The Mohels are Really Pissed

San Francisco, moving to ban male circumcision.  Civilization has to start someplace.Oh dear oh dear.  The Jewish community is up in arms in San Francisco because cutting the ends off their baby boys’ penises is “one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3,000 years. It’s symbolic of our covenant with God.”, and now somebody wants to make this against the law.  “But…  But…  We’ve always done this.  What so bad about cutting off a sensitive, unique and irreplaceable part of an infant’s penis?”

Let me hear this correctly.  It’s VERY important to you?  This is something God told you to do?  I think you lost me there.

Ancient Egyptian circumcision.  A long tradition says nothing about whether something is morally okay.  But at least this seems to be an adult under the knife.Dear Jewish community:
I realize you’ve been doing this for centuries.  That doesn’t make it right, or a good idea.  I mean, it had to start at some time in history.  There must have been a first Bris.  If the practice had a beginning, it can certainly have an end.

How about you hold off on the Bris until the age of consent?  Wouldn’t that be okay?  I mean, you can still show your piety and prove you love your God, but you have to do it YOURSELF, as a free adult.  You have to make it personal.  Nobody else, not even your parents, is allowed to do it for you if it involves cutting off a part of your body which you might, at some time in the future, decide that you really really miss.
Yours very sincerely
Darwin Harmless

Reading the comments under the article I linked to makes me furious.  So many argue that it is trivial and not worth attention.  Trivial?  Cutting off part of a baby’s penis is trivial?  Those who buy that circumcision is a health issue just don’t see know the history of this evil and foul practice.  But then there are the comments that give me hope.  So many people understand and support the initiative. One comment in particular grabbed me:  “We don’t remove an infant’s tonsils just in case they get tonsillitis.”

The health issue is such a red herring.  It ISN”T a health issue until puberty.  At that time, see if you can talk your son into allowing it to be done.  If he goes for it, great.  It was his decision.  But anybody who thinks they have the RIGHT to cut off a part of another person’s body, even their own infant’s body, for no good medical reason, just doesn’t understand the concept of individual rights.

The biggest laugh in the comments was from the wanker who said that banning circumcision would be a Nazi law.  Excuse me?  A law that PRESERVES an individual’s right to choose for themselves, a law that allows a person the RIGHT to an intact body and PROTECTS an infant from genital mutilation is NAZI?  Get your head out of your ass.  This is the opposite of fascism.  This would be a blow for freedom and individual rights.

No, you do not have the right to cut off part of an infant’s penis.  That’s just wrong.  What the fuck is the matter with you people?

I don’t live in San Francisco, and so can’t vote on this question.  But as soon as I can figure out how to send Lloyd Schofield, the intactivist behind this initiative, some money I’m making a donation to the campaign.  Unfortunately his website is nothing short of badly designed and disfunctional.  If anybody knows how to donate to this cause, please share the information.  Civilization has to start someplace.


  1. Keegan Said,

    March 7, 2011 @ 2:47 am

    I am currently dating a Jewish girl right now, and we had a huge fight over circumcision today. Then I opened to your blog and the top article was this, and I was really glad. It made me feel less alone in my convictions that this act is something that should be gotten rid of.

  2. Darwin Harmless Said,

    March 7, 2011 @ 4:41 am

    Thanks. You made my day. Scroll back to some of the earlier posts on this subject. We are not alone.

  3. Keegan Said,

    March 7, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Something else that got me thinking. She told me that since it was their religious practice, and this country was founded on the freedom of practicing (or not practicing – my particular emphasis) of religion, that we COULD NOT take it away from them.

    I think that this is something interesting to contemplate. What if I or someone else were to decide that they wanted to go back to the good old days of worshiping Ba’al like the Carthaginians and sacrificing young children to their god. Would that be ok? Because frankly, I don’t think anyone would stand for it. So why is it ok to mutilate babies, but not to kill them? Where does the line of damage done in the name of religion get drawn?

  4. Darwin Harmless Said,

    March 7, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    Good point. I think the freedom OF religion has to include the freedom FROM religion. When they use religion as an excuse to take away the freedom of choice from an infant, for life, they are actually violating the principle of freedom of religion. That child no longer has any choice about its religious branding. So they have imposed their religion on the infant. If, at some time in the future, that infant decides to leave their religion, it still bears the mark they have imposed on him. How is THAT freedom of religion?
    The only answer is to say that freedom of religion must be a conscious choice by an adult, and that any irreversible branding must wait for the age of consent.
    One of the best points made on the Jesus and Mo discussion of this issue was this: Right now the ONLY part of an infant’s body that may be removed without medical cause is the foreskin. For a girl in America, a parent or doctor can not make the smallest, most symbolic pin prick in the clitoris. In other words, we don’t need a law to ban circumcision, we need a law to stop circumcision from being an exception to the law that covers all other parts of an infant’s body.

    I invite you to read the comments on Jesus and Mo. They pretty much cover the debate.

    Plus you get a funny comic as a bonus.

  5. Keegan Said,

    March 7, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    I actually found your blog through the Jesus and Mo site. I love it. The author is excellent!

  6. Realistic Said,

    October 12, 2014 @ 8:00 am

    If you’ll ban a religious practice older than any of our current world powers, please tell me the ban will also include piercing babies and children’s ears until they are “of age” to make that decision. I for one have pierced ears and I would not have elected to do so now if given the choice. The scaring is not extremely noticeable, but there nonetheless.

  7. Darwin Harmless Said,

    October 12, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. Any unnecessary and permanent alteration to a child should be against the law. No tattoos. No scars. No fashion alterations for religious or aesthetic reasons, or for any reasons whatsoever.

    For me it is a matter of attacking the most egregious and damaging practices first, which means FGM and forced genital cutting. But it is all thoughtless and barbaric and should be stopped. Infants have rights. They are not owned by their parents. They are individuals who will want to be whatever they want to be when they grow up, and making fashion or religious decisions for them is wrong.

    I’ve had people argue that parents make all kinds of permanent decisions for their children, such as having them vaccinated, or having their tonsils taken out. I don’t understand people who can’t see the difference between trying to help or protect your child from harm and inflicting your cultural preferences on your child. There’s no argument here, just a facile rationalization.

    I personally abhor the practice of spanking children, which so many parents argue passionately is their right and duty. It is also wrong, counter-productive, and only teaches that might makes right and violence is acceptable when you are frustrated at not getting things your way. In my perfect world, inflicting violence on a child would also be against the law, no matter the motive.

    Thanks for the comment. I appreciate your input.

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