League associate director in San Francisco, in a statement. "Only the state can make rules about medical procedures and this initiative violates that law. Not only does this initiative waste time, energy and expense, but it also offends the notions of parental rights and freedom of religion. It is unconstitutional and, as we allege in this lawsuit, contrary to California law."

The San Francisco-based advocacy group known as Male Genital Mutilation Bill collected enough signatures on a petition to guarantee the anti-circumcision proposal will appear on the ballot for the November 11 election.

It would make circumcision a misdemeanor if performed on boys under age 18. It could be punishable by a fine of $1.000 and up to a year in jail.

Opponents of circumcision argue the procedure can cause damage that ranges from nerve destruction and loss of normal tissue to infection, disfigurement and sometimes death. Matthew Hess, founder and leader of Male Genital Mutilation Bill, has said, "Freedom of religion stops at another person's body."

But opponents of the bill say it violates the First Amendment's protection of the exercise of religion and that putting the matter to a popular vote goes against the Constitution's protections of the rights of individuals and minorities.

The Anti-Defamation League is joined in the lawsuit by the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco and Jewish and Muslim individuals who feel their rights would be adversely affected if the bill were to go into effect.

Circumcision is an important element of religious practice for Muslims and Jews, a significant ritual that affirms membership in the group.

U.S. law has long allowed people to follow their religion in refusing medical care for themselves and their children in all but the most extreme situations, when the life of a child is directly endangered.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: California • Courts • Faith & Health • United States

soundoff (409 Responses)
  1. TimeFlies

    Religions had a hard enough time getting over the Flat Earth world-view.

    Hope they don't drag their feet (as much) when it comes to Cosmetic or Religious mutilation, they'll just be alienating more and more people over time.

    Bottom line – The religions that will hang around the longest will be ones willing to take human progress into account.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Steve

      familiar – okay, I couldn't resist. just one more.
      No one responded to this same comment early so stop bumping it up in your attempts to fish for more feedback.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • TimeFlies

      Hello "Steve": You seem to have a huge mouth on this board, but you had nothing to say of substance the first time and nothing the second time. Now, I don't think the first post is up anymore, but it takes a special kind or religious HYPOCRITE (just like you) to comment that someone else posted even two posts, when you've been running your mouth off ALL DAY.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • Steve

      Hello "Flies" – no... no. not a hypocrite. My posts are all new thoughts. And if they truly are "nothing to say" as you say then I sure got a lot of comments for saying "nothing". Would you agree?

      Now, now – I am not trollling. I am sincerely passionate about this issue (my rights as an american parent). this left-wing, san fran lunacy is too much. I know it's a political stunt, but it's disgusting for them to get you guys all wound up like this.

      You are actually the one who is trolling (see methods of fishing; in this case for feedback not fish) this same lame statement by posting it mutlipel times throughout the day... with ZERO feedback other than me calling you out for being so narcissitic ("Please someone see what I have said and comment on it... Please!)

      Can you honestly answer why you've posted that same comment multiple times?

      June 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • TimeFlies

      "Steve" said: "Hello Flies – no... no. not a hypocrite. My posts are all new thoughts."

      OMG, this "Steve" fella runs his mouth off ALL DAY, and then he's got the GALL to complain. And "new thoughts", LOL?

      All day this "Steve" has been spewing religious garbage and inuendo, like here, instead of substantively responding, (and we are not talking about a few posts either). You ever get tired of hearing yourself all day "Steve"?

      June 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  2. afish

    should we ban parents that force their kids to be Vegan? thats not neccesary

    June 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Guest

      To afish: have you and your religioius supporters found a way to make the cutting reversible? I don't know, but it sounds like eating vegan food is reversible?

      June 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      yes actually skin grafts

      June 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Guest

      To: "@sayingstuff" – everyone knows you're trying to pose as "SayingStuff", does your religion condone that? (And I won't even bother commenting on your insane post.)

      June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      why would i try to pose as sayingstuff yet make the name @sayingsstuff. maybe im trying to send my messages to him not as him. like are you that dumb

      June 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Guest

      To "@sayingstuff" – take it easy with the insults, religious freak. And, again, stop posing as "Saying Stuff". You think you got it this time, religious freak, I mean "@sayingstuff"?

      June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Indeed.
      One can restore a foreskin by granfting skin from the scrotum.
      Non surgical alternatives, such as the Dual Tension Restorer, are also available. These generally consists of weights and/or elastics that gradually stretch the skin.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  3. Doc Vestibule

    Not long ago, the Chinese would snap the arches of their daughters' feet and bind them in order to attain the perfect sized foot (around 3 inches).
    Mayan babies had beads strung in front of their eyes to force the muscles to turn inward as slightly crossed eyes were considered beautiful. They would also tightly bind their children's heads to promote an elongated skull.
    The Apatani people of India used to begin stretching the nostrils of the females of their tribe during childhood until they were 2 inches in diameter.
    Some aboriginal australians pierce the septum of 8 year old boys with a kangaroo bone to symbolize the passage into manhood.
    Wooden slivers, palm spikes and plant stalks are displayed from the septum, cheeks, chin and lips of the children of the Yanomami tribe in Brazil.
    Out in Myanmar, the women of the Kayan people begin stretching their necks in childhood.

    Many of these customs are done for spiritual reasons, though some are purely esthetic.
    Are those in favour of circ.umcision also OK with all these other forms of childhood body modification?

    June 23, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Laughing

      You said it yourself, those are for aesthetic purposes, which I'm not Ok with, the same way I think we should stop child beauty pagents. The ones done for spirituality..... well my stance is the same on those as it is with circ-umcision. Is the practice disgusting? Yes and it should probably be abolished, but the bigger problem here is the religion itself. I would ask you this, if a community recognizes that a person is one of the them and then becomes a man and they have to do this ritual or else they are cast out, what do you think is going to happen? The child wants to be included, wants to be recognized, so give them a choice and they'll probably still go through with it.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • WhatYouWant

      "Laughing", why don't you tell your circ.umcision 'community' to stop basing their member recognition on body mutilation, you'll be doing your community and everyone else a favor? And when are you going to stop pretending you're an 'atheist'?

