2007-09-27

And now one for the boys.....

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Just three or so weeks ago I was reading in a recent issue of The Atlantic and there was a blurbish bit about circumcision. It stuck in my mind as circumcision is one of those pet topics I'm so apt to go on and on about. I thought about posting about it but I'm still not sure the dust has settled over at the Fobcave. But then I heard of a Pressing Circumstance that made a circumcision talk necessary and since the Cicada-hosted one is still awaysaway, I thought maybe it was time to take up the ole banner and wave it about.

To start with, I am opposed to circumcision. Perhaps I should state this more strongly:

I AM OPPOSED TO CIRCUMCISION.

Yes. That's better.

I have a large number of reasons why I feel so, but today I will try to stick with the facts.

[SPOILER ALERT: The following paragraphs do NOT follow thnorm. Instead they discuss human genitalia. Those wishing to avoid such conversations are invited to leave now. That is all.]

Which brings us back to my Atlantickian blurb mentioned above--it seems a good place to start. Unfortunately, the blurbs don't seem to make the online edition so I can't reference you to their source, but here's the deal:

The uncircumcised penis of an adult male has five spots where the nerves are particularly sensitive and which are notably more sensitive than any spots on the circumcised penis. And really there's only one worth mentioning on that poor damaged fellow. The bright side is, that spot's unique to the circumcised penis. The lodestone lining is that's because the sensitive spot is where the damage was dealt. So claiming that as a bright side makes about as much sense as saying it was totally worth losing my right arm to that steamshovel cuz I get the chills when my woman licks my stump.

Crap. I've only touched on my first reason and I'm already getting rude. I apologize. But not sincerely enough to delete it.

Because it's true, isn't it? This notion that the unique pleasures of being circumcised outweigh the more numerous and demonstrably greater pleasures of being un?

Anyway, sexytime is, arguably, a "shallower" reason to pick sides on this issue. After all, isn't is true that uncircumcised men traffic in AIDS?

Um. Moving on.

What about health issues? What about men who lose their foreskins late in life do to health issues?

Fair question. If I'm not mistaken, most of those issues are hygiene-related, so unless you prospective parents are intending to neglect that portion of your child's education, week excuse.

And what if a clean person has this happen to them?

Well, what if the top half of your thumb has to be amputated when you're forty-five? Or your right ear at thirty-five? Or your anterior lobe at fifteen? Or even your tonsils at merely five? Are we going to simply start cutting off everything at birth that might possibly have a health issue later on? You're not going to have much baby left if that's the plan.

Moving on (I really don't want to spend too long on any one point less I offend...more than I would anyway...):

What about religion? I've heard people use this as a reasoning, though I can't follow it. Ignoring what's in the New Testament, I would say I as a Mormon have scripture enough to debunk that silliness.

Now onto the sticky one: aesthetics. This seems to be the one that's gotten me in the most trouble in the past.

I'm not alone in dismissing phalli as inherently lacking aesthetic appeal, but for those who like looking at the occasional wanker, here's what I have to say on the subject.

1. It's a fashion. And an American one at that. And one that seems to be fading at that.

2. The argument that the uncut will only be viewed as merely a fetish object rather than as a person with feelings while traveling with the homosexual community really doesn't do anything for me. Sorry.

3. The argument that the sight of a foreskin will terrify a virgin bride confuses me to no end. If she's a virgin bride, how much difference can it really make?

4. And besides, for virgin brides an uncircumcised penis offers, um, "natural glide." This would count as a plus.

5. And while you have that link open (and still have #3 in mind), note this: "A study (1988) of randomly selected young mothers in Iowa, where most men are circumcised, found that 76% found the circumcised penis looked more exciting. Although 88% of the women surveyed had only had experiences with circumcised penises, a majority of the 24 women with dual experience also felt this way." So there's that.

