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#1 of 74 Old 09-18-2002, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What are the religious reasons that people chose not to get their children Circ'd?

The way I see it is that God would not put something there that he didn't want there.


Thanks,
kayla
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#2 of 74 Old 09-18-2002, 10:16 PM
 
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Hi Silvery skies!

Welcome to our forum. Just a friendly FYI, we actually don't host discussions about the religious aspects of circ in the Case Against Circumcision Forum. For details, please read the thread "Religious Discussion in this Forum" located at the top of our forum in a "sticky," or just click here:
http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...threadid=14943

As explained by Cynthia:
If you would like to understand and discuss the spiritual laws related to circumcision as they are presented and practiced in the faiths of the world you may take that discussion to the Spirituality board with respect, appreciation, and sincerity.

Consequently, I'm sliding this over to the Spirituality forum for you.

Again, welcome to our forum! I look forward to having you join our conversations!!!

Love, Jolene

edited to make the link work
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#3 of 74 Old 09-19-2002, 11:40 AM
 
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Genesis 17:9-14 describes what happened between Yahweh and Abraham. It seems a strange way to establish a covenant, doesn't it? Cut off a body part?

Why would god ask/demand this? I have heard/read that, it would be considered healthy for men to have no foreskins, if, as the Jews were at the time, you were a desert nomad, with very limited water supplies. All water was needed to sustain life, not much was left over for washing the smegma out from under your foreskin. And I guess smegma buildup can lead to infection. So, circumcision was a discovery men made, which contributed to their health in their living conditions. Then it was ascribed to god's covenant, back in ancient days, when legends were born.

This is my understanding, but I am no expert.
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#4 of 74 Old 09-19-2002, 12:32 PM
 
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Smegma just sounds like a yukky word.

It actually serves a purpose.

Womyn also have smegma.

Back then circumcision involved cutting off a small part of the foreskin whereas in the last sixty(?) years with the advent of that bell thingy they now strip a whole lot of skin from the penis. Kinda like peeling an orange.
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#5 of 74 Old 09-21-2002, 04:59 PM
 
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Originally posted by laila with the advent of that bell thingy they now strip a whole lot of skin from the penis.
No Mohel uses the "bell thingy" as for the jewish reason for bris milah here is a link for you , enjoy. But I won't be back to debate.

link removed because if you really want to know, look it up, if you want to make fun of our laws, start a whole new thread. I am certainly not providing a link for you to pick apart.

-BelovedBird

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#6 of 74 Old 09-21-2002, 05:11 PM
 
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Thanks for the link. That's what I thought.

<edited cuzza nakking>
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#7 of 74 Old 09-21-2002, 05:48 PM
 
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here is a good quote

Quote:
1 Corinthians 7: 18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

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#8 of 74 Old 09-22-2002, 06:36 PM
 
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here is my take on it.

In Genisis God commanded abraham to make this covenent. I don't know why for certain, I don't care. My best guess is you had to really want to be a jew to do this. only a serious jew would whack off part of his penis. Not a poser. Also, when your pants were down you would really have a hard time hiding the fact that you were a Jew.

In the New Testement, Paul addresses circumsission specifically. He makes two points. One is it is no longer a big deal. You are circumsized fine you can still have Jesus, you are not circumsized fine you can still have Jesus. His second point was ,that since blood has been shed for a new covenent (Jesus' sacrifice) we are no loger under the old covenent and there is no reason to keep circumsizing your children or yourselves. And if you do it thinking you can please God then you are sinning because chopping off parts of your body isn't where salvation lies. So I really don't understand when a Christian's excuse is "Well God commanded it". Becaus no he didn't.

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#9 of 74 Old 09-23-2002, 06:01 AM
 
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ok, that is scary to me.
I have in the past and would continue to support anyones right to sacrifice their newborn infant in this manner as it is a part of their faith,
but that web site was so...
detatched from the mother/infant it seemed.
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#10 of 74 Old 09-23-2002, 10:23 AM
 
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marymom, that web site was one person's explanation. If you want warm and fuzzy about bris, I can find that for you, too, but I'm sure that would be horrifying to you, too, "how can they get all sentimental about genital mutilation," and all that.

So never mind.

- Amy
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#11 of 74 Old 09-23-2002, 10:48 AM
 
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Mothering ran a good article on the history of this a good couple of years ago.