      June 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Laughing

      @WhatYouWant

      SayingStuff is that you?you asked, " why don't you tell your circ.umcision 'community' to stop basing their member recognition on body mutilation, you'll be doing your community and everyone else a favor? And when are you going to stop pretending you're an 'atheist'?"

      First of all I have, they don't listen, want to help me? Secondly? Why am I not an atheist again? Because I'm not really against circ-umcision as much as everyone else here is? I fail to see how that makes me in any way religious, but I guess you're the expert. I've said it a couple of times though, circ-umcision isn't right and should stop, but the first amendment protects it because it's a religious ceremony. You can keep saying that it's the child's right to choose, so what exactly? ask a 3-day year old to choose? You can't say they wait till 18 because that's infringing on the religious ceremony. Face it, this specific battle is lost before it even begun.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • WhatYouWant

      Look, "Laughing", you keep saying you're an 'atheist', so let me ask you who told you that "but the first amendment protects it because it's a religious ceremony"? Maybe you're an atheist 'wannabe' but your religious parents brainwashed you? (That would not be your fault, of course.)

      June 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Laughing

      No one told me, I understand the law, thats really it. Circ-umcision is protected, thats that.

      June 24, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  4. Time Flies

    Religions had a hard enough time getting over the Flat Earth world-view.

    Hope they don't drag their feet (as much) when it comes to Cosmetic or Religious mutilation, they'll just be alienating more and more people over time.

    Bottom line – The religions that will hang around the longest will be ones willing to take human progress into account.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  5. Saying Stuff

    You say "so what?"

    Well, fuck you too.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Guest

      Dear Saying Stuff, do you realize that "Laughingstock" (the main waster of your time) and "Steve" might be the same person, lol?

      June 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Steve

      No. not the same. SayinStuff is just plain old coming unglued.
      i'd say early 20's maybe even a teen.

      SayinStuff should be careful when discussing taking away another americans rights. it will get nasty.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  6. Agine Fabien Maduakolam

    My Name is Agine F Maduakolam, All my troubles started in 2008. Harassed by New Jersey Irvington Police, Who have used their authority and power to make my life miserable. They harassed me so much that I have discovered all their secrets. I had to leave my home in Irvington New Jersey (USA). I came to Washington D.C; I end up in a shelter. I find another nurse with the similar problems. I ask all of you this question: Is this what police are paid to do? They send various informants to set me up. They send me an email where to get guns on auction. (Are they in their right minds?) Every job I apply for as a nurse, I cannot get the job due to propaganda. They have no court order, they listen to the conversations in the house by means of hacking all electronics in the house including cell phone . All information gathered about the individuals, the house, the family dynamics etc are used to do evil. Please look up on Google: gang stalking or group stalking and/or organized stalking. I want to stand in front of judge and jury to clear My Name. My email address is gnfabien@yahoo.com. If you prefer you can write me at 2341 Pennsylvania Ave SE, P.O Box 36504 Washington DC. 20020. As you can imagine time is of the essence , I owe 2 credit card companies , I live in a shelter and I don’t know what the next setup will be. Please find me a lawyer. Please go to my blog: http: Followed.over-blog.com

    June 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Dmitri

      The police have no duty to enforce the law (Supreme Court decision), so they have been given a blank check to do whatever they want. You are one of millions of victims. There is not going to be much you can do without proof anyway.
      But talk to a lawyer if you like. Some of them do free initial consultations. If they think they can win your case for you they will take it and fight for their money.
      But you might be better off going far away.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Reality

    The mutilation of any human at any stage of life is abhorrent. Time for all of us to assume our responsibilities especially in creating or preventing the start of human lives.

    June 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Carl S

      Our "responsibilities"? What are you talking about? Who says we have specific responsibilities?

      You sound like a Catholic pretending to be an atheist. You hate gays and abortion. That's Catholic.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Reality
      Well, I sired one child and then promptly had a vasectomy. Is that the kind of responsibility to which you are referring, or is s.ex for any reason other than procreation sinful fornication?

      June 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Reality

      Right on Doc!!!

      With respect to responsibilities on the creation front:

      "Facts on Contraceptive Use

      http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html
      January 2008

      "WHO NEEDS CONTRACEPTIVES?

      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a con-traceptive method.[2]

      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use cont-raceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]

      WHO USES CON-TRACEPTIVES?

      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had int-ercourse have used at least one con-traceptive method.[2](and men?)

      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inte-rcourse; or are not se-xually active.[2]

      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using con-traceptives.[2] (and men?)

      • Among the 42 million fertile, s-exually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing con-traception.[2] (and men?)

      WHICH METHODS DO WOMEN (men?) USE?

      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice con-traception use reversible methods, such as oral con-traceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]

      FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES

      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

      Method--–Typical

      Pill (combined) 8.7
      Tubal sterilization 0.7
      Male condom 17.4
      Vasectomy 0.2

      Periodic abstinence 25.3
      Calendar 9.0
      Ovulation Method 3.0
      Sympto-thermal 2.0
      Post-ovulation 1.0

      No method 85.0"

      (Abstinence) 0

      (Masturbation) 0

      More facts about contraceptives from

      guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html

      "CON-TRACEPTIVE METHOD CHOICE

      Cont-raceptive method use among U.S. women who practice con-traception, 2002

      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
      Pill 11,661 30.6
      Male condom 6,841 18.0 "

      i.e.
      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

      i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

      1,020,000 unplanned pregnancies
      during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unplanned pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Gut-tmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

      o Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  8. Reality

    From a previous topic write-up:---

    "Jews, Muslims, and Christians all trace our spiritual heritage back to Abraham. Biblical circu-mcision begins with Abraham,” said National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson. “No American government should restrict this historic tradition. Essential religious liberties are at stake.”

