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parents won't take responsibility for religious circs

post #1 of 384
Thread Starter 
(Edited: Okay, I lied. I found my post. )

Is it me, or does it seem like parents who circ for religious reasons refuse to take responsibility for it. They always say they HAD to do it, they had no choice, like their religious reasons exempt them from all personal responsibility. Is this denial or what?

I think people sense the terror and wrongness of it, and simply refuse to think about it. Religious people always have to make it known that their son's circ was for religious reasons. They can't just leave it at, 'I chose to circumcise my baby.' They always have to add on a comment about religion, as if they wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for religion. Yeah right. They know they did something wrong, and religion is the band-aid that makes it all right. But it doesn't make it all right. It makes the parent feel better.
post #2 of 384
I must have read that before it was deleted. Thank you for putting into words what i have been thinking.
post #3 of 384
Thread Starter 
It's an idea that's been brewing for a while, but I finally just figured out how to put it into words. It still seems like an awkward explaination, but I'm hoping a discussion can clarify it.
post #4 of 384
When this gets moved to Spirituality, I'll answer.
post #5 of 384
FWIW I agree with you QueenOfThePride. But I have issues with religion. I don't buy religion as a reason to do anything that you wouldn't do otherwise.

-Angela
post #6 of 384
I can speak to a few things I noticed when researching this since my dh is Jewish.

The religious ceremony (Bris) is something that is very powerful. Note, I'm not talking from first hand experience, I've never attended one. I believe most Jews HAVE attended a circumcision and they probably didn't closely see it, but it happened nearby. You can even view videos of them on some mohel's websites. The whole ceremony - rituals, words, family gathering, naming is a very special and meaningful time.

It sounds simple to remove the act of circumcising from the ceremony, but change is very hard to come by- especially in a faith/culture that prides itself in rituals that go back to the beginning. There are many eloquent things that have been written about the act of circumcision, the reasons it is done, what it signifies, the long tradition.

Some other factore:
Many parents dont research. Since circumcision is condoned by the medical community- how bad can it be??? (yes, yes, I know worse than you can imagine)

The sites I went to continued to use the myths of circumcision to help promote religious circumcision. So parents think they are getting some positives.

The sites minimize the pain aspect and seem to imply that a circ by mohel is less painful than a hospital circumcision-- plus they might highlight how the tradition is to wait to the 8th day- which is slightly better than circing on day 1, 2 or 3 as most hospital circs are. So there might be some dissassociation if parents do hear about debates on circ.

THe way (in my opinion) to get some movement going is to get the Jewish community (for example) to question the ethics of the ritual without pain relief, and to get some sort of requirement for full disclosure and parental consent. In addition, using myths and misinformation on pain to placate parents should not be tolerated.

Parents choosing ritual circumcision should be given real facts and real information- at the very least, if they choose this, they should be able to request pain relief and know what the risks are.

If a side-effect of this is that more parents choose to have ceremonies without the cutting, then I think the ceremony will only become stronger.

Let us know if this gets moved- I don't usually check the spirituality forum.

Jessica
post #7 of 384


Excuse me. I absolutely would not circ if not for the religious imperative. And I absolutely know how painful it is. Tradition teaches about the pain.
This week's Torah portion tells of three angels coming to visit Avraham Avinu, and each one has a specific mission, one of whom was to help him heal from the pain of the circumcision. Our midrashic tradition also tells of G!d coming to visit him, Himself fulfilling the mitzva of bikur kholim, visiting the sick, because Avraham has just had his bris (ritual including circumcision) three days before, and the pain is at its worst on the third day.

Every year when we read the Torah discussing Avraham and the angels, the pain of circumcision is at the center of the discussion.

This thread is in Spirituality, folks, I can get as spiritual as I wanna be.



The only people who might deny the pain of circumcision are the people who know little of the tradition and are trying to convince themselves, since they don't really know why they're doing it except for the pull of tradition, that it's not so bad.

Anyone who knows the tradition knows it's so bad.





So why do we do it?

Because G!d said to.

That is not the same as "oh, my religion is why I did it." It is a world of difference away.

