Anyone bothered by latest Mothering issue?!?!?! - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-13-2005, 06:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LuAnn
Is it "our society" that is committing torture of babies? The way I see it, it is being done by psychos who have spent their whole lives maneuvering themselves into a position where they could not only get away with this barbarity, but actually get paid for it! Amazing.

And they are doing it because they are ignorant? No, because they are hurting over something else, and they are blind, and, as the late John Erickson said, when you are blind you need to be told you are blind. Mothering magazine was doing this, esp. with their great article by Paul Fleiss a few years ago. What happened? Why is it now okay to be using babies' bodies to satisfy parents' and doctors' and religious groups' personal concepts?
I see your point. I guess I should have said "..that our society tolerates".
I'd never really thought about it before, but the OB that delivered my son tortured me...sewed my tear up, refusing to give me any local anestesia...I was sobbing, dumbstruck by his cruelty...
It makes perfect sense, though...he's a circumcisor. A sadist. At least my wound healed....
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Old 07-13-2005, 08:06 PM
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You've exactly proven my point.

And you've proven mine.

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Old 07-13-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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What we're really debating here is the best way to reach people. Do we go in with both guns blazing and talk about genital mutilation, or do we soft-pedal our approach in the hopes that that will persuade more people to leave their sons intact?

This debate has been going on for a long time. I honestly don't know the answer to this one. But I do know that both sides need to treat each other with respect. After all, both sides do agree that circumcision is wrong. We just disagree about which tactics to use in communicating with other people.

Instead of causing hurt feelings, how about if we give concrete examples of what works and what doesn't? For instance, if you used the soft approach with your brother and SIL, but they circ'ed anyway. Or if you told someone that circumcision is genital mutilation and now they won't speak to you. Or if you used the soft approach with a friend, and now her second son is intact even though her first one is circ'ed. Yes, we're going to make mistakes from time to time, but I think we can all learn from each other.
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pippet
For this issue where a lot of times people who are trying to educate themselves on the matter or just starting to educate themselves on it, they are faced with harsh judgment or rude remarks and are so blasted by the anti-circ representatives that they feel immobilized.
But I think there's a lot of ground between harsh judgment or rude remarks and stating that parents have the right to make the decision to alter their children's genitals at will. I've always been impressed at the way that this forum, while passionately anti-circ, has also been supportive to those parents who are either on the fence about their first son or who have already circ'd previous sons and are reconsidering for/have not circ'd subsequent sons. I think the message of "when you know better, you do better," is appropriate and supportive. I don't think "well, whatever you think is better for your family" is appropriate or helpful in this situation.

Lisa , mom to Isaac (9/1/03), Violet (6/19/06), Simon (10/9/09); wife to Eric ; handservant to Grace :
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:36 PM
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The comment does not offend me, and here is why.

Just because we or MDC doesn't agree with us doesn't make one party or the other party "right" or "wrong," it just means we share various opinions.

I as an example personally think circumcision is just horrid, but I have to respect the neutrality of MDC so as not to sound judgemental against the mothers who choose to do so. MDC provides education based upon their views and research that they accept as fact, but they shouldn't play judge against parents either.
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Old 07-13-2005, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MrsMoe
, but I have to respect the neutrality of MDC so as not to sound judgemental against the mothers who choose to do so. MDC provides education based upon their views and research that they accept as fact, but they shouldn't play judge against parents either.


So....does this work with other issues as well? Should they be "neutral" about breastfeeding, in order to not "sound judgemental" to parents who choose to formula feed? Should they call breastfeeding a complex issue? Should they be neutral on everything? If so, what then distinguishes them from every other blah, blah, blah parenting magazine out there?

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Old 07-13-2005, 10:44 PM
 
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So....does this work with other issues as well? Should they be "neutral" about breastfeeding, in order to not "sound judgemental" to parents who choose to formula feed? Should they call breastfeeding a complex issue? Should they be neutral on everything? If so, what then distinguishes them from every other blah, blah, blah parenting magazine out there?
Amen.

There are certain things I can't be neutral about, and hope MDC isn't either, circumcision being right at the top.

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by njeb
What we're really debating here is the best way to reach people. Do we go in with both guns blazing and talk about genital mutilation, or do we soft-pedal our approach in the hopes that that will persuade more people to leave their sons intact?
With most issues, there is a fine line separating being too aggressive and being too gentle. With this issue, there is a wide and very blurry line.

