JTA reports that: The Norwegian government’s child welfare adviser said Jews and Muslims would stop circumcising children if they learned more about the risks and pain involved in the procedure.
According to Anne Lindboe, “With good information about risk, pain and lack of health benefits of the intervention, I think parents from minorities would voluntarily abstain from circumcising children.”
Lindboe went on to suggest that circumcision was a form of child abuse and that in time, parents who continue performing the religious practice should be treated no differently than parents who violently beat their children.
I was happy to discover Anne Linboe had a Facebook page on which I just left the following message:
I was just reading an article in which you are quoted as suggesting that those in the Muslim and Jewish communities who continue the practice of circumcising their sons are doing so out of ignorance of the pain and health hazards the procedure entails.
How incredibly imperious of you to sit in judgement of the religious beliefs and traditions of others.
How incredibly arrogant of you to assume that the billions of men who have been circumcised throughout history were scarred for life emotionally and incurred health problems as a result. Oh really? Where’s the proof?
How incredibly audacious of you to suggest that this ritual, which is performed out of a loving desire for our sons to fulfill a cherished tradition of our faith that binds them to the thousands of generations that preceded them, is somehow comparable to child abuse!
How incredibly pretentious of you to assume that you know better than the thousands of health professionals including the World Health Organization who actively promote circumcision as a means of reducing urinary track infections and the spread of STD’s.
Would you be so kind as to provide a mailing address so we know where to forward the “Most Arrogant Person in the World” award? Sincerely, Mitchell S. Gilbert
I think that Anne is right
I must agree with her. Circumcision is absolutely child abuse and a major human rights violation. Your religious freedom ends where your child’s body begins. Where is HIS religious freedom? You know, it’s not unheard of for a child to be raised in a certain religion and decide for themselves as adults that they don’t believe and don’t want to follow that religion. Aside from the pain and lifetime of negative consequences associated with circumcision, he now has YOUR religion carved into HIS body.
One’s religious freedom ends where someone ELSE’s body begins. Many, many men resent having their parent’s religion carved onto their penis. Google botched circumcisions. Google surgical risks of circumcision. Google circumcision deaths. Google infant pain and trauma from circumcision. Google functions of the foreskin. The medical evidence is overwhelmingly against circumcision. All children, boys and girls, deserve protection from forced genital cutting. Only perverts and sexual sadists mutilate children’s genitals. Few loving parents choose circumcision for their sons when they are fully informed of the risks and permanent losses.
genital cutting has no place in modern society. no excuses. unless there is medical need, cutting off parts of a child’s genitals IS abuse.
Personally i’d much rather have a few black eyes than have my foreskin savagely stolen from me, and i’m fairly certain i’m not the only one. Regardless of religious belief of a child’s guardians, they have no right to force that child by marking in his flesh the cultist beliefs of ancient people.
Circumcision is genital mutilation, wake up people!
Cutting off part of a person’s body, without dire medical need and their expressed consent is abuse. Doing this to a child is child abuse. Why is that difficult for some to understand?
Actually you should research just a bit to realize what you are talking about.
NO health organization in the world recommends routine infant circumcision. There are NO proven medical benefits to circumcision.
Actually EVERY man that has been circumcised is scarred from circumcision – look at your penis you will see it.
Just because parents are meaning “love” in their action to circumcise doesn’t mean circumcision is a loving act. It’s painful, harmful, risky and violates the child. Also doing this out of YOUR faith is what is so completely wrong about this tradition.
Your child has RIGHTS not only to his body but to FREEDOM of religion. Yes, that means your child at day of 8 does not have a religion- and forcing your religion onto your child with a knife to his genitals is asinine- and also a violation of him. He might decide that he does not follow your faith- but will forever be reminded about how his body was sacrificed for something he doesn’t even believe in. What if his new found faith requires him to have a whole penis? So you aren’t only forcing your faith onto an infant- you are also marking him and making him be rejected by other religions.
What does your sons penis have to do with your religion? That’s right nothing.
I do feel that circumcision is wrong to do to a [healthy] baby. To cut into a child’s body with the intention of drawing blood and causing pain (which you can’t deny happens with 100% of circumcisions) would qualify as an abuse by anyone’s standards. It doesn’t become not-abuse because the area you’re harming is the genital area instead of the buttocks or the face.