    Hmmm, according to 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis including Rabbi Wolpe, Abraham (and Moses) probably did not exist.

    So apparently circu-mcision is not an Abrahamic (god- influenced) procedure so where did it start?

    We have this short summary from Wikipedia:

    "The oldest docu-mentary evidence for circ-umcision comes from ancient Egypt.[6] Circ-umcision was common, although not universal, among ancient Semitic peoples.[7] In the aftermath of the conquests of Alexander the Great, however, Greek dislike of circu-mcision (they regarded a man as truly "naked" only if his prepuce was retracted) led to a decline in its incidence among many peoples that had previously practiced it.[8]

    Circu-mcision has ancient roots among several ethnic groups in sub-equatorial Africa, and is still performed on adolescent boys to symbolize their transition to warrior status or adulthood.[9]"

    June 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  9. pete

    Do new born's have rights? I mean, they do but how are they to decide for themselves? A 6 yo cannot say, "hey i don't want to go to school anymore" and that is ok. A 3 yo cannot say, "hey i don't want to have the mole removed, eventhough there is a great chance it could be come cancerous."
    Its up to the parents to decide what is best for their children.

    June 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • Saying Stuff

      You are assuming they know what's best for their children in the first place. I know of many people who should never have been allowed to have children. Some of them have had their children taken away from them.
      You have to draw the line somewhere. Why not stop all the child abuse while you're at it?
      Why is mangling a baby's penis such an obsession with these religious nutjobs?
      Mutilating a baby is not any indication of "knowing what's best for the child" in any sense of the word.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • Time Flies

      Sorry, PETE, most people would conclude that because infants cannot consent to cosmetic or religious mutilation you should ask them AFTER they're old enough to consent, but you say go ahead and mitilate them before consent is possible? Is this some more 'religious reasoning' at work here?

      June 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Its up to the parents to decide what is best for their children.

      Actually, it's up to the parents to decide what is best for their children that hasn't already been covered by existing law.

      June 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Steve

      Pete – that is because libs love to disregard the concepts of family (by blood) and faith.
      I could talk for hours with some on here about why they are so angry with God. Fascinating and tragic.

      What you do see bubbling to the top when you get right down to it are some pretty weird reasons for people who dont have children fighting so passionately against a harmless (and extremely beneficial... NOT cosmetic) procedure. Ive heard the following reaons thus far:

      1. they want my child to have better o-rgams when their older.
      2. because they feel my child will grow up a pervert, meany or just general bad person
      3. they hate God and don't want us making more people who fear God.

      there were a couple of others, but you get the jist.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Time Flies

    in his 'June 23, 2011 at 9:45am' comment Steve said: "... No one has a right to their foreskin. ... Please share with us all your proof of where a child has a right to its foreskin. "

    Steve, buddy, actually yes, it's a very basic principle nowadays that people DO have rights to their body parts.

    Wake up my friend, time is passing you by, and you don't even know it.

    June 23, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  11. The Bobinator

    The first amendment guarentees people their right to freedom of religion. However, what most people don't understand is that freedom of religion also means freedom from religion. That is to say, an individual is has the right to not have his/her life treaded upon by other people's religious decisions.

    There is no clearer violation of this right then this issue. Parents who are religious seek to employ their religious beliefs upon their child who is not of any religious persuasion. Until the child chooses to accept a particular faith, he/she should not be subject to the practices of that faith.

    And that means the child requires the mental capacity to understand what will be done and the implications of it. This probably means the ages of between 16-18 at the earliest. I would also require this to be a medical procedure, attended to by a doctor, who would advise the individual of the risks associated with the procedure and what the person may gain/lose.

    Short version, just because you believe in nonsense doesn't mean you get to mutilate your child. End of discussion.

    June 23, 2011 at 8:17 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Bobinator

      Though we agree on many different subjects, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. You call it mu.tilation and forcing religion on the individual but it really isn't. Circu.mcising the kid won't make him any more or less jewish and the procedure is relatively harmless, about as bad as getting your child vaccinated. It's also a jewish and muslim tradition and having grown up Jewish but since have realized the futility I agree that the practice should probably stop, BUT this isn't the issue where an Atheist or any anti-theist, anti-semite or otherwise should make a stand. To stop this you need to go at the heart of the matter, religion. I won't have my child circ.umcised but that's because I want a secular household. Make the believers understand how crazy religion is and these archaic practices will stop as well.

      June 23, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Though we agree on many different subjects, I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. You call it mu.tilation and forcing religion on the individual but it really isn't.

      I didn't say it was forcing. I said that it violates the rights of the child. It's having a religious choice made for it. That is against the first amendment.

      > Circu.mcising the kid won't make him any more or less jewish and the procedure is relatively harmless, about as bad as getting your child vaccinated.

      Your comparison fails. Vaccination has legitimate medical benefits for the child. I do not think circu-mcision does.

      > It's also a jewish and muslim tradition and having grown up Jewish but since have realized the futility I agree that the practice should probably stop, BUT this isn't the issue where an Atheist or any anti-theist, anti-semite or otherwise should make a stand.

      So atheists should not make a stand for the rights of another? Why is that?

      > To stop this you need to go at the heart of the matter, religion. I won't have my child circ.umcised but that's because I want a secular household. Make the believers understand how crazy religion is and these archaic practices will stop as well.

