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#61 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:02 PM
 
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I mourn the loss of my husband's foreskin every damn day.

Circumcision may have beautiful, spiritual associations, but it still makes for lifelong sexual damage. Different justifications, same crappy outcome. I am hugely angry that anyone would consider it anything other than the mutilation that it is.

ETA: It's not about the pain of newborns. It's about the LIFELONG effects. It's taking away sexual pleasure from the grown sons, from the daughters-in-law. It takes every ounce of patience I have not to slap my MIL for thinking she had the right to take that away from us. Her justification? "It was good enough for Jesus."

May she never, ever know how truly angry I am.
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#62 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht
Someone stated that if we allow male infant circ. for religious reasons, then we must allow female circ as well. What religion demands the circ. of women?

I don't know. It's not my place to say. If it is someone's religious belief and we are going to allow infant body modifications based on religious belief, then we must allow female circ as well as male circ. We can not argue that one religion or set of beliefs is better or older or more correct than another. If Joe Blow believes that his god commands him to circ his female infant children, and we would allow him to circ his male children for religious belief, the we must allow him to modify his female children as well.

-Angela
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#63 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pisces79
I agree that it's not likely that either side will sway, but what about people who are choosing to do a form of a bris without cutting anything?
An 'alternative bris' may be beautiful and sentimental but the fact is that these people are not fulfilling the commandment of Bris Milah! Just like the Jewish parents that circumsize their sons in the the hospital at 2 days old...they are missing the entire point!
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#64 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tziona
An 'alternative bris' may be beautiful and sentimental but the fact is that these people are not fulfilling the commandment of Bris Milah...they are missing the entire point
I guess that is an argument you could have with a Reform Jew.

Calling it "sentimental" seems a bit condescending.
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#65 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:20 PM
 
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pisces your PM box is full.
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#66 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I don't know. It's not my place to say. If it is someone's religious belief and we are going to allow infant body modifications based on religious belief, then we must allow female circ as well as male circ. We can not argue that one religion or set of beliefs is better or older or more correct than another. If Joe Blow believes that his god commands him to circ his female infant children, and we would allow him to circ his male children for religious belief, the we must allow him to modify his female children as well.

-Angela
There is no religion the demands female circ. Which I believe to be the point of M's q.
Please do some reading on FGM before you talk about it.

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#67 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Calling it "sentimental" seems a bit condescending.
Why?

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#68 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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From Tziona's link:

http://www.aish.com/literacy/lifecycle/Bris_Milah_Beautiful_or_Barbaric$.asp

Quote:
"The [African] women we interviewed considered their daughters' mutilation and their sons' circumcision to be similar. Male circumcision is also a form of genital mutilation since it involves removing a healthy part of an organ. How can we convince mothers that they should not mutilate their daughters while they could continue to have their sons circumcised?"
I believe this (all too briefly) answers Mahdokht's question.

Quote:
Avshalom Zoossmann-Diskin, Executive Director of the Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation in Tel Aviv, says that a campaign is urgently needed to end Bris Milah. "Why are they discriminating against me as victim of Jewish male genital mutilation?" he decries. "Are my human rights, bodily integrity and suffering less important than those of African girls?"
Good question, asked by an Israeli Jew, apparently. Or a former Jew? The article does not say.

Quote:
Why does the foreskin need to be removed?

In Kabbalistic terms, the foreskin symbolizes a barrier which prevents growth....

It is a foundation of Judaism that we are to control our animal desires and direct them into spiritual pursuits. Nowhere does a person have more potential for expressing "barbaric" behavior than in the sex drive...
So, a point of circing (not the only one) would be to reduce "animalistic/barbaric" urges or behavior by bringring "holiness" to it (perhaps by reducing sensation)? That is similar to the reason given for female mutilation as well as we know. Just cut off her clitoris and labia and get rid of her sex drive. Or try to.

All well and good. But then they have to go on to say, circing is healthy for men, and even for their women!

