Religious Mutilation

Last year the Dutch banned religious slaughter of animals. Now Germany is to be congratulated for banning circumcision (http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/06/27/germany-circumcision-idINDEE85Q0GN20120627). Predictably all the same religious groups that complained about not being allowed to cause unnecessary pain to animals are now affronted that they can no longer cause pain to small boys. They conveniently see it as another attack on their religious freedoms and ignore the real reason for the ban: infants cannot decide for themselves whether or not they want pieces of themselves cut off as part of an arcane, outmoded ritual. There are no medical reasons to cut off a foreskin. While Herodotus suggested over two thousand years ago that circumcision was done for the sake of cleanliness I believe that, in the twenty-first century, we are not only able to wash behind our ears, but behind our foreskins as well. If an adult voluntarily consents to have things snipped off that is different but to subject an infant to this practice is unacceptable. Perhaps we should bring back witch burning and human sacrifice? Female circumcision was outlawed in the US in 1996. Why should male circumcision be any different?

Dr. F. Bunny

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