A Call to the Jewish Community

Even Abraham could have been wrong about what God wants.  Do you really believe God had made a mistake with male anatomy and wanted it corrected after the fact?There are some things that are clearly wrong.  Obviously wrong.  Obviously immoral and against human rights.  There are some traditions which obviously deserve to be modified or abandoned.  I ask that the Jewish community recognize this, and when presented with a call for change simply acquiesce.  Agree.  It won’t kill you.  Nor will it damage your culture.  In a generation or two your descendants will be wondering why it took you so long to make the change.

I’m thinking now of the initiative in San Francisco to make infant male circumcision illegal.  Why are the rabbis fighting this.? Why can’t they just look at themselves and their culture and say, yeah, right.  We should change this.  It’s obvious.  But instead they gird their loins for a fight, join forces with the Muslim community, and vow to continue to define their culture by the bris, no matter how barbaric and ill suited to the modern world it seems to everybody else.  Why?  Your culture is bigger than this, better educated, more thoughtful, and more moral.

Guys, you’re WRONG.  It’s that simple.  It’s not right to cut off a part of an infant’s body without permission, and I mean permission from the owner of the body.  Not the parents. Not doctors.  Not religious leaders.  Not anybody but the person who will have to live with that body for the rest of his life.  There’s a simple solution.  If you think circumcision is important,  if you really believe it’s important to cut off the end of your penis,  have a ceremony when your son is eighteen.  Invite your son to VOLUNTARILLY join your culture and community, instead of forcing it on him with irreversible surgery before he has any ability to make a choice or defend himself.  Isn’t that obviously the more correct, the more moral, way to go.  Come on now.  Rabbis are the authority on morality.  What do you see as more moral here?

Isn’t ending infant circumcison the right thing to do?

Maybe following Abraham for two thousand years is long enough.  Time to update?I know.  I know.  It feels like you are being pushed around by outsiders.  And that naturally causes a reaction.  But please, think about it.  Sometimes individuals are wrong.  Sometimes a whole culture is wrong.  Isn’t this what’s happening here?  Fight this initiative, and you just polarize your community and increase anti-Semitism.  Go along with the initiative, even wholeheartedly support the initiative, and you are seen as progressive and flexible and intelligent and willing to change with the changing times.

Circumcision is genital mutilations.  Performing the operation on a helpless infant is wrong.  Clearly wrong.  Obviously wrong.  Indefensibly wrong. Now, just agree with this, and agree to stop doing it.  End of conflict.  Where are the Jewish leaders when we need them?

The alternative – you fight.  And you will lose.  Eventually you will lose.  Why?  Because circumcision of infants is wrong.  You can’t keep doing something that is wrong forever without raising opposition.  The practice will end.  It might as well end now.  You might as well help end it.

On a personal note:
I am not Jewish, though I have many Jewish friends and feel a close affinity to the Jewish community.  I was circumcised as an infant.  Why?  Because of absolutely idiotic anti-sexual attitudes by doctors with a lot of authority, doctors like John Harvey Kellogg, a man we now classify as a klismaphile, doctors who decided with no evidence at all that masturbation was not just bad but dangerous.   I would find the whole situation unbelievable if the proof of the damage weren’t on my body in a way that is hard to ignore.


  1. random ntrygg Said,

    March 24, 2011 @ 4:58 am

    the problem is that the circumcision is their covenant with their deity

    that bit of flesh is the sacrifice to show devotion in return for …

    well, given the history of the Jews –

    I am unsure exactly what they are supposed to get in trade, or why a deity would want an endless supply of foreskin

    almost makes me think that the true god is a lesbian with a very SM sense of humour

    but, I agree that ritual mutilation in the name of religion or culture has to stop for both genders.

    a while back, I actually pitched a part fiction, part documentary on the issue of male circumcision – I thought I had the best ever logline:

    Snip: The lesbian view of male circumcision.

    But, I didn’t get funded – I would have thought that would have attracted a wide audience, but, not so much.

    It’s funny that if I said that a group of people was cutting off the left pinkie joint of their finger for their god, there’d be no way to stop a public outcry and demand an end to the practice.

    but, as soon as you add time + religion to a practice, this makes it somehow horrible to suggest that mutilations stop.

    I think there’s a simple way to figure this out.

    If you wouldn’t do it for any lessor reason, there’s no valid reason to do it at all.

    I support an end to mutilating babies in the name of anything.

  2. Links for Manhandling Dan Rather’s Crew « Heeb Magazine Said,

    March 25, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    […] bisexual atheist call for Jewish community to join forces on outlawing circumcision. (Darwin Harmless) var woo_actions = […]

  3. HaggisForBrains Said,

    March 26, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    I know that you know this one, but can’t resist linking to it.


    I totally agree with both of you about child mutilation – why not let the child decide when he is an adult? I don’t accept the excuse that the baby has no memory of the pain, so therefore it is best done at that time. It would make a good test of religious conviction to have it as a painful rite of passage at eighteen. Perhaps then a good moment to decide how strong your belief is :-0.

  4. Marc Alan Di Martino Said,

    March 27, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    Trust me, there’s nothing you can say regarding Jews that Jews haven’t already said about themselves. It’s an issue. Check out these lyrics by MC Paul Barman: http://www.mcpaulbarman.com/bodyofwork_lyrics.html

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