      Logic and reason don't work on the faithful. They're too indoctrinated. A law needs to be passed that says "you cannot do this anymore." Because it actually goes against the rights that we have afforded the child.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Bobinator

      You make some fair points, however it does have some medical benefit to people, not as much as vaccinations, but it does serve a purpose outside of a religious aspect. I also still disagree that its having a religious choice being made for the child against its will. Circu.cision doesn't mean the kid will turn out as a jew or a muslim (as I have proven) and in fact many christians have also had the procedure.

      When I said they shouldn't take a stand against it, I didn't mean they should sit idly by. As an atheist, I am against circ.umcision because I think religion needs to be abolished, however I think this is a "pick your battles" type situation. This specific example is futile because religious folks have an ironclad defense and this is already a lost battle, they're challenging even putting it on the ballot and will probably win because it does go against the law of the land. Why fight for something you can't win?

      The logic and reason aspect really relates more to people like me who are willing to consider the possibilities and actually make the switch. This is a long con as it were, you can't expect religion to disappear overnight.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • Time Flies

      Laughing said: "the procedure is relatively harmless, about as bad as getting your child vaccinated"

      See, that's just it Laughing, do you realize that you're not convincing anyone by saying it's like 'vaccination', LOL.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Saying Stuff

      @Laughing – Religious folks do NOT have an "ironclad defense". Whatever have you been smoking?

      People who abuse their children cannot use religious motives as an excuse for their criminal behavior.
      There is no defense to child abuse. None. Children are helpless, defenseless. There can be no attack upon them but what is reprehensible and psychotic.
      Se-xual mutilation is disgusting. You defend it? You are disgusting.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • PDE

      I have to agree with you here, although I am Jewish. Despite so-called health arguments, I cannot see the logic of this practice, no matter how I try. And I do see the logic of allowing somebody to reach an age where he can at least make his own decision. In fact, should somebody choose that procedure for religious reasons, it would have much more meaning than having it done to him when he is an infant. I can recall my poor, soft-hearted cousin crying at her baby's "bris" and being so glad that I had had a baby girl. Just because the injury is relatively minor doesn't mean it's not an invasion of a child's body for a non-health reason and a risk, at that. I just cannot see any justification for it. As for esthetics, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You love the person who is attached to the member, and if you do, you would not want him subjected to that when he is a baby for some culturally-dictated esthetic standard. This debate is long overdue.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Laughing

      @Saying Stuff

      First of all they do have an ironclad defense, it's called the 1st amendment, look it up. It allows them to have freedom of religion, which is why circ-umcision is allowed. Secondly, you're nuts. I'll say it before and I'll say it again, this isn't child abuse or mutilation or any of that. You imply that these parents have malicious intent and want to hurt their kids when they're defensless. That argument may work with the dim-witted but this isn't child abuse and it isn't mutilation. This goes for @ Time Flies as well, it's a simple procedure that has some medical benefit but is also religious in nature. If you gave the child a right to refuse vaccination I guarantee the kid is going to take one look at the needle and say "f that! I'll take my chances getting the flu" As parents, we know better that vaccinations are good and so we make the kid get them anyways. Is that child abuse? We're forcing the kid to do something he doesn't want to do.

      Let me be perfectly clear here, I don't support circ-umcision based solely because as atheist I think religious ceremonies are archaic and should stop, however this isn't the way, If you want to stop this you have to target religion itself, not the practice. Or, you can keep targeting me as being a child abuser (somehow) and get huffy over this non-issue and waste time.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Saying Stuff

      @Laughing – Freedom of religion is NOT freedom to mutilate your children!
      Going by your so-called "definition", religious murder is okie-dokie with you because it is "religious" and "therefore" allowed under the First Amendment. It's not and never will be. There are limits to every freedom enumerated in the Constltution.
      NONE of those rights and freedoms are infinite or unbounded, yet you would give religious expression a free pass to do anything at all. That means YOU are the nut here.
      And just because they do it with "love" and "good intentions" does not remove the criminality of the act itself.
      It is a violation of the child's rights and health. Religious indoctrination is also child abuse. Underscoring the indoctrination with body mutilation makes it that much more disgusting and vile.
      Your argument fails. Religious freedom does not mean the right to assault a child.
      And giving preferential treatment to a religious function IS A VIOLATION of the 1st Amendment!
      Maybe YOU should be the one to look it up!

      June 23, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Saying Stuff

      You're just talking out of your a**, don't be glib. There isn't such thing as religious murder, there's a little thing called the 10 commandments which is part of all abrahamic faiths, you know what's at the top? Thou shalt not kill. This is a religious ceremony whether you like it or not and so it is protected by the first amendment. I can guarantee you that when this does get taken to court, it will win and set a precedent which will make it all the harder to abolish.

      I don't give religion a free pass to do anything in the name of religion and neither does the US. We've seen it time and time again when someone might do something in the name of religion but its still against the law so they go to jail (see: honor killings), in this case this is a religious ceremony the same as bar mitzvah's, baptisms and communions are. This specific ceremony IS protected and will be upheld in a court of law. Seriously, this issue is already lost and only makes eradicating religion that much harder. So kick and scream all you want, yell at anyone who will listen how these children are being abused and tortured but it's not going to do you any good. I would really reccomend you spend your time educating people on how crazy religion is (use circu-mcision as an example) so when they do decide to have children they won't want to circ-umcise their child because they're secular, not because it's a criminal act.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Laughing

      PS you might want touse my words against me saying there's no such thing as religious murder since it's prohibited in that faith and then referring to honor killings. I want to point out the difference before you think you caught me contrad.icitng myself. Honor killings are not required in the muslim faith and are really not acceptable. They happen because a girl might lose her honor and instead of a father using islam as an avenue to absolve her, he gives in to community pressure to kill her to save face for his family. A lot of communities don't stop it because honor is extremely important and so they turn a blind eye, but let me repeat, Muhammed nor god demand a father kill his child because she's disgraced him. (this generally happens in middle eastern countries however when it happened in America, I think just a couple of months ago, the dad was found guilty and is facing jail time – clearly the 1st amendment isn't protecting him nor is he trying to use it in his defense)

      June 23, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Saying Stuff

      @Laughing – Well, for someone who says they don't give religion a free pass you sure are letting them cut baby penises with a free pass, so you're the one talking out of your ass.
      You call it a "ceremony" as if that made any difference.
      You say "thou shalt not kill" is at the top of the list when it isn't.
      You talk about the First Amendment and letting religion do whatever it wants more like a fake atheist than a real one.
      I think you're a fake.

