Saturday, March 17, 2012

Prevent child abuse, oppose circumcision

I see that two Jewish infants survived after they contracted a herpes virus "attributed to their ritual circumcisers" according to the Jewish Daily Forward.  Apparently, part of this barbaric ritual, a form of genital mutilation, is an "oral suctioning technique" known in Hebrew as metzitzah b’peh. According to the Forward, a Jewish infant died due to this procedure last September.

This "oral suctioning" is a practiced by the ultra-Orthodox and is not illegal in the US. although there is a possibility that criminal charges may be filed in these cases. 

I blogged about this issue recently as there was an attempt to ban circumcision here in San Francisco that was opposed by religious groups.  They filed suit claiming that only the state and not a city can regulate the actions of medical professionals.  This meant the proposal would be unconstitutional because if it exempted medical professionals from the ban it would then only affect those who perform such genital mutilation as part of a religious ritual and this would violate their rights to "freely practice their religion."

I get a little sick of religious authorities whining about how their rights are always being infringed upon. We don't allow human sacrifices that some religions have considered a holy act. In fact, when we consider circumcision, this in an agreement between a human being that lived thousands of years ago and a supernatural being that he apparently communicated with. A supernatural being that made him a promise.  Apparently he promised this man that his descendants would be his favorites, he would have a special relationship with them and that this would be symbolized by an adult removing part of their infant male child's body, the foreskin. It's a bit like when we were kids and made a little cut on our hand and put our hands together so we could become "blood brothers"-----well, a bit like that.

Abraham was 99 when god made this deal with him and even circumcised himself to show his loyalty, something that must have been quite painful at that age. The supernatural being also had Abraham circumcise all his male children if he wanted this pact. When you think religious ideology through it's pretty bizarre isn't it?

Circumcision is genital mutilation, it is not only Jews that do it. The violation of a child's rights should trump the right of anyone to carry out acts that have their origins in supernatural forces that are selective with regards to who they communicate with. Society is failing in its obligations to protect the most vulnerable among us by allowing such barbaric procedures. If someone wants to donate their foreskin to the supernatural they can make that decision as an adult, a child has no choice in the matter.  Circumcision for health reasons of course are different.  As for religious organizations, it is a right we should deny them for children's sake.

No comments: