Circumcision is not about the rights of the child

Barbara Amiel on religious ritual or ritual torture?

by Barbara Amiel

It’s not about the rights of the child

Michael Nagle/New York Times/Redux

At the very end of Louis Malle’s semi-autobiographical film Au revoir les enfants, set at a Catholic school in Nazi-occupied France, the Gestapo rounds up concealed Jewish pupils. One has escaped to the infirmary where Julien, who plays the 11-year-old Louis Malle, has brought a suitcase of clothes for a hidden boy. “Pull down your trousers,” the SS man barks at Julien. We know he will pass inspection because Louis Malle was not a Jew.

Runter mit den hosen had the menace in those days of a Götterdämmerung motif. Along with Juden raus it is one of those raw commands that every Jew in Hitler’s Europe dreaded. The most assimilated Jews of the time were usually circumcised and most non-Jews were not. Though circumcision is practised by Muslims, Islam had not yet made any significant journey to Europe at the time of the Second World War. The bets were pretty good that if the foreskin had gone missing, the denuded penis belonged to a Jew.

We’ve come full circle. Last June a German court ruled that circumcision itself is a criminal act. The case in Cologne dealt with the circumcision of a four-year-old Muslim child by a Muslim physician. The doctor was charged with bodily harm by means of a dangerous instrument—his scalpel. He was acquitted on grounds that, though there was post-operative bleeding, his work was clinically correct and since the parents were of Muslim faith, he had no way of knowing this might be an illegal act. The court, however, decided to begin laying down grounds to criminalize circumcision in future on the basis that a child, let alone an infant, couldn’t give voluntary consent, that a child might not want the religion of its parents and that the fundamental rights of the child must take priority. Subsequent to this case, two more German rabbis have been investigated by authorities.

Efforts to outlaw infant circumcision have been active for the past 75 years with attempts made in Finland, Denmark et al. and, not to take a back seat, our own Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project. Last year in California, the attempt to ban circumcision was repealed when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to outlaw the outlawing of it. The British Medical Society has been raising the “ethical” problems of performing a medically unnecessary operation for nearly a century. But the Cologne decision has, misleadingly, been attributed to the ghouls of German anti-Semitism. Charlotte Knobloch, a Munich-born Jew herself and former chairwoman of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, has spent much of her life defending to Jews her decision to remain in Germany post-Second World War. “For the first time in my life,” she wrote in Süddeutsche Zeitung, “ I seriously have to ask myself whether this country still wants us [Jews].”

One has to put this over-the-top reaction in context. How to conceal the circumcised penis was a matter of life and death for millions of terrified human beings caught for 12 dreadful years in that part of the world. “I was not allowed to pull my pants down to urinate,” Dr. Stanley Turecki, now a psychiatrist in New York City, who was in hiding in Vilnius, explains in the book The Hidden Children. Some Jewish boys were dressed as girls, soiling themselves as they tried desperately to sit and urinate. When the landlady renting rooms to Clem Loew’s family in a Polish town demanded that he “take down your underwear” and his circumcision was revealed, the mother quickly told her that Clem was her son, but adopted. The landlady retreated, mollified.

It is ironic, I suppose, that the Jewish and Muslim community who cannot make common cause on any meaningful issue should come together on this comedy show.  To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose anything—whether breastfeeding or tonsillectomy. But so long as a child has parents who within common-sense parameters act in his best interests as they see them to be, we do not need judges or governments to make decisions in loco parentis. Because this is what the battle over the centimetres of foreskin is about—not Muslims and Jews versus anti-Semites but the age-old battle between individual liberty and statism—in this case the individual family unit and the state. I’ve watched statism conceal itself in many a Trojan horse: multiculturalism, feminism, human rights and so on. This time children’s rights is the thin end of the wedge. And somewhere in Germany’s dank caves, the anti-Semites may howl but they are not the predator.

Ultimately, I think circumcision is mad—but that’s because I think most religious ritual is mad—whether it is bowing knees and heads down toward Mecca or reverently tasting bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ. I personally carry out certain rituals associated with my faith as a Jew, even knowing them to be utterly illogical. They are my tribe’s rituals. Had I a male child, I feel certain I would have had him circumcised. But that would be my decision, not some advocacy commissar or Ontario judge. The medical evidence for and against circumcision is baffling. It seems to have helped prevent the spread of HIV infection and STIs—or maybe not. Statistics can be played contextually according to fashion. As for getting consent for circumcision—after reading what is involved in doing it to an adult male, I cannot believe that any man would be mad enough to consent. I am told there are men whose objects of affection are Jews and that circumcision is the price of winning their hearts. Foreskins off to them, I say, it’s clearly true love.




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Circumcision is not about the rights of the child

  1. The thing is Barbara, that the foreskin of your son, is not your foreskin. Your child, when grown, can not choose to have it back once it is gone. It should not be your, or any parent’s choice wether or not a child is circumcised. I say child, because female circumcision is equally a religious/cultural practice that has no place in modern society. That choice, to permanently modify the body, that may have irrevocable negative consequences for that person, should never be made for the child for ‘cultural’ reasons.
    To paraphrase Richard Dawkins “There is no such thing as a Christian, Jewish or Muslim child. There are only children of Christian, Jewish or Muslim parents.”
    If it takes state intervention to stop parents from cutting bits off of little boys and girls before they are able to choose for themselves how they feel about those bits, then hooray for state intervention.

