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Old 02-22-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
how was i condescending or rude? if anything, suggesting that we go to mamas who have been part of this site for the past six years and 'offer' them info as if they have never heard it in their lives is condescending. of course the links and info should be presented here for those who haven't seen them, it is part of our job as intactivists.

it is the suggestion that we 'offer' it to the majority of long-time posting religious mamas here as though they'd never they had never stumbled upon this forum before that i find condescending, personally. mere semantics- offer away. hey chava, amy, gonna take us up on it? had an epiphany? (you know i'm jk, right? although i can always hope. probably with as much luck as grandma waiting for our bris. brises? brisses? i know there's a hebrew plural out there somewhere. )

now i know i am skating on thin ice joking around in the circ forum, lol.
And what about the not-so-new-mamas? Are they not worthy? You don't feel offering them information is appropriate? And I am glad *you* have decided what information to share with older members.

I guess you have it all figured out Susey and you don't need any suggestions from anyone. I can't think of a better way to grow myself.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:41 AM
 
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how 'bout you highlight the parts where i said (in both posts ) to PLEASE KEEP POSTING THE INFO FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN IT. sigh. good grief. that's me, no-growth keep-me-in-the-dark-like-a-mushroom suse. that's not condescending.

this is not getting us anywhere. can we get back to our strategery now?
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:05 AM
 
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It's cheaper (free) to put a link in your sig, like I did.
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goodcents
I understand being so passionately anti circ, but there is an overtone here that scares people away. For myself, maybe I could have vocalized my concerns more, gathered more information, and presented it to my husband in a fashion that would have changed the outcome of our decision to circ.

But I felt so afraid of this forum, that I couldn't vocalize what I was facing. Begrudingly I headed to the relgious forum, where some of my questions were answered, but not all.
I don't want to fight - I don't want to be scary or to offend you ... I just want to explain it from the 'other side'. You can't put the blame for the lack of information which led to your son's circ on the passionate people here. Even if this forum wasn't as scary, you wouldn't have been able to ask the questions - it's against the rules. It would have been moved straight to the religious forum and still would have been answered the same way.

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So that said, maybe you can help more people later if there was a little bit of gentleness. Also, I am compelled to mention that coming from Western countries, especially the intergrated areas of the States, you grow up with freedom of religion, and the access to many cultures. Both of these caveats lend themselves to being comfortable with thinking outside of cultural or relgious norms. This is not so in many places around the world, including the country my husband is from.
I understand what you're saying and I respect that - but I don't think it's the answer for this particular forum. You have to make people think deeply, and sometimes nothing short of a shock or being affronted will do that. Like you said, it's SUCH an ingrained cultural thing, and a lot of people won't believe information if it's not confronting. They'll pass it off as 'weak'. It's hard to be gentle when you're giving facts about a procedure which is the opposite of gentle, especially when it's so accepted in that culture, imo. Having said that, it doesn't have to be an attack - it can be phrased more sensitively and I'll be more mindful in the future to do this. I know it's difficult to have ingrained cultural and religious practices challenged ... and people are more than welcome to make a 'support please' post here or in the religious forum, iirc (as long as it's not advocating circ). Perhaps that might work? What do others think? (asking genuinely here - not being snide! It can be hard to read tone on a computer screen). By asking for support only, you'll get the info you need, and you won't have the challenges from people on the other side of the fence.

I've never denied the fact that I think religous circumcision should be viewed just the same as cultural circumcision - I'm against all circumcision ... male, female, cultural, religious. Personally the only time I think it should ever be done is if there's a documented medical problem which doesn't respond to non-surgical intervention. They're just my opinions (but I know others share them ). Just because I don't think religion is a good enough reason to circumcise doesn't mean I'm a Nazi who wants all Jewish people killed (I've seen that accusation used MANY times here). Me saying I don't agree with religious circ isn't intended to be an attack. I know some mamas who circ for religious reasons understand that, but others don't. The mothers who disagree with me are the ones who would be very angry if the whole board was intactivist. I don't think by saying that I'm bashing religious mothers (whether they're Christian, Jewish or Muslim). To be honest, I think it's that kind of sentiment which can create a greater divide. Any time anybody says something about religious circ which questions, challenges, suggests it shouldn't be done, we're accused of bashing, being anti-Semitic, being ignorant and intolerant etc. I know there's a distinct 'us vs them' feel on the board between mamas who circ for religious reasons and those who are against it ... acknowledging it isn't bashing them.