Ultimately, I feel it’s the boy’s penis and he should have control over what happens to his foreskin. It’s his foreskin. Not his mother’s. Not his father’s. Not his mohel’s. Not his second cousin once removed on his mother’s side’s. If he, as an adult, feels that his faith or sexual preference justifies circumcision for him, he can choose to be circumcised.
Oh, how I WISH I had been beaten instead of genitally mutilated.
It’s sad to see the anti-circumcision folks out in such force. Their claims are exaggerated, and this is one example of how the internet makes possible a great trumpeting of fear and anger over something very small.
I will not get into an overheated discussion on the matter. I will say only that I am a Jewish clergyman and have witnessed dozens of circumcisions by mohalim — people espeically trained to perform this mitzvah (commandment). I am, of course, circumcized, and so, of course, is our son.
The people who are trained to do this do it quickly, safely, and in a way that minimizes the difficulty for the child. And elevates our appreciation of the human body and the gifts of God.
How does it elevate the appreciation of the body and the gifts of God? You’re looking the gift horse in the mouth and chopping off a part of someone else’s body. I would have no problem with anything you said if you were talking about someone else doing it to their own body, with their consent…but we’re talking about surgery on a non-consenting individual. However it’s done is still a violation of human rights, regardless of intent. Besides, Maimonedes drastically changed the process of circumcision to make it much more invasive than the original Abrahamic covenant. Why still follow it?
Jewish mohels kill some babies just like secular doctors do.
EVERY circumcision alters sex dramatically and unethically steals his autonomy.
Which claims do you feel are exaggerated? That you are stealing your children’s religious freedom, just as yours was stolen? That your sons may grow up to resent having YOUR religion carved into their bodies? That your sons were forced to endure extreme pain to satisfy YOUR religious beliefs? That circumcision forever alters the form and function of the penis, diminishing sexual pleasure for both partners? That your sons are now 4.5 times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction as adults?
So none of you have or would give a baby routine vaccinations because they hurt when they’re administered and alter body chemistry?
Science trumps hysteria and scare tactics. Check out:
Vaccination gives strong, proved protection against deadly, contagious diseases of children, now rare precisely because of vaccination. Circumcision gives debatable, slight (if any) protection against already-rare diseases of late onset that can be better prevented by other means, or treated as they occur.
Where are the groups of adults complaining about having been vaccinated, or discussing how best to make themselves vulnerable to TB, polio, rubella, mumps, measles, whooping cough and diphtheria again?
That news item was published before 38 top paediatricans, heads and spokespeople of the paediatric bodies of most of Europe, wrote to the AAP slamming its policy as faulty and culturally biased.
I suppose we should not vaccinate our children either since it is their body and they should chooses what to do with it. Vaccinations are often painful. I was much older than 8 days old and it hurt a lot.
In the end, however, I am glad that my parents vaccinated me–even though I do have a scar from it…as I suppose most of us in my generation do.
I am also glad that my parents initiated me into the covenant of the Jewish people at 8 days old. The tradition is more than just a medical procedure…and I could care less if it has any medical benefit. The fact is that my parents loved me enough to raise me in a LOVING, CARING, and GENEROUS community that has been around for over 3500 years. And nearly everyone one of us males has been circumcised and we seem to be doing just fine.
Just fine? Is that why the the US and Israel consume the majority of the world’s viagra? The fact that are willing to continue this cycle of abuse is evidence enough that you are not doing just fine.
That is just hateful, anti-Semitic conjecture.
I’m sorry, which part of my comment did you feel was anti-Semitic? Hateful? Yes. I HATE the forced circumcision of minors. I appreciate religious freedom and have NO problem with circumcision when it’s chosen by a consenting adult for his/her OWN body. I value the lives/bodies/rights of babies born to Jewish parents just as much as those born to parents of any other religion/no religion. There is nothing anti-Semitic about my position.
Here are contact details for more than 100 celebrants of non-surgical Brit Shalom, more than half of them rabbis, so your sons can go on being raised in an even more LOVING, CARING and GENEROUS community….
There’s a sampling error in your claim about “doing fine”. The ones who died didn’t “do fine” but they’re not around to say so. And don’t say it doesn’t happen. Rabbis used to discuss how many brothers might be allowed to die of it before one could be spared the operation. And many more may not have “done fine” but were under pressure to shut up about it, for fear of being called “self-hating” and the rest.
Yes they are both being abused. It is not different then forcing a cosmetic surgery on your daughter or another adult human who cannot or did not consent.
