Circumcision ban to appear on San Francisco ballot


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Carol: This is a parenting issue and the state should stay the fuck out of it completely.

Adam

I believe that the state has a compelling interest to protect its citizens before the age of majority. Even - or especially - in a limited constitutional state of objective law, if the purpose of the government is to protect you from violation of your rights, then this would be an example of that.

"Oh, no, Officer Galt, we have a right to circumcise our little boy because God told us to."

What if parents mutilated their children to make them beggars?

Do you have a general principle?

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Carol: This is a parenting issue and the state should stay the fuck out of it completely.

Adam

I believe that the state has a compelling interest to protect its citizens before the age of majority. Even - or especially - in a limited constitutional state of objective law, if the purpose of the government is to protect you from violation of your rights, then this would be an example of that.

"Oh, no, Officer Galt, we have a right to circumcise our little boy because God told us to."

What if parents mutilated their children to make them beggars?

Do you have a general principle?

Michael:

First, circumcision is not "mutilation" in my and medical opinion.

Second, it is not religious in my family or my parents family so I cannot speak to that point;

Finally, the state has to make a compelling case before it can enter my family zone, my personal zone or my personal property.

I read your comment on the 4th Amendment case and I wondered whether you read the dissents?

The main problem which makes the decision unconstitutional is that they did not specify that the intrusion was justified in this limited case, but they applied it across all cases.

Adam

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Solution: Do not ban the genital surgery on females. It is not life threatening and if it makes people with certain religious beliefs jolly, let it be done. The State does not own the c*nts of baby girls.

Thank goodness you and I live in states where the law forbids parents to have such horrific procedure performed on their female children.

I think a ban on circumcision of males will be overturned on First Amendment grounds, the reasons being a combination of it's ubiquity and it's religious history. Female circumcision doesn't have those features, it is a tribal custom in parts of Africa, and apparently is not religiously ordained (it certainly isn't called for in Islam).

In 2006, Islamic scholars at a conference in Kairo's Azhar university declared any form of female circumcision as "harmful and un-islamic".

Ba'al has made his argument plain to see: if the law allows "genital surgery" on females, then the "genital surgery" on boys will also be permitted. So the Jewish custom may go on, at the possible expense of a girl's life and fulfilment.

Nasty rationalisation, Bob. Package-dealing between two unequal irrationalities.

Jewish circumcision, while being a silly ancient ritual, does not permanently excise the child's future pleasure. It is harmless and, yeah, more hygienic, too - I know, I know. (Though on balance, I would've kept my little extra bit, given the choice.)

The State has no business, here.

But what about the individual right to full efficacy of one's body and mind - pleasure, in this case?

I doubt there is anyone else who does not agree with Xray and Carol that "circumcision" of females is immoral. Even the word is a vicious euphemism for brutality. The custom has patriarchal roots.

The State - even limited government - should have the power to protect children from brutality of certain kinds from their parents; another being "mutilation" by parents for gain, as MEM's example. Initiation of force, and all that. Does Objective law stem from morality, or not?

There is a key in Xray's comment "Thank goodness you and I live in states where the law forbids..."

Out of sight, out of mind, Bob. That in some primitive regions of Africa clitorectomy continues - contrary or not to their religious and State decrees - is their business, yes?

It wouldn't happen here, right?

But it could - and we can't wait until then to cross that bridge.

Tony

Edited by whYNOT
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Out of sight, out of mind, Bob. That in some primitive regions of Africa clitorectomy continues - contrary or not to their religious and State decrees - is their business, yes?

It wouldn't happen here, right?

But it could - and we can't wait until then to cross that bridge.

Tony

What is it to me? I have no dawg in that hunt or hoss in that race.

Government does not belong down in our crotches.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Out of sight, out of mind, Bob. That in some primitive regions of Africa clitorectomy continues - contrary or not to their religious and State decrees - is their business, yes?

It wouldn't happen here, right?