Like I said - I'm just trying to explain to you how I feel ... I'm not trying to tell you I'm right and you're wrong, I'm not trying to persuade you that your feelings aren't valid (I think they are) ... I'm just trying to give you an explanation of why I feel the way I do.
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I think the answer is finding alternative interpretations of religious law and offering it to religious mothers as an alternative.
I truly wish this was the solution too. I honestly do - I think there's great merit in that approach. But the problem with that is that these 'sorts' of conversations are usually in the religious studies forum ... and any time an alternative to religious circumcision is given it's immediately discounted as rubbish by the mamas who choose to circ for religious reasons - anybody who suggests an alternative is told they're ignorant, uneducated, couldn't possibly understand, and to shut up . The approach you suggested would work in this forum, but those discussions aren't allowed here. It's a real catch-22.

I respect that lots of people on MDC - both pro-circ and anti-circ - think religious circ should be left out of it, and RIC should be the target. I just disagree. Baby girls are exempt by law from religious circ, so it's my belief that baby boys should be given the same legal protection. The religious circ of baby girls was met with the same challenge, anger and passion when the first moves to abolish it were made. I was surprised to see that a few mamas on MDC support FGM for religious reasons ... but I honestly hope that one day - through education and advocacy - male circ will eventually be seen as the same as female circ. I know a lot of people reject this idea, and I understand the reasoning behind it.
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:28 AM
 
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I just had another good look through the 'religious discussion in this forum' sticky to see if it gave me any inspiration for ideas. I'll copy it over because it really is an eloquent explanation and it always makes things a lot clearer to me (I check it if I'm feeling like I'm 'treading the line'):
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Hello everyone,

Through the history of the Understanding Circumcision board we have had discussion of a religious nature arise on many occasions. While these discussion can be wonderfully informative they also can and do become very personal and offensive. At one point the debate and offensiveness practically enveloped the board which disrupted its entire purpose and resulted in turning people away from the forum. It was then that Peggy O'Mara stepped in to ask for such discussion to be discontinued. That was seen as a ban against discussion of religious circumcision which was not really the intention but was interpreted as such. Religious discussion stopped and the forum returned to a peaceful place of support and information for parents inclined toward or convinced in leaving their son intact.

When we opened the new board there were several comments about the "ban" on religious discussion in the Circumcision board. So we reviewed the issue again and revised the board description to allow room for religious discussion but asked for no debate of religious belief. As I wrote, "This board provides a healthy, peaceful place to discuss the pros and cons of medical circumcision. The intention of the board is to provide support to those who face pressure and disapproval from friends and relatives because of their decision not to circumcise. This is also a place to find out how to care for the intact penis. If you are entertaining either medical, religious, or just practical questions about circumcision, please feel free to participate. However, this is not a place to debate religious beliefs or to question the validity of another's personal choice regarding circumcision. It's a place for information and support."

Since then the board has progressively moved to a very heavy religious focus and is now becoming a concern. Though the moderator has called for an end to pointed religious criticism and debate this has in some cases been ignored and new religious-based threads continue to be raised.

In reading through the threads I have found it hard to determine the purpose for the sort of discussion raised. I have not seen a tremendous number of posts from parents of the Christian, Jewish, or Muslim faith come to the board for information or support in understanding circumcision as it relates to their faith's commandments. What I have seen is posts criticizing religious belief, debating it's validity. Yet I doubt that if a Jew or Muslim did ask for such information that the appropriate response would be to tell them their practices are "sick" or "barbaric". We would not allow such posting like that nor do I think such words would encourage anyone to ask anything else here.

On the other hand this forum is also not intended to be a place for the defense of religious circumcision. So it is neither appropriate for posts from those who have chosen ritual circ to come and expect support of their decision. The board is meant to support NOT circumcisizing. Though I hesitate to discourage anyone from posting in this forum, posts in defense of religion seem to only spark debate just as religiously criticial posts do. The content of the posts on this board will very cleary be against circumcision so it will not be a place that someone pro-circ should come if they perceive any anti-circ discussion to be an attack on their religion. However, if a post consists of a religious attack or offensive or innapropriate statement that post should be reported and the moderator or I will handle it according to our policies. A member should not step in to do so as is clearly stated in the User Conduct Rules in the Rules and Guidelines board.