6. And to wax Mormon once again, how can a clipped private be okay, but not four earrings?

A related topic to aesthetics is the issue of "fitting in." Here are some of the potential concerns I've heard before in this regard:
    v. locker-room shower buddies

    v. Dad

    v. other white kids

    v. local kids

    v. the rest of the gay community

    v. one's own brothers
Now maybe I'm crazy, but most of these I can't even begin to believe could possibly matter. Who goes around swapping penis profiles in the first place? This wasn't part of my upbringing/coming-of-age/weekend-hobby. And even if it was part of yours, anyone who's going to let a tiny piece of skin ruin their life has deeper issues than a decision made their first month of life. Says I without any semblance of understanding or kindness. As I am sometimes wont to do.

Shame on me.

Anyway, I could go on. Especially about the issues connecting circumcision to sex. I could say things like "But the snipped can only wonder what it would be like with all their nerves intact" or accusing the some snipped of jealousy leading to another generation cut off from their----

Or I could talk about the original purpose of the modern style of circumcision which arose out of attempts to curtail masterba----

But I won't. I'm tired. I've said enough. I've probably said too much. I don't think I'll even read what I've already written. But I'll post it anyway.

Because if I manage to save one little boy from mutila--a needless medical procedure,--then it'll make me feel as though my hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'.

So to sing.

46 comments:

  1. You know you have issues, right?

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  2. http://www.nocirc.org/touch-test/bju_6685.pdf


    i believe you refered to this study

    :p

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  3. Amen. It's so sad that I'll never give birth to a boy so that I could pull out this post and read it aloud to my husband (who has other issues) every night of my pregnancy.

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  4. Living in Russia for 2 years, I saw that the vast majority of the world lives just fine without circumcision. All the doom and gloom about health and sexual problems for uncircumcised men is just superstition.

    It strikes me as arrogant for parents to make such an irreversible decision for aesthetic reasons only, especially when the main motivation is to "look like everyone else". Since when did conformity become such a virtue? I sure hope my children will be strong enough to be proud of their uniqueness - otherwise, they won't be very happy Mormons...

    I'm willing to grant an exception to people who circumcise based on religious belief - certainly a Mormon can't complain about other religions' expression of covenants. But for the rest of us whose religions don't prescribe circumcision, the practice is wrong on so many levels: it's based on superstition, it violates the sovereignty of the child's agency, and it's performed in an attempt to conform to some imagined norm (which pathetically is a small minority when viewed from a global perspective.) I'm astonished that the practice still has such staunch defenders.

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  5. way to go!

    you're reminding me of why I never post anything controversial- too much backlash when I touched on Santa and vaccines. People ought to read more carefully. and refrain from calling you up to pick a fight.

    ok, back on topic, I can't understand why anybody would put a child under risk of a medical procedure and complications without a damn good reason. it's irreversible. baby is only a few days old. and you'd putting him through the pain and risk because you want him to look like dad? hey guess what, babies and little boys are not going to look like dad no matter what you do!

    And given the falling circ rates (50-50ish now, varies by state), he's not going to look like all his friends either way, and SO WHAT if he doesn't? Besides, who would even know? what would it matter? ugh.


    Ok, I just hope my estranged MIL doesn't find me here! don't want to get a call a year from now about this.

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  6. i think that when the insurance companies starting classifying it as cosmetic surgery, that started making people actually think about it. hit 'em in the pocketbook and all that. =)

    plus, why would you want to mutilate the poor wee thing? it's so cute! (spoken as a mommy)

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  7. I would just like to point out that nine out of ten uncircumcised American men speak rather frequently and vehemently of the evils of circumcision. I'm not saying you have some kind of inferiority complex or anything, I'm just saying I don't feel the need to defend my lack of foreskin all the time. That's all.

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  8. Mr. FOB: Just curious - who is the "you" in your previous comment referring to?
    'Cause I'm certainly not being defensive in my attacks against circumcision...