But it could - and we can't wait until then to cross that bridge.

Tony

What is it to me? I have no dawg in that hunt or hoss in that race.

Government does not belong down in our crotches.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Anything you say, Bob.

You are right, of course.

I've been reminded by a good person not to get so serious about everything, so I'm gonna try to be all sweetness and light, for a while.

Tony B)

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No ear piercings of men, women, transgendered, undecided, etc. until 18 to be consistent correct?

No piercings of any kind until 18 because there is no informed consent correct?

While an ear piercing is something else than cutting off a part of a person's body, still I would not have had the ears of my daughter pierced while she was an infant. I was even reluctant to allow it when she was 'already' seven and wanted earrings.

Carol:

This is a parenting issue and the state should stay the fuck out of it completely.

What about the right of a person to intactness of his/her body?

Post Script:

Missed you. Welcome back. Was concerned that you were pre-raptured!

Missed you too, Carol. Glad to see you were not pre-raptured! :)

Edited by Xray
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Oh, boy, and I do mean boy because it is only male circumcision I know about. There is no female circumcision - it is wrong to call it so, it is a mutilation and a violation which can never be justified.

The issue is quite complex because there exists a form of female 'circumcision' where 'only' the clitoral hood is removed (hoodectomy), which is the biological equivalent to male circumcision consisting in removing the foreskin.

(Whereas the equivalent to clitoridectomy would be cutting off the glans penis).

I've had a controversial discussion on hoodectomy with a poster on another thread :

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8934&st=20&p=105789entry105789

Now if male circumscision is presented as comparatively harmless, this might also provide 'ammunition' for the advocates of female hoodectomy and thus undermine the campaign against all forms of female circumcision/genital mutilation.

Edited by Xray
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Oh, boy, and I do mean boy because it is only male circumcision I know about. There is no female circumcision - it is wrong to call it so, it is a mutilation and a violation which can never be justified.

The issue is quite problematic because there exists form of female 'circumcision' where 'only' the clitoral hood is removed (hoodectomy), which is the biological equivalent to male circumcision consisting in removing the foreskin.

(Whereas the equivalent to clitoridectomy would be cutting off the male's glans penis).

I've had a controversial discussion on hoodectomy with a poster on another thread:

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8934&st=20&p=105789entry105789

Now if male circumscisn is presented as comparatively harmless, this might also provide 'ammunition' for the advocates of female hoodectomy.

Oh dear, ick, yuck.

Like you I feel leery even about piercing, in fact I don't even have pierced ears, and I refused to let my son get a tattoo until he was 18 (he only got the one).

Btw X, do you think this is all about medical or is there some macho in there somewhere? Remember all those Philistine foreskins (900 was it? Ba'al would know) - I know, I don't like to think about them either and hasten to add for non-old Testament fans that they were removed postmortem (I hope) for David to send Saul as war trophies.

The hysteria of some male anticircumcisionists (not here on OL!)reminds me uncomfortably of the right-to-bear-arms gunfight debate.

Squeamishly,

Carol

Edited by daunce lynam
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Btw X, do you think this is all about medical or is there some macho in there somewhere?

I think it is in its origins a purely patriarchal issue, with medical reasons playing virtually no role.

Ba'al conceded this too when he wrote:

To be sure, circumcision was not instituted as a medical preventive measure but as a primitive religious act.

"Primitive" is the key word here really, and religions where circumcision (no matter in which form) is compulsory merely reflect the primitive patriarchal stage during which these religions were founded.

But don't we have to ask ourselves if it makes sense in our time to unreflectedly continue such primitive patriarchal acts?

In comment section of the Pat Condell video you linked to, someone wrote:

"Morality evolved as we evolved. This is just a fact. People think that morality is floating around in space or divinely inspired. Not true. It evolves. In the past slavery was considered fine (across many cultures - and all advocated by the bible I might add)...now it is considered a great evil."