      Assaulting a child is a felony.
      There. I hope that wasn't too complicated for you.
      And there is such a thing as religious murder. Suicide bombers do it all the time. Religious people kill with religious motives all the time. That's religious murder. Murder for religious reasons is religious murder.
      And this case is not already lost. It has barely begun. Why would you want to take away from pointing out the criminal behavior of religious people if you weren't a fake atheist? (Your "kick and scream all you want" is rather BG-ish of you)

      You're a fake atheist. You support these religious ceremonies because you're religious and not an atheist.
      You also don't know much about the law. That much is VERY clear.
      You piece of shlt fraud. Why can't you just be honest? Why pretend to be an atheist? Because you know you are in the wrong, I'll bet. That's the usual response from religious people. They cannot handle being wrong at all. Pathetic.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • @Saying stuff

      do you even read what you type. Thou shall not kill is not at the top of the list? was there some huge meeting i missed about that? please explain this one to me

      June 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Saying Stuff

      Wow, how someone so moronic can hate so much is astounding. Really? You're going to accuse me of being religious after professing to be an atheist because I'm "protecting" circ-umcision? Your vitrolic assumptions aside I'm going to point this out for you since you keep failing to grasp the concept. People may murder in the name of religion but that is not condoned by the religion itself. They might rationalize it and say god is going to forgive them because they think they're right, but look at the 10 commandments again, it's right there, Thou shalt not kill. It really is, I promise you it's right there, though I guess you're right, it's number commandment #1, so sue me. As for giving religion a free pass with the 1st amendment, I guess I still need to spell it out for you, me nor the consi-tution gives that right, it DOES however afford religious faiths to practice different ceremonies, and yes a bris IS a ceremony whether you like it or not.

      We can both watch this play out, but I'll wager that this initiative might just get taken off the ballot before it can be voted on because its unconst-itutional. You again say it's child abuse, but again, it isn't. It only happens once, not consistently, the baby feels it about as much as it feels its vaccinations and doesn't even remember it. The bris is conducted to welcome the boy into the jewish community and has every bit of meaning a bar mitvah. Would you call being bar mitvahed child abuse? I was consitantly made to study the torah, learn a torah portion and lead a congregation in service against my will, does that mean my parents should be locked up for a year and fined $1,000? Apparently by your definition, parents forcing their child to eat their vegetables should be a captial offense.

      Call me a fake atheist, I don't care, I know what I am and I identify as an atheist and you can't make me change my mind just because I can see the futility of this fight when you can't. LIke I said though, have at it, take the ADL and other religious leaders to court, spend time, money and man horus trying to ban circ-umcision when they have the 1st amendment to hide behind and you attack a religious ceremoney and let me know how it goes. Seriously, if you win and circ-umcision does get banned, congrats, that's one more step in eradicating religion.

      I'm also confused by your last comment, according to you I'm a fake atheist because I said I'm an atheist but because I'm not crazy outraged by circ-umcision that means I'm actually religious hiding behind atheism to do.....what exactly? As I've stated a couple of times, I'm not defending circ-umcision but you seem to gloss over that part. You also mentioned something about knowing I'm wrong ...... about there being a god or lack thereof? I know there isn't a god, of course there isn't, but I guess all religious folks say that right? Sorry I'm just trying to understand your idiotic train of thought here.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Saying Stuff

      Yeah, the huge meeting was about the Ten Commandments and how "thou shalt not kill" is the SEVENTH commandment.

      When you think the seventh one down is actually at the top, you need a bigger drink with more vodka and you also need to STFU when you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

      June 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Saying Stuff

      @Laughing – "ceremonial" assault is still assault. Why can you not understand this?
      You argue for religion over and over. You're a fraud. Piss off. You suck already. Okay?

      June 23, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
    • Laughing

      DARN! you're right, all my arguements crumble because I got the commandments wrong! Well then you'er completely right, you win I guess I'm religious too! Guess I better go whack some more of my genitals and stop eating this pig, god's waiting.

      (I know most people reading that will understand the sarcasm, but I just want to make sure for the slow-witted Saying Stuff, that the above is sarcasm..... you know, when people say something but mean the opposite)

      June 23, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Laughing

      Saying Stuff,

      You're too kind, I guess I better tell my parents to lawyer up right now, they abused me so much as a child. I had to eat that green stuff, go to sleep at 9:00 pm (9;00! The injustice!) they made me do that stupid bar mitvah and all I got was some lousy gifts, a family reunion and recognition as a man in my community. Worst parents ever, once this law passes I'm first going straight to god and demanding that he flood the earth like he did with noah, then I'm going to lock my parents up for child abuse!

