Giles Fraser versus the liberal mindset

Giles Fraser is angry about the German court decision that religious circumcision of infants is a violation of their right to bodily integrity (although he doesn’t say that, but substitutes “against the best interests of the child”). He’s outraged that Merkel had to say  “I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world in which Jews cannot practise their rites.”

Yet the circumcision of babies cuts against one of the basic assumptions of the liberal mindset. Informed consent lies at the heart of choice and choice lies at the heart of the liberal society. Without informed consent, circumcision is regarded as a form of violence and a violation of the fundamental rights of the child. Which is why I regard the liberal mindset as a diminished form of the moral imagination. There is more to right and wrong than mere choice. [Read more...]