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=10687&st=0&p=135797&fromsearch=1entry135797

One can't say it better imo.

What this person wrote could also provide an interesting basis for a discussion in the ethics section.

Edited by Xray
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Btw X, do you think this is all about medical or is there some macho in there somewhere?

I think it is in its origins a purely patriarchal issue, with medical reasons playing virtually no role.

Ba'al conceded this too when he wrote:

To be sure, circumcision was not instituted as a medical preventive measure but as a primitive religious act.

"Primitive" is the key word here really, and religions where circumcision (no matter in which form) is compulsory merely reflect the primitive patriarchal stage during which these religions were founded.

But don't we have to ask ourselves if it makes sense in our time to unreflectedly continue such primitive patriarchal acts?

Yes, we do. You are more unflinching than I, and you have the right of it. Religion is a blind here, or a remove -- there is the whole issue of practices like dietary laws, whether they originated in practical health reasons and became ossified as religious laws -- it is culture, specifically patriarchal culture, and thus family, that it all comes down to.

Instinctively I agree with Adam's position - it's parental. And like you I am grateful that my state will intervene if parents abuse their children. And that parents are educated, and given the tools to know how to best safeguard their children, and given a community where they can be strongly influenced, yet still free.

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Further to tattooing, I don't have any feelings about it except practical ones - trendy gets old fast,and old girlfriends get inconvenient, and lasering is expensive.

My Andy's tattoo was for his father. It is a maple leaf and St Andrews cross flags entwined, with Eddie's dates of birth and death. It's on his left shoulder, closest to his heart.

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Geez, I hate to quote the World Health Organization

mc_main.jpg There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. Three randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision provided by well trained health professionals in properly equipped settings is safe. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

Another approach by the Jewish Community is reflected in this article here:

"Hess argues, on the other hand, that the law is on his side. Noting that female genital mutilation is illegal in this country, he says boys should get equal protection under the law, no matter the religious beliefs of their parents.

That is a false and dangerous analogy, Porth says.

'Female genital mutilation is illegal because it is a cruel practice, medically harmful and performed for the explicit purpose of preventing female sexual satisfaction,' she said. 'In contrast, there’s no credible medical evidence that male circumcision is harmful or that it prevents sexual satisfaction. Its purpose is for health reasons and religious belief.'"

Edited by Selene
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Geez, I hate to quote the World Health Organization

I’m suspicious. They say “randomized controlled” but can it be that the men who got circumcisions had the same behavior patterns both before and after the operation? In other words, maybe those who got circumcisions weren’t getting laid before, or couldn’t get laid after. Either way, that’s Africa, not the U.S.

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Geez, I hate to quote the World Health Organization

I'm suspicious. They say "randomized controlled" but can it be that the men who got circumcisions had the same behavior patterns both before and after the operation? In other words, maybe those who got circumcisions weren't getting laid before, or couldn't get laid after. Either way, that's Africa, not the U.S.

Agreed. This website I just found here might have some better information.

"Historically circumcision has been a topic of emotive and often irrational debate. At least part of the reason is that a sex organ is involved. Another is that it concerns surgery on this part of the male anatomy. (Compare, for example, ear or body piercing, or tatooing.) Religion can also be a factor in some arguments."

The Benefits of Circumcision

A Brief 'Snapshot' of Health Benefits + Reviews

The benefits of circumcision include:

• Decrease in physical problems involving a tight foreskin [Ohjimi et al., 1995].

• Lower incidence of inflammation of the head of the penis [Escala & Rickwood, 1989; Fakjian et al., 1990; Edwards, 1996].

• Reduced urinary tract infections.

• Fewer problems with erections, especially at puberty.

• Decrease in certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, HPV, genital herpes, syphilis and other micro-organisms in men and their partner(s).

• Almost complete elimination of invasive penile cancer.

• Decrease in urological problems generally.