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  9. Mr. Fob again: ok, so I went and read the post Theric linked to on your blog, so I think I got the antecedent confusion straightened out. My point still stands, though... =)

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  10. .

    Joel: I can't check and see if it is or not, but that's an excellent one. Thanks for the leg up (npi)!

    And, um, who are you?

    And, Fobbie, I think RC has a pretty good point: I'm much more offensive than I am defensive.

    Everyone else: Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Luvya!

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  11. I would be interested in doing research about circumcision and see if those who have been circumcised feel it to be an issue. If they had a choice would they stay that way? I would predict that while there may be a few unhappily circumcised men, for most it is a non-issue. I doubt the majority of them feel "broken" or "mutilated" or somehow less of a man.

    Also, unless a man was circumcised in adulthood, he can't compare his sexual pleasure with or without the foreskin. And if his wife is a virgin, she has nothing to compare to. So whether her husband has been circumcised or not, their situation is normal for them both.

    Personally, being a virgin bride, I never once have felt cheated.





    hope that wasn't tmi.

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  12. .

    No, they're good points. And research is still out on most points, although definitely, adult males circumsized after commencing sexual activity prefer the old way -- excepting those who had it done because they couldn't stand either the uncut aesthetics or the not-fitting-in thing.

    Really, it's all over for adults, as far as I can tell. The real issue is the babies. That's why I bark about this from time to time. What's done is done, yes, but what has not yet been done has not yet been done. So it's not too late to end what someone -- I'm afraid it might have been me -- called the foreskin holocaust.

    And while for most it probably is a nonissue, not for all. I feel sorry for those poor chaps who are so worked up about it that they go to great lengths (npi) to stretch skin into a faux foreskin--of course this does nothing for nerve regeneration, but does, I guess, restore the uncut aesthetic.

    None of this changes the fact that, well, no matter what, it still looks like a penis.

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  13. Don't worry, RC, that was entirely directed at Theric. He counts as nine men all by himself. :)

    Theric, anyone who knows football (and I don't, so I'm making this up) knows the best defense is a good offense.

    And Silly Marie wins the prize for making the best point of all: For all the cries of "mutilation" and "trauma," 99% of those of us who were "subjected" to circumcision as infants don't seem to be very bothered by it now. And yes, that statistic is based on scientific evidence--I figure I know at least a hundred circumcised men and Lunkwill is the only one who complains about it.

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  14. So, as a Mom who decided to circumcise, I think it's pretty rash to say that it's such a terrible thing! The conclusion in the medical community is: though there have been MANY studies performed on both sides of the issue (ahem...you only mentioned those supporting your ideals!!) there is NOT any conclusive evidence to support the claim that an uncircumcised OR curcumcised penis is more or less sensitive. There IS conclusive evidence that curcumcision reduces the risk of UTI's during the first year of life (1 in 1000 vs. 1 in 100 in uncircumcised boys). It's also a fact that an uncircumcised penis needs more cleaning,etc. once the foreskin is retracteable. Most uncircumcised boys are able to fully retract their foreskin by the age of 5 (though it is true that some take a lot longer). Have you ever seen the hygiene of a 5 year old boy?? Have you ever seen the hygiene of a 12 year old boy!??? As one who has brothers, I have, and I don't care how much my mom prompted and taught, etc. they were not the best at cleaning themselves. It didn't seem too exciting to me to be helping my son wash himself well into the double digits to stave off infection.
    I personally don't care if people choose to circumcise or not, but there ARE definitely justifiable reasons why you would. Plus, it's not the horrific procedure it once was...our little guy didn't really care!

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  15. You slightly misinterpret the sensitivity study. It's not that there are 5 special spots on the foreskin that are sensitive. The WHOLE thing is wonderfully sensitive. Of the 17 points on the penis chosen to be systematically evaluated in the sample men, the 5 MOST sensitive spots were all on the foreskin.

