The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) stands with Jewish and Muslim leaders against a proposed ban of circumcision of male children in San Francisco. The proposal gained enough signatures last month to be placed on the city’s November ballot.
“Jews, Muslims, and Christians all trace our spiritual heritage back to Abraham. Biblical circumcision begins with Abraham,” said Leith Anderson, NAE President. “No American government should restrict this historic tradition. Essential religious liberties are at stake.”
The NAE’s guiding policy document affirms the principles of religious freedom and liberty of conscience, which are both historically and logically at the foundation of the American experiment. The proposed ban violates the First Amendment’s guarantee to exercise one’s religious beliefs.
If the measure passes, circumcision of males under age 18 would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. Banning circumcision would set a precedent against religious freedom, lead to costly legal challenges, and add more prisoners to the already overpopulated prisons in California.
“While evangelical denominations traditionally neither require nor forbid circumcision, we join Jews and Muslims in opposing this ban and standing together for religious freedom,” Anderson said.