    • The fact that you would confuse female and male circumcision as being anywhere near the same thing, makes a mockery of your comment.
      It strikes me as fundamentally dishonest, an attempt to appeal to emotion rather than sense, unless of course you don’t understand the difference, in which case your comment can be completely ignored for its extreme ignorance.

      • Obviously you have not researched either side because if you did you would know the most common form of fgm is comparable to ric except it’s less invasive, less is lost and it’s way more benificial for females to be done. Why is it illegal, because when women feel violated we stand up and scream together, more men need to get their heads out of their asses and scream too. Real women know what a foreskin is and love it!

        • Men won’t. In order to feel outraged, men have to admit to being victimized and vulnerable. For, every 1 US Man who says he’s angry over his circ, there are 50 dozen saying they are happy with it–yet US men are the biggest consumers of viagra in the western world.

          Loss of the foreskin has many long-term sexual side affects. Most particularly is in the mechanics of straight sex. Men lose the gliding action that makes entry into women w/less than super soaking saturated wetness much easier.

      • I understand fully the difference between the two. Male circumcision is the removal of all or part of the Foreskin (if done properly). Circumcision is not usually directly harmful to the long term functionality of the penis, though diminished sensation and loss of sensitivity in addition to a lack of proctection from the elements that were originally protected by the foreskin is still a loss.
        Female circumcision varies widely by culture, from ‘minor’ to major damage to the vulva, clitoris, labia and in some cases going as far as sewing the genitals shut.
        Clearly female circumcision or ‘genital mutilation’ is more extreme and damaging to sexual function than typical male circumcision. So what? Would you be in favor of parents being empowered to perform labial trimming if their cultural ‘tradition’ dictated it?
        Just because a practice has antiquity and religion on its side, does not exempt it from moral and legal judgment.
        Male and Female circumcision aren’t medically identical practices, but they are both cases of parents or religious communities, choose to cut pieces off a child’s genitals, for spiritual or cultural reasons.
        If that doesn’t address your complaint, then ignorance is your shield. To claim that male circumcision is acceptable, morally, because it isn’t as bad as female circumcision is a morally dishonest position.

        • It is just an insignificant lump of flesh like abortion… so what is the problem?

          • If you’re supposing that abortion should be illegal, then how much sense does it make to say “SCALPEL TIME!” After birth?????? What was the point of protecting the child in the womb?

      • Non-therapeutic genital cutting on a non-consenting individual is an unethical violation whether it’s forced on a girl or a boy.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • You’re trolling, but I’ll take the question seriously.

            There is
            an obvious difference because a newborn is definitively a person.
            Newborn males possess the same rights as their sisters, including the
            rights to physical integrity, bodily autonomy, and self-determination.
            Those must be protected, contrary to Ms. Amiel’s flawed essay. The
            status of a fetus is not definitive. There is also the issue of
            competing rights of the mother. The issue is complex where
            non-therapeutic genital cutting on a non-consenting individual is not.

            Still,
            there is a reasonable, consistent view in which one can be opposed to
            both non-therapeutic child circumcision and abortion. I oppose the
            former. You do not know my opinion on the latter.

          • I see no difference between an insignificant lump of flesh and another…

            Your life means less to me than that of a spring lamb.

          • Like I said, you’re trolling. Have fun.

          • By this I suppose A) that you’re pro life and B)you think it’s meaningless to fight things like circumcisions when 1000′s of babies can be and are terminated in the womb every year?

            Let me answer your question with another question. If pro lifers had their way, it would be illegal to harm a baby in the womb, but then after birth it would be carving time. How much sense does it to say YES to scalpels AFTER BIRTH???

          • You are too obsessed with the penises of little Jewish boys…

          • @Winstone_Blake:disqus The people who are too obsessed with the penises of little boys are those who are so desperately keen to cut parts OFF the penises of little boys (and as the OP said, babies do not have religions).

          • Pro-lifers are generally only pro-life until the point of birth, after which point the child/person can rot.

          • Abortions, by definition, are not performed on live-birth babies. That would be infanticide.

          • There is no difference between a foreskin and an abortion… just a little lump of flesh…

            In fact, I value the life of a spring lamb more than yours.

      • If they cannot be compared, why did the AAP stated just 2 years ago that “some forms of FGC are less invasive than male circumcision as practiced in the West”? There are several procedures under the umbrella of female circumcision, and some of those procedures (hoodectomy, labiaplasty) are marketed today by plastic surgeons for adult women as “sexual enhancement”. Make your research.

        • The AAP is a body representing the interests of doctors, not patients. The more babies that leave hospital intact means a loss of immoral earnings. I was cut by an incompetent doctor because I had rheumatic fever! It was just another lie put out by a man who did not consider my feelings or potential sexlife .

          • That’s unbelievable Keith, so sorry to hear that.

      • The fact that you cannot see how it is the same things makes a mockery of you. Injury to the healthy genitals of non consenting children IS injury to the healthy genitals of non consenting children. The severity of one over the other, or where it’s done, or the reasons it’s done do NOT matter one bit.

      • Phil there are around 8 forms of female genital mutilation, several of which are either milder or comparable to male circumcision. One of the most common now internationally is the slitting of the clitoral hood (her foreskin) or its partial removal [as an example see the family who got asylum in California a few years back because they said that if they went back to Indonesia a grandmother would snip their second daughter's foreskin at five days old as she'd done the first - as is majority practice on girls there]. Learn some facts or don’t participate.

