A San Francisco ballot measure would ban circumcision. Is that legal?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by laser90, May 19, 2011.

  1. laser90

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    An initiative to ban the circumcision of male minors—with fines up to $1,000 or one year in jail—made it onto San Francisco's November ballot on Wednesday. More than 7,700 San Francisco residents have signed the proposal, which deems foreskin-snipping an invasive medical procedure. Jewish and Muslim communities, in which circumcision is an important tradition, claim the ban would violate their constitutional freedoms. Can the government prevent a religious group from practicing a religious rite?

    This law seems to go a little to far! What do you think?
     
  2. D_Ben Twilly

    D_Ben Twilly New Member

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    I wasn't aware they were doing this again, but it was found unconstitutional last time because of the religious aspect. I remember some news site suggesting (quite correctly) that religious freedom has always been subject to certain limitations when it begins to directly impact others. They made the comparison that perhaps a person identifies as Aztec. We're not going to let them perform the human sacrifice of a virgin at first blood over the mouth of a volcano, are we?

    The long and short (...) of it is that infant circumcision violates the rights of someone unable to speak for themselves. We have always known it is painful (if you believe it isn't, observe one), we have always known that once done it's done (with even restoration having inconsistent and limited results), and now we know that the vast majority of the medical excuses that have been made over the years for it are nonsense, and nearly any of the already rare problems that can arise from having a foreskin are easily resolved by basic hygiene.

    I'll add that as a religious person whose freedoms and beliefs are limited and mocked by the law every day, I'm surprised to hear that religious freedom on this matter is something anyone cares about. Of course, it isn't really about religious freedom. It's about America's love affair with circumcision. Pretending to care about religious freedom is, in this case, a convenient excuse.
     
  3. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    Under our Constitution, the federal government may not do so, however, our States and local municipalities may

    Recent court decisions would not be following this line, but the texts behind the Constitution, and other historical documents show this to be true (further exposing the lie that America was intended to be a secular society)

    I suspect that given the recent strains in our society, you will see more decisions urged along these lines ... It will be interesting to see how far it can be taken

     
    #3 B_Nick4444, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  4. joyboytoy79

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    Wow. The things you learn. I didn't realize we were a "texts behind the Constitution and other historical documents"-al republic.

    I would LOVE to for you to teach me which part of the Constitution states that State and local municipalities may prevent a religious group from practicing a rite. Please. Enlighten me.

    *yawn*

    By the way. Aztecs did not sacrifice virgins at the mouths of volcanoes. Not that it matters. If circumcision were biblical (oh wait it is) - scratch that. If circumcision were a christian practice, you, Nick666 would be frothing at the mouth to defend the practice as constitutionally protected. Your bias is boring and predictable.
     
  5. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    The very basic and simple historical texts of our nation's founding, which you evidently ignored, didn't bother to read, or are simply not aware of (unionized teachers and instructors in public schools?)

    You might, of course, want to start with the Federalist Papers, then of course, the various statements and speeches issued at enactment, the debates, and so on

    It is standard jurisprudence to read the recorded debates attending to the enactment of any statute to determine the framer's intent

    Then, too, one assumes you would know that, if you went through a secondary school's civics class

    (and, yes, by the way, it was Christians who founded the nation, and issued its fundamental laws ...)

    To resort to the LPSG sine qua non reference work, see:

    "Establishment of religion

    Main article: Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
    The Establishment Clause prohibits the federal, state or municipal establishment of an official religion or other preference for one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion. Originally, the First Amendment applied only to the federal government. [emphasis added] Subsequently, Everson v. Board of Education (1947) incorporated the Establishment Clause (i.e., made it apply against the states). However, it was not until the middle to late twentieth century that the Supreme Court began to interpret the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in such a manner as to restrict the promotion of religion by the states. In the Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet, 512 U.S. 687 (1994), Justice David Souter, writing for the majority, concluded that "government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion."[1]
    Meaning

    The Establishment Clause's meaning has been a point of contention among different groups and its meaning has been interpreted differently at different times in American history.[2] According to liberals, the Establishment Clause erects a wall of separation between church and state,[3] although this term did not appear in the First Amendment but in a personal letter sent by Thomas Jefferson to church leaders in Connecticut.[2]
    To those who cite the first amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The first amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny. – Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States
    However, according to some conservatives, the Establishment Clause solely prevents the government from establishing a state church, not from publicly acknowledging God.[4][5] According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of Americans identify with the latter view, with 67% of Americans even deeming the United States a "Christian nation".[6][7]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    I would not be surprised, as I stated earlier, to see a movement to the earlier INTERPRETATION