Circumcision has done me no favors! I have had bleeding abrasions from intercourse that a foreskin would have prevented. These abrasions have made me leery of having sex with my wife. Without the mechanical lubrication provided by a foreskin, I have to use artificial lubricant or sex would be painful for my wife and I. My parent’s chose this painful and unsatisfactory sex life for me and my wife and I simply cannot fathom why. I would never have chosen to have my foreskin removed. Only 1/16,667 intact males will have a problem with their foreskin, 99% of which can be treated with medicine not surgery. 117 babies die from circumcision a year in the US that is 9/100,000 babies that die each year from a cosmetic surgery. Men have lost their penis, glans, and suffered from deformity caused by the operation. It isn’t right that these children pay the price for a decision their parents made, a decision that should be left up to the owner of the penis. Even those who survive still have problems like mine, though they are seldom discussed.
There are countless decisions that every parent makes, or should make, for his/her children. We choose to teach them a language, or a few, we teach them manners, we teach them, in many cases, to be part of a religious faith community. Many of those choices become as irrevocable, in fact often more so, than circumcision.
As a father of four Jewish sons, it never occured to me to do otherwise than arrange for a medically safe circumcision. To do otherwise would have been not only to violate my faith obligation, it would also have imposed on them a very different and very painful decision on their part should they later choose to join the covenant of the Jewish people.
Male infant circumcision has a long and safe history, not only among Jews. The holiday of Hanukkah, about to begin, recalls a time when government oppression tried to halt the practice more than two thousand years ago. The practice continued. And it will, regardless of inapprpriate and misguided efforts to outlaw it. We have so many more important things to worry about in terms of the needs of our society and the world’s children.
More important than forced genital mutilation? Doubtful.
I make all kinds of choices for my children; which body parts they are permitted to keep is not one of them. I also do not impose any faith on them. I’ll raise them to think for themselves and make their own decisions about their beliefs and their bodies, as every parent should. Religious indoctrination is abuse, especially when it involves amputations.
Male circumcision is part of the religious tradition of Judaism and Islam. How dare any government try to control the religious practices of its citizens? When a government bans one religious practice, it’s just a matter of time before it starts banning additional practices. Study history; you will find this pattern occurring again and again.
And Although the religious practice of circumcision is not done for any medical reason, there are medical benefits for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The USA bans female genital mutilation, which is also a religious practice. In either case, it’s not a religious decision being made by the person who is affected (for life) by it. Carving your religion into someone else’s body is not religious freedom. It’s just evil.
And I literally just wrote a paper on that very same CDC page two days ago. It’s not even remotely accurate.
Yes, circumcision needs to be stopped immediately! After my own circumcision I could not walk for a year!!!
The speed and volume of anti-circumcision comments that were posted to this column after its publication suggest that there are one or more anti-circumcision groups out there that no know how to mobilize their membership on cue. Good for you.
Isn’t it interesting that most (if not all) of the anti-circumcision comments come from men. I suspect that these men fall into two categories, those who are not circumcised and view the procedure as barbaric even though 99.9% of all circumcised men have neither physical or emotional scares/abnormalities to show for it. I respectfully suggest that the second group of men who express opposition to the procedure are circumcised men who have had a botched procedure that more than likely took places years after birth. I suspect that many if not most of the circumcised men who feel compelled to vilify the procedure are convinced that the involuntary surgical procedure they were subjected to as a baby is the grand explanation for why they feel like damaged goods now as adult.
In the meantime, in the Science Section today’s New York Times there was yet another article extolling the virtues of circumcision as a means for preventing HIV and other STD’s. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/science/circumcisions-to-help-prevent-aids-are-on-the-rise.html?ref=science&_r=0
Whether we agree or not, my thanks to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts in the comment section of this article.
Interesting that you pull “1 in 1000” out of thin air as the number of men who actually mind having been circumcised.
When circumcision-related legislation was proposed in Massachusetts and in Colorado I calculated an estimate of the number of foreskin restorers in those state. It was similar for both. For roughly every 100 babies circumcised in a year, one man takes up foreskin restoration. I would suggest that for every man who goes to the trouble of restoring there must be a large number who DO MIND having been cut but don’t know about restoring, don’t believe it will benefit them, or don’t feel they could do it without embarrassment.