      • If Barbara Amiel can compare male genital cutting with breastfeeding, as something a child cannot choose, Michael in Halifax can most certainly compare it with female genital cutting as “a religious/cultural practice that has no place in modern society”

  2. Parents do not own their children. They have taken a decision to create a child for their selfish reasons, like receiving care and money in old age (eastern concept), getting a tax break, ego getting satisfied by them carrying on the family name, saving a relationship/marriage, contraceptive failure, getting them to help in their business, making them do what they(parents) feel they should do, which all seem pretty reprehensible because the child, who did not ask to be born, should not be indebted to some person (parent). Parent has all the obligations to provide for the child because they decided to create the child. They cannot have any right to mutillate the intact genitals of any person (I would argue even their own genitals because it should be seen as self-harm) or even animal for any reason. Jewish tradition was, and should be, rightly hated because in true form it involves cutting the penis of a 8 day old boy without anesthesia, making a 8 day old drink alchohol (wine) and sucking of the cut penis by a bearded diseased man (mentally sick pedophile and diseased due to sucking blood of so many babies) thereby spreading diseases. Rather than justifying it in any form, it should have been outlawed at least as far back as the end of middle ages in Europe. Rather than indulging in pseudo-secular tolerant politics, German politicians should have taken this chance to protect human rights unconditionally. I hope the Supreme Court in Germany prevent allowing any law allowing circumcision as unconstitutional and within a short time the practice of circumcision be wiped out of Europe.

  3. Amiel has not done her homework. The court did not make all circumcisions criminal acts. Only those circumcisions to which no one has given effective consent are criminal acts.

    The court said that parents lack power to consent to non-therapeutic ritual circumcisions because such circumcisions violate the rights protected by the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz).

    The Cologne Regional Court is not a predator of chlldren. The predators of children are those who want to cut body parts off of children.

    One must note that the Supreme Court of Canada says that parents must respect the human rights of children. (B. (R.) v. Children’s Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto (Re Sheena B), 1 S.C.R. 315 (1995).)

  4. I’m sorry you are loca. This is about religious custom vs. individual right to bodily integrity. The child cannot choose, but the child will grow and become an adult, and he will look at his scar and resent that it was done by his parents. But by then there’s nothing to do: the cut is irreversible.

    It may be centimeters of skin. Try cutting a clitoris. It’s much smaller. It will get you to jail.

    If no man would be mad enough to consent to adult circumcision, then WHY, oh WHY would it be done to a child?

    And your last sentence is really disturbing. Would you cut your clitoris off to marry an African or a Malaysian? Why would a man cut his foreskin to marry a Jew? Why would anyone give in to the demands of circumfetishists and acucuphiliacs?

    See what you are advocating and tell me it’s not a violation of human rights. http://www.circumcisionharm.org/gallery3.htm All the men in this gallery were someone’s child who were not allowed to choose, just like the Muslim kid in Cologne.

  5. Whose individual liberty? Does one have a right to exercise their individual liberty on another person’s body?

      • Neither is hypocrisy

  6. Centimeters of foreskin? Technically, yes. Specifically, we’re talking about what would end up being roughly 15 square inches of skin of an adult penis. Technically speaking though centimeters do make up inches, so I guess you’re right. Purposely misleading, but right…

    Also, look up a video of an actual circumcision procedure and please tell me where the “comedy” is in that.

    • How is it different than just killing the baby with an abortion?

      • why does your advocacy of reducing harm to children END after birth??? Hypocrite

  7. A confusing article, mistaken in many ways. First of all:

    “Last year in California, the attempt to ban circumcision was repealed
    when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to outlaw the outlawing of it.”

    Demonstrably false; the attempt to regulate circumcision by putting an age limit on it was blocked by a San Francisco judge who had to use an obscure law that permits vets to declaw cats to say “only the state can regulate practitioners of the healing arts.”

    Gov. Jerry signed a bill that makes circumcision “medically beneficial” by law; not even the AAP, with its latest statement, can bring itself to recommend circumcision. It says the “benefits outweigh the risks,” but then says “the benefits are not enough” to recommend the procedure.

    I want readers to look at what has happened in San Francisco, and what is happening in Germany; lawmakers in San Francisco and in Germany were looking to defend circumcision on the grounds of “religious freedom,” because Jews and Muslims were angered, but they had to circumvent the whole argument, because they cannot legally make a law that favors any one religion. They have to lean on dubious pseudo-science to defend religious practice.

    The author also seems to fail to give the full story in Germany. She is either not fully aware of the facts, or is conveniently choosing to be willfully blind.

    The case involved a four-year-old boy who nearly hemorrhaged to death. His parents, being Muslim,
    had asked a Muslim physician to perform the surgery which resulted in serious complications.
    A doctor’s letter says that the boy was brought to a children’s emergency room
    by his mother two days after his circumcision, as the bleeding would not stop.
    Apparently a “urological surgical revision” of the circumcision
    “under general anesthesia” followed, after which the boy spent
    several days in a children’s ward. Three dressing changes had taken place
    “under anesthesia.” According to the doctor’s letter, the exposed
    surface and the glans penis was “uneven, eroded, and fibrinous
    occupied”. The boy spent days ten days in clinical treatment.

    His would not be the first case; doctors whose “weapons” have been their culprit have been getting away with the alibi that since their work was “clinically correct and since the parents were of Muslim faith, they had no way of knowing this might be an illegal act” for decades.