G!d told me that this is part of our agreement with each other, and so I willingly ... though not without much heartache ... handed my baby over to someone I trusted implicitly with my child ... a very close friend, who handed the baby to her husband, who handed him to another very close friend, who handed him to his wife, who brought the baby to the chair where Eliahu HaNavi comes be present at every bris. Because for all the negative thoughts he had at the perfidy of the Jews of his day, he now goes to every bris, to see for himself how despite the pain, despite the difficulty and the heartache, how Jews still observe the mitzva of bris mila, how we still fulfill our part of our agreement with G!d.

And then someone we love most, my father for my first son, my DH for the second, holds the baby on the softest of pillows, and looking down with so much love and heartache for that pain, holds the child in anticipation of this hardest of mitzvos.

And then someone who is shomer Torah/mitzvos, who is to perform the actual mila since my DH is unable to/terrified at the prospect of doing it himself, someone who knows the procedure so well that we are certain that with G!d steadying his hand, he won't cause deformity or permanent damage to our child ... performs the actual mila.

All the way through there are blessings and prayers and hopes that the child will grow up with health.

And tradition knows there's pain and a cry, and kabbalah teaches that the moments of the baby's cries the gates of Heaven are open the widest they ever will be ... and at my sons' brises and at others of my khevra everyone's eyes are squeezed shut tight, praying for the child and his healing and for the healing of the entire world.

My sons' cries were brief, a matter of seconds.

And then they are given their names, now that they have already been through this most difficult of mitzvos, and with prayer and hopes that all the rest of their lives they should never ever again have pain from any part of life, and that in whatever pain they should have (since we all know some is inevitable, part of life) they should know that G!d is with them and hearing them and feeling this pain with them as much as we know He is at that moment.





If you want to tell me I didn't take responsibility for my sons' brises, come here and tell it to my face. PM me for my address.
post #8 of 384
to you, merpk!! I understand. I am not Jewish but, if I were, that would be enough of a reason for me also. I don't believe God would ask us to harm our children. However, recently, it's come to my attention (and I really MAY be wrong, I dunno) that the circ spoke of in the Hebrew scriptures was different than the circs of today. Maybe someone else knows more about this...
~Marie
post #9 of 384
I also heard that!
I read somewhere that cirs of yester year were more like taking some off of the "tip" of the unretracted forskin, and now adays they remove the entire foreskin.
Although I have nothing to back up that claim. I just heard it several times....

I'm glad this got moved so I could comment that I also dont think that ANY religion should mutilate an infant for any reason.... what if the child grows up and doesnt want to be jewish? He was cir. for no reason.

I'm not against circumcision in general. I dont like it being done on infants... No matter what the reason, "look like daddy", or the couple didnt "know any better" or for religion. The child can not consent to this. And it is a very big deal. You are cutting off part of a childs penis. IMHO it is horrible!!!!
----------------------------------------------------------------------
On another note, I do have a genuine question. God made man, (with a foreskin) but then asked that you cut it off, ....why? (again this is a truely genuine question.I have no knowledge of jewish beliefs )

Also, Is female genital mutalation done in other parts of the world (which is illegal here in the u.s.) done out of custom or religion???
post #10 of 384
ITA with the OP.
post #11 of 384
I remember the moment when I first understood how heavy the decision must be for Believers. I mean, this is something G-d has commanded them to do. This is why my one friend has always wanted daughters.

I love the idea of an alternative briss. My friends did this for both of their sons and I have to say there was not a single dry eye. It was so beautiful! They also spoke about how G-d commanded Abraham to not harm his son. It was extremely touching. They did say, however, if their Grandfathers had been alive, they would have circed. I can't think it is a decision the Faithful take lightly.

Also, this might be slightly OT, but the law might have made sense for a desert tribe that had little access to water.
post #12 of 384
Despite there being a 2000yr+ tradition, with lovely eloquent words and healing prayers associated with it, it's still tragic mutilation that causes lifelong damage and sexual dysfunction.

Yes, it used to be a much smaller cut, but when Hellenized Jews wanted to compete in the gymnasiums naked, and started to use restoration methods to appear Greek, the Jewish leaders demanded the circumcision be total so restoration would be difficult or impossible.

