News

Jewish groups outraged over an attempt to ban infant circumcision in San Francisco

INFANT circumcision could be halted if a San Francisco man succeeds in gaining enough support from voters to outlaw this barbaric practise. (See Why circumcision should be abhorred).

Lloyd Schofield

According to this report, self described “intactivist” Lloyd Schofield has been collecting signatures for a voter initiative that would criminalise the mutilation of baby boys, but Jewish groups have pledged to fight the measure should it be placed on a ballot.

After two months of campaigning, Schofield claims to be more than half way toward getting the 7,168 signatures he needs by late April to put the matter on the November ballot. (See his website here)

Schofield and a growing number of anti-circumcision activists say that infants should not be forced to participate in what is essentially culturally accepted genital mutilation.

They claim that the procedure can cause health risks and diminished sexual function.

Said Schofield:

This is a human rights issue. What you’re doing is you’re taking an infant and removing the most sensitive part of their body.

But Anti-Defamation League Director Daniel Sandman called Schofield’s effort discriminatory and misguided.

This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual.

A Jewish baby undergoing ritual mutilation

Acting on orders from Above, Abraham, according to the Bible, said male Jewish infants should have their foreskins removed on the eighth day after birth. Why the eighth day? Bible Prophesy Update provides the answer: “God knows best”.

Abby Porth of the Jewish Community Relations Council charged Schofield with wasting city resources for an inappropriate political stunt that was unlikely to become law.

This is one of the most fundamental practices to our tradition of over 3,000 years. It’s symbolic of our covenant with God.

Both pro- and anti-circumcision advocates make health claims, but the medical research does not firmly support either position.

The American Academy of Pediatrics holds that there are both benefits and risks to infant circumcision, and recommends that parents make the choice for themselves.

Several other health bodies are reviewing the evidence on circumcision with an eye to new policy recommendations. More than half of US male infants are circumcised, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the ban is approved, those caught cutting the foreskins of infants and other minors would face up to a year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines.

The ban would certainly face legal challenges, and could be found in violation of the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion.

Schofeld said that the issue is not one of cultural practice, but of individual freedom.

This is a painful and irreversible surgery. It’s a man’s body. It’s his right to choose and we’re trying to preserve that choice.

Actually, circumcision CAN be reversed.

41 Responses to “Jewish groups outraged over an attempt to ban infant circumcision in San Francisco”

  1. Broga says:

    The picture of these black hatted and black hearted men torturing a baby turns my stomach. Smug, despicable barbarians.

  2. AshDev says:

    I’ve seen footage of a circumcision ceremony. The perform the cutting with actual relish and excitement.

    I think that circumcision and also the way that jews and muslims pummel their holy books into the heads of their children are the two things that get my goat most.

  3. As if religion isn’t a stupid enough concept, how loony is it to get together and to agree to mutilaite your sexual organ in an attempt to show your allegiance to this sky fairy.

    Then to do it to infants who have no way to defend themselves … barbaric to the extreme.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Christopher Hitchens on metzitzah b’peh
    http://www.slate.com/id/2125225/

  5. JohnMWhite says:

    Circumcision can be reversed, but you have to be lucky they didn’t do it too well and it takes a lot of time and, in the States at least, money.

    “This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual.”

    Says it all, really. Poor us, being hurt by being told we cannot mutilate someone who can’t fight back, without so much as an anesthetic.

    This practice tends to dredge up remarkably spirited defences from men who are angry at anyone suggesting there’s anything wrong with THEIR penis, and has led to ridiculous claims that it’s good for you anyway because foreskins are exceptionally prone to infection and removing it magically prevents HIV. If that were true, it seems odd that Europe has a significantly lower incidence than the US where circumcision is vastly more common (and their logic for how HIV prevention is achieved does actually seem magical), and while foreskins can become problematic on occasion, they are no more likely to do so than toenails or earlobes. Less, really. Heterosexual women tend to report uncut penises lead to better partners as well, though I’ve not heard how gay men feel about it. That’s a generalisation of course, but foreskins do generally mean sex requires more in the way of stroking and less in the way of pounding.

  6. tony e says:

    Any chance of these ‘faith’ groups getting ‘outraged’ over the stupid and inhuman treatment of people in their care?

  7. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    If it’s so important to them (jews) as part of their religion and their covenant with their god, then they can circumcise the person when that parson is old enough to make the decision for themselves. The genital mutilation of children should not be allowed.