The main intent of this board is to provide information, support, and encouragement for people who are making the decision or who have decided to not circumcise. This is a place for discussion of the medical and personal issues of intactness that exist or are presumed to exist. However, our many attempts at allowing religious discussion of circumcision have been difficult at best and in some cases harmful. So I ask that discussion of a religious nature be discontinued on this board.

If you are a parent seeking information related to your faith's teachings and want the support and encouragement of parents who have such advice to share and 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.

Let us please take this board back to providing a safe place where parents of intact kids, or those interested in such, can share info, dispel misinformation, and talk about caring for intact boys. Thanks for your understanding and support in this matter and feel free to contact me at [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns you'd like to discuss.
I totally understand why we can't discuss religious circ here - even though I wish we could. It would deteriorate quickly if it was allowed. Opposition to religious circ can be seen as an attack by mamas who choose it regardless of whether it was intended to be an attack or not.

Can someone clarify something for me please? Does this part:
Quote:
What I have seen is posts criticizing religious belief, debating it's validity.
mean you're not allowed to say you disagree with religious circ? Because inherent in that statement is the idea that you don't think the arguments for it are valid.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:05 AM
 
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Yeah, in GC's case, that thing would have to "go directly to Rel Studies, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars."

"Nooooo! Anywhere but the abyss we call Rel Studies!"

I'd seen you, Ms. Goodcents, posting awhile ago that you were going to have to have it done for religious reasons, and while I wanted to say something, I was a little afraid of getting scorched again, having just come off the recent Religious Circ Thread that Shall Live in Infamy.

Plus, you rock my socks and you're more intimidating than you think you are. Just didn't seem worth getting into a flamewar, losing a kickass MDC ally over, when the circ itself appeared inevitable anyway.

But I feel terrible now for not saying something that might have helped (whatever that woulda been! I don't know!) -- because I could tell that you sounded unsure and uncomfortable with the notion. It's just not that easy to bridge that gap, you know?

I guess there's a certain amount of trepidation on both sides-- and unluckily, with religious circ, the only anti-circ folks who openly come out against it are often the "less tactful" sort (I include myself there : ) so you don't get to hear the "gentler" voices of moderation, who are silently peeking round the corner.

If that makes any sense.

Anyway, for what little that all is worth. Peace.
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by boingo82
It's cheaper (free) to put a link in your sig, like I did.
yes, boingo, like my new homemade one? (i cobbled it together after an a hour trying to make one of sunflower's little banners work; i am just technically lame. so i went with low-tech. it's a florida inside joke, but i think it is pretty self-explanatory. but if you are dying of curiosity, here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=25741293
oh- & don't try to figure out what the scarecrow has to do with circ, i just liked it & needed a change. )

ps thanks, caloli, for finding that & posting it. a BIT more clarity (does it mean that the folks in the 'crunchy' type threads are violating the UA by posting their no-regrets, non-religious circ info or not? i am uncomfortable hitting 'report bad post' on stuff i'm not certain about- the only ones i've done have been, like, 'come to my teen sex website, XXX' . but if i am definately supposed to, i will try to start doing so. interpretation can be so difficult.)

should we start a thread, or move the pertinent parts (i am so sorry, OP!) in questions & suggestions, with a link to this forum? i am no good at committee-type stuff, & having difficulty even phrasing the relevant questions without thirty-five extraneous paragraphs.
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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Plus, you rock my socks and you're more intimidating than you think you are. Just didn't seem worth getting into a flamewar, losing a kickass MDC ally over, when the circ itself appeared inevitable anyway.



I've seen your posts too. I am actually quite surprised you'd be afraid to post anywhere, goodcents. Intimidating? Damn gurl, you're ferocious!
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DahliaRW
I wonder if we could all chip in together and buy a banner ad so that more people would see it. Just a thought.