Quote:
The truth is, there is no "logical" argument for cutting a piece of flesh off a helpless baby.
Yet, he then quotes these "scientific" facts:

Quote:
circumcision has been known to offer virtually complete protection from penile cancer...

Also, research at Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore have shown that circumcised men are six to eight times less likely to become infected with HIV...

...circumcised boys were between 10-to-39 times less likely to develop urinary tract infections during infancy than uncircumcised boys.

...circumcision protects against bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections and a variety of other conditions related to hygiene. The extremely low rate of cervical cancer in Jewish women (nine-to-22 times less than among non-Jewish women) is thought to be related to the practice of circumcision.

As a result of studies like these, a number of prestigious medical organizations have recognized the benefits of circumcision, and the California Medical Association has endorsed circumcision as an "effective public health measure."
All of which flies in the face of the article found here:

http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...cumcision.html

(since it is published by Mothering, i am going to assume it is OK to quote extensively)

Quote:
Today the reasons given for circumcision have been updated to play on contemporary fears and anxieties; but one day they, too, will be considered irrational. Now that such current excuses as the claim that this procedure prevents cancer and sexually transmitted diseases have been thoroughly discredited, circumcisers will undoubtedly invent new ones. But if circumcisers were really motivated by purely medical considerations, the procedure would have died out long ago, along with leeching, skull-drilling, and castration. The fact that it has not suggests that the compulsion to circumcise came first, the "reasons," later.

Millions of years of evolution have fashioned the human body into a model of refinement, elegance, and efficiency, with every part having a function and purpose. Evolution has determined that mammals' genitals should be sheathed in a protective, responsive, multipurpose foreskin. Every normal human being is born with a foreskin. In females, it protects the glans of the clitoris; in males, it protects the glans of the penis. Thus, the foreskin is an essential part of human sexual anatomy
Quote:
Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands -- glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health the surface of the glans.
Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body's first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme.12 ... Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin's outer surface.13 Plasma cells in the foreskin's mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection.14
Quote:
It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis.15 These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture...

Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing.
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#69 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedBird
Why?
sentimental
Characterized or swayed by sentiment.
Affectedly or extravagantly emotional.
Resulting from or colored by emotion rather than reason or realism.
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#70 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaToThree
---------------------------------------------------------------------
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 )
My understanding is that Adam was made in the Garden of Eden without a foreskin. I don't know exactly how it happened, but the creation of the foreskin had something to do with the Sin in the Garden of Eden.

When Adam and Chava (Eve) were banished from the Garden, G-d made them "coverings of skin" which is usually translated as "leather clothes" but also refer to the male foreskin and the female hymen.

From this point of view, circumcising is returning the penis to the perfection it was initially created with. It's also a requirement made to Abraham and his sons (the Jews and the Muslims) and not to the rest of the world- Noah wasn't circ'ed!

IMO, the intactivist movement makes the Bris more meaningful. If everybody gets circ'ed, then the Bris becomes "ok, he's getting circ'ed anyway so we'll do it with the Mohel and make the grandparents happy." There is no valid medical reason to "get circ'ed anyway" so the Bris is done purely for the sake of the Mitzvah.

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#71 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 07:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
From Tziona's link:

http://www.aish.com/literacy/lifecycle/Bris_Milah_Beautiful_or_Barbaric$.asp



I believe this (all too briefly) answers Mahdokht's question.



Good question, asked by an Israeli Jew, apparently. Or a former Jew? The article does not say.



So, a point of circing (not the only one) would be to reduce "animalistic/barbaric" urges or behavior by bringring "holiness" to it (perhaps by reducing sensation)? That is similar to the reason given for female mutilation as well as we know. Just cut off her clitoris and labia and get rid of her sex drive. Or try to.

All well and good. But then they have to go on to say, circing is healthy for men, and even for their women!



Yet, he then quotes these "scientific" facts:



All of which flies in the face of the article found here:

http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...cumcision.html

(since it is published by Mothering, i am going to assume it is OK to quote extensively)

It doesn't answer my question. He mentions no religion that demands circ. for women, only that it is done in Africa. That's a cultural not a religious practice. Thank you BB, that really was my point.