    What were the German courts supposed to do? Keep turning the other way because calling a spade a spade pisses of the Jews? This is precisely what politicians in Germany seem intent on doing.

    “To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to
    choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose
    anything—whether breastfeeding or tonsillectomy.”

    First, the anti-circumcision law, at least in Germany, was based on various circumcision injury cases that happened, the Cologne case being the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Second, circumcision is not like breastfeeding or tonsillectomy; it is more like taking a knife and cutting off part of a child’s penis. Little girls cannot “choose” anything either.

    “But so long as a child has parents who within common-sense parameters
    act in his best interests as they see them to be, we do not need judges
    or governments to make decisions in loco parentis.”

    And yet, we have child protective services. If an act was justified by mere virtue that one is a parent, then there would be no such thing as “abuse,” and no need for child protective services.

    To circumcise a daughter is “common sense” in quite a few countries in the world; close to 96% of women in South East Asia have had some sort of genital cutting performed on them. (See “sunat.”)

    Now we have this blogger saying that only parents that circumcise their boys have the child’s “best interest” in mind; parents that choose to circumcise their daughters? Well, they simply love their children less, that’s all.

    The author seems confused on what she is arguing for. Is she arguing for, or against the ritual cutting of children’s genitals? Or only when the child is male, and his parents Jewish?

    Mentioning the Holocaust is appeal to emotion; parents in countries where girls aren’t circumcise face persecution and jail time for following what they see as THEIR traditions too. No, they don’t get thrown in ovens, but that’s not the point. The point here, it seems, is the defense of an act because it is “tradition.” Female circumcision is “tradition” too, but we are not going to hear the end of self-interested rationale of why female circumcision is “acceptable” tradition, and male circumcision is not.

    Circumcision is most certainly about children’s rights, not about Jewish persecution. Let me remind the author that Jews are not the only people that circumcise. The overwhelming majority of circumcised males in Canada and America are NOT Jewish, but children of secular parents circumcised by doctors in hospitals.

    And let me remind the author that female circumcision, as in male circumcision, is also “tradition.”

    So how far can parents “choose” what happens to their children? Why only male circumcision, but not female circumcision? Can they choose to slash their children’s heads on the day of Ashura? Are they allowed to brand their children like cattle? Scarify their flesh? Tattoo them?

    Yes, of course children cannot choose for themselves; that is the whole crux of the argument. Stop pretending like it’s all about persecuting the Jews. Look at the reality; children bleed to death. They lose their penis partially or wholly. They get herpes. They get botched operations that need correction later on. All for what? “Tradition?” Dubious “benefits” that can already be better achieved without surgery?

    Sorry, the anti-Semite card simply don’t wash anymore.

  8. German physicians should refuse to participate in ritualized infant genital cutting, regardless of the legal status of circumcision in their country. The prepuce is richly innervated, erogenous tissue, containing thousands of sensory neuroreceptors such as Meissner’s corpuscles. Many of the most sensitive regions of the penis are located along the inner prepuce and are needlessly amputated by circumcision. The prepuce also acts as a linear bearing mechanism, providing a unique gliding motion during sexual intercourse. Removing healthy, functional genital tissue from powerless infants, without clear pathology, is medically unethical and physicians have a moral obligation to oppose this disgraceful practice. Bronze age religious blood rituals must never trump rational scientific judgment, contemporary medical ethics and the fundamental human right to bodily integrity. The ethical opposition to male infant genital cutting has everything to do with the rights of the child.

    Christopher L. Guest MD, FRCPC
    Co-Founder, Children’s Health & Human Rights Partnership
    http://www.chhrp.org

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Again, why does your advocacy of reducing harm to children END after birth??? Hypocrite

      • moron

  9. Barbara Amiel suggests it is preposterous that any adult man would choose an operation as invasive as circumcision while in the same breath quoting African HIV research in which thousands of adult men did just that. You can’t have it both ways Barbara. The HIV research showed that when pressured or pushed, adult (black) men can certainly be persuaded to choose circumcision – and that their complications are actually relatively low. I see no reason why Islam and Judaism shouldn’t have a shot at persuading adult Muslims or Jews to choose circumcision with similar PR campaigns. I do see a very good reason why parents should be prevented from forcibly amputating a very joyful piece of their son’s body. Contrast and compare: you’d get years in prison for cutting off the foreskin of a girl, or even a dog….

    • I was circumcised as an infant; for me, it is clearly a case of not knowing what I’ve missed. But my younger brother was circumcised at around the age of two, because his foreskin was too tight and causing him problems. I was old enough that I remember the pain he went through. In his case it was deemed medically necessary; I have no idea if there are different medical treatments for this problem today. I sure hope so.

      Let circumcision take place at adulthood. If a person’s faith is strong enough that they want to go through with it, then that’s their choice. I suspect that it won’t take too many generations before such religious traditions disappear if it is the adult who must choose for him/herself. Whether the religion disappears as well will depend on how rigidly they enforce the rules of membership.

      • I agree. And yes, there are less invasive treatments possible today. But doctors continue to be scalpel-happy unfortunately.

      • You are so right Keith. Adults get to not only chose for themselves but they get GREAT pain relief like nerve blocks and other fantastic forms of anaelgesia while infants undergo this procedure with no pain relief whatsoever. I recall someone comparing the practice of indescriminate circumcision to avoid complications like your brother experienced with indescriminately performing a complete mastectomy on all women so they wouldn’t be at risk for breast cancer. It is an unnecessary medical procedure.

