Orthodox Jews have managed to get a NYC law repealed which forbade them from practicing Oral Suction Circumcision without written consent from parents. Since 2000, the surgery has resulted in 17 reported instances of infants contracting herpes from the mohels who cut the foreskin and orally suck the blood from the penis.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has revoked the law implemented by his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, which required written consent from parents signaling their knowledge of the venereal risks of the barbaric procedure. The Orthodox Jewish community has faced opposition to this practice all over the world, not just in NYC. They claim that religious freedom gives them “the right” to genitally mutilate these baby boys and suck the blood from their penises. They claim that there is nothing sexual about sucking the penis of a baby.
There is a growing “intactivist” movement which challenges the legality and morality of this practice, calling it “child abuse,” “male genital mutilation,” “pedophilia,” and “outdated traditionalism.”
The World’s Most Controversial Surgery
The American Academy of Pediatrics has never endorsed or recommended circumcision. This is largely due to the ethical, safety, and efficacy concerns of the surgery. Although the surgery is commonly believed to lower risk of HIV, this has been long refuted as a myth. The surgery is prone to complications and often leads to an array of psychological and physical side effects such as alexithymia, premature ejaculation, decreased penile sensitivity, increased vaginal discomfort, PTSD, and a predisposal for self-destructive behavior in adult life. Studies have shown that the local anesthetics used topically during circumcision do virtually nothing to lessen the pain for babies during and after surgery and many groups have declared it to be inhumane torture.
Two of the most common arguments of pro-circumcision pundits are hygiene and prevalence. Circumcision is a faulty approach to hygiene and adds nothing to the problem that education cannot solve. Also, just because there is a high prevalence of circumcision in America and the Middle East does not inherently make it the best choice.
The National Institutes of Health states,
There is no compelling medical rationale for the procedure in healthy boys, although some boys have a medical condition requiring circumcision.
The Telegraph, Independent UK, and Richard Dawkins have all discussed the urgency for rebranding circumcision as “child abuse.”
Where Does Religious Freedom End?
In 2012, German courts ruled circumcision to be assault on infants and declared it a national crime.
According to National Turk,
The regional court officially bans religious circumcision on young boys and ruled that the ‘fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents,’ a tribunal that is expected to set a legal precedent. The court’s judgment in Cologne, Germany said, ‘The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised.’
Since ancient times, the idea of “the separation of church and state” has allowed for religions to practice unconscionable traditions that breach personal freedoms and ethics and in many cases oppress the defenseless. This idea that religions are untouchable by philosophy and can commit any crimes by relabeling them as “traditions” or “commandments” is archaic.
Can an individual commit murder and use the defense, “Religious freedom!”? Of course not, so why is the line not drawn before child abuse and nonconsensual STI risk? It is unbelievable that society is avoiding this conversation. Religious fanatics are fervent and violent when the ethics of their rituals are challenged.
Children Have the Least Representation in Society
Battered women have shelters. Minorities have committees. Gays and transgenders have organizations. Drug addicts have rehab centers. The impoverished and homeless have shelters and nonprofits. Depressed people have PSAs. What do children have? If you answer “the CPS,” you are clearly not aware that Child Protective Services has repeatedly been exposed kidnapping children and working against their interests.
Children have no voice, literally and figuratively. They are routinely abused, traumatized, and neglected. The power disparity between a parent and a child is greater than any two other groups that interact in society. For instance, a husband is only marginally stronger than his wife. On the other hand, a parent is infinitely stronger, smarter, bigger, strategic, deceptive, and more capable of causing harm or death to the infant. Couple this information with the fact that the number one causal factor for shaping an adult’s mentality and behavior is the amount of trauma sustained in their first 7 years of life, and it becomes clear to see that someone needs to make a stand against child abuse in all of its forms.
Traditionalism is Spiritual Paralysis
If you were to medically diagnose society, you could say that it is suffering from traditionalism. In the way that the human body might suffer from cancer because of a poor diet, society is suffering from traditionalism because of ignorance. For instance, most people who support circumcision either do not have the facts or are afraid to look at the facts. Traditionalism is holding onto outmoded belief systems and orienting one’s life around them. Traditionalism is, by definition, spiritual paralysis. By extension, this collectively results in social paralysis.
This is not to say that older belief systems are inherently obsolete; some belief systems of antiquity were aligned with Truth. We are only talking about belief systems which are currently obsolete. More accurately, they have always been obsolete. For, if a belief system is philosophically false now, that implies that it always was by reason of universality. For example, we understand that slavery is an outmoded belief system now, but that does not mean that it was valid at any other point in Time.
Our perceptions are the only variability in the search for Truth. Time plays no role in philosophy other than acting as the canvas for experience and the evolution of consciousness.