    The original intent was quite clear, and may yet be revived; It would not be the first time that the Supreme Court would have had to reverse positions

    Given the recent push-back that we are beginning to see, it would be easy to anticipate that emphasis would shift to the restriction imposed upon the federal government

    Easy enough to forecast, given the National Governor's Association is trumpeting States Rights and the Tenth Amendment, in response to the lib dems current attempted over-reach of federal powers


     
    #5 B_Nick4444, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  6. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    What kind of dickhead education did you get?

    The Aztecs sacrificed in at least 20 ways that I can think of, & they just LURVED sacrificing virgins - female or male (sometimes).

    Appeasing the Volcano Gods
    Aztec Gods and Goddesses - Crystalinks

    What is it with you & the Christian hate speech too? At least they're not meant to hurt anyone.

    I suppose the Aztec's were all lovey dovey fuckers. Get a life. Back up you piss poor education with some facts, & stop passing off some rot you heard off someone who heard it off the backside of an ass as a rebuttal, rather than just BUTT ALL.
     
  7. joyboytoy79

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    I don't know if you know this, but the Federalist Papers are not and have never been law. Interesting as they are, being very important historical documents, they are not, nor have they ever been a valid filter through which to interperet our Constitution. But don't ask me, I only consulted with a constitutional scholar.

    Interestingly, the Constitution avails itself to the whim of the Supreme Court. You hate them, I know, but they ARE a constitutional entity. They are, in fact, the only entity the constitution imbues with the right to declare the intent of the constitution. Sucks, if you're a Federalist Papers-ist, such as yourself, because the Supreme Court has historically ignored the Federalist Papers, but the founding fathers you know and love are the ones who wanted it that way.

    Can we get back to discussing the topic at hand now, before Georgia declares the Southern Baptist Church to be the official State Church of Georgia, and begins legal proceedings against all heretics who profess a different faith?
     
  8. joyboytoy79

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    I didn't know that dough images could be virgin:

    And I happened to major in archaeology with an emphasis in mezo-american studies (that would include the Aztecs) in a previous life. I was damn good at it too. So that's the kind of dickhead education I had.

    The Aztecs were fierce, yes. Sacrificial, yes. But like I said, they never sacrificed virgins, male, female or otherwise (cuz the aztecs DID believe in a third gender) to any volcanoes. They much preferred to EAT their sacrifices.

    And when did I say I hate Christians? I don't. I just don't see how they're more special than the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Pagans, Hare Krishnas, or Atheists. Is that such a bad thing?
     
    #8 joyboytoy79, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  9. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    Indeed, the Federalist Papers are NOT law, and I definitely did not say they were ; What I did say is that they reveal the framers' INTENT, as do the other historical documents

    Which again, can be used to discern the framers' intent behind the enactment -- again, standard jurisprudence

    So, yes, there are solid grounds to find Souter's opinion defective

    It would be interesting to see an official State Church (Christian, of course) established -- Thomas Jefferson would be so proud!

    ADDENDUM: I just had a flashback to Year One:

    "... READ THE STATUTE.
    READ THE STATUTE. READ THE STATUTE...."

    The clear language of the First Amendment is even more compelling.

     
    #9 B_Nick4444, May 19, 2011
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  10. joyboytoy79

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    The framers intent, as is written by them in the constitution, was that the Supreme Court have jurisdiction over the intent of the Constitution. The constitution provides no provision for its interpretation through the intent of its writers. That's a fact. It's a constitutional fact. The hallowed "founding fathers" either didn't want their background discussion to be part of the document's legacy, or they forgot to include that clause in the document that allows us to interpret the intent of the law through the Federalist Papers and other historical documents. The Supreme Court is just that "supreme." Only it can evaluate the defectiveness of its own judgements.

    Now what the hell does this have to do with circumcision???
     
  11. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    You do recall the original question?

    To wit:


    And, the answer is yes -- Besides the fact that the Constitution as laid down was to allow the local (i.e., State and municipal) governance of religion, there are other interpretations that prohibit other practices that can be deemed to be part and parcel of the exercise of religion.

    Ask you consultant about the Mann Act.
     
  12. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    Are you fucking shitting me that there was no active volcano, anywhere in Mexico during the entire Aztec era?

