Archive for July, 2015

Is Male Circumcision A Violation Of Human Rights

While flipping through the WestJet TV lineup on a recent cross-country flight, I reluctantly settled for a popular daytime talk-show (my other options includedDays of Our Lives and re-runs of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo), which saw a panel of 4 diversely opinionated women duking it out to see who could make their co-host seem like the bigger idiot. Sigh.

Interestingly, however, the subject they were debating that day happened to be male circumcision, a surprising topic for daytime TV.

Two of the female hosts in particular were taking the stage with polarizing views on the matter. One host saw the medical procedure as a hygienic practice that lowered the risk of disease while the other saw it as an archaic and highly irrelevant surgery.

In the end, the audience was left undecided. I, however, was left with an ignited curiosity about a medical procedure that I had never really taken time to question.

I was impressed by the research the anti-circumcision host had prepared for her debate, and it got me thinking intently about the ethics behind the globally rooted practice.

How Did Circumcision Come To Be Globally Recognized?

Ancient Medieval era circumcision Italy. Source: Wikimedia

While the true origins of circumcision are largely obscured, the procedure undoubtedly has ancient roots, as documented in findings from several ethnic groups, including ancient Egypt, Greece, and Sub-equatorial Africa.

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Oklahoma’s top court orders removal of 10 Commandments monument

Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. (Image from Wikipedia)

Oklahoma’s top court ruled that the 10 Commandments monument situated on capitol grounds violates state laws prohibiting the use of government property for the benefit of a religion.

The decision from the state Supreme Court also puts an end to donations for statues proposed by animal rights group, a Hindu leader, and the New York Satanic Temple, which were meant to be erected on the capitol grounds as well.

The ruling stems from an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit filed on behalf of several Oklahomans challenging the constitutionality of the monument. The lawsuit argued that it violated the state’s constitution, which bans public property from supporting “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion.” The suit also argued that the monument violated provisions of the US Constitution forbidding the establishment of religion by government.

In a 7-2 ruling handed down on Tuesday, the Oklahoma court agreed.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that the placement of the monument at the Capitol created “a more divisive and hostile state for many Oklahomans,” and that the “state has no business telling it citizens what to believe.”

Lawmakers had argued that the monument was not serving a religious purpose but was meant to mark a historical event.

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