First Do No Harm
James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
There are no religious rights or freedoms to inflict harm or injury upon another person contrary to the history of religious traditions. From the time of Abraham (Genesis17: 9-14; 22: 1-18; Numbers 31:17-18; Proverbs 23:13-14); to Jesus Christ (John 1: 1-14; 3:16-17); to the Islamic Taliban violence against the human body is a common denominator of the monotheistic religious traditions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Religious rights and freedoms end when they violate the religious rights and freedoms of others. The advances of human civilization are distinguished by the extent that institutionalized and personal violence is controlled and prevented.
There is no religious exemption to child sexual abuse, as the conviction of Philadelphia Msgr. William J. Lynn, who had no direct physical contact with the children, but aided and abetted their sexual abuse by priests in his diocese. Jon Hurdle and Erik Eckholm of the New York Times (7.23.12) has reported that the jail sentence has yet to be given which has shaken the Roman Catholic Church.
The genital mutilation of children is a far more serious crime than the cover-up of another person’s sexual crime against children.
Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City was sentenced to two years of court-supervised probation in a bench trial rather than a jury trial, thus avoiding a prison term. Bishop Finn was found not guilty on a second charge, for failing to report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic pictures of young girls. The counts each carried a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, as reported in The New York Times by John Elgin and Laurie Goldstein (9.6.12). The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said the sentence was too lenient and only jail time would be an effective deterrent. VIEW NY TIMES
The American Academy of Pediatrics: Technical Report: Male Circumcision (27 August 2012) not only condoned male circumcision but stated: Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, and the benefits of newborn male circumcision justify access to this procedure for those families who choose it.
Parents should weigh the health benefits and risks in light of their own religious, cultural, and personal preferences, as the medical benefits alone may not outweigh these other considerations for individual families. Parents should determine what is in the best interest of their child.
The forcible shredding of the foreskin from the glans--a fused biological organ in newborns and young children--is an act of torture.
Tragically, the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association unanimously passed a disgraceful and unlawful resolution that opposed all legal efforts to ban male circumcision (November 15, 2011- New Orleans) HERE and HERE
The historical record documents that parents nor physicians always act on behalf of the best interests of the child, as the child abuse statistics testify and that the AAP is in violation of Federal Law that prohibits female genital mutilation and provides the same protection against male genital mutilation via the “equal protection clause” of the 14th Amendment, as well as International Law under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of The Child.
These AAP recommendations were made despite the decision of AAP Past President Judith Palfrey that compelled her to renounce the AAP Bioethics Committee’s policy statement on Ritual Cutting of Female Minors with the following statement:
The AAP does not endorse the practice of offering a "clitoral nick”. This minimal pinprick is forbidden under federal law…” (17 May 2010). HERE and HERE
This writer submitted a letter to Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee 30 August 2012 which requested that he hold hearings and enforce the “equal protection“ clause of the 14th Amendment that protects male infant/children from genital mutilation—a sexual assault-- that is provided to female children under PL 104-208. MORE
Additionally, this writer submitted an eLetter to Pediatrics protesting its support of male infant/child circumcision as a violation of basic Human Rights of the Child which has exceeded the AAP’s legal, moral and health authority in unlawfully conferring to the parents the authority to approve the sexual assault of its child through the surgery of a physician that violates national and international law and the highest ethical code:
FIRST, DO NO HARM! HUMAN RIGHTS BEFORE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS!
Click on the following documents for further commentary.
1.eLetter to Pediatrics 27 August 2012, and MORE
2. Petition to the World Court, The Hague—Genital Mutilation of Children is Torture March 1989
4. Letter to Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee 30 August 2012 which requested that he hold hearings and enforce the “equal protection“ clause of the 14th Amendment that protects male infant/children from genital mutilation—a sexual assault-- that is provided to female children under PL 104-20 (available here). Read the Leahy letter.
26 September 2011