The "Male Genital Mutilation Bill" made its way to the floor for debate today at the State Legislature. The bill would make it illegal for parents to circumcise boys in the state of Massachusetts unless there is a medical reason.Medical reasons would be allowed--it has already been reported that religious reasons would not.
Matthew Hess, president of a group called the Bill to End Male Genital Mutilation, was quoted by the Boston Herald as saying, "Circumcision is painful and unnecessary, violates a baby's human rights and decreases sexual sensation in mature males."
...Under the legislation, people who disregard the ban would face a fine and possible 14-year prison sentence. [emphasis added]
And this is not the first time that a state legislature ventured into religious territory:
Meanwhile, just a year ago this week, two very powerful state legislators in Connecticut proposed a bill that would have had the government take over the finances of the Catholic Church. (It took a rally drawing thousands of folks to the state capitol to persuade them to withdraw the measure.)Besides the fact that there are issues of the economy that should probably take precedence, if Obama's election sent out a flare that these sorts of issues are now open to the government to delve into--Obama's numbers in the polls should be advising them otherwise.
How did we reach the point where powerful people seriously consider such outrageous intrusions on religious liberty? These "shots across the bow" are skirmishes in a larger war between a newly triumphant liberalism and older American values, including pluralism, conscience protection and respect for religious liberty.
You can read the text of the bill here.
Technorati Tag: Circumcision.