Reviews:

Besides the information contained in the present internet review, the reader can consult other reviews on the topic of circumcision and its benefits. These are as follows: [American, 1989; Schoen, 1990; Lafferty et al., 1991; Russell, 1993; Australian, 1995; Fetus, 1996; Morris, 1999; Adelman & Joffe, 2004; Alanis & Lucidi, 2004; Schoen, 2005a; Short, 2006; Thomson et al., 2006; Morris, 2007a; Schoen, 2007e; Schoen, 2007d; Schoen, 2007c; World, 2008a; World, 2008b; Austin, 2009; Ben et al., 2009; Morris, 2009; Morris & Castellsague, 2010; Morris & Cox, 2010; Tobian et al. 2010]. The message they convey is consistently a positive one.

The present review is, however, the most extensive by far, as one can appreciate by reading each specific section.

As can be appreciated, the benefits are different as the human male progresses through life. Each of these benefits will be now be reviewed in detail.

Circumcision - Benefits Outweigh the Risks

Dr Tom Wiswell, a respected authority in the USA was a strong opponent, but then switched camps as a result of his own research findings and the findings of others. This is what he has to say: "As a pediatrician and neonatologist, I am a child advocate and try to do what is best for children. For many years I was an outspoken opponent of circumcision ... I have gradually changed my opinion" [Wiswell, 1988; Wiswell, 1992]. This ability to keep an open mind on the issue and to make a sound judgement on the balance of all available information is to his credit ... he did change his mind!

Wiswell looked at the complication rates of having or not having circumcision performed in a study of 136,000 boys born in US army hospitals between 1980 and 1985. 100,000 were circumcised and 193 (0.19%) had complications, mostly minor, with no deaths, but of the 36,000 who were not circumcised the problems were more than ten-times higher and there were 2 deaths [Wiswell & Hachey, 1993].

A study by others found that of the 11,000 circumcisions performed at New York's Sloane Hospital in 1989, only 6 led to complications, none of which were fatal [Russell, 1993]. An early survey saw only one death amongst 566,483 baby boys circumcised in New York between 1939 and 1951 [National, 2003].

There are no deaths today from medical circumcisions in developed countries.

Very similar to the study by Wiswell above, it was found that of 354,297 infants born in Washington State from 1987-96, only 0.20% had a complication arising from their circumcision, i.e., 1 in every 476 circumcisions [Christakis et al., 2000]. Most of these ‘complications’ were minor and readily treated. It was concluded that 6 urinary tract infections could be prevented for every circumcision complication, and 2 complications can be expected for every penile cancer prevented [Christakis et al., 2000].

Problems involving the penis are encountered relatively frequently in pediatric practice [Langer & Coplen, 1998]. A retrospective study of boys aged 4 months to 12 years found uncircumcised boys exhibited significantly greater frequency of penile problems (14% vs 6%; P < 0.001) and medical visits for penile problems (10% vs 5%; P < 0.05) compared with those who were circumcised.

Edited by Selene
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^^^^^^^^^

Proving once again that a circumcised dick is a much better dick. Circumcision is not mutilation; it is improvement.

And to you devout Christians Out There: God Himself was circumcised on the 8 th day.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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And to you devout Christians Out There: God Himself was circumcised on the 8 th day.

It was quite smart by St. Paul to argue in Romans 2:25 - 2:29 that circumcision meant a spiritual practice. ("circumcision of the heart", "by the spirit"). Attributing a figurative meaning to the term 'circumcision' resulted in the medical procedure not becoming mandatory for Christians.

http://bible.cc/romans/2-29.htm

New International Version (©1984)

No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

But many Christian denominations have another 'compulsory ritual' instead: baptising newborns, where the individuals aren't asked for their consent either.

Proving once again that a circumcised dick is a much better dick.

I'm afraid that only thing the debate proves is the strong political influence exercised by various religous groups advocating circumcision.