Being a veteran of debate boards, I have seen this many times. I have seen people say that quoting the AAP's position statement is hate speech and on the other hand, I have seen people say that very aggressive statements were what shocked them into re-thinking their previous thoughts on circumcision. We have even seen it here. Many parents have said that the videos of circumcisions were the thing that made them change their mind and decide to leave their son intact yet at the same time, we have seen some people so offended that they have petitioned MDC to have these links removed from our siggie lines and MDC capitulated and they are no longer allowed.

This is like the "Good cop, bad cop" scenario. In a debate board, there are people who are very aggressive and there are people who are very gentle. Both types reach a certain type of parent and both types are effective in their own way. Even posting true and valid information in a neutral way will garner complaints from some. On those debate boards, I always got a lot of complaints sent to the moderators yet, I was not banned. Even here at Mothering, there is a group that polices this board and sends complaints about me in an effort to get me banned and I carefully avoid anything that could result in that. Apparently the management agrees with my posting since I am still here.

The bottom line is that you can't be all things to all people. Some you are going to offend and some you aren't going to reach no matter what tack you take.



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Old 07-14-2005, 12:12 PM
 
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Thank you, Frank! What you said is very helpful to me.

What I need to do now is decide which kind of debater I want to be, both on-line and IRL. I guess I feel more comfortable with the gentle approach, since most people I know who circ'ed their sons are good parents, but are woefully misinformed. It's not easy to hear that you did something wrong. Besides, I feel that there but for the love of God goes me (or however that old saying goes).

But for those of you who feel better with a more aggressive approach, go for it! As Frank says, it takes both kinds.
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Old 07-14-2005, 01:19 PM
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. Besides, I feel that there but for the love of God goes me (or however that old saying goes).

Just FYI:

"But for the grace of God, there go I."

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Old 07-14-2005, 02:03 PM
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It looks to me as if, ultimately ,this is a world of balance: for every person who was offended by a given approach, there was someone else who could not have been "converted" in any other way. So, all approaches are okay. Even sticking nasty photos in people's faces - it does sometimes work, in my experience. And, I do respect more peaceful folk who just talk mildly and gently. But there is no room for Mothering, of all parties, to be wishy-washy. Mild and soft-spoken do not equal wishy-washy.
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Old 07-14-2005, 05:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by njeb
Thank you, Frank! What you said is very helpful to me.

What I need to do now is decide which kind of debater I want to be, both on-line and IRL.
I had to make a choice years ago. When I first became involved in this issue and learned that the problems I was having were directly related to circumcision, I was filled with anger. Men just naturally tend to let that anger out and men tend to communicate with each other in very direct terms and with few punches held back. I quickly learned that women just don't work that way and that by and large, it was women I was communicating with. It became obvious that if I wanted to be effective in communicating this issue with these women, that I had to change my way of communicating to a softer method. It works!

It's not that I hold back or that I avoid issues, I just find ways to state it so that it is not offensive to the majority of women. I still get the message out.


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Old 07-14-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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Frank, you just said something that I can't believe happened. They don't allow those sig links cos people can't help themselves and have to open them? Yikes. You know, (tangent coming up..) it really bother me when people won't look at pictures or footage of a child in agony, whether it be war shots or circ or whatever. Those children and their parents had no choice but to see it and feel it, and we sit with our luxury of having the choice to look away. And look away we do. I make myself look at any photo and film that comes into my vision, I sometimes cry, but to me it is respect to the person (child/adult) who had to actually go through a trauma. At least for us it only hurts our sensibilities if we look.

(tangent finished)

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Old 07-14-2005, 06:32 PM
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Now let us detach ourselves emotionally for a moment and look at the big picture.

You catch more flies with honey.. or so to speak.

Rather than seem overly dogmatic, I think Mothering was trying to take a more gentle approach by making this statement. Obviously Mothering is anti-circ and they publish non-circing medical data.

Honestly, is it fair, kind, or professional to come off as judgemental, dogmatic, and have a bulldog "how dare you do this you twisted sick parent" approach? Is that an effective way to change the minds of a parent who is investigating circimcision? No. In fact, by being a "bully" is a great way to scare somebody off.