      • My son is 27 and when I had him, I was told that 80% of the doctors in my city refused to perform circumcisions, including my pediatrician. Moreover, the nurses in the baby ward took me on a tour and specifically showed me the little chair of torture, marked in browned blood, where the surgery would be performed. It was clear that this was something they, the healthcare professionals, considered negative, unnecessary and cruel. Luckily for me, my son has what is known as a “natural circumcision,” so he did not even require one had I wanted him to have one — and all the nurses on the ward came to see what it looked like, so I understand it is rare. We are not of the Jewish religion but I have read they believe the messiah will have a natural circ!

        • There is no such thing as a natural circumcision. Your son has all the same parts other intact children have. the skin tube is just shorter so it doesn’t cover the glans. He can correct this defect with non-surgical foreskin restoration techniques.

  10. Is this article illustrated with a photo of the metzitzah b’peh? The oral suction or mouth-penis contact (as in Adult Jewish man sucking baby’s bloody penis)? The very ritual that caused several babies to contract Herpes in NYC this year, including 2 deaths? Wow, I feel that this blog entry belongs in The Onion.

    Excuse me while I throw up. My head is spinning.

  11. “a child by definition cannot choose anything—whether breastfeeding or tonsillectomy.”

    No, but a man can, and it is the man who enjoys the use of his own (~100 sq cm) foreskin – IF he has not had the choice cut from him as a child. Routine tonsillectomy is a thing of the past, by the way, though it was once done along with circumcision – to save on anaesthetic? – as the cutely named “C&T”. Speed the day when non-therapeutic circumcision is also purely historical.

    A new page has just opened at the Intactivism Pages: http://www.circumstitions.com/analogy.html – things that may and may not be compared with male genital cutting. Breastfeeding is a new one for the “may” column. The only entry in the “may not” column is female genital cutting.

    I am always baffled by people who think that because being circumcised once marked people out for death, that is a good reason to go on doing it. A good case can be made for the reverse.

  12. “To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose anything—whether breastfeeding or tonsillectomy. But so long as a child has parents who within common-sense parameters act in his best interests as they see them to be, we do not need judges or governments to make decisions in loco parentis.”

    Actually, the gov’t intervenes in loco parentis all the time– they’re known as “attorneys for the child”, “guardians ad litem”, and “ward courts”, among others. The operative phrase in her statement “common-sense parameters act in his best interests as they see them to be” contrasts sharply with her statement in the following paragraph, “Ultimately, I think circumcision is mad…” She also wonders why any adult male in his right mind would willingly do it. Couldn’t agree more. So why can’t she see the rather simple argument that it’s a life- and body-altering procedure that ought to be left to an adult to make up his mind re having when he is indeed an adult. If it is not imminently necessary for his well-being, why do you go cut off a perfectly good piece of his body?

    I doubt very much she would feel the same way if “her tribe” as she puts it had the exact same “ritual”, but applied to girls.

    • How is abortion any different?

      A piece of a little penis is more important than a child’s life?

      • why does your advocacy of reducing harm to children END after birth??? Hypocrite

  13. After all of the Jewish children killed by the Nazis, the least Germany could do is to let the Jews kill a few of their own with the disgusting practice of metzitzah b’peh (as pictured above), the climax to Orthodox Jewish circumcision. Shame on the Jews for making the Germans teach them about human rights! A child has a non-negotiable right to his full body.

      • You’re saying hands off babies until birth, then it’s hunting season?

        • You are too obsessed with the penises of little Jewish boys…

          • WHO is obsessed? The one who leaves it or alone? Or the one tears, slices, and sometimes sucks it?

  14. If a Jewish or Muslim women ever asked me to cut off my foreskin as a condition for any kind of relationship, I would demand she do the same… love has go both ways… doesn’t it?

    Why bring up the Holocaust in this issue? Because appeals to emotion and not reason is all that the barbarians who want to cut up babies penises have to offer. They also offer voodoo science to prove the mystical healing power of circumcision.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Once again, why protect babies from abortion only to say “SCALPEL TIME!” after birth and let them go onto the butcher’s block????

        If you’re so concerned about babies, you should stand with pro intact advocates and possibly build on that platform to do something with abortion.

        If you’re advocating reducing harm to children, why does YOUR advocacy **STOP** after birth????

        Hypocrite

      • you are a moron

  15. BTW, Barbara, having the photo of an old perverted man sucking the genitals of a baby boy in your opinion piece, will hardly endear people to your effort to preserve “tradition”. No morally normal man would accept a job if he was told that part of his job duties involved performing fellatio on a baby. Normal men would refuse and call the police. The mohels who do this, know this before hand, and voluntarily do this job, which in my book only a sick perverted man would do… and yet, Jewish mothers (who claim to be the best in the world) hand over their babies to be put to the knife and to be sexually molested.

    Disgusting!!!

    • The American president, Sodom Hussein Obama has an official policy of promoting homosexuality… (I don’t think this is helping his foreign policy in Islamic countries.)

      The president of Iran said promotion of homosexuality is a Zionist plot.

      While the whole Middle East was exploding, Leon Puñettas was having gay pride celebrations at the Pentagon… Hillary Clinton was on a world tour with Madonna preaching the homosexual religion… In Pakistan, they called the promotion of homosexuality by the U.S. Embassy there an act of cultural terrorism.