Since the practice of male circumcision could be often be found among populations living in arid, desert-like regions, (e. g. nomads in North and East Africa, in Australia), maybe the poor hygienic conditions (due to water scarcity) did play a certain role back then.

But given the hygienic standard reached in our modern society

where a man can take regular showers, medical problems due to poor genital hygiene should be substantially reduced.

As for circumcision allegedly reducing the risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases - surely it is not suggested that it makes the use of condoms unnecessary?

So if both uncircumcised and circumcised men use condoms, is it correct to conclude that both will get the same protection?

Circumcision is not mutilation; it is improvement.

Whatever you choose to call it personally, the fact remains that a part of an infant's body (which protects a very sensitive areas of the body) is cut off without consent of the individual on whom this is being performed.

In a protest action against routine male infant circumcision, pictures of babies were displayed with captions:

"The FOREFRONT of Medicine should know. Foreskin is no birth defect."

"Whose body? Whose rights? Let HIM Choose." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision

Regardless of medical aspects possibly factoring in as well, circumcision is in its origins, a primitive tribal ritual performed by patriarchal cultures.

Possibly it was also a pars pro toto ritualistic sacrifice replacing former rituals of killing and sacrificing humans to placate an irate god or gods.

Interesting in that context is that Moses' wife Zippo'rah had not wanted to have her son circumcised, which stirred god's wrath so much that he wanted to kill Moses. Zippo'rah caved in.

Exodus 4:24:

At a lodging place on the way the LORD met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zippo'rah took a flint and cut off her son's foreskin, and touched Moses' feet with it, and said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!" 26 So he let him alone. Then it was that she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.

http://www.bibleontheweb.com/Bible.asp

As for "touched Moses' feet with it": "feet" refers to the pubic area here.

[source: Stuttgarter Erklärungsbibel, p. 53].

Edited by Xray
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^^^^^^

origins do not count. Only results count

The ancient Hebrews practiced crop rotation because of tradition. Even so, crop rotation improves land productivity. So much for origins.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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^^^^^^

origins do not count. Only results count

Hmm - going by that premise of yours, e. g. studying history would not count.

And crooks would pop a bottle of champagne if they lived in a society where "origins do not count", for it would mean no one would bother to find out who is the originator of committed crimes.

Check your premises. ;)

Edited by Xray
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A big bite has been taken out of the San Francisco Circumcision movement :o!

As James Taranto points out in today's WSJ column, "...there is a fine line between hippy-dippy and hateful." [with apology to George Carlin's weatherman]

He explains here:

"The primary backer of an effort to get a ban on circumcision on the ballot in Santa Monica [Calif.] is abandoning her push, saying the proposed legislation had been misrepresented as an effort to impinge on religious freedom," the
New York Times
reports. But "a similar measure in San Francisco is scheduled for a fall vote." Jena Troutman, the women the Times has chosen as the face of this weird political movement, is a young mother of two, who seems like an innocuous hippy-dippy sort. In an
earlier story
, the paper noted that she "has worked as a lactation educator and a doula"--a sort of assistant midwife--that "she is fond of rattling off sayings like 'Your baby is perfect, no snipping required,' " and that she has "often approached women on the beach to warn them about the dangers of circumcising." But for trying to impose her views on others through law, she's a harmless eccentric.

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A big bite has been taken out of the San Francisco Circumcision movement :o!

As James Taranto points out in today's WSJ column, "...there is a fine line between hippy-dippy and hateful." [with apology to George Carlin's weatherman]

He explains here:

"The primary backer of an effort to get a ban on circumcision on the ballot in Santa Monica [Calif.] is abandoning her push, saying the proposed legislation had been misrepresented as an effort to impinge on religious freedom," the
New York Times
reports. But "a similar measure in San Francisco is scheduled for a fall vote." Jena Troutman, the women the Times has chosen as the face of this weird political movement, is a young mother of two, who seems like an innocuous hippy-dippy sort. In an
earlier story
, the paper noted that she "has worked as a lactation educator and a doula"--a sort of assistant midwife--that "she is fond of rattling off sayings like 'Your baby is perfect, no snipping required,' " and that she has "often approached women on the beach to warn them about the dangers of circumcising." But for trying to impose her views on others through law, she's a harmless eccentric.

