Circumcision Bad, Abortion Good

The proposition in San Francisco to ban circumcision may end up on the ballot in November. Circumcision is considered by many to be risky, steeped in tradition, and lacking any medical benefits (there is, however, legitimate debate about the medical benefits), therefore, they want it banned. The push to ban circumcision is based on the proposition that cutting off body parts is a bad idea.

Why, then, is abortion totally acceptable to many of the same people wanting circumcision ended? Abortion removes more than just a body part; it removes an entire living, growing, and viable human being – and kills it. It is not only an acceptable procedure, it is often a recommended one and any attempt to curb its use is regarded as an assault on a woman’s rights. Attempts to label a fetus a “parasite” show the fanatical rationalizations being used for on-demand abortion.

Abortion, like circumcision, can also be risky and when it is used to end a pregnancy for a mundane reason such as the fetus being the wrong sex, it certainly can lack any medical benefits. Consequential complications resulting from both procedures can cause death, making the total numbers hard to pin down. However, maternal deaths due to (legal) abortion certainly far outnumber those due to circumcision.

When abortion became a political football, it ceased to be debated rationally and became an ideological line in the sand that could not be crossed. The same could happen with circumcision. There are well over a million abortions performed in the US each year, roughly equal to the number of circumcisions. It has become an ideological decision to ban one and not the other.

Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect consistency from progressive ideology. After all, it is often based on unreachable “ideals” rather than reality, making it impervious to facts. “Cutting off body parts” makes for a great sound bite with good bumper-sticker appeal. “Maiming body parts” is also a great sound bite, but will progressives use it in an effort to ban tattoos? Since politics is always very personal, that will depend on how many progressives are sporting tattoos.

David J. Hentosh

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5 Responses to “Circumcision Bad, Abortion Good”

  1. A Jewish Male Opposing Circumcision Says:

    . … There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the Orthodox to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity

    * Jews Against Circumcision http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

    * Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, Ph.D. http://www.jewishcircumcision.org

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1

    The Kindest Un-Cut Feminism, Judaism, and My Son’s Foreskin by Professor Michael S. Kimmel
    http://www.cirp.org/pages/cultural/kimmel1/

    Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack has some great commentary on Foreskin Man in this recent interview.
    http://www.beyondthebris.com/2011/07/defying-convention-interview-with_27.html

    Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    http://intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors ..

  2. Robert Leverence Says:

    A fetus is only considered a person (By non christian/jewish/muslim fundamentalist) A bit after the 2nd trimester. I think they shouldn’t allow abortion after the second trimester, unless it poses a serious threat to the mother. Circumcision, is a form of child abuse many are finding out. If a muslim man was to cut of his daughters clitoris is that also plausible and just? No it is not because it is removing body parts from the child that are useful later in life, for pleasure and easing of mating. Neil is completely right, TJ would be all for logic and Neil merely gave an idea to why men were circumcised, a theory, he didn’t say that’s why, so I don’t understand why you heckled his point. Alot of people circumcise their children not for religious reasons, but because those assholes who have religious reasons instilled it into academia that it is needed, and to not have it is putting your child at risk. From the looks of it, there is NO debate over circumcision, and parents DO NOT, or rather SHOULD NOT have any right to dismember their child. Circumcision is mere fashion now. If men want the tip of their penis cut off, I say off with their heads. But a parent has no right to detach anything monetarily needed of the body from their child. It’s time america got away from this dogmatic mob of bullshit, and start actually looking at facts instead of a bunch of hate mongers preaching shit like “PRO LIFE” when they can be protesting the catholic church for telling people not to use birth control. If the government has to pay for people’s fuck ups, and shit like child services, then they should have some say in how children are raised.

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      You can cherry-pick “facts” on circumcision and abortion to fit your point of view as others can do for the opposing viewpoint. However, your ignorant use of insults for those who do not think as you are not indicative of someone willing to debate an issue or even capable of understanding it – especially since you dismisively determined “there is not debate”.

      Assuming that the government “has to pay” brings you to the self-serving conclusion that the government should then have a say about how a child is raised. Under that wide umbrella, shouldn’t the government, then, have a say about whether someone can even have a child in the first place? Should that not then be regulated, licensed, and controlled? (and taxed?) Shouldn’t forced birth control also be the government’s responsibility? Isn’t it child abuse to “allow” you to have a child when you can’t afford to raise it or provide it’s basic needs? How much more control are you willing to turn over to the almighty government to back your views? Should the government also make “preaching shit like Pro-Life” illegal because you say those who think differently are “hate mongers”? What happens when the coin flips and a new government uses that power to decide that YOU are a hate monger for your views on religion, abortion, parenting, circumcision, or body piercings? Or do you blindly think that the government will only use those powers to suit your views? And you have the self-righteous audacity to rail against “dogmatic bullshit”? All you proved is that shit flows both ways.

  3. Neil Richardson Says:

    When you get circumcised you’re cutting off a part of the penis that has a large amount of nerve endings, ergo it would seem to be an archaic form of birth control and aggression management among males. Uncircumcised males on average develop more testosterone so it could have been a catalyst in the progression of modern civility.

    Using a Pro-Life stance to counter a circumcision argument, although makes for a great comparative doesn’t really tackle the issue directly and in my opinion doesn’t put a club named after Thomas Jefferson in good light. Thomas Jefferson was very much into logical reasoning and never used straw man arguments to make his points.

    A Jeffersonian,
    Neil R

    • thomasjeffersonclubblog Says:

      Thank you, Neil, for your cogent comments.
      However, I find more assumption in your opinion than logic when you say “it would seem to be an archaic form of birth control and aggression management among males”. I don’t believe there is any evidence that the practice of circumcision had this as a basis or that it actually was “a catalyst in the progression of modern civility”. Although these are thoughtful and interesting ideas, they are assumptions that do not “tackle the issue directly”, either. The issue I was trying to “tackle”, however, was the cherry-picking of personal/physical actions for ideological purposes which, in this case, seemed to me to be related and somewhat hypocritical.

      DJH

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