From what I remember the original circumcisions weren't as complete as they tend to be today. This was to the point that young Jewish men could "pass" in order to get into the Greek Olympics(in which circumcised men were not allowed). I had the impression that they were the first to discover the skin can be stretched a bit to its original length with time and a bit of ribbon. Thus the change to a more 'definitive' level of circumcision. I guess the historical Jews felt that if you were make a commitment you should really make the commitment.

I'm not getting into any more debate on this either way either.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#12 of 74 Old 09-23-2002, 10:49 AM
 
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Originally posted by amyrpk marymom, that web site was one person's explanation.
Right one person's technical explaination!!!

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#13 of 74 Old 09-23-2002, 02:26 PM
 
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http://www.brismilah.com/guide0.htm

"The circumcised penis is then bandaged and the baby is diapered and swaddled. At this point, most babies have stopped their crying."

Most babies.

"Notice the adhesions [arrows] between the inner side of the foreskin and the glans. These are present at birth in almost all babies and will be released just prior to the actual circumcision."

That would HURT. Can't help but think about the peeling of the skin from an orange. I am sorry.

According to the site the inflammation can take a week or two to heal. That's a long time for a small person coming from the warmth and security of the womb and having his most sensitive parts cut.

Our Resident Raving Lunatic, lilyka seems to have answered the original poster quite well. And Meiri, I have also read about how they used to remove a "sliver" of skin from the very tip of the foreskin because it was a symbolic gesture not being the quantity of removing something that serves many purposes.

Let us all show respect, appreciation, and sincerity.
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#14 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 12:08 PM
 
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How they stated: the penis will take on a 'normal appearance' in about a month, had a sick humor to it. They put the quotes around 'normal appearance'.

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#15 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by wemoon
How they stated: the penis will take on a 'normal appearance' in about a month, had a sick humor to it. They put the quotes around 'normal appearance'.
What could you possibly be hoping to accomplish with this post?
They obviously put quotes on 'normal appearance' because everyone is aware that only to us is it of normal appearance. The link was not meant to be humorous. It WAS meant to be informative, I see that noone wishes to get informed only to degrade. How sad for all of you.....

Yes very sad for us that mutilate our children.:

-BelovedBird


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#16 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 12:57 PM
 
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What are the religious reasons that people chose not to get their children Circ'd?
Hindus never circumcise their boys because they don't believe in it. As you said there's nothing wrong with it so why change it? Another reason is that Muslim in India are circed so Hindus want to differentiate between them. During partition (if you've ever watched the movie Gandhi you know what I'm talking about) they would undress the men and determine by their privates if they were Muslim or Hindu. I know it's terrible.

My Hindu friend did circ her son because she believed the doctor when he said it was better for health. Many Indians feel that doctors are gods and will follow their advice. She felt horrible about it. Then she had another son and had him circed so there would be no feelings of jealousy between the two brothers. On the other hand I read of a Hindu couple who sued the hospital big time when their son was circed against their consent.

No one's ever going to touch our son's privates!!

Darshani

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#17 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 01:15 PM
 
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You know, I'd been avoiding this discussion because the subject can be so inflammatory.

However I feel compelled to say this:
I am of Jewish heritage. I put it that way because I have rejected the religion to become a Pagan. However my family is Jewish and I honor my heritage and the cultural/historic aspects of it.

My son is NOT circ'd. And circing is one of the things that made me reject the religion.

I would never accuse someone Jewish of "mutilating their child." That is offensive.

However I strongly object to circumcision. My mother tells me I questioned it as a child in religious school. (I was quite the little trouble maker at Hebrew School I am told)

Anyway, I know other Jewish people that have rejected the practice as well, at the risk of being rejected by their religion.

I am sorry if I offended any of the Jewish people here. But I am simply telling my story.
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#18 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 01:27 PM
 
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**What are the religious reasons that people chose not to get their children Circ'd? **

Here are my religious reasons for not circing:

My religious beliefs are that we are born perfect, the foreskin serves an important function.
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#19 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 02:52 PM
 
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Well now, that is interesting. I did not know Muslims also circumcise. For the same reason practicing Jews do, I guess. The covenant. Since Jesus isn't the Messiah to either faith.