The woman certainly overdid it by approaching strangers on the beach, but still the conflict remains between religious freedom and the right of the individual to intactness of the body.

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The woman certainly overdid it by approaching strangers on the beach, but still the conflict remains between religious freedom and the right of the individual to intactness of the body.

A penis with an intact foreskin is more subject to infection and cancer. Removal of the foreskin is a health matter. It saves the child from the Curse of Smegma, the yellow cottage cheese from hell. In addition is circumcised male is less likely to be a premature ejaculator.

The fact the circumcision originated as a religious custom does not change its health value one bit. That is why gentiles have their male infants circumcised.

A circumcised dick is a better dick. Pain and simple.

And if we applied your "logic" consistently, parents would not be allowed to have the tonsils of their children removed. Keeping one's tonsils is being "intact".

And another word: If the law forbids child circumcision there will be another Hasmonian revolt from the Jews (and the Muslims, too). Read the history of Chanukah. There was a revolt because King Antiochus forbade circumcision and the observance of the Sabbath. The Jews did not take kindly to interfering with the upbringing of their children by some drunken Greek gentile king. Don't f*ck with the Jews.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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A penis with an intact foreskin is more subject to infection and cancer. Removal of the foreskin is a health matter. It saves the child from the Curse of Smegma, the yellow cottage cheese from hell.

A foreskin is no birth defect. It exists for a biological reason: protecting a very sensitive part of the male body.

Re smegma: sufficent genital hygiene takes care of this problem.

The fact the circumcision originated as a religious custom does not change its health value one bit. That is why gentiles have their male infants circumcised.

See above. Penile cancer is quite rare; and we don't live as desert nomads anmyore where lack of water makes adequate genital hygiene difficult.

As for 'gentiles' circumcising their male infants: since this practice is much less frequent in Europe than in the US, it would be interesting to examine the reasons for that.

A circumcised dick is a better dick. Pain and simple.

Was that a Freudian typo when you wrote "Pain and simple?" ;)

And if we applied your "logic" consistently, parents would not be allowed to have the tonsils of their children removed. Keeping one's tonsils is being "intact".

It is not a question of logic but of what is to be understood by "intactness" here.

Removing severely infectious tonsils or an inflamed appendix is something else than cutting off protective tissue like foreskin without medical necessity.

And another word: If the law forbids child circumcision there will be another Hasmonian revolt from the Jews (and the Muslims, too).

Indeed something comparable would happen, you can bet your bottom dollar on that.

For religous groups still have powerful influence, which is why politicians will shy away from confronting them on such issues.

In all the talk about religious freedom, what about the freedom of the individual to refuse to have his foreskin cut off?

Religious freedom - all very well, but what if this freedom implies violating the freedom of another human being?

Supppose believers in religion X regarded it as their duty to cut off the earlobes of their sons because their god demands this. They claim 'religious freedom' to perform this practice.

What would you reply to them?

Edited by Xray
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Supppose believers in religion X regard is their duty to cut off the earlobes of their sons because their god demands this. They claim 'religious freedom' to perform this practice.

What would you reply to them?

Keep your hands off my dick and my earlobes.

As to "suppose that..." we will deal with this hypothetical when it because real. In the United States religious ritual murder or substantial injury will not be permitted regardless of the First Amendment. Anything short of real harm to the children will be permitted. That includes circumcision. There will be no virgins tossed into furnaces to assure goods crops. Take the to the bank.

While we are at it, what about holes drilled in the earlobes of little children wherein to insert jewelry? Should that be prohibited by law? Little or no harm harm comes from it. We also cut the hair on helpless infants. That is a lessening of intactness. The Sikhs do not cut the hair of their male children and the rest of us do. That is not a matter for Law.

