The Circumcision Debate in Germany: A Miscalculation

Is it possible to justify a Cologne court’s ruling on the legality of circumcision on the basis of Germany’s Basic Law? In this essay, Patrick Bahners takes a closer look at both the Basic Law and the ruling and concludes that the judges in Cologne must have made a serious error of judgement

Anyone who toils over his tax returns, painstakingly adding up write-offs and tax-free contributions, and finally comes to the conclusion that he can expect to receive a refund the size of the federal budget will instantly realise that the result cannot possibly be correct. Such obviously absurd conclusions also occur in the field of practical reason.

A ruling by a German regional court, which, if observed, would mean that all Jews would have to leave the country, cannot possibly be correct. Our human faculties of reason, better known as common sense, tell us so. This also explains the prompt and unequivocal reactions of leading politicians to the Cologne circumcision ruling. Their intuition is intact, which is certainly a relief.