For Jews, as we see in the Adam and Eve story, nakedness was shameful, unlike in Greek culture, which almost worshiped the beauty of the human form. The Greeks OTOH, thought it was embrrassing to show the head of the penis and depicted it covered, even when erect, unless it was shown as part of bawdy comedy.
post #13 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloverlove

Also, this might be slightly OT, but the law might have made sense for a desert tribe that had little access to water.
No, that is a red herring.
post #14 of 384
Thread Starter 
Amy do you also believe:

Leviticus 20:9 All who curse their father or mother must be put to death.

If your child curses you, would you kill him?

Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Do you think that if a man finds that his new bride is not a virgin, that she should be taken back to her father and stoned to death? Do you think that any man or woman who commits adultury should be stoned to death? Do you think that if a young girl is raped, she should be forced to marry her rapist?

Knowing circumcision hurts your baby and still doing it, is the same as seeing a homeless person in winter and saying, "Well, I pray that you stay warm tonight," and not giving them a coat or hat or anything.
post #15 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Despite there being a 2000yr+ tradition, with lovely eloquent words and healing prayers associated with it, it's still tragic mutilation that causes lifelong damage and sexual dysfunction.
:

I don't understand anyone causing any kind of harm in the name of god. Just doesn't sit well. We aren't given these intense maternal instincts for nothing and anything that asks a mother to go against them needs to be greatly questioned.
post #16 of 384
QoftheP, you can pull out all the p'sukim (verses) you want from the Torah and try to fling them around all you want. Without the oral law backing you, you know not of what you speak. Plainly stated.

That's A.

B, you want to call it mutilation, DaryLLL, gei gezundaheit (go in good health). Enjoy. Whatever you call it, I call it a requirement. The OP specifically was saying that religious circumcizers (who are Jews or some Muslims) are using their religion as a sloppy excuse. I was calling that bull from my own experience. The OP was specifically saying that the religious circumcizers deny the pain. I was calling that bull from my own experience. The OP was specifically saying that "we know it's wrong but religion is the band-aid." I was saying specifically that I know it's painful but it is NOT wrong because my G!d tells me it's right. For ME and MY SONS.

Not for you and your sons.

So what the f*** do you care about me and my sons? Give me a break and get off my back and out of my case.




Sheacoby, you and your understanding of what your god is or isn't has nothing to do with me and my understanding of what my G!d expects of me. If you're not Jewish, then you aren't involved. If you're Christian, you're praying to a Jewish guy, so why don't you ask him. And if you are Jewish, then tzey u'lemad, go and learn.





/rant
post #17 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfThePride
(Edited: Okay, I lied. I found my post. )

Is it me, or does it seem like parents who circ for religious reasons refuse to take responsibility for it. They always say they HAD to do it, they had no choice, like their religious reasons exempt them from all personal responsibility. Is this denial or what?
What you are saying is hurtful and downright disrespectful to religious people.
post #18 of 384
Quote:
Originally Posted by merpk
Sheacoby, you and your understanding of what your god is or isn't has nothing to do with me and my understanding of what my G!d expects of me. If you're not Jewish, then you aren't involved. If you're Christian, you're praying to a Jewish guy, so why don't you ask him. And if you are Jewish, then tzey u'lemad, go and learn
I am involved because I believe circ is a Human Rights violations.
No I am not Jewish or Christain for that matter but I can still have an opinion on such things. I just don't get why anyone wouldn't question their god asking them do something that is so harmful to their baby.
post #19 of 384
This was not a decision my husband and I made lightly. We decided what was best for our family. If you do not want to circumcise your sons then don't. But don't stand there and tell me you know I am using my religion as a band aid when you know nothing of me.

Truthfully, I find people who are this opinionated on this subject as offensive as the right to lifers who stick their noses in other peoples uterus'.
post #20 of 384
Sheacoby, I forgot, you identify as atheist. So anything anybody does relating to their beliefs you find questionable.

You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. And the OP is entitled to hers. That doesn't mean insults and misinformation should go unanswered.

The OP is one long misinformed insult. I informed otherwise.




If you want to discuss that circumcision is mutilation and I'm barbaric, then that's a different discussion than the OP. The OP is about how I'm ducking behind an excuse. And it's utter bulls***.

Yes, I'm using a lot of asterisks, aren't I. They're called for.

In my opinion. Which I'm entitled to as well.
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