  8. Albie says:

    Performing unnecessary surgery without informed consent is immoral, not that these idiots understand such things.

    I’m sure the circ rate and the pro-circ lobby in the US have something to do with the way their healthcare is funded. Despite the criticism the NHS gets, if you don’t need it you don’t get it is a very sensible approach I think.

  9. Lucy says:

    Agree with all. Outrageous and appalling. They would be locked up if they did that to a child for kicks. Call it religion and they can do what they sodding well want. (Or in the catholic church’s case they do not even bother to call it religion..just do what they want. But that is another issue)

    Another thing I hate about it is that people ‘justify’ it by saying it was sensible in the old days where people lived in the desert and couldn’t keep their genitals clean. (BTW why not?)
    This type of nonsense is used to ‘explain’ the avoidance of pork too.

    It’s like people know it is all bollocks but keep trying to impose sense or logic on it.

    My response is..we have baths and fridges, move on.

  10. L.Long says:

    I may be way off as this is a long ago memory BUT…
    I though dick cutting was a right of passage to adulthood and was traditionally done at 12yrs? Part of it was done as an adult ability to accept pain (the pain of adults) and show your acceptance by letting it happen. And baby dick cutting is a NON-JEW invention, so to be TRUE to his faith the holey guy should be actively supporting this law!?!

  11. Matthew says:

    Circumcision is ABHORRENT sexual torture, and its sole purpose is to decrease sexual sensation. People who endorse the surgery for their baby boys (and the doctors that do the cutting) never admit to the real reason.

    I’ve never been able to understand how parents can agree to do it.

    The babies scream when it is done. That is because it is horrifying and painful, and we keep doing it generation after generation because of sexual taboo. Purely optional, with deadening of the member the only result!

    Come on folks, let`s not kid ourselves anymore. This ancient and barbaric custom is dying out, even amongst Jews. It`s a practice only fit for the Arabs and the Aussie Abos, plus some warlike African tribes. Nobody else is cutting chunks of healthy living flesh from their newborns. It`s simply RETARDED behavior and would be outlawed if only the Jews, who guide the hand of western Law, would stop it.

    But you do have to wonder about the sanity of the people who came up with this practice and what they were thinking. It must have been something like:

    “What do we do as an initiation ritual for prospective fellow-tribesmen?” “I know, let`s slice of a piece of penis.”

    And all of the elders of the tribe shook their heads in agreement. And for good measure they threw this into the bible and, to intimidate people into compliance, they said that it was the “word of God”

    Jeez, comedy writers could not come up with crazier stuff !

    Finally, why would a loving and intelligent creator design you with something he wanted sawn off immediately? Wouldn’t he just omit it in the first place?

    I truly despair sometimes…

  12. Tim Danaher says:

    “I’m sure the circ rate and the pro-circ lobby in the US have something to do with the way their healthcare is funded.”

    Indeed, Albie. Hospitals charge health insurance companies around $300 per snip:

    Mutilation of defenceless children for insane religious reasons or mutilation of defenceless children for profit. Hard to decide which one is the more vile…

  13. Thoreaua says:

    Regarding the hideous photo,

    Here’s one portraying another disturbing aspect. Why the fuck does the Mohel need to suck the infant’s penis? :
    http://www.newsnet14.com/images/mohel-1a.jpg

    Being a Mohel is a hard life. The pay stinks but do you get lots of tips.

  14. Pete H says:

    Here’s the full article that Hitch refers to in his piece:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/26/nyregion/26circumcise.html

    *is disgusted*

  15. Thoreaua says:

    Regarding the hideous photo,

    Here’s one portraying another disturbing aspect. Why the fuck does the Mohel need to suck the infant’s penis? Images showing this can be easily found but actually I changed my mind – they’re just too repugnant to include here.

    The life of a Mohel is a hard one, the pay stinks but at least there are lots of tips.

  16. Thoreaua says:

    I was reminded of images I’ve seen of circumcisions by the hideous image up top. Why the fuck does the Mohel need to suck the infant’s penis? I know they have a cover story but it’s screwed up, a bunch of men all gathering round while one mutilates a baby and literally sucks its dick in front of all and sundry and this is meant to be a good thing? Images showing this can be easily found but they’re just too repugnant to include here.

    The life of a Mohel is a hard one, the pay stinks but at least there are lots of tips.

  17. Serai says:

    It’s child abuse pure and simple, and they can stick that in their ‘Oi anti semitism’ pipe and smoke it.