      June 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      are you just a mean person or is your penis just that small that you take such offense to these posts. but my bad for not clarifyng. you see there are actually 616 jewish laws the top ten being reffered to commonly as the ten commandments. so by your logic the seventh commandment is actually at the top of the list. btw

      June 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
    • Saying Stuff

      *rolls eyes*

      When you can't refute what I say but only feel the need to act like little kids about it, then all I have to do is shrug. *shrug*

      June 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
    • Laughing

      You sir are priceless, a gem. Really, let's look back at previous posts and we'll see who's attacking whom. I've told you what my stance is on the matter, a couple of times, you've said "You're a fake atheist. You support these religious ceremonies because you're religious and not an atheist.
      You also don't know much about the law. That much is VERY clear.
      You piece of shlt fraud. Why can't you just be honest? Why pretend to be an atheist? Because you know you are in the wrong, I'll bet. That's the usual response from religious people. They cannot handle being wrong at all. Pathetic." and "are you just a mean person or is your penis just that small that you take such offense to these posts" I fail to see where I'm the mean person here or I'm taking offense, but ok. As for asking me to refute your statements? How exactly? That circ-umcision isn't mutilation? I think I have but I guess you've decided that I haven't. Honestly, the last statement was a kneejerk reaction, but It's a way of showing you what it is exactly your saying, the consequences to what you want banned and the precedent it sets.

      Then again, I guess I can only expect 1 of 2 responses from you. I'm the bad guy who can't respond and am acting like a child or I'm a closet believer, a fake atheist who likes to abuse and mutilate children, is that about the scope of it?

      June 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      i just did refute what you said.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      i had a good reply buts its awaiting moderation so i doubt it will come up. btw thou shall not kill is the 6th commandment not the 7th

      June 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • Laughing

      you refuted what I said how exactly? and by the way I really don't care what # commandment thou shalt not kill is, the point I was making was that its there at all.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Laughing

      Wait a tick, is @sayingstuff and Saying Stuff the same person? I assumed as much I just want to make sure.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • @sayingstuff

      SMH. lol laughing im on your side of this argument. i think everyone is just missing the point. whether or not i agree with it, i think the big issue is citys cant pass bills like this its up to the state. also i was saying i refuted your point to saying stuff. if youve read my arguments you would see im on your side. sorry for the confusion.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > You're too kind, I guess I better tell my parents to lawyer up right now, they abused me so much as a child. I had to eat that green stuff, go to sleep at 9:00 pm (9;00! The injustice!) they made me do that stupid bar mitvah and all I got was some lousy gifts, a family reunion and recognition as a man in my community. Worst parents ever, once this law passes I'm first going straight to god and demanding that he flood the earth like he did with noah, then I'm going to lock my parents up for child abuse!

      I think it's utterly disgraceful that you consider the cosmetic looping off of a body part for no damn good reason equal to forcing a child to get proper nutrition or a decent nights rest.

      You need to stop and think about your arguments, because they're just plain silly.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Laughing

      Lol @....@sayingstuff, totally thought they were directed at me and I got really confused. Thanks for the support.

      @Bobinator, like I said in a previous post, kneeje.rk reaction. What it really comes down to is it's not just parents lopping off a piece of foreskin for sh***ts, it's a ceremony to welcome a new child into the jewish community and has meaning, not to mention it's a jews way to keep their cov.enant with god. It's not just for no good reason nor is it a cosm.etic surgery like a nose job. I've said it to you before and I'll say it again, this practi.ce, however archaic it might be, isn't worth taking action over, take a stance, let them know you are against it, but a ballot measure will only hurt your cause and make it tougher. @sayingstuff has a point, even if this ballot prop stays on the ballot, gets voted on and then somehow succeeds, then what? There's still state and federal law, but thats besides the point as it's not going to pass anyways.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      @Bobinator, like I said in a previous post, kneeje.rk reaction. What it really comes down to is it's not just parents lopping off a piece of foreskin for sh***ts, it's a ceremony to welcome a new child into the jewish community and has meaning, not to mention it's a jews way to keep their cov.enant with god.

      I don't care what they think it does. I dont' care if they think it's fine. I don't care if they really, really want to do it. They do not have a right to surgically alter another human being without that humans consent. Why is this a hard concept for you?

      > It's not just for no good reason nor is it a cosm.etic surgery like a nose job. I've said it to you before and I'll say it again, this practi.ce, however archaic it might be, isn't worth taking action over, take a stance, let them know you are against it, but a ballot measure will only hurt your cause and make it tougher.

      No, allowing nonsensical ideas to remain is not how we'll advance as a society. Action always needs to be taken to change the status quo. Look at slavery and look at women's sufferage.

      > @sayingstuff has a point, even if this ballot prop stays on the ballot, gets voted on and then somehow succeeds, then what? There's still state and federal law, but thats besides the point as it's not going to pass anyways.

      Then the concept works it way through and people become aware of it. Slavery wasn't reversed on one bill. Neither will this. But it's starting.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Laughing

      Pretty outrageous that you are comparing circ-umcision to slavery or women's suffrage, but ok. If a baby could give its consent would you be OK with that? I mentioned in another post that I can pretty much guarantee you the child would probably STILL agree, ever see a kid want to earn their parents approval? Yeah, exactly.

      I guess my message has gotten lost though. I'm in no way in favor of circ-umcision, we should get rid of it, but this isn't the way. Do you try and take down a wall by taking a hammer and hitting the wall a couple of times? No, you get the bulldozer or at least a sledgehammer and you make a real dent. This whole controversy has literally no hope. I respect your stance, it's the action that I urge you to stop wasting time and spend more time helping others learn the ridiculousness of religion and bringing down in other ways. capiche?

      June 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • BG

      @ Dude

      "(Your "kick and scream all you want" is rather BG-ish of you)"

      Thanks for the shout-out.

      @ Laughing

      You're getting rolled courtesy of the belief blog's resident troll, Sum Dude, aka Zeb, Bibby, Lee, Eric, Saying, Saying Stuff, (SayingShít?) and about a dozen nonsense names and their variables.

      I use to actually spend time going back and forth with this ass hole – now I just sit back and watch – just for the the entertainment value.

      Don't take him seriously.

