Defying the wrath of Andrew Sullivan and the might of the Foreskin Lobby, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has attacked the cockamamie Cologne court ruling that banned an essential rite of Islam and Judaism. Religious freedom and the rights of the family must be defended against the zealots of secular modernity.Merkel is of course correct. For thousands of years, the circumcision of male babies has stood at the heart of Jewish ritual and belief, and the circumcision of boys is mandated under Islam. For a court to prohibit this religious rite is a direct assault on the most cherished beliefs of these two faiths and a tyrannical usurpation of government power over the family.Communist governments banned the religious education of minor children on the same grounds that the Foreskin Lobby sought to ban circumcision. “Brainwashing” young children by bringing them up in their parents’ religion was held by the Communist secularists to be an assault on children who should be allowed to make up their own minds before having their minds stuffed and deformed with “myth” and “superstition.”Chancellor Merkel grew up under the rule of these enlightened secularists and her father was a Protestant pastor living under Communist rule. She very well understands that the exaltation of the state over the family and over faith is tyranny. There are cases (the sexual mutilation of girls is clearly one), where the state must step in, but those cases are rare and the grounds must be extreme. Some people approve of male circumcision and some people don’t, but given its centrality in Jewish and also Muslim faith and practice, it cannot be banned by a democratic, rights-based society.Chancellor Merkel gets religious freedom and gets the importance of minority rights. Muslims must be allowed to follow a core requirement of their faith and, given the facts of German history, Jews especially must be allowed to be fully Jewish in Germany without breaking the law of the land.Well done.