By the way, no one is forcing autonomous adults to have circumcisions. And children are taken to doctors against their little wills so the doctor can pierce their skin with needles. The children are in the charge of their care-givers and as long as the procedures -do no harm- and are for the health benefit of the children, then the adults will have their way. End of story.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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A penis with an intact foreskin is more subject to infection and cancer. Removal of the foreskin is a health matter. It saves the child from the Curse of Smegma, the yellow cottage cheese from hell.

A foreskin is no birth defect. It exists for a biological reason: protecting a very sensitive part of the male body.

Re smegma: sufficent genital hygiene takes care of this problem.

When dealing with something like balanitis, providing "sufficent genital hygiene" is not as simple as you make it sound, including when administered by experienced doctors. Both underwashing and overwashing can cause balanitis. Finding the right amount of washing isn't easy.

Here are snippets from some of my old posts on OO on the subject:

From here:

The glans of young boys who are not circumcised can be much more sensitive to friction than the glans of boys who are circumcised (due to the fact that it is protected against friction by the foreskin), which can easily lead to avoiding washing, or to washing ineffectively, due the fact that washing can be very painful, even with something as delicate and seemingly frictionless as soap and water. Imagine having to wash your child's eyeballs with your finger or a soft washcloth, or asking him to do it himself. That's about the level of discomfort that uncircumcised boys can experience when their glans is washed, so you can imagine how they might resist washing.

From here:

I read what Edell had to say about the "myth" that it is cleaner to be circumcised. He doesn't address the issue of ineffective washing due to penile sensitivity in uncircumcised males. In fact, he comes across as being rather smug in saying "It's hard to imagine how this has persisted in an era of soap and water." What's hard to imagine is a doctor being unaware of the fact that penile sensitivity can prevent uncircumcised individuals (or their parents who bathe them) from effectively using soap and water.

If rubbing people's tonsils each day with sandpaper was demonstrated to prevent chronic tonsillitis, I wonder if Dr. Edell would find it hard to imagine that people would still be at risk of developing tonsillitis in the era of sandpaper. It really shouldn't be all that hard to imagine that just because simple preventative measures exist doesn't mean that they'll be applied effectively, especially if they hurt.

From here:

...improper washing can occur due to the fact that washing, even with something as seemingly mild and frictionless as soap and water, can be painful to uncircumcised boys. Pain can discourage them, and their parents, from washing effectively, which can cause balanitis and other problems. Being diagnosed with balanitis can then lead to over-washing, which can cause balanitis. Finding the right balance, and a lasting balance, isn't necessarily easy, even under the guidance of caring, knowledgeable doctors. The difficulty in achieving the proper amount of washing, and the time and care involved, is what can make some doctors advise parents to choose the much simpler, less harmful and less expensive route of circumcising their children during infancy as a preventative measure.

From here:

So, when there are contradictory and inconclusive studies, families and their doctors are going to base their individual decisions on their experiences with ailments like balanitis. When a seasoned medical professional observes over the years that dozens of his uncircumcised patients have suffered from balanitis, and that none of his circumcised patients have, I don't think it would be unreasonable of him to conclude that his own professional experiences reflect the studies which support the idea of circumcision being, at least in some cases, the best solution to preventing certain ailments. I think it would be rational of him to weigh the benefits and risks based on his own experiences and knowledge (which would include his exposure to the latest studies, and his evaluation of their merit or lack thereof).

From here:

I agree that, when possible and when it makes sense, parents should seek the input and/or consent of their child. But I don't think that they should have to seek government's consent. They shouldn't be forcefully mandated to not take certain actions because someone cites an inconclusive study which suggests that circumcision, in general and on average, isn't particularly beneficial -- they shouldn't have to demonstrate to government busybodies why they think that their case and their family history falls outside of the general or average range.

J

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