The following is a New York Post editorial:
Today New York has a budget of $70 billion a year, twice what it was when Mayor Bloomberg entered office, and some of the highest taxes in the nation. We’ve got big decisions to make on outstanding contracts with public unions. And on issues from school reform to violent crime, we stand a real chance of going backward.
So what are our two main candidates for mayor talking about? Jewish circumcision.
Thank Mike Bloomberg’s aggressive nannyism for this absurdity. His Department of Health is going after a particular circumcision practice favored by some Orthodox groups. The practice involves the mohel using his mouth to remove blood from the infant’s circumcision wound. The Health Department says it can cause herpes, and it wants to impose consent forms.
We don’t deny there are health risks to children in this city. In 2012, 10 children were killed while riding bicyles. Are we going to demand consent forms for that, too?
The basic answer is that parents make these decisions, not an unelected and unaccountable city bureaucracy. That’s especially true when the bureaucracy is treading on something as sensitive as a religious practice that has gone on for centuries. The candidates seem to understand that, with Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota each having promised to revisit the Health Department’s meddling if he becomes mayor.
This is a crucial election for New York, with many vital issues at stake. It’s tough enough to know what to do about schools, taxes, spending and crime without having our candidates have to weigh in on a Jewish ritual that never should have become a government issue in the first place.