I've never seen anyone try to justify female circ by saying that it makes women more holy. All the justifications i've seen have been about maintaining male honor by forcefully restricting female activity.

Secondly, attempting to compare clitirodectomy (sp?) to male circ is absolute hyperbole. Try routinely chopping off the head of the entire penis, then you've got a comparison. If you --general you here--believe that both are equally wrong, then at least you are consistant in your pov. That's fine with me, but to compare the two is dishonest and, frankly, dangerous.

That being said,
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#72 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:01 PM
 
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Well, the other Jews on the board have answered all your questions so I don't have much to add. I think you can see we don't deny the pain, difficulty, or beauty of this mitzvah (commandment).

I will repeat the idea to work on outlawing RIC. You could even try outlawing bris mila (and other religious circ), but that would be religious persecution. Do you want to go there?

If so, be advised JEWS WILL STILL PRACTICE THE MITZVAH OF BRIS MILA! Just as the Jews did it in secrecy under the many persecuting regimes of history, forming underground networks for the preservation of our precious mitzvot, BRIS MILA WILL GO ON! These types of laws may stop some parents who are "on the fence", but this mitzvah will live.
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#73 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedBird
There is no religion the demands female circ. Which I believe to be the point of M's q.
Please do some reading on FGM before you talk about it.
I have done quite a bit of reading, it was just several years ago. I understand that some people say that no religion that requires it. I also understand that some people feel that their religion DOES require it. To me, someone saying that they feel their religion requires it is the same thing as a religious official saying that it is required. Personally I do not belong to any organized religion, BUT if we are going to protect religious rights (the right in this case to surgically modify your child's body) then we must protect them across the board. I could start a religion tomorrow- and part of that religion could be the requirement to circ your female babies on the 10th day of life. If we protect the religious right to circ boys then we must also protect the religious right to circ girls. No matter how small or new that religion may be.

-Angela
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
IMO, the intactivist movement makes the Bris more meaningful. If everybody gets circ'ed, then the Bris becomes "ok, he's getting circ'ed anyway so we'll do it with the Mohel and make the grandparents happy." There is no valid medical reason to "get circ'ed anyway" so the Bris is done purely for the sake of the Mitzvah.
:

The (invalid) "medical reasons" for bris mila aren't the point; the mitzvah is.
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#75 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
I have done quite a bit of reading, it was just several years ago. I understand that some people say that no religion that requires it. I also understand that some people feel that their religion DOES require it.

-Angeal
Which people, where? Which religion?

As far as the rest of what you said- start with RIC!!
Get going

You could be saving foreskins right now!

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#76 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mahdokht
It doesn't answer my question. He mentions no religion that demands circ. for women, only that it is done in Africa. That's a cultural not a religious practice.
Where does culture end and religion begin tho? I suggest the practices of African traditionals has been understudied and marred by bigotry.

Often the white Christian men that study African "natives" view their religious practices as "magic" or worse.

Here is a short article, this bit pertaining to Australians:



Quote:
In central Australia circumcision is the primary operation in defining male adulthood... the operation marks the beginning of a youth's indoctrination into the men's secret ceremonial life, the preservation of which is believed to be vital for maintaining social and natural harmony. At this time novices witness complex ceremonies in which the mythical origins of the world are enacted and, thereby, the order of the world is reasserted.
Africa:

Quote:
Among sedentary speakers of Bantu language it is usually performed annually on groups of youths approaching adolescence. These groups are segregated in the bush (the sphere of disorder) apart from villages and women. Novices are stripped, shaved, bathed, and sometimes marked with ashes or white earth, all to denude them of their previous status and to place them in a liminal state, neither minor nor adult. The actual operation is often performed by an expert who is outside or peripheral to the group. Bravery under pain is usually required. The shedding of blood is viewed as polluting, a "hot" procedure that temporarily creates disorder so as to achieve a greater eventual order. Rituals and medicines are therefore applied to "cool" the wound and allow it to heal.
Is this medicine and ritual cultural or religious? Or, ahem, sentimental?
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#77 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedBird
Which people, where? Which religion?
It doesn't matter. Tribal peoples for one - those who practice FGM/female circ often say that they HAVE to do it. It is not our place to identify, list, approve or otherwise name religions. The point is that if someone feels religiously called to alter their child they either have the right to do it or they don't. It should not matter whether the child is male or female or what their religion is. Either all children should be protected equally or all religions should be protected equally (or both...)

