I received an email yesterday which contained a link to allow me to vote on a touchy subject. Eliminating all the usual caveats and exceptions, the question in its simplest form was whether or not circumcision was a good idea. I know that for many circumcision is rightly seen as is bodily mutilation and at least in the United States, routinely performed without concern for the babies civil rights.
There are some claims of health benefits from circumcision but most are only anecdotal and have no strong evidence to prove that the problems were not caused by reasons other than lack of circumcision. But I have to allow that, once a person reaches majority, if circumcision seems like a good idea, it’s their business and certainly not much different from having the ears pierced or a belly-button ring. Once a person reaches the age of consent, circumcision, piercing, tattoos, abortion, and such are a personal right and no one else should interfere. But when the person is a minor, especially a baby, unnecessary bodily mutilation should be proscribed.
What if the baby was a girl? Around the world there is a procedure similar to circumcision for girls, although it is generally performed when the girl is older, before she enters puberty. Once common, this practice is fundamentally Arabic and Muslim. The reason for the mutilation is to eliminate any possibility of sexual stimulation in the girls and therefore maintaining their virgin state. In both cases, a sharp blade is used to cut off a portion of the genitals and in the girl’s case, it’s more than just a flap of skin (at least the boys get to keep the business end of their penis). But I wonder: evidence suggests that circumcision results in a lessening of the sexual response in the boy. Is it possible that all the religious background accepting or requiring circumcision is just an attempt to control the sexuality of young people?
I have an unshakable belief that the reason sex is under the covers, in the dark, legally restricted by both government and church, is that an open recognition of sexuality would make the comparison of humans and all other animals just too obvious. How can man be the image of a god and rule the universe for god when he commonly ruts around in bed, licking and sucking and thrusting and humping and sweating and spurting just like a baboon in heat. And even if he regularly does those disguising things, if you keep them a secret and only do them in hiding, they don’t really count.
Has anyone considered that mutilation of babies for hygienic reasons is a subtle way of admitting that god didn’t do a very good job designing humans?
There is a bit in the Jack Black/Michael Cera movie, Year One, where a nomadic Jewish community (led by Abraham) has this new idea that they think will look really good and probably catch on with other nomadic communities … it involved cutting off the tip of the man’s penis. Needless to say, Cera and Black ran off in the night to avoid this whacky idea and preserve the tips of their own penises. Circumcision, as suggested, was started as a fashion statement.