      Sodom Hussein Obama wants to turn the Boy Scouts into a dating club for NAMBLA.

      • Bring on Peer Gynt. Obviously a troll.

        • What is this Winston Blake guy ON?

    • Additionally, there are growing many jewish online communities against circumcision. In Communist Russia when jews had to hide their religion, many men went uncircumcised but followed all other practices.

      Were these men “not real jews” because they were intact? These Jewish boards against circumcision stated that there is in fact very little in Judaism that has remained sacrosanct. Many many customs have changed into only symbolic gestures from the way they were done in ages past. I don’t see why circumcision could not be one of these. Retain the ritual and give the kids weewee a pinch of something.

      I also find it astonishing that these mohels are directly responsible for the deaths of these babies for giving them herpes and yet claim “so much will be lost” if we have to use a straw to suck the blood.

      The fact that so many *do* have herpes may underscore what you said about them all being closeted perverts.

  16. Surely the more humane thing is to combine a circumcision with a nose job?
    The infant will never know what he missed out on.

    • Just shove a pair of scissors into the back of it’s skull and suction out the brain, call it abortion and nobody will care.

  17. That picture makes me sick, what the hell is this? Maclean should remove this and a police investigation should begin. Sick bastards. These are not regular Jews.

  18. Women prefer circumcised men. It’s cleaner and it looks better, but while this is the case in North America, it’s different in Europe where most men are uncircumcised and women are used to it.

    • For *ORAL* sex, Ms Fine. I suggest you do some reading. Careful what you espouse doesn’t come back to bite you.

    • If mutilating body parts for “cleanliness” is a justification for circumcision, it would make five times more sense to cut off the labia and clitoral prepuce of little girls. The female genitalia is a high capacity factory of segma, sweat and body oils compared to the foreskin. If a woman doesn’t wash herself ONE day, she reeks. Uncut men don’t have that problem.

  19. it seems as if he is doing b. job on that child,
    because you never know, with these weirdos!

  20. What I find astounding is that the likes of Amiel make a mockery of their own religious beliefs by haranguing others with how ‘superior’ it is, and therefore beyond the judgement that is common to the rest of us.

    I suggest, Ms Amiel, that you keep your jaded thoughts to yourself. You and your fellow believers (and I have Jewish blood, btw) would be far better off not to look for special treatment, let alone lecturing the rest of us as to what is acceptable and what isn’t.

    How’s the blood from the sacrificial lamb doing?

  21. Forcibly amuptating anything from the genitals of a male or female is a barbaric violation of the basic humand rights of the victim.

    Ask an intact man. Foreskin is the BEST part.

  22. Familiarity breeds contempt in Ms Amiel’s case:

    [Could your circumcision be affecting your erection? It just might, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Men’s Health.

    Researchers surveyed 300 men and found that circumcised fellas had a
    4.5 times greater chance of suffering from ED than noncircumcised guys.

    One reason: Circumcised penises can experience up to a 75 percent
    reduction in sensitivity compared to non-snipped members, according to a
    study published in the British Journal of Urology International.][...]
    http://news.menshealth.com/is-your-circumcision-making-you-soft/2011/11/02/

    Of course, some wouldn’t notice the difference….

  23. It’s mutilation, no matter how you dress it up. To mutilate the genitals of a child is a barbaric practice, a crime against humanity and an outrage.
    To do it for religious or cultural practices justs adds to the insanity.

  24. “But so long as a child has parents who within common-sense parameters act in his best interests as they see them to be,”

    What about circumcision denotes a common sense parameter? How is it in any way in the child’s best interests to mutilate his genitals? I agree, a child can not make a choice, they do not have the cognitive ability to do so … YET. But the child will have the ability to choose in the future, and may not wish for their penis to be circumcised. Getting it in while the child is too young to make the choice themselves is underhanded and cruel. It’s wrong.

  25. “To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose anything—whether breastfeeding or tonsillectomy. ”

    Ok, then would you say the same thing about female genital knicking? What about other forms of female genital cutting? In most of the civilized world, these things are illegal….should they be made legal? After all, there are several forms of female genital mutilation that are no worse then male genital mutilation practices in terms of overall damage to a perfectly healthy organ.

    “As for getting consent for circumcision—after reading what is involved in doing it to an adult male, I cannot believe that any man would be mad enough to consent.”

    DING…DING…DING…! That should show you right there how wrong headed you are on this issue. If an adult male wouldn’t be “mad enough to consent” then why subject a child to it???

  26. What an odd ritual, and not just the actual circumcision, but the entire ceremony.

    And somehow the word ‘odd’ seems almost superfluous.

  27. Judges and courts do come between parents and children all the time. Many parents lose their parental rights based on harm to the child.
    In a just society, circumcision would be illegal alongside with female genital mutilation.

    Even the tiniest pinprick or incision (which many families who practice FGM perform to fulifll the symbolic gesture) is illegal in the USA. This violates the 14th amendment.

    Additionally, you do not have the right to *do anything* in the name of religion. A judge found the Hopi indians to be committing a crime when they took peyote powder in their religious ceremonies because peyote powder is classified as a narcotic.

    If circumcision comes before the supreme court it very well may fail. This will come down to how well pro intact activists can show demonstrable harm to children, and prove the needlessness of the surgery. Both of these are hugely substantial. Studies show the aggragate change in aids in Africa will be 1.3% not 60%.