If you were speaking with a person on a hot topic which you both were in disagreement, for example a MDC poster, and they came off as judgemental, abusive, and as a bully, would they be able to sway your opinion? No. They would in fact "turn you off." It could in fact drive you away, and any logical argument they may provide would be clouded by thier high horse views and poor attitude. Now what if that poster was kind, and took a non-judgemental approach and simply discussed the topic from a non-emotional stand point with medical data and facts to back up their view? Wouldn't it be far easier to see thier side, and possibly even change your view?

I think Mothering took the high ground, and to me, that deserves a lot respect.
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Old 07-14-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsMoe
Now what if that poster was kind, and took a non-judgemental approach and simply discussed the topic from a non-emotional stand point with medical data and facts to back up their view? Wouldn't it be far easier to see thier side, and possibly even change your view?
No. I think I would see that they were exactly as you said "non-emotional" about it. That would send a subconscious message to me that it wasn't an important issue to them, that they had little evidence to back it up and their opinion was probably not worth listening to.

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I think Mothering took the high ground, and to me, that deserves a lot respect.
And I think Mothering took the easy way out. The accepted stance. The stance that was most likely not to ruffle feathers. What happened to the days of Great American Journalism? When did writers and journalists become afraid to tackle the difficult issues and become politically correct? We might as well have government censorship. That's what political correctness is, isn't it? Censorship by public acclaim or disdain?



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Old 07-14-2005, 07:45 PM
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Peggy O is a good enough writer that she could have made an anti-circ stance in the nicest way possible. She chose not to. Shame on her.


It's a false dichotomy to assume that she EITHER had to take no stance against circ OR sound mean and *itchy. That's just not true. Saying "do whatever you want, I'm sure you'll make the right choice in there somewhere" isn't what I'd call honey. It's what I'd call bullcrap.


And....... aren't editorials supposed to be opinions? Why even write an editorial that comes across as completely neutral? What's the point in that? Just because you get paid for it?

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Old 07-14-2005, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsMoe
Now let us detach ourselves emotionally for a moment and look at the big picture.

You catch more flies with honey.. or so to speak.

Rather than seem overly dogmatic, I think Mothering was trying to take a more gentle approach by making this statement. Obviously Mothering is anti-circ and they publish non-circing medical data.

Honestly, is it fair, kind, or professional to come off as judgemental, dogmatic, and have a bulldog "how dare you do this you twisted sick parent" approach? Is that an effective way to change the minds of a parent who is investigating circimcision? No. In fact, by being a "bully" is a great way to scare somebody off.

If you were speaking with a person on a hot topic which you both were in disagreement, for example a MDC poster, and they came off as judgemental, abusive, and as a bully, would they be able to sway your opinion? No. They would in fact "turn you off." It could in fact drive you away, and any logical argument they may provide would be clouded by thier high horse views and poor attitude. Now what if that poster was kind, and took a non-judgemental approach and simply discussed the topic from a non-emotional stand point with medical data and facts to back up their view? Wouldn't it be far easier to see thier side, and possibly even change your view?

I think Mothering took the high ground, and to me, that deserves a lot respect.
ITA... it's true that sometimes people run the other direction because of the people they encounter that are representing the issue - placing a label on them and running in the other direction instead of really looking at the issue itself.
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Old 07-14-2005, 08:26 PM
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and have a bulldog "how dare you do this you twisted sick parent" approach? Is that an effective way to change the minds of a parent who is investigating circimcision? No. In fact, by being a "bully" is a great way to scare somebody off.

Who, exactly, suggested that she say this?






She could have said something similar to the following: (written better, of course, because Peggy O. would be writing it)


"We breastfeed. We co-sleep. We have natural births, when possible. We try to eat organically. Obviously we do everything in our power to raise our children in the best possible way. This should include leaving our children with their whole bodies, not disrupting bonding by sending them off to be strapped to a circumstrant and circumsized."

Of course, if she felt it necessary, she could have made it very clear that she was talking about routine infant circumcision and not making a call on religious circumcision.

But she could have made a clear-cut case for intactness, saying it in a warm, loving, gentle, "you want what's best for your baby" kind of way. The words "sick and twisted" wouldn't have to appear anywhere.



If she's not anti-circ, she's not the NFL and AP guru she purports to be.