Does anyone know how much a banner is??
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Old 02-22-2006, 03:42 PM
 
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i've pm'd lala, i am curious.
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
Yeah, in GC's case, that thing would have to "go directly to Rel Studies, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars."

"Nooooo! Anywhere but the abyss we call Rel Studies!"

Yeah I have been checking you out 80.

If I had had a healthier pregnancy last time perhaps I would have been well enough to research the topic more indepthly, and present an arguement grounded in religious thought that would have convinced my DH. But considering I damn near ended up in the hospitial on more than one occasion while my son was gestating, I am just happy I made it through the pregnancy, and that he was born healthy.

That said, maybe you should ask permission for a sticky at the top of the circ forum. It could go something like this

"While debate concerning religious circumscion is not allowed here, we wanted to offer some alternative views surrounding religious circ. You can find information concerning it here (insert links)".That way, the information is there for woman who need it, without breaking forum rules here by posting relgious issues. Also, it gives them resources they need withoutt their concerns don't get drowned in the abyss of Religious Studies.

Also, maybe there is a link in religious studies somewhere....but one thing that bothers me is that even if people choose to religiously circ some ways to do it are better than others (not 24 hours after birth, with aethestics that work, etc).

If people are convinced they are religiously bound they should be informed on how make it the least traumatic possible. I know people would argue against this, and I *understand*. But if people are going to do it anyway I would feel better knowing that people knew how long the anethstic takes to kick in, that they should wait until nursing routines are established, etc. etc.

Even though I felt more or less forced into the situation in the end, I tried my best to make it the safest possible for my son. The circ was done at home, with an topical aethestic on prior to the c-block, he was in arms etc, with only my husband and I there (I was in the bathroom really because I couldn't be there). And while none of this takes away from the guilt or regret I have, at least I know that did the best I could considering the circumstances. For lack of a better term, it was as AP as possible.
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:39 PM
 
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maybe that is a decent way to handle it (although there are still plenty of links on the board to various sites already, thank goodness), but one thing you mentioned stuck out in my head- not doing it 24 hrs after birth.

is it a religious question within the guidelines of the ua (rereading the stuff caloli posted, i think so) to ask what religion does circ then? i am honestly curious; i know 8 days for us, & most of the info i have from muslim mamas is that traditionally it is done to an older child- i have never heard of a religion that circs NEW newborns, and tend to associate that with routine infant circ, not religious. did i miss one?
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Old 02-22-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
maybe that is a decent way to handle it (although there are still plenty of links on the board to various sites already, thank goodness), but one thing you mentioned stuck out in my head- not doing it 24 hrs after birth.

is it a religious question within the guidelines of the ua (rereading the stuff caloli posted, i think so) to ask what religion does circ then? i am honestly curious; i know 8 days for us, & most of the info i have from muslim mamas is that traditionally it is done to an older child- i have never heard of a religion that circs NEW newborns, and tend to associate that with routine infant circ, not religious. did i miss one?

I know for Jewish boys it is on the 8th day. Muslims vary from culture to culture. For example in Egypt, my SIL had her son's done on the 40th day (many things cycle around the 40th day), but Indonesia for example does it near puberty. We did ours on the 8th day, following Jewish law, because in Islam you are taught to default to Jewish or Christian teachings when not enough information is at your disposal.

I know that some Christian's circ, although I don't know why, and if they do, it is usually done in the hospital before discharge. Alot of Muslims in American also do this too since there is nothing in the Quran that specifys when the circ should be done. I also think for some reason, that insurance only covers it when its in the hospital. This was our case, but I didn't care, and went out of network to have the circ done "humanely" if that is even the word.
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by goodcents
I know that some Christian's circ, although I don't know why, and if they do, it is usually done in the hospital before discharge. Alot of Muslims in American also do this too.
i would really consider that ric, not religious. (dh had his circ in the hospital, & there was no bris about it. from what i've heard from the religious mamas here they would concur. jewish parents getting their kids cut in a hospital by a non-mohel does not = bris ceremony.)

and no christian religion advocates circ, although individual christians can of course 'vote their conscience' on that one as on anything else (unless your religion forbids that & you are supposed to defer to a spiritual authority on earth.) the muslim tradition would be trickier, being more tradition, less written scripture (am i correct, muslim mamas? not at all denigrating oral tradition as of necessarily lesser authority, i know that in many religions oral tradition is highly valued. just harder to pin down on paper. please correct my vast ignorance if i have misunderstood the situation as it stands.)