    Also "improper-hygiene" is mis-understood. The child's foreskin has problems when TOO MUCH is done to clean it, not too little. Every mammal on earth evolved a foreskin before there was surgery or even soap.

    Sorry to those who can't admit that they harmed their child, but it's a fact. To those men cut at as infants who can't believe they're missing something, sorry you are.

    Around 200,000 men are non-surgically restoring their foreskins. It's very easy and very worthwhile.

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  16. I can't decide if that last post is an advertisement or not. Anyway... I didn't know people still circumscribed their children until I was like... 17. So, who cares about all that fitting in crap. I don't know any kids that looked around in the locker room. At least... none that didn't get beat up for it afterward.

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  17. .

    Asmond! Hi! Long time no see!

    To Silly and Fob, my points have nothing to do with current adults, but future adults. You're absolutely right that it's too late for you / your husband. But that's no reason to perpetuate a mistake into the next generation--for whom it is not yet too late (referring to the unborn).

    Cindy, I'm not really won over but your arguments either. Incidence of head lice goes down among the bald, but I'm not taking the family in for electrolysis on Monday. Broken noses will be less common among my kids if I get them cartilectomies too. No nose, nothing to break. The logic doesn't wash.

    Also: hygiene: it's not a big deal. I swear.

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  18. But here's the problem. Because most adult circumcised males are fine with the way they are, they are highly likely to circumcise their children. They don't feel it was a problem for them. They are happy with how they are. Therefore, they see no reason not to circumcise their boys. Even after listening to fine arguments such as those you presented.

    I personally don't think that it's wrong to circumcise, but I don't think it's wrong to choose to not circumcise.

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  19. I am the wife of a circumcised man and mother of 2 uncircumcised sons ages 22 and 24. The decision not to circumcise was mine, but my husband did not oppose it. Not looking like daddy was never a problem. After my first son was born, we got a bill from the doctor that included a fee for circumcision. I volunteered to bring my baby in so they could take a look at his intact penis. When I was in the hospital with my second son, a nurse came into my room and said Time to pick up baby or something cute and flippant. She actually had my son and was headed for the door when I realized that the rooming in hours were not over and asked her why she was taking him. She said Oh it’s time for him to be circumcised! I said give me back that baby. He is NOT going to be circumcised – it was a close call and the doctor would have been in big trouble, since I hadn’t signed the authorization for the procedure.

    Another more recent anecdote from nursing school: I was in my OB clinical on a slow day and my instructor had an Icelandic midwife come to talk with a few of us who didn’t have patients. When the time came for Q&A I asked about circumcision. She spoke out very strongly against it and said that abortion and circumcision were procedures that she could not in good conscience participate in.

    My two cents…

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  20. .

    Thanks, Mary.

    Silly--I don't understand. This is a doing we're talking about. If it were the opposite, I could understand. Not doing something because not having done it was never a big deal makes sense. But doing something that is regarded as "not a big deal" doesn't. If it's such not-a-big-deal, why do it then? If it's not a big deal, why the need to do this to a child? I can't understand that reason at all.

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  21. .

    This is interesting: Americans spend $200 million a year on circumcisions. Perfect.

    And, Cindy, the stat you quote of the increased chance of urinary tract infection is roughly the same as the risk of having the circumcision wound be infected.

    Also, the urinary infections meatitis and meatal stenosis are pretty much exclusively the domain of the cut. Uncut boys and men just don't get them.

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  22. It works for some people. They feel more comfortable with it. They feel comfortable with who they are. If they have never experienced discomfort or pain because of it, they're unlikely to feel it a bad decision. "And if it's good enough for me, it's good enough for my son." Sure it may not be 100% sound logic, but that's why many baby boys will continue to be circumcised.

    Like I said, I'm impartial. I can see both sides. I am leaving this one to Matt for our sons.

    He's never experienced problems because of his circumcision. On the other hand, if I'm not mistaken, one of our mutual Brass relatives actually did have problems resulting from his not being circumcised. Sure his problems may have been unusual, but I think it made a lasting impression.