    Those studies had lots and lots of issues and were not conducted according to established procedure.

  28. People have nothing better to do than questioning a child’s right. Of course infants can’t decide on their own, but it should be up to the parents as to what is right for their children. Why are people so against Muslims or Islam and its rituals? Why, because it is a religion that promotes peace and unity but you people are so ignorant to find out on your own wehat the religion is really about. If you ever read the quran which is the holy book of Islam, you will see the only things Islam promotes is goodness towards others and faith in one god. Also, if you people have a problem with circumcision, then u also shouldn’t be baptising your children, u don’t know if they really wanna be Christians, or do you? I think Barbara needs to reevaluate her claim and not be bias and present this from an objective point of view. Stop discriminating and accept peoples traditions and respect them.

    • You’re picking and choosing what you want us to believe about the Koran. There is plenty of murder, hate, barbarism, ignorance, sexual perversion, etc… along with the claims of it being a “religion of peace”. In this, the Koran is no different than the Bible or the Torah… they all are books for retards in my honest opinion.

      Let my point out that comparing circumcision with baptism is ridiculous. Baptism causes no permanent damage to the baby, and it does not involve mutilation.

    • Wait…baptising doesn’t involve any cutting of body parts only a little drippng of water on the head. When a child grows up they can walk away unscathed from the baptism….they aren’t missing any skin.

    • Islam does not promote peace. From the Quran : Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”
      This is just one of countless passages from the Quran that advocates murder.(seize them and slay them) In our country, murder is murder, and no hocus pocus from some teed off , non existent being has any sway in our justice system. Don’t feel alone though, for the bible is also full of the same kind of vitriol. It seems to me, you should read the Quran yourself before you go spouting off about it’s contents! In the Middle East, many governments are theocracies, and so the law of the land, and their religious laws are one and the same, which is one of the reasons there will never be peace in the Middle East. It is also the reason that many who come here from those countries, have so much trouble understanding our attitudes, and our way of doing things. Here in Canada, we don’t “Slay” people, or stone them, for some perceived religious infraction. If the “Law of the Land” is broken, then we have the rule of (secular) law to try the offender and punish,(usually with jail time).

    • There is not one word about cutting genitals in the Qu’ran. (And baptism wipes off with a paper towel. Circumcision doesn’t.)

  29. Goodness, I don’t understand the fuss. The choice was made for me by my parents. I’ve never felt like I lost something nor do I care frankly. I’ve had a perfectly good life and have enjoyed myself in the bedroom with my wife. Lets move along to something important like education, healthcare or things that make a difference. Sheesh.

    • Since your name is Regina, I presume we’re talking about female circumcision. I guess that destroys the myth that female circumcision causes much more damage than male circumcision. Don’t worry… people here seem very open minded and don’t see anything wrong with same sex couples. ;)

    • Whether you realize the magnitude of it or not, you HAVE lost something, and nobody had the right to take it from you when the choice could have just as easily waited for your informed input.

      Male or female foreskin amputation changes sex dramatically, and the only person with the moral standing to pursue a non-therapeutic change like that is the one and only person who will live with the effects for a lifetime.

    • Yes Regina you are likely of an age when it was common practice to circumcise all infant boys in North America. It seems that physicians thought it was a good way to avoid infections. Then they found out that children in Europe who weren’t being circumcised weren’t getting infections. It turned out that proper hygiene (cleanliness) worked well to avoid infections. Suddenly there didn’t seem to be a really to continue the practice and it turned out that the foreskin played a role in sexual stimulation and enjoyment (who knew). Soon enough, the government refused to pay for the procedure and fewer physicians were willing to do this unnecessary, painful intervention. Parents were guided by their physicians. If they insisted on having the surgery done, they most often had to write a cheque to the doctor or pay cash up front. Of course there were also the religious ceremonies were the rabi performed the procedure. Now you ask yourself….what is the fuss? Why perform an unnecessary, painful surgical intervention? What exactly is the benefit?

  30. Brutal crime. I’m glad I wasn’t…

  31. “To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose anything”
    So, by your own words, it would be equally insane to make anti-female-circumcision laws, because the parents of the girl know better than her and should have the right to decide to circumcise her in her best interests as they see fit.

  32. Only after reading the end of this article that your true face was discovered. You are just another Jewish female supremacist female who would like to circumcise her boy for the sole purpose of making a defect of his penis and reducing his sexuality dramatically. You do not care much for religion because it is not so relevant, but like generations of Jewish mothers before you, you seek to destroy your sons sexuality and control it because he is a male. You would never do such a thing to your daughter of course, that is not the way of Judaism – a dangerous female supremacist creed much like Islam.

  33. Circumcision is a disgusting dark ages ritual. It’s impossible to understand how any parent can subject their baby to this mutilation.

    Reeks of sexual interference by parents on their own baby. If an adult wishes to be circumcised then so be it but it should be illegal to perform this unnecessary ritual of mutilation on a baby.

  34. In my opinion, this is really a matter of separation of church and state. Most of the instances of circumcision discussed here are related to some religious belief. I see no reason why the state should not make illegal, surgery without a necessary and just physical reason, particularly without the express consent and agreement of the person undergoing the surgery. In the case of a person who cannot give consent, ergo a baby, the choice seems obvious to me. It would help if parents would consider their offspring as human beings, and not property. It would also seem that most religions that practice circumcision, want it done as a way of “Stamping” their brand on the infant so as to make sure they don’t stray from their belief when they actually can think for themselves. Most religions have been brainwashing people for centuries, even thousands of years, in order to maintain and grow their membership, and more importantly their power and financial base. To take a knife to an innocent baby because you belong to some cult or other seems to me to be patently wrong in our “physical” world, and according to the basic laws of “humanity” inherent in most civilized society. If, as an adult , you decide to have “elective” surgery of any kind, it is certainly your right to do so. To perform said surgery on a person who cannot give consent, is just plain wrong.

