I know lots of First Things readers are following the shocking case in Germany of a rabbi who is under the cloud of a criminal investigation for practicing circumcision - in effect, for being Jewish. In case you missed it over the long weekend, a local source tells Ed Whelan the case has been somewhat misreported in English-language media. Apparently, the rabbi has not actually been charged. Another citizen has filed a complaint against him, and under German law prosecutors must investigate such complaints when they come in. The prosecutors in this case appear to be slow-walking the investigation (“thank God,” comments Whelan’s source) toward what we can all hope is a quiet end where the charges are dropped.
It’s still a shocking story, of course. Religious liberty remains in peril wherever it depends upon the discretion of prosecutors rather than the solid protection of the rule of law. I offer four lessons that I think we Americans can learn from this case as we wrestle with our own struggles on religious liberty here .
In the meantime, let’s continue to pray and stand with our Jewish friends facing a renewal of the ancient threat of persecution - and in Germany, of all places.