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  23. .

    It's interesting that we hear more stories about problems resulting from not circumcising, rather than the other way around, when my (admittedly unthorough) reading suggests that they are equally numerous. I suppose this results from a bias stemming from tradition.

    But it's amazing this became the traditional at all. The 1800s campaign against masturbation must have been really wild to have such long-lasting effects.

    I wonder if there's a popular-history book on this. There should be. I don't know if I would do more than flip through it, but there must be an unlimited number of fascinating stories.

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  24. It may also reflect a bias in the reading you're doing.

    The logic behind Silly's point does not explain why people have their sons circumcised. It explains why it's offensively ridiculous for others to accuse those people of being horrible parents or for subjecting their children to mutilation. The fact that most adult men, cut or uncut, don't have a problem with their status is evidence that it's a non-issue. Those who continue to rant about the evils of circumcision come across about as reasonable as those who would rant about the evils of dressing your child in blue or having your child's hair cut.

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  25. .

    And that's precisely what bothers me--that people give the issue just as little thought.

    I think the reason uncircumcised men are so horrified by this is simple: We can't image being without all the most sensitive pieces of ourselves. And we feel awful for all those who think that what they've lost simply would have made no difference to them. It might make it easier to believe that, fine, but to believe it so much that to prove that belief the same loss in inflicted upon another generation strikes me as horrifying.

    Let me here point out that I'm not unreasonable? It's your religion? Fine. You have a genetic predisposition to problems? Fine. But to do it just to do it is thoughtless. I can't see any more neutral adjective I can apply without feeling like a liar.

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  26. My brother told me about a book a while back that put forth the concept (with evidence to support it) that with greater knowledge comes a greater level of objective happiness but a lesser level of subjective happiness. In other words, what you don't know really can't hurt you. There's no point in fighting for the objective happiness of unborn children who will experience no greater subjective happiness for all your efforts.

    Human beings do lots of things just to do them. It only matters when doing those things leads to some consequence for the individuals involved.

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  27. .

    But I don't see how we can argue that there are no consequences here. A child cut "just because" could very well have a lower subjective happiness later on, when he learns what he has lost. If he remains ignorant of this, maybe it's no problem. But if we can trust Tlctugger about 200,000 American men trying to restore their foreskins, then we have to suppose not all of them are remaining blissfully ignorant.

    I don't know if foreskin restoration will remain a growing trend (honestly, its very existence surprises me), but I fully expect the backlash against circumcision to continue to grow. When our kids grow up, I can't imagine it will be considered kosher at all, except in specific, well defined circumstances.

    I'm reminded of a comment on your post where Savvymom said she thought it was bad, but did it anyway, hoping her son would not in turn do it to her kids. I just don't see how we can countenance that kind of thinking.

    All actions have consequences, and we should only commit acts where the omission of said acts would result in worse consequences. This strikes me as pretty self-evident.

    But apparently, what strikes me as self-evident is vain demagoguery to others.

    So it goes.

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  28. Once you acknowledge that the negative consequences of circumcision are negligible--and they are, because the objective fact that you have supposedly more sensitive areas than I do does absolutely nothing to affect the subjective happiness my own sensitive areas provide, regardless of the latest fetish 200,000 gullible American men have apparently been convinced to pick up--then the various reasons to circumcise--potential health benefits, aesthetic appeal, even simply the fact that I want my son to look more like me--become reason enough to commit the act. None of these reasons is convincing to you because you hold onto the illusion that the negative consequences of circumcision matter to the individual, but once you recognize that it's a neutral decision the most minor of reasons to do it is sufficient. In reality, no one does anything without a reason. If their reason isn't good enough for you, then fine, don't do it. But don't accuse people of horrible things simply because you don't understand their motivation.

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  29. .