  18. Broga says:

    So what is happening here? A defenceless baby being used as a demonstration and victim of the need for an ancient superstition to be continued. The baby is to be tortured. Yes, that is what is happening. You might as well brand the baby with a white hot iron, flay it until it is raw or stretch it on the rack. And if the ancient superstition had said that is necessary then that would be the agony to be inflicted.magine the

    Next, these vile men are able to assume high status and be revered as a result of inflicting this agony on a helpless, screaming baby. Imagine the reverential way they are received into the home. These, after all, are the exemplars, the very best, that this faith has to offer. In a civilised, decent and kind society they would be locked up.

    Protected by bogus rituals, admired for the infliction of agony, they continue with this despicable abuse. I emphasise that this behatted, hairy sadists are doing this to a baby. Get that into your head: a baby. They are torturing and continue to torture babies. That, dear reader, is a consequence of their faith, encouraged by it, protected by it, and rewarded by it. Does it not make you shiver with horror when you imagine what these babies suffer, and continue to suffer?

  19. Adam Tjaavk says:

    The Ashley Montagu Campaign Against
    the Torture and Mutilation of Children

    Featuring
    The Ashley Montagu Resolution and Petition

    http://www.montagunocircpetition.org/

  20. Angela_K says:

    “This is hurtful and offensive to people in the community who consider this a coveted ritual.” The key word in that sentence is “ritual” like talking to your hands, butting a rug and munching “I cannot believe its jebus crackers” all of it leads eventually to barbarism. I wish Mr Schofield good luck with his campaign but sadly the law protects the credulous.

  21. Maz Paterson says:

    Scary the thought how this practice is still carried out for the name of religion ands god! I will support anyone who wants to ban it. It should be up there next to female genital mutilation.

  22. Ethan says:

    No, circumcision cannot be reversed. That website is about stretching penis skin to resemble a foreskin, but most of the nerve endings are on the ridge of a foreskin. Stretching it back doesn’t restore that concentrated ridge of nerve endings.

  23. dogon says:

    “A ritual circumcision consists of three stages: crushing the foreskin, tearing off the crushed foreskin with a finger-nail, and lastly, using the mouth to suck the blood from the infant’s freshly mutilated penis. This last stage is called metzitzah b’peh .”

    Circumcision is to be the permanent sign of an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his male descendants and is known as the covenant of circumcision.[Gen 17:9-14]

    All in the name of a god…..not surprising at all…after all …there is no limit to “wacky” when it comes to a god.

  24. dogon says:

    “A ritual circumcision consists of three stages: crushing the foreskin, tearing off the crushed foreskin with a finger-nail, and lastly, using the mouth to suck the blood from the infant’s freshly mutilated penis. This last stage is called metzitzah b’peh .”

    Circumcision is to be the permanent sign of an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his male descendants and is known as the covenant of circumcision.[Gen 17:9-14]

    All in the name of a god…..not surprising…after all …there is no limit to “wacky” when it comes to a god.

  25. Thoreaua says:

    Apologies for the total hash I made of posting. My original post contained a link to an image of the practice. I then felt so fucking depressed about it that I thought I’d remove the image link so as to not depress the shit out of others.

    But you know, its the act that is dismal, seeing an image or not doesnt change that people are out there mutilating babies.

    Seriously – who looks at a tiny baby and thinks “Ooh I’ll rip the end of it’s knob off. God will love that”.

    The ancient Egyptians used to plant forekins in the ground to promote the fertility of the soil. Worked wonders there. Oh hang on a minute, no it didn’t did it?

  26. Marcus says:

    One word sums it up for me: barbarians.

  27. Buffy says:

    I’m all for the ban, and any similar bans on genital mutilation. Nobody should have their body mutilated without their consent. If people come of age and decide they want to start lopping off body parts to appease their imaginary friends that’s peachy. Interestingly enough, few people do.

  28. NeoWolfe says:

    Much ado over nothing. I am cut, my son is not. Doctors advise that if you are uncut, while bathing, you need to roll back your foreskin and wash inside, otherwise it becomes a petri dish for infections. One thing I don’t have to deal with. If you watch porno, you will find very few with uncut male actors.

    I can’t speak for gay lovers or heterosexual women , but, this I can say, girls who know the frenulum is the hotbutton may get a mouthful of semen whether I want to or not. But, wake up people. Look around. Your victims of circumcision can still have sex and enjoy orgasm. Not so with muslim girls that have their clitoris hacked off. It becomes a life of being an incubator for children. Doesn’t it make the whole male circumcision thing kinda ridiculous?