  35. Barbara… if you had a new baby girl, would you cut off her inner labia for any reason? She would still be able to enjoy a satisfactory sex life and it may be more sanitary. One could even argue that it may even look nicer. Why not do this Barbara? Its just a tiny baby girl.

  36. I suggest we clarify the terms FGM: female genital mutilation (resulting in alteration, infection, pain, infibulation (suturing closed the vulva except for urinal and menstrual openings – must often be reopened to allow for conception) , excision (clitoral removal and maybe labial removal), and even death), and Female Circumcision:the clitoral hood may be trimmed to expose the clitoris (some women have a heavy hood and the clitoris receives little stimulation during coitus (the procedure is suggested or requested and the adult woman’s consent is given). FGM is a wide-ranging term.

    The practice of female circumcision is not unknown in the West. Clitoridectomy
    was performed into the 1940s to treat masturbation, insanity, epilepsy, and
    hysteria.11 In the United
    States, physicians have also incised the clitoral prepuce (foreskin, hood – ed.) to treat
    frigidity,12 and perform
    aesthetic (cosmetic – ed.) vaginal labioplasties to reduce the size of the clitoris and
    labia.13
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497147/

    Unfortunately, these terms appear (even in Google and Bing) to be interchangeable. I think clarification and more precision would help all of us to understand better, the ramifications.Perhaps some medical people could respond. Let us not get into speculation. It serves no one well.
    Clitoral hood trimming and vaginoplasty / labioplasty are considered cosmetic plastic surgery in the USA and maybe Canada. Are the only differences price, cleanliness, and our wealthy culture?

  37. “…….Some Jewish boys were dressed as girls, soiling themselves as they tried desperately to sit and urinate. ……”

    Nu?
    Jewish boys are incapable of learning how to urinate into a toilet while sitting? Were the toilets in Europe during that era that different than the porcelain fixtures we enjoy today?
    Dear oh dear.
    Even Jack Nicholson learned to successfully navigate this VERY easily learned skill in the film “About Schmidt” – and continued to do so even when it was not required of him

    “………But so long as a child has parents who within common-sense parameters act in his best interests as they see them to be,……”

    As you well know, common sense is not at all common. And behaviours you might consider to fall within ‘common sense parameters’ I might consider to be blasphemous and worthy of summary death.

  38. “Individual liberty”? What about the individual liberty of the boy having his genitals mutilated? Are you also against laws banning female circumcision?

    Your comments about foreskin being mere “millimeters of skin” indicate you clearly need to further your education on the male anatomy before writing anything else about why it’s “okay” to sexually mutilate boys.

    ~Barefoot Intactivist

  39. sssss

  40. If it’s not about the rights of the child, then whose rights are we talking about? Are you trying to defend the “rights” of that violent, bloodthirsty pedophile who is performing oral sex on a child and drinking his blood?

    Some people are pedophiles by hobby. Some people (like the rabbi featured in the photo at the top of the article) take pedophilia so seriously, that pedophilia is their religion.

    Barbra, how would you like it if a disease ridden pedophile tortured you, mutilated you, then performed oral sex on your wounded bleeding genitals when you were a baby?

    Also, all children grow up to be adults. What about the rights of the adult who wants an intact body.

    It’s amazing that if an adult laid a finger in a girl in the wrong way they would go to jail. Yet it’s “okay” for an adult to place a child’s penis in his mouth, and then suck the blood off it. Whatever happened to gender equality?

  41. Also, to repeatedly bring up the holocaust decades after it happened is the use of Nazi tactics. Penis sucking, blood drinking rabbis are worse than Nazis, not even the Nazis performed oral sex on children and drank their blood.

    The holocaust was a tragedy where over 6 million innocent people where killed. It is disgusting that some people think it’s okay to use a tragedy as a political weapon.

    I hope the author is proud of herself for being highly adept at the use of Nazi tactics. Most people would be ashamed to behave like Nazis, but clearly some people have no shame.

  42. “To make an anti-circumcision law based on the child’s inability to choose is insanity: a child by definition cannot choose”

    But the adult that the child becomes can decide, and he is being denied that right. The child is being branded into the religion his parents chose for him; he might as well be branded with a hot iron as if he were cattle and property (of course the impact of that would be less than the removal of the most sensitive part of his privates). Any self-aware and open-minded circumcised male (i.e. anyone with a rational mind of their own) will lose respect for his parents over this action – his parents obviously didn’t respect his right to form his own ideologies and chose what happens to his own body. No person has a civil- or God-given right to mutilate another person; this certainly is not the act of a loving and respectful parent.

    Perhaps one of the most important roles of government is to protect the rights of individuals. The child does indeed have rights. You would not be permitted to strap down an adult and cut off the tip of their penis or their clitoral hood, why should you be allowed to do it to a defenseless baby. I am very glad to have the government protect these babies until they are cognizant to make their own choices – this is the voice of a rational, caring public and this is why I pay taxes.

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