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Posted at 03:08 PM ET, 07/06/2012

PostScript: To cut or not to cut? Readers have feelings about circumcision

It’s a hot and heavy July day outside the bunker where we can’t see it. Everyone knows no news happens in the summertime, especially Friday afternoons the week of a holiday, so we’re going to sip caffeinated margaritas and lie in our escapist hammock and talk about little baby penises.

That’s because the comments are also hot and heavy in response to Michael Gerson’s column criticizing the recent ruling in Germany that criminalizes infant circumcisions. People are intensely divided on the issue, except if they don’t care and think everyone who cares so much is weird.

daroldb1 leads that charge:

Most of the comments here are weird. It’s none of anybody’s business whether to circumcise or not except the parents. Don’t you people have anything else to take up your time? Good grief, get a hobby or a pet.

Welcome to the internet, Darold! Your business s our hobby.

As usual, PostScript has learned a lot from the comments section. One bit of knowledge that has been thrust upon her — without the awareness that she was consenting to learning it — is that the term “cheese pocket” exists. She wishes there were laws about maturely consenting to learning about pocket cheese, though at her current rate of maturation PostScript would be ready for this knowledge at around age 206. Pocket cheese (aka cheese pocket) is apparently not a good thing, and it is apparently related to alleged but unproven supposed potential hygienic problems involving the uncircumcised male.

*Long sip of caffeinated margarita*

Okay! Here we go. We’ve got some anti-circumcisioners.

MJR3 goes straight for hyperbole:

While we’re at it, let’s accept child sacrifice as well.

Tommy Twhochips notes there are plenty of religious practices Western countries already ban:

So it is an ancient — read, barbaric and superstitious — tradition. One could as well argue for stoning adulterers, lopping off limbs, etc. Oh wait, they actually do those things, where the Taliban or the Wahabists rule.

Gchapinjd also says that out of context, the practice would already be illegal:

We are talking about the removal of body parts here! We are talking about slicing off healthy, sensitive tissue from a child who is too young to consent — something current law in the United States prohibits people from doing to their daughters.

And we’ve got some pros.

Andre wonders where the line can be drawn on refusing parents the right to make medical decisions for their children:

Are any of the “enlightened people” writing against circumcision actual parents who, just to be consistent, refused to vaccinate their children so as to give them the right to choose?
If not, can you please rationalize this for me?
Circumcision is a denial of the child’s rights, but vaccination (which bears an inherent risk and deprives the child of the right to die from a childhood disease) is not?

Lyle agrees that children just are not and cannot be free to make such important decisions:

If coercion is the problem in the parent-child relationship, why doesn’t the State just take children away from their parents at birth to guarantee the full self-determination of the child?

And we’ve got some compromisers (!):

alderpond can see medical reasons that justify circumcision, but not religious:

Circumcision is the last blood sacrifice still in practice, if you are doing it for a religious reason. Medical circumcision is another thing.

and twr1985 can envision religious reasons, but not medical:

We need to stop and ask ourselves why we automatically perform circumcisions on millions of babies born in the US every year for no religious reason. Obviously, we haven’t been doing this for over a century to reduce the transmission of HIV, especially when there are much easier ways [to do that].

B etsys2003 alludes to the only thing that really convinces PostScript either way:

It’s rare, but there have certainly been cases of circumcisions gone wrong that have had real bodily harm.

Okay, yes. PostScript cannot imagine having to explain that to her child.

Luckily, she won’t have to, according to alderpond:

If you are a woman, you really have no say in the matter as your plumbing is different.

So it’s back to trying on bathing suits and saying AACK! for PostScript this weekend. Whew.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:08 PM ET, 07/06/2012

 
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