      June 23, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
  12. Matt

    I'm sure that most of the people who signed the pet-ition to get this on the ballot didn't even take religion into consideration. Some parents who aren't even religious circ-umcise their child because they believe it is more hygienic. I say if it's YOUR body, it should be YOUR choice. Same goes for religion..Parents think they should be allowed to force their religious beliefs on their children? What about those parents in Utah who felt that their young daughters should be married off to men 40 years their senior? Do they have that right? Because it's their religion? When people are being mutilated for some reasoning they might not agree with once they are old enough to understand all of the facts, I think a law should be made for their protection. Baptism....fine, First communion...fine, removing body parts....not so much..

    June 23, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  13. vidagrant

    What about the right of the child not to have his g*nitals mutilated? Nobody is asking to stop consenting, 18-year old adults from doing whatever type of mutilation they want to their OWN g*nitals. Forcing this on a child, however, is absolutely violent s*xual assault, and it's absolutely illegal. http://bit.ly/lRhiHc

    June 23, 2011 at 7:12 am |
  14. Danny

    So the big question is: will the people who want to tell me how to raise my child raise my child for me?

    June 23, 2011 at 5:38 am |
    • fimeilleur

      No, the big question is, are you willing to pay for damages should your son decide to sue you for imposing your religious belief on his genitals?

      June 23, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Zeke2112

      I expect San Francisco to also ban ear piercing for little girls. Think of the pain these poor things are experiencing!

      Oh, wait – you can't politicize that. What was I thinking?

      June 23, 2011 at 7:29 am |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Zeke2112, When I was about 20 years old, I had my ear pierced (early 90's... shoot me) I have since stoped wearing an earing and guess what... the hole is now closed. But this was ENTIRELY my decision... to get the piercing, and to stop wearing the earing. When I was born, my parents had my forskin removed, with it came a large number of nerve endings. It has never grown back... this was NOT my choice. Now I no longer have the quality of S3xual sensations that I should have had if they had just left me alone. Their religious belief is NOT my religious belief, although they tried to brainwash me, I escaped. I found REALITY and REASON.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:39 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > So the big question is: will the people who want to tell me how to raise my child raise my child for me?

      You can't beat your child. You can't have your child in horrible living conditions, you cannot deny your child education, you cannot deny your child food.

      The point is that there are already lots of laws that tell you how you can and cannot raise your child. This will be another one of them.

      June 23, 2011 at 8:20 am |
  15. geewhiz

    Question re Matthew Hess. Is this the same Matthew Hess who is facing a series of felony charges for raping his
    daughter?? Google his name and read the report. This initiative is not only antisemitic it is also anti Muslim and
    clearly has great appeal to bigots and other disciples of hate.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:51 am |
    • John Richardson

      The two Matthew Hesses, though of same name and similar ages, live on opposite sides of the country. Photos of both appear on the net. They are not the same person.

      June 23, 2011 at 5:01 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Even if it was the same person, so what? The idea is good or bad based on it's concepts, not on who said it.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  16. Jared

    so glad that my parents didn't cut off half of my penis' when i was born. All the men that have had it chopped off, will never know the pleasure they are missing. All that codswallop about it being some sort of hygiene thing is such crap' that doctors have you believe so they can make a buck off of you by chopping off half your willy.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:41 am |
    • Let's tell it like it really is

      I'm sure you need every quarter inch you can muster.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:03 am |
    • ol cranky

      if your penis was so small as an infant that your foreskin was half of it your parents and the doctors would have thought you were a girl.

      June 23, 2011 at 6:48 am |
    • Zeke2112

      LOL. Half? Thanks for displaying that you have zero knowledge on this subject whatsoever.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:33 am |
  17. RW

    This is something I have went back and forth on growing up and even today. I do have to wonder though (and speaking only for here in america, as some other cultures and parts of the world do this)... what would happen if parents decided to tattoo their children at birth?

    Would there be support for or against it? Probably both, but this seems like the same thing in a general sense... both are permanent, and in both cases the person having it done never got to have a say ... so I sure hope the permanent mark is something the person would want once they are old enough.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Not only that, but this is done for religious reasons. What if the child rejects their parents faith?

      All alterations to a child should be medically warrented, not what the parent thinks is attractice or appropriate. Because we've seen (and continue to see) that some parents make bad decisions for their children

      Your right to religion does not extend to changing the body of another person. Period.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:53 am |
  18. Steve

    Bip – " an ancient supersti-tion is ignorant and downright weird"

    Have angry, atheistic, faith-hating tendencies much?

    Seriously, if you're not a believer then... we get it. You think we're all nuts got it. But interjecting your lack of faith in God is REALLY off topic for this discussion. dont you think?

    To have a dicussion here is more for faith-based people to discuss.
    If I was an un-believer as you, I woudl agree with you. does that make you happy?

    June 23, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • John Richardson

      Nothing could be more on topic than pointing out that this practice is rooted in ancient, ignorant supersti-tion.

      June 23, 2011 at 4:37 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > Seriously, if you're not a believer then... we get it. You think we're all nuts got it. But interjecting your lack of faith in God is REALLY off topic for this discussion. dont you think?

      Given that people are lopping parts of their baby off for these silly notions, it totally isn't off topic.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Steve

      you guys are conveniently ignoring the religious side of this topic. I'm guessing this isn't the first time you've not cared for such feelings. so, shall we have a 1st amendment debate or a debate about circ-umcision?

      June 23, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > you guys are conveniently ignoring the religious side of this topic. I'm guessing this isn't the first time you've not cared for such feelings. so, shall we have a 1st amendment debate or a debate about circ-umcision?