    Are you shitting me that Aztecs didn't sacrifice virgins?

    Maybe you think that all Aztecs were pedophiles, & therefore all their kids aged 6-15 weren't virgins. FFS!

    They didn't eat everyone of them - not the ones that they burned,drowned, bricked up etc - though they did rather like the taste - Aztec mothers smeared human fat on their nipples to suckle on - therefore infants were inured into the culture at an earlier age.

    Child sacrifice in pre-Columbian cultures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Even, the Incas sacrificed kids & virgins to bloody anything, & the Incas were pussies compared to the Aztecs.

    Exactly what type of correspondence course degree did you get, what was its class, & from where! It sounds like you've majored in PC. They didn't kill kids - what next - they were a lovey dovey peaceful race - bollocks.

    It's no wonder you don't mind the mutilation of little boys.

    (OH no not another circumcision thread)
     
    #12 B_crackoff, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  13. joyboytoy79

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    Please re-read what I said and stop putting words in my mouth. Have a little decorum, no? Or is acting like a civilized human being too PC for you?
     
  14. gymfresh

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    On another person? Sure, why not?

    The key to understanding the constitutionality and otherwise legality of this proposed ban is in its lack of singling out any religious groups. The ban is predicated on an equality argument (a Federal ban has existed since 1996 on cutting, nicking or marking the genitals of a female minor -- MGM advocates a male ban should go just as far) as well as on a human rights argument.

    At the federal level, the key issue would be whether religious groups were targeted for disparate treatment by this law. Since it is evenly applied and provides equal protection across genders and religions, it would probably stand up to federal scrutiny.

    California state law is another matter, however. In order to justify interference with what has been long considered a right of parents -- religious or not -- the law would have to show that there is a legitimate governmental interest in criminalizing the elective circumcision of minors. One such argument might be the mitigation of lawsuits, resulting from complications of circumcision in private or government-owned settings (SFGH, for example). Another might be a compelling interest in bodily integrity of citizens, though that nexus might be difficult to prove.

    On the other hand, the hardship or burden to parents might be just as hard to prove, given that more and more religious parents are opting to forgo circumcision here in the US, as many thousands have worldwide, and it's been spotty throughout history. Intact Muslims and Jews (in Europe and South America, for example) still grow up, marry and raise families. Not a strong argument to be made on that one.

    The mistake would have been including a religious exemption, as it would have been a loophole you could drive a truck through.
     
  15. D_Ben Twilly

    D_Ben Twilly New Member

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    I'll testify.
     
  16. helgaleena

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    Why is this not over in Politics???

    States and municipalities can outlaw things as long as those who wish to practice them are free to go someplace else and get them done. And there are some pretty weird local statues in different areas. Some places it's against the law to hang mens and womens underwear on the same clothesline.

    So yes, it's legal if it passes. And good for babies.
     
  17. ManofThunder

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    Phew! I misread the title for a moment. I almost thought you were suggesting that circumcision was good for babies. My heart would have been broken. :tongue:
     
  18. Guy-jin

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    They can outlaw some things. But not things that are protected by the Constitution (under the 14th Amendment, which apparently Nick4444 doesn't know about). Like religious freedom.

    I doubt this will pass. If it does, I'm sure it will immediately be challenged by a team of Jewish lawyers under the First Amendment. Duh.

    You can say this isn't a religious freedom issue, but the Supreme Court likely will see it as one and will overturn it if it does pass.

    The real issue here is California politics, to be honest. The system here is such that the unwashed masses can pass laws like this (and far worse ones) that tie the hands of the legislature. Special interests can thereby trample the rights of other groups (particularly minorities).

    See Prop 8 if you don't believe that. California and its localities need to stop allowing this kind of system to rule. Democracy run wild, and after thirty years, it has all but completely ruined this state.
     
  19. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

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    Does anyone have a citation to support this?

    As time allows the study of Meso-American cultures is one of my interests, as I collect Meso-American art and artifacts, and have not heard of this particular practice before (the hyperlink takes one to a page where this practice is not specifically mentioned).


    The closest I can find is a passage in Marvin Harris' book, Cannibals and Kings in the passage discussing the Tupinamba, of Brazil:

    "..'Mothers would smear their nipples with blood so that even babies could have a taste of it.'..." "It" being the blood of a sacrificed prisoner of war.
     
  20. parr

    parr New Member

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    Nothing about that city surprises me.:biggrin1:
     
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