    I think you're misunderstanding me. I'm not talking about penises who have already been dealt this blow. I'm talking about penises yet unscathed. And I don't see how you can presume to know what the owners of those penises will feel when they come of age. It seems awful presumptuous. Those aren't your penises! Anyway. I'm not trying to convince everyone I'm right. I'm just trying to get people to question their own assumptions.

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  30. .

    I've just had something of an epiphany regarding why I feel so strongly about this. It boils down to agency.

    When we circumcise a five-day old, he has no say in the matter. He cannot express an opinion, and what is being done is irreversible.

    Now it could be argued that not cutting is also removing agency as there is no time in life when the removal of the foreskin is so (relatively) painfree. But it's a weak argument: the choice is still there, even if more is required to make it.

    So what it really comes down to is making a choice for -- and thus removing a choice from -- another person.

    And it's not like deciding, say, what town to raise the kid in. Not all agency-limiting is created equal.

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  31. Theric: I have to say your anthropomorphized penises made me smile.

    But I think you should be trying to convince everyone that you're right, because you are. I can't imagine describing circumcision to an alien (or a Neanderthal) - it's a bizarre practice rooted in the most negative of human attributes: superstition and conformity.

    Anyone who doesn't see this is just being defensive. ;)

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  32. .

    You're right of course--to an outsider, this might seem worse than what the Flatheads did and not so bad as footbinding, but it's all the same sort of thing.

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  33. Recession cone, are you forgetting that it was started by a commandment from God?? Even though the modern form may have been a trend or campaign (which I haven't looked into), it was in practice far before then (and yes, I realize it is no longer commanded in many circles, but in some it is still considered so). Th., we make a LOT of agency-removing decisions for our kids that are just as bad/good as circumcision. Take breastfeeding, for example. The health benefits are astounding and yet many mothers choose not to do it (for good and bad reasons) - are you going to speak out as strongly and condemningly about that? How about banking cord blood? Choosing developmentally appropriate activities? Etc. Etc. There are SO many studies that tell us what we should and should not be doing as parents - we'd go crazy if we tried to make every decision 100% correct for our child (our decisions would then be incorrect because we'd be stressed parents, which is said to stunt developmental growth). I think the agency argument is not really appropriate because of this - it's a guarantee that we have to make those sorts of decisions as parents.

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  34. .

    Granted. I think was really grates me about this is that if we consider all the things mentioned as sins for a moment, some are sing of commission and some are sins of omission. The former are paths we must actively pursue. The latter, not so much so.

    As for the commandment thing, it's not any more--at least not for most Americans. Yet America may be the most circumcisiony nation in the world!

    It's also one of the most Christian nations in the world, and you can't stumble through the New Testament and come out believing circumcision is recommended by deity anymore. Quite the opposite in fact.

    If it's a religious commandment, fine (though Jews, for instance, don't lop the whole thing off).

    If you have a specific, legitimate medical reason to remove this particular foreskin, also fine.

    But otherwise I just don't see why anyone would. There is absolutely no reason.

    Other than superstition (which I'll define broadly to include things like foreskins-cause-AIDS, foreskins-are-unclean, foreskins-cause-pain, foreskins-lead-to-masturbation and other such unsupported whatnot) and the everybody-else-is-doing-it, I mean.

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  35. I would just like to point out (again) that "I just don't see why anyone would" does not equal or even imply "there is absolutely no reason." You have, in fact, acknowledged several reasons people have for doing it. The fact that you don't find the reasons valid means absolutely nothing to the people who do.

    The reason I'm so bothered by this whole debate, I think, is that it's just another instance of dogmatic anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-is-stupid rhetoric--whether you're of the pro- or anti-circ camp (though I have to say I see more dogmatism on the anti side; few people are going around saying that parents who don't snip their sons are evil). It's about as logical as debating religious beliefs.

    I would also like to point out that anybody who believes they will get unbiased information on circumcision from a site called www.nocirc.org or from a guy who's selling fetish toys that restore circumcised foreskins needs to go back to Research 101.

