Clown World: laws against child abuse are insensitive to people from abusive cultures

In Minnesota, citizens are concerned about the increasing prevalence of female genital mutilation amongst new Minnesota residents. So, a bill was passed to prohibit the practice, but a lot of folks aren’t happy.

Republicans, reliably afraid of looking bad for making democrats unhappy had this to say:

Now, the author of the Senate version is voicing second thoughts about approving the legislation yet this session, though Senate GOP leadership have not committed to a course of action. “We all agree this practice is absolutely horrible, and something needs to be done,” said the author, Sen. Karin Housley. “How can we empower communities to address this practice from within rather than having Big Brother come down and say, ‘This is wrong?’ ”

In other words, “This is a horrible practice (see, I’m against it, don’t call me a coward) but let’s not make it illegal (please don’t call me racist or xenophobic).”

Anyway, read the whole article. The issue of female genital cutting has an obvious answer: don’t do it, it’s wrong and despicable.

On the other hand, Christians need to think about what our revulsion to this practice means for the frequent Protestant appropriation of circumcision.

But back to the issue at hand, it’s really easy to let people entering the country know that you can’t practice FGM: include a “we don’t chop children’s genitals” portion of the immigration class.

About six months ago I made the joke that perhaps FGM should be made legal or even mandatory and be covered by the Affordable Care Act because otherwise people would get back alley procedures done as an analogy to the similar pro-choice. I fear that, based on the increase in the practice, we actually aren’t far from a third wave feminist argument to that effect. I’ve already seen this:

FGM is called, “gender egalitarian surgery.” How long until the game of changing the terminology becomes a game of competing for government funding for the practice as a routine medical procedure? My hope is that that timeline approaches infinity.

Now, I think that there is a way for the legal system to meet people halfway, but you don’t do that by refusing to outlaw child abuse.

As an aside, in my home town a child was left in a car while the family watched a movie and the parents were simply warned because of their different culture rather.

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