    NeoWolfe

  29. AngieRS says:

    No, Neo, not at that age and not with some old geezer sucking the end of it.

  30. Russell W says:

    The principle of ‘religious freedom’ is not a valid defence of cruel religious practices,religious freedom has limits in secular societies.

  31. Thoreau says:

    I hope you continue to enjoy getting your end away – what’s left of it anyway ; D

    Joking aside though there are reported cases of male circumcision resulting in compromised sexual feeling in adult life. I forget the details but there is a well known case of a child whose entire knob was burnt clean off by mistake and subsequently raised as a girl, a very unhappy person who ultimately ended their life.

    Also most circumcised men claim there is no reduction in sexual pleasure – but how can anyone ever really know for sure? They might think their dick is buzzing with glee and not realise it’s set to low when everyone else’s goes up to 11? Something exquisitely tender and bristling with many millions of nerve endings is denied its snug slippery housing – there might be a reason it has evolved a protective cover? The hygiene thing is a moot point – people either wash themselves or they dont and I’m sure a cheesy roundhead is as unpleasant as an unwashed cavalier. A human mouth has five times more germs than a cats anus but we seem to manage. There are more bacteria on the surface of your skin than there are people on the planet.

    All of this reminds me of an inappropriate joke about a botched circumcision I read about. The guy who did it got the sac. *gets coat*

  32. MrGronk says:

    “Don’t be a knob! Oppose circumcision!”

  33. ephymeris says:

    I am opposed to circumcision while my (circumcised) husband is pro-circumcision. I hope if I am pregnant with a boy I can convince him to let the foreskin be but he thinks there are tons of health reasons to get nipped (and of course he has an anecdotal example). I just don’t think it’s necessary or that it has been proven to be a procedure that has a real health advantage.

  34. Newspaniard says:

    There used to be a site called so0mething like norm.co.uk but I can’t find it now, but it was a site that discussed this subject at length and concluded that there was no medical reason for circumcision these days. The old problem of a tight foreskin may easily be cured with the use of creams. It mentioned that doctors in the USA regarded the unnecessary op as a good little earner, sometimes charging the gullable as much as $3,000. They also came out with the statistic that over 80 children a year died as a direct result of complications following the procedure to say nothing of those hundreds whose sex lives were permanently damaged by botched jobs. What kind of mother is it who would submit her beautiful child to such mutilation? I could go on, but the site seems to have disappeared. I will mention, however, that one Scandinavian country has made circumcision illegal and all children have to be examined annually. Fines and prison sentences have reduced the practise to nearly nil.

  35. Newspaniard says:

    All you need to know about circumcision: http://www.normuk.org

  36. Tim Danaher says:

    Thought I’d draw attention to this story on the website linked to by Newspaniard:

    http://www.norm-uk.org/news.html?action=showitem&item=1310

    Thanks for the link, NS.

  37. Eli says:

    Contrary to the final sentence in the article, circumcision is NOT yet 100% reversible.

    Also, circumcision was originally adopted in the U.S. amongst English-speaking Gentiles (non-Jews) *SPECIFICALLY* to physically harm male sexuality. For the AAP to be anything less than 100% opposed to non-medical genital mutilation is pure junk — as reckless as the APA supervising torture, and as fraudulent as the article claiming vaccinations caused autism. The AAP’s opinion on circumcision means absolutely nothing because they are ignorant of science and human anatomy.

  38. I think male infant circumcision is hurtful and offensive to the infants who grow up to be men and were not cut for religious reasons. I do not like that I was circumcised as an infant. I was healthy and did not need surgery. My religion does not require that I be circumcised and I resent that I was cut without my consent. My body, my choice.

  39. Robster says:

    My parents had me errrr…done when I was about 5 minutes old. I’m sorta glad they did. I’ve read that circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV and for some people, it’s a more attractive proposition.

  40. GKS says:

    Circumcision removes 50% of the erogenos nerve endings of the penis, completely alters the normal function of the penis by only leaving enough remaining skin on the penis as to be tight, and not gliding, removes completely the “ridged band”, and usually the frenulum, causes the penis to become a dry dowel, instead of a moist organ. This should be sufficient reason not to amputate it from a baby, that will in all likelyhood grow up to resent you greatly if you do.

  41. Trevor Blake says:

    Female genital mutilation was banned by federal law in the USA in 1996.