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Old 07-14-2005, 08:28 PM
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So....does this work with other issues as well? Should they be "neutral" about breastfeeding, in order to not "sound judgemental" to parents who choose to formula feed? Should they call breastfeeding a complex issue? Should they be neutral on everything? If so, what then distinguishes them from every other blah, blah, blah parenting magazine out there?



And, MrsMoe, you still haven't addressed this.

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Old 07-14-2005, 09:24 PM
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And, MrsMoe, you still haven't addressed this.
I didn't know I was forced to respond within moments after you posted. I just got done taking a bath, picking up around the house, spending time with my daughter, making dinner and eating... or am I not allowed to do other things besides post on MDC? Give a girl some time!


The magazine clearly states repeatedly why circimcision is not medically neccessary, why breastfeeding is best, and the benefits of co-sleeping. It also goes into detail dispelling many myths and the like.

Regardless if you like it or not, what a parent does with their child is their choice, and it's not up to you or me or anyone else to judge that parent.
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:33 AM
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I didn't know I was forced to respond within moments after you posted. I just got done taking a bath, picking up around the house, spending time with my daughter, making dinner and eating... or am I not allowed to do other things besides post on MDC? Give a girl some time!


The magazine clearly states repeatedly why circimcision is not medically neccessary, why breastfeeding is best, and the benefits of co-sleeping. It also goes into detail dispelling many myths and the like.

Regardless if you like it or not, what a parent does with their child is their choice, and it's not up to you or me or anyone else to judge that parent.

Response to your first paragraph: Sorry. I just got anxious to hear your reply. :LOL (But, just for the record, the post on which I wanted a response was posted yesterday, so it wasn't "within moments" that I wanted a reply.)

Response to your second paragraph: In the years I've read Mothering, I've read a lot about co-sleeping and breastfeeding, but only the two Fleiss articles about circumcision. You said that it is discussed "repeatedly" in Mothering; could you please tell me in what issues (beyond the two Fleiss articles), since I must have missed it?

Also, more specifically to my original question, when Mothering magazine is pro-breastfeeding, is that being "judgemental" against mothers who choose to formula feed? If not, then how is that different from being anti-circumcision?


Response to your third paragraph: Ahhhhhhh......... the lightbulb goes on. No wonder we've been conflicting so much. You see circumcision as a CHOICE parents should get to make. I don't. It is genital mutilation, plain and simple. What other body parts should parents be able to "choose" to cut off? Should dh and I have the "should we cut off part of his ear" discussion? Why not? Isn't it my baby and my choice? Should I have had the "choice" to cut my dd's genitalia?

And, interestingly enough, you don't even seem to limit this "choice" thing to just circumcision. WHATEVER a parent chooses is not for me to judge? Does that include when a parent is abusive?

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Old 07-15-2005, 12:43 AM
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Mrs.Moe! Quoting you from another thread:


"Originally circumcision was performed in the US as it was thought to minimize masturbation in little boys. What followed was Doctors pocketing money and convincing people that it could cure everything from blindness to cancer and so on. There are so many nerve endings in the foreskin, and by removing that foreskin sexual pleasure IS reduced. Also, it makes the skin on head of the penis toughen due to friction etc. Unless the foreskin is diseased, which is extremely rare, there are no medical benefits to circumcision. It simply accomplishes one thing - removing sensitivity to the sexual organ.

Just because something is normal and common in your area doesn't make it right. 85% of men/boys in the world are not circumcised. Little girls are also circumcised in Africa, but for some reason that is viewed as genital mutilation whereas cutting the genitals of a little boy isn't? To me, this is not a logical conclusion."



You know all this, and you STILL think it's a choice I shouldn't judge?





(Feel free to eat, take baths, spend time with your daughter, whatever. I'll wait. No rush!! )


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Old 07-15-2005, 02:32 AM
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Here are Mothering's views on circumcision:
http://search.freefind.com/find.html...y=circumcision
Found 761 items


Circimcision IS a parental choice, regardless if you like it or not.

Do I agree with circumcision? NO, absolutely NOT! To me, it i clear as day that it is genital mutilation. I am and always will be very against circumcision.

As I said in the other thread that you created in my honor, I don't think it is my place or your place to judge anyone ever period for parenting choices, even if we feel those choices are clearly wrong. It's wonderful to have your views, and odds are we likely have many of the same parenting views... but judging a person negatively will only reap negative repercussions.