Like many of us, I never gave much thought to any of the Muslim's practices, until the tragedy of last year. But now it seems a good idea to be as informed as poss.

Perhaps genital alteration would be a more pc description, to avoid insulting our devout Jewish/Muslim friends? Just wondering.

As we call it breast reduction or augmentation, not breast mutilation, in circumstances where women have enormous breasts that give them backpain, or have a breast removed for medical reasons. they have their reasons for not thinking their bodies are perfect and should be left as is too. so whether it is medical, or religious, everyone has a path to follow.

OTOH, every person has a right to question traditions from any holy book, as they see fit. We are not robots, we have rational minds that want things to make sense to us, and everyone has to determine their own comfort levels.
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#20 of 74 Old 09-25-2002, 03:29 PM
 
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[i]As we call it breast reduction or augmentation, not breast mutilation, in circumstances where women have enormous breasts that give them backpain, or have a breast removed for medical reasons. they have their reasons for not thinking their bodies are perfect and should be left as is too. so whether it is medical, or religious, everyone has a path to follow.
Except that an infant isn't making the decision that their body isn't perfect. This is something that done to them without consent. And routine infant circumcision is not medically necessary.
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#21 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 04:18 PM
 
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I recently went to an anti-war forum/discussion group. The speaker was a Christian and touched on some aspects of why Christianity supports non-violence, and made a refrence (which I won't go into because I can't quote it ver-baitum) about "eye for an eye" which a Jewish woman in the group took offense to because it didn't take into account how it was interperted by the religious leaders of the time, and how they apparently used this verse to set a system of monetary damages. (How much better that must have worked than the modern jury-awards system!)

Anyway, it got me talking to her afterwards and she made an interesting point. She said that Judaism (in her opinion) was an ever-evolving and changing religion. Now up until then it had been my impression that the appeal of Judaism is that it had been so unchanged in the last 5,000 years. For those of you more familiar with this tradition, how do you see it as far as evolving vs. static? And if it is an ever-changing, evolving faith, do you think that the circumcision issue will ever change at all?

I am very anti-cicumcision, (male or female) until it comes to religious reasons . Then I don't like to step on anyone's god's toes.

Like I was telling a friend of mine... (& don't take this too seriously, it's meant to be light-hearted)... if the world is a giant daycare, I have faith that at the end of the day my mom & dad are going to pick me up. But I don't want to do anything to mess with what directions your parent(s) left for you. I wouldn't want your dad showing up & saying "this one isn't mine, all mine are circumcised".
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#22 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvery_skies
What are the religious reasons that people chose not to get their children Circ'd?
The way I see it is that God would not put something there that he didn't want there.
Thanks,
kayla
http://faculty.washington.edu/gcd/CI....html#article1 "The wonderful statue of David by Michelangelo appears intact but is in fact correctly represented because the future King David has been circumcised by the accepted procedure of the Biblical era. Only the tip of his foreskin has been removed, fulfilling the Covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17)."
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#23 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 04:53 PM
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Hi Gendenwitha, welcome to the boards...I remember seeing you on the pagan parenting boards at another site.

I'm sure it's my stupidity but can you elaborate on your daycare example? Why would the parent(s) picking up a child reject them because they are intact? I'm not understanding the example and why that helps to give justification for genital mutilation under religious sanction.

Thanks! I'm sure it's just me not understanding your analogy here.
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#24 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaryLLL
And I guess smegma buildup can lead to infection.
This has been a common misperception.

According to Mothering magazine:

http://mothering.com/10-0-0/html/10-...cision85.shtml

"The white emollient under the child's foreskin is called smegma. Smegma is probably the most misunderstood, most unjustifiably maligned substance in nature. Smegma is clean, not dirty, and is beneficial and necessary. It moisturizes the glans and keeps it smooth, soft, and supple. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties keep the penis clean and healthy. All mammals produce smegma. Thomas J. Ritter, MD, underscored its importance when he commented, "The animal kingdom would probably cease to exist without smegma."27"
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#25 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 05:38 PM
 
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Quote:
... by luvinlivin

... can you elaborate on your daycare example? Why would the parent(s) picking up a child reject them because they are intact? I'm not understanding the example and why that helps to give justification for genital mutilation under religious sanction ...
]
Safe to say it was a very loose "parable." Don't take it so seriously.

