Here I am not going to dissect
passages, verses, etc, simply be more generalized in how I look
at religion and circumcision. I don't claim to be extremely knowledgeable
in this area, capable of properly dissecting various verses, so
I am not going to try. Here I will briefly look at tradition/culture
of religion, something that has been sought after for generation
upon generation, and even today. People want to be able to follow
the religion they believe without being persecuted... stoned,
tortured, killed, etc. On the flip side of this, you have people
that don't want to be harmed by another person or group practicing
their religion. Freedom of religion, should protect people in
both scenarios, but what if it is a parent practicing their religion
upon their child? Where is the limit? Food choices, movies, books,
education, dating, sex, piercings, sacrifice rituals, genital cutting.
When do parenting choices and practicing religion go to far, what
Not many people would argue against, "everyone deserves the
right to choose their own religion". However, this doesn't
mean exposing your child to your religion is wrong, just that
everyone should be given a choice about what they want to believe...
be able to spiritually search out and find out where they belong.
Showing them your beliefs and religion is fine, if later they
decide to go a different way they can easily do so. However, permanently
changing the body, by definition, isn't something that can be
reversed... by doing so you are saying, "this is what we
believe, you cannot escape it, your opinion doesn't matter".
I know people don't like to look at it that way, they just want
what is best for their child... but fail to realize the boundary
they just crossed. Also, even people following the same religion
have many different views, so even if your child believes in your
religion, they could differ in certain beliefs.
Notice, no where in the above paragraph is circumcision mentioned,
it has been left open to any permanent alteration. To keep perspective,
instead of circumcision (something you may currently be comfortable
with), imagine we are talking about something else done as an
infant... like eyebrow removal (permanent), removing male nipples,
index fingernail removal, scarification, tattoos, female sunna
circumcision (removal/trim of the labia and clitoral hood), etc, and see how you feel (all done with minimal/no
pain meds). Are you starting to see why people think the choice
should be left up to the kid? At this point, you may be thinking,
yea but those examples would be illegal, male circumcision isn't!
You are definitely correct, but the basic violation is the same.
Besides, "its not currently illegal" isn't really a
reason why it should be legal. If there were large medical
benefits, maybe... but there isn't, especially for infants.
Not entirely separate from religion, the push for circumcision
can be one of tradition, it is done because the father was done,
and his father was done, etc. Although medical/personal data exists,
they are often ignored and the biggest push is one of "it
worked for me" or pressure from the family. What the person
has experienced and lived with is what is comfortable. This can
be a powerful motivation... however, what must be remembered is
the responsibility to your child, what is best for them, and performing
unnecessary cosmetic surgery isn't on that list... there are already
enough issues with body image and cosmetic surgeries.
Everyone deserves the right to make decisions about their own
bodies and religion they follow, not having a choice can cause psychological damage.
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