Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yet It's a Crime for Me to Not Recycle

Back in February, I linked to a story about one of the scariest things I've read all year: a rabbi in New York who killed at least one child by giving him herpes. And not in some Catholic priest kind of way, either. No, this rabbi (turn back now, please) circumcised this baby, and then, in front of the baby's family, sucked blood from the baby's penis. And he wasn't beaten to death by the child's father. No, this was part of the ceremony. This is standard operating procedure for some sects of Judaism.

This week, Mayor Bloomberg said he wasn't sure if this should be made illegal or not. As Christopher Hitchens points out in this Slate piece:

I could wish that Bloomberg were always so careful about keeping out of other peoples' business: He has made it legally impossible to have a cigarette and a cocktail at the same time, anywhere in the city. But I'll trade him his stupid prohibitionist ban if he states clearly that it is the government's business to protect children from religious fanatics. Female genital mutilation, for example, is quite rightly banned under federal law , and no religious exemption is, or ever should be, permitted. The Mormons were obliged to give up polygamy and forcible marriage before they, or the state of Utah, could be part of the United States. A Christian Scientist who denies urgent medical treatment to his or her children may well be hauled up for reckless endangerment, as may those whose churches teach redemption through violent corporal punishment. The First Amendment does indeed forbid any infringement of religious freedom, but it is not, as was once said, part of a suicide pact, let alone a child-abuse one.
Hey, I'm a libertarian most of the time. I write about crime, and I want the things I write about to be robbery and murder, not smoking in the boys' room. But you have to draw the line somewhere, and I draw it way before we get to "mouth on bloody infant genitals." But that's just me.

Boy, this post is going to open me up to some interesting Google searches.


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