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The Maccabee – Understanding the Enemies of Circumcision

October 5, 2011

‘Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’

– Jeremiah 23:29

The Opposition to Circumcision

No son of a man may be forcibly circumcised.

– Yebamoth 48a

Jews have seen anti-circumcision agitations previously in history, so this new early 21st century round of attempts to criminalize male circumcision should be seen as nothing new, but a perpetual cycle of clearly Pagan, anti-Biblical, attempts to destroy Judaism, and quite possibly Christianity as well.

Of course, there have been anti-circumcision movements before, but most Jews historically have continued the religious practice of circumcision even under the threat of death.

– The Jewish Journal – North Boston

A quick look at the internet shows that opponents of male circumcision are organized and their numbers are growing more numerous with each passing day. Their rhetoric has also became far more belligerent. In short, there is ample reason to worry about the future of circumcision, both in this country and around the world. Here is a small sampling of some of the more strident, and scary, websites dedicated to the enemies of circumcision:

Anti-Circumcision Quotes from an Online Search for ‘Circumcision’ on Google

– Circumcision. A Barbaric Practice, A Human Rights Violation…

– Circumcision Is Barbaric And Unnecessary. Jews Against Circumcision

– Do not circumcise, it is barbaric, primitive and a human rights violation. Circumcision is barbaric and…

– circumcision is barbaric…Also, check out the links for more info on this evil practice.

– Is circumcision a barbaric ritual that harms a child physically? Or is it a deep meaningful…

– When our son was born, my wife decided circumcision was barbaric, but my parents insisted it was an essential…

– Circumcision (Bris Milah) is a cruel, barbaric procedure that can traumatize…

– I do find that male circumcision is barbaric and totally pointless for christians…

– Why circumcision should be abhorred- Circumcision is a barbaric tradition with deep roots in religious dogmas, like infant baptism….

Thus, it should come as little surprise that the enemies of male circumcision are at it again both in California and Massachusetts. A recent ‘San Francisco measure proposes to make the circumcision of males under 18 a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or a year in jail.’ Also, Santa Monica is discussing a similar proposal. This attempted prohibition against circumcision is especially worrisome to Jews. As one source notes bluntly:

[The] measure clearly is aimed at a particular part of the community, and there’s no doubt that this proposition knowingly targets Jews. Marc Stern, a lawyer for the American Jewish Committee, had the matter exactly right when  he said: “This is the most direct assault on Jewish religious practice in the United States. It’s unprecedented in Jewish life.”

– The Los Angeles Times

Out on the east coast, there is an effort to ban circumcision in Massachusetts  where an anti-circumcision group has filed the Male Genital Mutilation Bill presented to the Massachusetts Legislature. The proposed new law ‘calls for a ban on circumcision for males under 18, unless medically necessary, and with no religious exemptions.’ The Jewish Journal of North Boston reports:

The leader of this current initiative, Matthew Hess, president of the group called the Bill to End Male Genital Mutilation, was quoted in the Boston Herald (February 21, 2010) as saying “circumcision is painful and unnecessary, violates a baby’s human rights and decreases sexual sensation in mature males.”

– The Jewish Journal – North Boston

It should not be too far of a stretch to say that the motivation behind the move to ban circumcision in San Fransisco and elsewhere is clearly anti-Semitic and possibly indicates a serious, and perhaps enduring, hostility towards the Judeo-Christian God and the Biblical tradition.

It would have been nice to see the force behind the misguided anti-circumcision campaign in Santa Monica…voicing appropriate disgust, from a movement that created a repulsively anti-Semitic comic to advance its cause online.

– The Los Angeles Times

Luckily, the state government of California has managed to come to the rescue in the name of religious freedom, especially Jewish religious freedom for trained Rabbis to practice infant male circumcision. Specifically, ‘Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill prohibiting cities and counties from banning male circumcision, his office announced’ recently. More good news came when the San Francisco ballot measure meant to outlaw child circumcision there was struck down by  ‘a judge in July [who] ordered the circumcision ban off the November ballot.’

Support against the enemies of circumcision also came from Assemblyman Mike Gatto, a Democrat from Los Angeles, who got a bill passed unanimously that heads off future anti-circumcision laws and bans their implementation. Mr. Gatto publicly stated that bans on circumcision amounted to ‘an affront to the exercise of personal, medical and religious freedom.’

These small victories for the forces of circumcision should not be taken for granted as the avowed enemies of circumcision will most probably only grow that much stronger. This is especially true in a nation where the number of males being circumcised has dropped below 50%. Some of the opponents’ arguments against the practice of male circumcision include the following:

Opponents of circumcision liken it to “genital mutilation” – the forced removal of a healthy body part from an unconsenting child.

– The Miami Herald

Opponents of circumcision claim that the outdated procedure affords no medical benefits, that it causes unnecessary pain for infants, and that the lack of a foreskin may reduce sexual pleasure and performance.

