Just Making A Point.

It's sometimes appalling to see how much injustice is done to little children under the garb of religious customs and traditions or medical myths. I am not against any religion, or harbour no disrespect for followers of a particular religion. Neither do I say that steps shouldn't be taken to preempt diseases like HIV/AIDS. But circumcision when it is unnecessary, especially when performed on children who are perfectly healthy with something that they have on them naturally, is unjustified and cruel in my view. Just like medical science provides ample proof that circumcision leads to reduced chances of infection, medical journals are also replete with articles on how risky a practice it is, and how it could actually double the risk. Being clean and healthy as an adult depends on the child, not the parents, just like each and every decision in life the child goes on to make as an adult. So why persist with infant circumcision? Isn't it a violation of human rights? I am not here to preach, just to put forth my opinion and what I think of infant circumcision. Thank you for reading and commenting.
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1 Response Jan 21, 2013

I think I should say, at this stage anyway, leave it to the parents. I think a 'scientific morality' can be as oppressive as any other. I also think that you describe something of the complexity of the situation. The scientific evidence is not clear one way or the other. Circumcision may contribute to preventing the spread of Aids but it is not clear how. Some religions include circumcision among their practices, though they are not clear why. I suspect the impulse may be sacrificial as well as connected with sexual intercourse and as a sign of maturity. Boys seem to be circumcised in the US in extremely large numbers as they are also in the Philippines. The question as to whether boys should be circumcised does not seem to be one that can be settled yet by legislation.
One parallel may be the gradual withering away of the use of corporal punishment at home and at school. Forty years ago it was widespread in the UK and elsewhere in the world. The legislation that now prevents it came at the end of the process of rejection of spanking/caning etc rather than at the beginning, following a widespread recognition that it was wrong. Circumcising infant boys may come to be universally regarded in the same light. That might be a time for legislation.
Of course, it is entirely appropriate to raise the question and in the terms you do. For my part, I should say, 'I do not know'; but then I am not circumcised and circumcision is not widely practised in the UK. It is interesting, though, that at the end of the summer almost every year, the newspaper I read contains a long article about circumcision, though none that I recall has come to a definite decision about how its appropriateness is to be judged.
Sorry to have gone on for so long.