Yes, we know how to mobilize. Although, while we are very serious about ending INFANT circumcision, we are not anti-circumcision. You’d be hard pressed to find a single one of us who would object to a consenting adult having the procedure done. We absolutely believe in bodily autonomy. Each person has the right to make his or her own choices about their own bodies.
And for the record, friend, I am a woman. Here’s a little surprise for you, men aren’t the only ones harmed by male circumcision. Research shows that women prefer intact partners, because the sex is more comfortable and pleasurable. As a woman who has experienced both, I can personally attest to that (Please take the time to watch this very short video on why this is so http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgoTRMKrJo4).
As for your link on circumcision and HIV, it’s complete BS. In reality, FORESKIN may actually help prevent the transmission of HIV.
Anyway, I do appreciate your civility and the fact that you did not censor us. That seems to be pretty rare in a circumcision debate, so you definitely get points for that.
Hey there, friend. After your censorship of my last comment I doubt you will allow this one on your page, but that’s ok, it’s meant for you. I just had a really interesting article come across my Facebook newsfeed that made me think of you. It’s well written and makes some interesting points. If it turns out that you disagree, you’ve lost nothing by reading it; but if you find that it makes sense you may have a lot to gain. I do hope you’ll give it a read! http://www.beyondthebris.com/2013/12/judaism-bris-milah-and-human-rights.html
The one and only contribution Fox Noise has made to our society is that it proves that for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a team of writers and talking heads can take the news and spin it, edit it and report it to a less sophisticated target audience that has difficulty hearing facts and ideas that challenge opinions formulated by prejudice, greed and self interest (as opposed to altruism). The fact that you were able to find a former Orthodox Jew who acknowledges his need to revisit and question everything he learned a child growing up in an intellectually isolated cult doesn’t surprise me in the least. For the record, I respect and support a Jewish parents right to not circumcise their child. But I’ll give my life to defeat the efforts of any government that dares to tell me how to practice my faith. I don’t approve of abortion being used as form of birth control. But I will give my all to stop my government from interfering in a woman’s right to choose. Likewise, if you want to share you perspective of circumcision with the world, be my guest. But please don’t ask the government to legislate you beliefs into law or support such efforts in others countries. Reasonable people can agree to disagree on such sensitive subjects.
Sorry, but I will continue to fight for the rights of these little boys till the day I die. And YES, that means that I will continue to ask that the law (that already makes it illegal in this country) be enforced.
Reasonable people know this is a human rights violation and would never turn a blind eye to it. I will NEVER agree to disagree on whether the forced mutilation of minors is acceptable. EVER.
Your comment is not that of enlightened liberator but the reasoning of a supremacist who is quite sure that he has monopoly on truth. Newflash Aubrenora, YOU DON’T. And if necessary, I will confront your intolerance with the same vigor and determination as I would any person who would deny the civil liberties of others to satisfy their own personal agenda.
‘Foreskin doesn’t increase pleasure’New meta-study aims to dispel long-held notion that having an uncut penis makes for better sex
The guy who wrote that analysis is a fetishist, the head of his own “Circumcision Foundation of Australia.” He pooled together many studies and dicounted the ones of “low quality” (that is, the ones that didn’t agree with his opinion). He dismisses out of hand the ONLY one of those studies that actually measured the sensitivity of the foreskin.
Foreskin feels REALLY good. Just ask any intact man.
Lies. Brian Morris is a known circumfetishist. Here is a website he maintains: http://www.icon.co.za/~hugot/circum/circum.htm. Read one of these “short stories”… if you can stomach it. They are pornographic stories of the circumcision of young boys (sometimes forced and without anesthesia… hmmm, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). He is a complete creep…hardly a credible source…
And this name calling diatribe is just further proof of how fanatical and arrogant you are about your position.
Why are human males born with a foreskin? Ask your GOD and please get back to me.
A Dad shares his reaction to being asking to complete a Brit Milah: http://www.jta.org/2013/12/04/life-religion/for-new-dad-a-stronger-bond-from-a-cut-foreskin?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=85877c366a-JTA_Daily_Briefing_12_10_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dce5bc6f8-85877c366a-25383193
New study on the benefits of circumcision April, 2014 http://www.jta.org/2014/04/04/arts-entertainment/researchers-circumcision-comparable-to-vaccination?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=5a8dd3078e-JTA_Daily_Briefing_4_4_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dce5bc6f8-5a8dd3078e-25383193