– Wiki-Answers.com

Given the history of anti-circumcision movements, ‘Jewish groups have decried anti-circumcision efforts as anti-Semitic.’ This is probably accurate, but the enemies of circumcision are now using more sophisticated reasoning in order to have the procedure made illegal and to deny accusations of anti-Jewish bias. Here are some of them, followed by the rebuttals of male circumcision proponents:

Accusations of Circumcision Opponents

– the procedure is out-dated

– Has no medical benefits

– Causes unnecessary pain for infants

– Reduces sexual pleasure and performance

 

 Advocates of Circumcision Findings

– The procedure is modern, clean, and hygenic

– May reduce cancer risk and other disorders

– Infant pain is slight and easily forgotten

– Does not affect either sexual pleasure or performance

One of the new opponents of circumcision, a Jewish professor named Ronald Goldman, began his opposition to Jewish circumcision sometime during the mid-1990s. He founded the Jewish Circumcision Resource Center which ‘serves to support the questioning of circumcision among Jews.’ Dr. Goldman has published two books, one entitled Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma, and another book called Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective. They have both met with success and now ‘both books have become primers on their subjects.’ Clearly, Ronald Goldman is an enemy of circumcision, who somehow envisions an uncircumcised Jewish future. One sources sums it:

Goldman says his organization decided to issue the statement because of the increased attention to the topic, accompanied by a general lack of awareness about the harm of circumcision. “There may be a misunderstanding of the reasons why many people question circumcision,” Goldman says. “We wanted to clarify that and take the opportunity to raise awareness about the practice.”

– Jewish Circumcision Opponents Grow More Vocal, by Rebecca Wald, Beyond the Bris

Dr. Goldman began his crusade after being made uncomfortable and a little nauseous at a traditional Jewish bris, an infant male circumcision ritual performed by a professional Rabbi. Ever since this ‘unfortunate’ encounter, Goldman has moved on to become a very well-organized and influential opponent of Jewish circumcision. Nonetheless, he claims that he wants ‘to assure Jews that questioning circumcision can be done respectfully and compassionately.’ The actual historical facts concerning Jewish male circumcision show Dr. Goldman’s concerns to be completely unfounded. As a reliable source writes:

Jews have circumcised tens of millions of their infant sons for over 3,000 years with few complications and without the dire pain, trauma, and other horrible effects claimed by opponents of circumcision.

– The Jewish Journal – North Boston

Another outspoken opponent of male circumcision is Dr. George C. Denniston, most probably a Gentile. He believes that history ‘shows that the arguments in favor of circumcision are questionable.’ He disparages studies that showed that circumcision may prevent cervical cancer in female sexual partners. Dr. George C. Dennistone also belittles the studies showing that circumcision can prevent urinary tract infection and penile cancer. Obviously, Dr. Denniston is a zealous enemy of circumcision and he makes this quite clear in the following statement:

Who has the right to order or perform such surgery on a newborn infant? I contend that no one does – certainly not the physician who should know better – since there is no proven medical reason to do so, and the procedure is known by many to be harmful. Circumcision can always be performed in adulthood for men who desire it, with fully informed consent.

– Unnecessary Circumcision, by George C. Denniston, M.D.

Notice that he now insists that newborn infants have rights, which is absurd considering they are completely dependent upon their parents and other adults for survival. Dr. Denniston also defames circumcision as being ‘harmful’. He even goes to extreme lengths in ‘proving’ that circumcision causes harm to sexual function by quoting Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher from the Middle Ages! No, Dr. George Denniston’s motivations are easily seen in this closing argument:

Physicians who continue to perform routine circumcision are not only harming infants but are also harming the integrity of the medical profession. It is hard to accept that these physicians – many of whom have been circumcised themselves – are using their medical licenses to continue this contra­indicated practice. This is tragedy perpetuating itself.

– Unnecessary Circumcision, by George C. Denniston, M.D.

As can be seen, the opponents of circumcision are growing bold and more dangerous everyday. Those who support circumcision and its practice, both religious and otherwise, need to become more vigilant and more wary in their understanding of the enemies of circumcision.

May the LORD God bless you in the name of St. Judas Maccabaeus.

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One comment

  1. It is obvious that your knowledge of historic facts is not up to date. Historic Fact: Circumcision was first used by Joshua, Son of Nun on his warriors to prevent spies entering the camp. Circumcision was/is an African Custom from the deep bush part. On the humane level: Circumcision is a horrific violation of a newborn Human Rights to self-determination, to be the Master of his own body. By Nature and as such by the Supreme Divine Power, you have no right to violate another man’s existence especially when he cannot defend himself. How low can you sink? It is abuse of the highest form to be so pompous arrogant ignorant and self-righteous that you will justify this violation on another human being as normal. What you promote is far from humane and normal. Behind Religious Zealotry man hides his incompetence to deal with Reality of life ‘the here and now’. Maccabee is 2200 years old. Maccabee could not call himself a Nasi…this means is he was NOT Tribal Israel nor Judah. It means he was Pharisaic Rabbinism, and a religion. Religion is killing us. There is no such thing as a Judeo-christian culture. There is only competition for power.



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