At one point in time, I was not anti-circumcision. It was thanks to a very kind coversation with a friend (when I was 20 and pregnant with what I thought and was told by my Dr. was a boy) that made me realize that circumcision WASN'T OK. Had she judged me, or been rude or dogmatic and bullied me, she would have offended me and ended the coversation right then and there, and may have very well resulted in my continuing to think circumcision was an OK thing to do, just like the rest of America.


Now, as to the definitionof the word choice
Main Entry: 1choice
Pronunciation: 'chois
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English chois, from Old French, from choisir to choose, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German kiosan to choose -- more at CHOOSE
1 : the act of choosing : SELECTION
2 : power of choosing : OPTION
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:42 PM
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Circimcision IS a parental choice, regardless if you like it or not.

Legally, yes. Morally and ethically, no.

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Old 07-15-2005, 12:43 PM
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Old 07-15-2005, 12:56 PM
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Legally, yes. Morally and ethically, no.
But it is STILL a choice and it is not up to me or you to pass judgement on others because of our personal morals.
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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I think it's a big mistake not to judge atrocities. What the hell is wrong with us if we don't pass a judgement on someone who is clearly doing wrong. I personally get so sick of all this don't judge people's actions crap. It is human nature to judge and judgement has fostered many a social movement.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 07-15-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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But it is STILL a choice and it is not up to me or you to pass judgement on others because of our personal morals.
Well, now, this is where we are going to take widely divergent routes! (Getting up on soapbox)

Not only do I think it is appropriate to pass judgment, I think it is my responsibility to pass judgment for the benefit of our society. This is something my Mother taught me from the time I was very young and I think it was a valuable lesson.

You see, there are many things that are unacceptable that are not against the law and there are people who are willing to do these things if there are no repercussions. Passing judgment and condemning these actions that are not illegal but are unacceptable are one of the glues that keep our society together and all societies. Judgment has a history that goes back to the beginings of civilization and without judgment, we would not live in a civilized society.

My mother taught me that certain people could be bad influences for me and that I could get in trouble simply by associating with these people. She taught me to judge them. She also taught me that by associating with these people, I was likely to take up their bad habits or "Sleep with dogs and you will get up with fleas." Clearly, associating with people who insist on cutting off parts of baby boys makes it seem more acceptable. Can you deny that? Certainly, seeing in a national magazine that cutting off parts of baby boys is a legitimate personal choice makes it seem a more acceptable action, doesn't it?

Certainly, sex between teenagers is legal (within certain limitations and in most states) but is it an appropriate action? Can you see that the only thing that keeps most teens and some pre-teens from having sex is that people will pass judgment on them and condemn them? After all, like circumcision, it is not illegal so should middle and high school be a sexual free-for-all? What is to prevent it or even moderate it if there is no judgment and condemnation?

The aversion to judgment is from people who do not want to be held accountable for their actions. The hue and cry against judgment is simply a means to demonize it and have their way without repercussions. They have tried to make judgment an evil thing. Judgment is a cornerstone of all successful societies. Judgment and condemnation gives us a code of ethics, morals and behaviors not covered by statutory law. In that way, it keeps the actions of most people within acceptable standards and it protects us from those who have no regard for others and would take advantage of us.

I would strongly suggest that you teach your daughter to be judgmental for her own protection. Teach her that there are people out there who have motives and intentions that are not altruistic. Teach her that there are people that will do things to her that are not in her best interest and safety and that those people can cause her great harm. She will be much safer for it.

This line of thinking that we can not be judgmental and hold others responsible for their actions is simply political correctness run amuck. It's no good for the individual on either side and it's no good for our society or our nation.



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Old 07-15-2005, 02:07 PM
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Poeple that circumcise are doing so out of ignorance. What good does judging them do?

Judging others just puts the person doing the judging up on a higher pedistal... judging others means you think that you are better than they are. Is that the right attitude to have, an attitude of superiority? Feeling you are btter than others?
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Old 07-15-2005, 02:13 PM
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But it is STILL a choice and it is not up to me or you to pass judgement on others because of our personal morals.

It's a human rights violation, plain and simple. Of course I'm going to pass judgement on that. Slavery was once legal, as well. Were the abolitionists merely wrestling with their "personal morals"? Just because something is legal doesn't make it right.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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