wow, it feels weird discussing this here, knowing that we can mention religion within certain guidelines. i too thought it entirely taboo. uh, hope i'm getting this right!

ps thanks for answering!
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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To the OP: I, too, have always been baffled by people who practice natural birth, extended bf, cloth diaper, etc., but then turn around and circ. their sons! Don't they realize that they have just violated their sons' bodies in the most private and personal way possible?!? And WITHOUT anesthetic! :
One of my very close friends is like that. I posted about her recently. She does all of the above but ultimately decided to circ

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Originally Posted by njeb
If anyone decides to get circ'ed, it should be the owner of the penis. I have no trouble with grown men who decide to have it done. If you circ. that male as a baby, however, you are robbing him of the choice. His penis, his decision.
My mother and I were discussing the same thing this morning. It should be that persons choice to make for their own body, not someone else's choice to make for them when that person is a baby and unable to defend himself.
I am pro-choice in more ways than one.
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
the muslim tradition would be trickier, being more tradition, less written scripture (am i correct, muslim mamas? not at all denigrating oral tradition as of necessarily lesser authority, i know that in many religions oral tradition is highly valued. just harder to pin down on paper. please correct my vast ignorance if i have misunderstood the situation as it stands.)
See this is where I was conflicted as a Muslim mama. There is nothing in the Quran that states boys should be circ'ed. But there are Hadith (sayings, behaviours and examples of the Prophet Mohammed) about circ.

Many Muslims say all the guidelines you need are in the Quran, so the fact that circ isn't mentioned make it suspect to me. Many Imams are theologians, and because Christianity and Judiasm are Abrahimic religions, when enough information is not available via the Quran they study the other scriptures and gospels. The Jewish text on circ is abudantly clear, that is must be done in a specific way, by a mohel etc to be valid. *think* (although I confess I am not a 100% sure)

So yes, in that sense it is a "tradition" vs. a "religious teaching" written in the Quran. I guess for mw its this. In Islam, personal responsibility is key. There is no saviour, no confession or wiping away of sins from a priest. Your relationship with God is unique, and you alone are responsible for it. So if religious circ is a requirement, it is up to my son to forfill that obligation and not me.


I just wished I had figured that out before my first boy.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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GC
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by goodcents
See this is where I was conflicted as a Muslim mama. There is nothing in the Quran that states boys should be circ'ed. But there are Hadith (sayings, behaviours and examples of the Prophet Mohammed) about circ.

Many Muslims say all the guidelines you need are in the Quran, so the fact that circ isn't mentioned make it suspect to me. Many Imams are theologians, and because Christianity and Judiasm are Abrahimic religions, when enough information is not available via the Quran they study the other scriptures and gospels. The Jewish text on circ is abudantly clear, that is must be done in a specific way, by a mohel etc to be valid. This is where I think the religious circ in Islam began.

So yes, in that sense it is a "tradition" vs. a "religious teaching" written in the Quran. I guess for mw its this. In Islam, personal responsibility is key. There is no saviour, no confession or wiping away of sins from a priest. Your relationship with God is unique, and you alone are responsible for it. So if religious circ is a requirement, it is up to my son to forfill that obligation and not me.


I just wished I had figured that out before my first boy.

Goodcents, I am sorry. I know what it is to face the cultural expectations to circ but I don't have the added religious pressure, and I generally stay away from advocating to religious parents because I lack credibility to them. From an intactivist point of view, too, there are more web resources available to Jews than to Muslims that I know of and can point people towards if they're interested. I'm sorry if you feel like we failed you but I honestly don't know what we could have done to help you.

I do think change has to come from within Judaism and Islam - all you have to do is look at the times that circ gets brought up in the Religious Studies forum to see the scorn and opprobrium that gets heaped on the anti-circers. Apparently if you're opposed to all circumcision then at best, you're culturally insensitive, and at worst, you're anti-Semitic and ready to get another pogrom under way.

Maybe you could help this new mama who just posted? http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=415145 I just don't have any help to offer her besides pointing her toward someone like you who speaks from the voice of experience.

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