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  36. .

    Um. The stuff I've linked to at nocirc have their genesis elsewhere. And the only stuff I've referred to the "fetishist" have been clearly marked as coming from him without any suggestion it's gospel truth. I find the regeneration thing kind of strange myself.

    But would you agree that the arguments for circumcision only make sense in a culture where circumcision already has momentum? I don't think my reference to, for instance, flat heads is at all off. It's cultural-specific and to claim there are any deeper rationales seems pretty unsupportable to me.

    Here, at the end of the day, is where I stand on this issue:

    I'm perfectly happy agreeing to disagree with any individual when it comes to circumcision.

    But I'm not going to agree with a larger, societal behavior that is most often perpetrated by people who have never considered why they do it.

    And based on the number of people who have changed their minds on this issue after I've shared my reasoning with them, I think that
    (for all the people I've annoyed) I've performed a service.

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  37. I think Cindy is saying that some of this anti-circ stuff applies even in historical Jewish circumcision, and in being os negative about it, we're forgetting or irreverencing the One who introduced it. With all the modern reasons against circumcising, how bad can the core idea be if the Almighty once mandated the same?

    I don't have a great comeback without quibbling that ancient and modern circumcision differ and listing my personal "here's where else God was wrong" heresies.

    anybody hold a position where circumscizing in history was holy or at least A-OK and yet now that it's optional it's an awful/mutilating/anti-agency mistake?

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  38. I will agree that most reasons (I won't call them arguments because I don't know of anyone who's trying to convince you to circumcise your kid) make sense only within our cultural context if you'll agree that we actually live in a cultural context and rational people make rational decisions based on that context every day.

    If you feel that saving unborn children from a fate that doesn't seem to bother the majority of us who live with it justifies the use of rhetoric that villanizes millions and millions of parents--including many of your blog readers, I'm sure--then obviously I can't stand in your way, nor would I if I could because ultimately that's my point: where I see dogmatic, hurtful rhetoric, you see altruism, and it's not my place to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. (It's just my place to use holier-than-thou rhetoric in a futile attempt to make you feel guilty about doing what you do.)

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  39. (And while I acknowledge a parallel in what you and I are doing, I maintain that there is a difference of a degree between accusing someone of using hurtful rhetoric and accusing someone of mutilating a child.)

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  40. .

    Really, all I'm interested in is getting people to actually think about it before they do it. And to think about it from a position of facts.

    As for the religious aspect, Cchrissyy, I've actually blogged on this before (sort of). I think in a brutal world, a brutal sign of covenant was necessary. And: if we accept common wisdom that men think with their ahems, then where better to tie a string?

    But I don't think it's irreverent to celebrate the ending of that awful ordinance through the redemption of Christ. I suspect we are rather expected to.

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  41. .

    Also, it's bugging me that I seem to have been painted as an attacker. I never bring this topic up in conversation and never say much more than the facts and my position.

    But Thmusings is my forum; no one is forced to read it. I can let the rhetoric fly.

    And if "there is a difference of a degree between accusing someone of using hurtful rhetoric and accusing someone of mutilating a child" is true then there is a much more substantial difference of degree between using hurtful rhetoric and mutilating a child. That's obvious of course, but it's a fact without which the prior statement could not exist.

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  42. Wow. Does this post hold the record as Thmusing with the Most Comments?

    And I thought our society was AFRAID of these sorts of conversations. Silly me....

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  43. .

    I think so. It certainly holds the record for the most days comments continued to be posted.

    And although I've made the point that no one is required to comment here, noting a few who haven't makes it pretty certain that they're not reading these days.

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  44. There was no way I could possibly read all the comments. I just want to say that when the time comes, there will be no debate on my blog. There is no debate as far as I'm concerned. My baby boys will remain intact.

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  45. .

    Good for you.

    And yes, I am being judgmental.

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