And we get enough of the "genital mutilation under religious sanction" stuff on the "Case against Circumcision" board, which most bris-following Jews now avoid so as not to step on any anti-routine-circumcision toes. After all, most Jews I know don't approve of routine circumcision any more than you do. But in the Spirituality forum perhaps we could ease up on the inflammatory descriptors?

And Gendenwitha, hi ...

Your question about evolution v. stagnation is very simply answered. Judaism is ever-evolving. As an example, Jews have substituted prayer services for the animal sacrifice of the Temple in Jerusalem. And have managed to make it 5000 years as a distinct people.

There are certain specifics that have not changed since the beginning of Jewish time. The Sabbath. The centrality of the land/Zion. Brit milah.

There are Jews who don't have brises on their sons. There are also Jews who don't observe the Sabbath and eat pork. Just because there are Jews who do/don't do, as the case may be, doesn't make whatever they're doing/not doing Judaism.

As an example, many non-observant Hindus eat hamburgers. Okay. But you could never say that the Hindu religion condones eating hamburgers.

Many non-observant Muslims eat pork. Fine. But you could never say that the Muslim religion condones eating pork.

Follow that line with Judaism. You get the picture.

- Amy
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#26 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by amyrpk


Safe to say it was a very loose "parable." Don't take it so seriously.

And we get enough of the "genital mutilation under religious sanction" stuff on the "Case against Circumcision" board, which most bris-following Jews now avoid so as not to step on any anti-routine-circumcision toes. After all, most Jews I know don't approve of routine circumcision any more than you do. But in the Spirituality forum perhaps we could ease up on the inflammatory descriptors?

Amy, I'd still like to understand more from the author herself but thanks for the admonition to lighten up in my reception of the 'parable.'

And, it's a fair request to 'ease up' but I can't fulfill that request. Sorry. I was speaking from medical terminology ('amputation' is not appropriate for this practice) to avoid any misunderstandings.

Gendenwitha, no rush on an further explanation. I wasn't getting it but then, I'm sure it's over my pea-brain.
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#27 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 06:55 PM
 
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Smegma may be healthy and normal, and my son is of course intact, but I was imagining a nomadic people with little access to water for bathing for weeks, months on end. I know animals will wash their parts with their own saliva.

It's just a theory I heard once. I don't know if it is reasonable.

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#28 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 08:47 PM
 
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http://mothering.com/10-0-0/html/10-...rcson103.shtml

"Thanks to the foreskin, the intact penis is protected from dirt and contamination. While this important protective function is extremely useful while the baby is in diapers, the foreskin provides protection to the glans and urinary opening for a lifetime. At all ages, the foreskin keeps the glans safe, soft, and clean.

Throughout childhood, there is no need to wash underneath the foreskin. Mothers used to be advised to retract the foreskin and wash beneath it every day. This was very bad advice indeed. When the foreskin becomes fully retractable, usually by the end of puberty, your son can retract it and rinse his glans with warm water while he is in the shower."


"The tightness of the foreskin is a safety mechanism that protects the glans and urethra from direct exposure to contaminants and germs."


During the 40-year wilderness wandering, circumcision of the baby boys was not performed. So after crossing the Jordan, Joshua had all those males circumcised with flint knives at Gilgal.
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#29 of 74 Old 09-26-2002, 09:05 PM
 
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Amyrpk, BelovedBird and my other Jewish sisters... I am sorry that some people persist in using the most hurtful language possible in what is alleged to be a civilized discussion of different perspectives. I am always impressed with the forebearance and class you ladies seem to have at your disposal. Thank you for being so informative on a variety of issues that many of us are eager to learn about.
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#30 of 74 Old 09-27-2002, 01:45 AM
 
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Quote:
... by luvinlivin
... I can't fulfill that request. Sorry. I was speaking from medical terminology ('amputation' is not appropriate for this practice) to avoid any misunderstandings ...
Uhhh ... no.

If you were speaking from "medical terminology" you would have said 'circumcision.'

You were speaking from an urge to inflame.

If that's what you wish to do, at least be honest about it, please.

If that is not what you wish to do, then you must have a different understanding of "medical terminology" than I do. And under that circumstance, please accept my apologies for my obvious ignorance of the apparently accepted jargon.



- Amy

PS - kama'aina mama, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
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