      I'm not forgetting it. This issue is both a religious one and a first amendment one. The first amendment wins. The child has not selected a faith to believe in (or to not believe in), so applying a procedure in favour of one is against the first amendment.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Steve

      Bob – go read the 1st amendment. gov cannot pass laws establishing a religion or laws preventing the exercise of. There is nothing in there that states a child must not be taught/exposed to religion by their parents. Yes, parents can introduce their children to religion according to how that religion states.

      . How do you get what you dofrom the 1st amendment? that a child is protected from it's parents?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Saying Stuff

      Steve – Here is the text of the First Amendment, which you obviously do not know accurately at all:
      ---------
      Amendment I
      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to pet.ition the Government for a redress of grievances.
      ---------–
      Here's a clue for you: the "shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" does not give you the right to cut your children with a knife for religious reasons.
      Where in the First Amendment does it say you can do whatever you want? It doesn't say that.
      Shall we all start murdering each other according to our religious beliefs? Where does it say murder is okay? Or child abuse?
      It doesn't. Religion still has to follow our country's secular laws. You don't get preferential treatment (no law respecting an establishment of religion), and we don't make laws specifically against your religion (prohibiting the free exercise thereof).
      Stopping you from mutilating your fellow human beings is a secular law for secular purposes without keeping you from exercising your religion.
      Circu-mcision is not a spiritual exercise of your religion. Circu-mcision is felony assault on a child.
      Your religion, like all other religions, is a belief in the supernatural.
      When you "exercise" your religion, you are being spiritual. No physical harm to others is needed. If it is, then you are violating the law. Or shall we start burning churches without getting in trouble for it? Because that's how some people would like to exercise their religious freedom. Are you saying they can't do that? And what would be your argument?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Steve

      " does not give you the right to cut your children with a knife for religious reasons"

      YES IT DOES. So we just disagree, eh?

      here we go again... libtards throwing it OUTRAGEOUS examples to disprove a perfectly sane and common situation.
      Your comparison of burning churches and murdering people is so tired. In your hate-of-religion filled mind you see circ-umcision as "abuse". You just dont get the religion, that's all. You have to admit that... that you dont understand.

      Your only option is ot argue that people DO TRULY miss their foreskinds.... somehow.
      Or that the procedure is SOMEHOW damaging people.

      Now go find some evidence of either... good luck.

      Also, the const-itution is not a list of what we can do... its a list of what gov cannot do. Big difference

      June 23, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Saying Stuff

      Steve, if you knew what you were talking about, you'd be saying things differently. A lot differently.
      The application of law is beyond you, I guess. It is also clear that you have not read the Constltution but only half-remember what you heard on AM Radio talk shows.
      The Constltution has a lot of different stuff in it. It enumerates the powers and authority of the government and provides equality for everyone under the law. Your simplistic and inaccurate description of that fine docu.ment is a disgrace to our country and to our public education system.
      If you can't do any better than that, I'm not going to bother wasting my time with you. You just aren't up to discussing things intelligently. Or politely. And you want respect? Riiiight..

      June 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > Bob – go read the 1st amendment. gov cannot pass laws establishing a religion or laws preventing the exercise of.

      There are laws dictating how an adult may handle their child. These laws allow for circ-umcision. Therefore the goverment has enacted a law that shows preference to a religion and therefore DOES violate the first amendment.

      Furthermore, the spirit of the first amendment is to have people be free to choose. You're not free to choose if people apply practices of their faith upon you without your consent.

      You are ignorant of the law and you are ignorant of the consti-tution.

      June 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Steve

      Bob – Im not sure what laws you're referring to (funny you didn't share them), but if a law like that does exist it's likely not a federal law. What law is it? I'd be glad to discuss.
      Oh and a state/local law cannot take away a right granted by federal law; like the free exercise of religion. That's why this whole move by SF is sickening. They know it will be shot down, but they did it to "make a statement"... sigh... how noble.

      meanwhile they'll waste taxpayer money doing so. Thankful I live in SD.

      As for your 2nd to last statement. You and I should discuss this weird notion that is flying under the radar of... "a newborn is it's own person and this should not be dont until they can decide for themselves"
      This is really VERY radical point of view. Agreed? Very much goes against a number of traditions and practices.

      the founding fathers never had a child's freedom in mind when the envisioned our nation; wouldn't you agree?Pleaes?
      Now dont go into full on lib thinking and say I want child labor back infull swing.

      My reason for not liking your line of thinking is that SOMEONE is responsbile for the child. The best suited to be responsible for a child is their parent. You are totally ignoring the imnportance of this procedure simply due to your hate for religion. It's very important in the eyes of htese parents.

      the procedure causes no harm
      the procedure is a critical element of certian faiths
      the procedure is protected by const-itution
      the procedure is a parents choice to make as THE person responsible for raising the child.

      Set aside your hate/fear of religion and accept that these parents want the best for their children. Think of how little harm is done compared to what is being suggestd here.
      this whole argument is silly!

      June 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  19. dsavio

    The fact this is in SF is really kind of irrelevant. This is really about Matthew Hess (and antisemite) and his organization.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • dsavio

      an* antisemite *smack*

      June 23, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • The Bobinator

      Only morons discredit an idea because of who wrote it or where it occurs.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  20. Catherine

    It's just San Francisco's way of keeping Muslims out of there. So intolerant.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:10 am |
    • Saylorscreek

      Thank you. This is what this is all about. It is amazing how Californians pride themselves on their tolerance, when they are probably some of the most intolerant, micromanaging, intrusive people on earth today.

      June 23, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • The Bobinator

      > It's just San Francisco's way of keeping Muslims out of there. So intolerant.

      You are a troll or a moron.

      June 23, 2011 at 7:57 am |
    • Tom Tobin

      Tell it to the baby, who is having half of his healthy genitalia removed.
      See what he thinks.
      Ask him how much pain he can tolerate.

      How hypnotized can one person be?

      June 23, 2011 at 11:49 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.