-Angela
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#78 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna
all religions should be protected equally (or both...)

-Angela
I though I was asking a pretty simple question, which religions?

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#79 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedBird
I though I was asking a pretty simple question, which religions?
From amnesty.org:

Religion
FGM predates Islam and is not practised by the majority of Muslims, but has acquired a religious dimension. Where it is practised by Muslims, religion is frequently cited as a reason. Many of those who oppose mutilation deny that there is any link between the practise and religion, but Islamic leaders are not unanimous on the subject. The Qur'an does not contain any call for FGM, but a few hadith (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad) refer to it. In one case, in answer to a question put to him by 'Um 'Attiyah (a practitioner of FGM), the Prophet is quoted as saying "reduce but do not destroy". Mutilation has persisted among some converts to Christianity. Christian missionaries have tried to discourage the practice, but found it to be too deep rooted. In some cases, in order to keep converts, they have ignored and even condoned the practice.

FGM was practised by the minority Ethiopian Jewish community (Beta Israel), formerly known as Falasha, a derogatory term, most of whom now live in Israel, but it is not known if the practise has persisted following their emigration to Israel. The remainder of the FGM-practising community follow traditional Animist religions. "

Seems clear to me that, like male circ, female circ is practiced by some Muslims, some Christians, some Jews, and some pagan animist followers. I fail to see how that is any different at all.

I think DaryLLL's point is that if we were on a board with animists who practiced FGM, they'd be hella pissed if their spiritual observance were outlawed.

So I can't see how we get off on being horrified by female circ more than male circ.
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#80 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 08:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pisces79
I can't believe "So why bother?" is being asked here on MDC.
I can't believe that you can't believe it was said!

I haven't been to MDC long too but after reading and re-reading a lot of threads I believe it's about time that some one finally says that. Once this thread is done I'm 100% sure someone else will bring up the damn question again. And it'll be another fiasco so I'll say what Mahdokht said already " So why bother?"

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#81 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 09:03 PM
 
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This is a board to ask the hard questions. Not just to criticize/analyze Xtianity in all its forms, but to also analyze/question the practices of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Wicca, or any other religion, should we desire.

It is a place to share info and hopefuly learn. If some do not want to teach or learn, they can easily click away. Maybe just throw out a link first if you care to.
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#82 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by noorjahan
I can't believe that you can't believe it was said!

I haven't been to MDC long too but after reading and re-reading a lot of threads I believe it's about time that some one finally says that. Once this thread is done I'm 100% sure someone else will bring up the damn question again. And it'll be another fiasco so I'll say what Mahdokht said already " So why bother?"
Mahdokht, I cleared out my pM box

Noorjahan - I can't believe that you can't believe that I can't believe it was said

Like I said, I see how the OP can be construed as offensive to some, but I really do appreciate being able to read all these responses.

Why can't we ask "why"? Why can't we question? Respect is always important, which is clear with something like this, and I think that the ensuing dialogue has been respectful for the most part.

This is a topic that really gets people going on both sides, and I know I feel strongly about it myself. But I have to say that it's refreshing to be having this discussion with people that WON'T argue for circ by saying "the baby should look like his dad," "it's just cleaner," and I guess the sorts of things that I'm used to hearing from "mainstreamers."

I can't say that I completely understand, but I've been trying to compare it to issues that arise in regards to my own faith, and (Mahdokhtm in particular) is really providing some good information.

