In yesterday’s post I shared a private message that was sent to me, and it included this line:
“… but may I (politely) ask that you have a little more respect for those of us who have made the decision to circumcise for religious reasons?”
and I wrote about how I will not respect the choice to cut a boy’s penis.
But there’s another layer to that person’s note: a request that I respect an evil choice because it was for religious reasons.
If it is morally reprehensible to fly a plane into a building and kill thousands of people, why should it be okay to commit a mass murder for religious reasons?
If it is wrong to deny a minor child necessary medical treatment, how can it be okay to deny a child medical treatment for religious reasons?
If it is wrong to beat a child, how can it be okay to beat a child for religious reasons?
I mean, seriously — think about it. If a behavior toward someone else is evil on its face, how can that evil behavior be made less evil just because someone tucks it under an umbrella of religion?
If murder (of 1 or 1,000 or 1,000,000) is wrong, how can it be considered less wrong just because someone does it for religious reasons?
Just re-reading that person’s obnoxious request makes me even more angry than before. Why should I make special exception to overlook someone’s evil choices just because they did it under the delusions of religious conviction?
I respect people’s right to make wrong choices, as this requesting parent has done, but I do not respect the choice itself because I believe it is a demonstrably wrong choice. It is demonstrable that the parent does not own the penis they want to have cut; the penis belongs to the child, and until the child is old enough to decided for himself, there is no one else who should be permitted to perform any sort of body modification that is not medically necessary.
If someone can provide an evidence-based scientific reason for automatically removing part of a boy’s penis at birth, please provide it.
What about “removing the foreskin doesn’t inhibit the function of the penis, so it doesn’t matter”? Actually removing the foreskin DOES change things by desensitizing the head of the penis. And think about it — the appendix is a vestigial organ that has no practical purpose, but we don’t arbitrarily remove everyone’s appendix, do we?
Where did chopping a boy’s penis come from in the first place? Religion. People have made up nonsensical justifications (health, cosmetic/aesthetic, familial similarity, tradition, ect.), but it all came from religion. Same with FGM — religion and superstition.
That’s no reason to keep doing it. In fact, because of its religious roots, that is all the more reason to STOP cutting up boys’ penises. As a society we need to stop allowing the relics of ancient religious superstition to control what we do in modern society, enlightened by centuries of scientific and medical learning.