I'm sorry for anyone who has had their feelings hurt or have taken offense to some of the things said in this thread, but I appreciate people putting themselves out there.

M, mom to DS1 (8 yrs), DS2 (5 yrs), and DS3 (2 yrs).

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#83 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 09:24 PM
 
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As to the 'sentimental' point. So, if you believe that you are 'commanded', then you have a bris milah. If as a Jew, you don't believe you are commanded - you don't do it. To come up with another 'bloodless' circ. or whatever you want to call it seems yes, sentimental. Otherwise, what is the point?
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#84 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 09:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaryLLL
From Tziona's link:

http://www.aish.com/literacy/lifecycle/Bris_Milah_Beautiful_or_Barbaric$.asp

So, a point of circing (not the only one) would be to reduce "animalistic/barbaric" urges or behavior by bringring "holiness" to it (perhaps by reducing sensation)? That is similar to the reason given for female mutilation as well as we know. Just cut off her clitoris and labia and get rid of her sex drive. Or try to.

All well and good. But then they have to go on to say, circing is healthy for men, and even for their women!
You read what you wanted to read and took everything out of context. I'm outta here. You're just looking to pick a fight. I'm proud to be a Torah observant Jew even if it means that I occasionally have to do things that I otherwise wouldn't choose to do. My life has meaning and spirituality and I don't have to search for a cause to make it fulfilling.
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#85 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pisces79
Noorjahan - I can't believe that you can't believe that I can't believe it was said
I knew it!!!! As soon as I put it up I was like I'm sure she was gonna say it. And here you are saying it!!!

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#86 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tziona
My life has meaning and spirituality and I don't have to search for a cause to make it fulfilling.
I don't doubt that your life does have meaning and spirituality.

But as a cause, circ isn't one that most people go looking for in search of fulfillment. I seriously considered doing circing my own son, until I did some reading on the damage the circumcision does to the longterm sex life of men and their wives.

After that, it is difficult to be neutral. Impossible, even. I want to respect the rituals of all people... this is one I cannot reconcile.

I realize nothing about religion is logical, but I think it is not unreasonable or disrespectful to say that at some point, even religious rituals can and may be very wrong. And how do you judge that? Is anything okay, done in the name of a religion?

I can't say I think so.
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#87 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BelovedBird
I though I was asking a pretty simple question, which religions?
SOME parts of SOME religions claim it's required. But really, for the point of argument- let's say it's a new religion. I now belong to the Under the Bridge faith and it requires me to circ both males and females.

Why does it matter what religion? All that matters is that SOME people feel that it is their religious duty- the same as you do.

-Angela
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#88 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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I asked my husband if he is angry at his parents for having him circ'd. He looked at me like I had suddenly sprouted a second head and asked "Why would I be angry at them?" So, I started telling him some of the things I have read here. He responded with "My sex life is great, my penis works fine, and I guess with what you told me I may love sex more if I had a foreskin but I am happy without it and it is a moot point." He then also wondered why anyone would spend their energy being angry at their parents or in-laws for it. He said "What is that going to change? It has already been done. Being angry about it is not going to change the fact. If their goal is to make their parents feel bad, I don't think it is a worthy goal. What purpose will it serve? Will they really feel that much better if their parents feel guilty about it? Don't they realize that parents agonize and feel guilty about so many things on a daily basis about raising their kids? Why add to it?"

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#89 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:50 PM
 
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I dont think u can make anyone feel guilty unless they already had that feeling deep down already. That being said i would never try to make anyone feel guilty about their choice to circ. My goal is to help people now that have not had to make the decision to think long and hard about it before they do it so that in the future they will not have reason for guilt. Like so many mom's in the sticky who r deeply affected by their decison to circ and now regret it with all their heart.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

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#90 of 384 Old 11-14-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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I guess some men and their partners actually mourn the fact that something so precious (normal sexuality) was taken from them. Some men can't help but feel anger at the fact they were sexually mutilated. It really is rude and lacks empathy to belittle the way some people feel about the fact their genitals were sexually altered painfully w/o their consent.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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