Anglicanism and circumcision

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Melkite, Aug 30, 2022.

  1. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't think male infants should circumcised unless a paediatrician/paediatric surgeon recommends it for a medical reason.

    I am glad I reached adulthood without a part of my anatomy being removed for non-medical reasons.

    I appreciate the procedure is easier for infants but I still don't think they should be circumcised unless there is a definite medical need.

    I have always had a big problem with understanding God's demand to have boys circumcised. Why create us with a particular anatomical structure and then demand it be cut off. It should also be borne in mind that when this was commanded by God the procedure would have been far more dangerous.

    I would not have it banned for Jews and Muslims and I would not have anyone try to dictate to me to stop a practice of my faith. However, I still feel it's unnecessary unless the medical need for it to be done outweighs the risk of the procedure itself.
     
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  2. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    We had two sons, and we couldn’t think of a compelling reason to circumcise them. Maybe there’s some health benefit, but it’s marginal, and honestly if the reason is to prevent the spread of HIV then they have bigger problems.

    the one issue I had us that I am circumcised myself, so at first there was a little bit of uncertainty as to how to instruct them in hygiene.
     
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  3. Melkite

    Melkite Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with each of your points.
     
  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    To those who oppose circumcision of infants, do you oppose infant baptism as well?
     
  5. Melkite

    Melkite Member

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    I would argue that's not a good comparison for a few reasons. Baptism doesn't cut a part of your body off. An adult can grow up and reject their baptism, and still have all of their body intact. At least materially, they lose nothing by renouncing their faith and baptism. Circumcsion prevents one from doing that. An apostate Jew can never remove the mark of the covenant that was imposed on them.

    Some might argue that someone who was baptized as an infant has lost the ability to be entirely free from their baptism. That is true, but if one doesn't believe in baptism, then all they had was a dunk in a pool or some water poured over their head. If someone who wants to renounce their baptism is mad about it, then they actually believe baptism is and does what Christianity says it does. That's not a true lack of belief, but rather a rebellion against God, which is an entirely different problem. One can truly believe circumcision does nothing that it is said to do spiritually, on the other hand, but still suffer all the physical loss that circumcision entails.
     
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  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    What is the loss here, exactly? A bit of skin? My, my, my...what makes for tragedy in the first world.

    I can tell you from experience, I've never missed it. And I certainly have no memory of whatever trauma it allegedly imparts.

    Now a friend of mine and her British husband refused to have their son circumcised as an infant for all the reasons mentioned in this thread. After several infections throughout his childhood, their son finally got circumcised under doctor's orders. The whole ordeal was terribly unpleasant for him and he was left with many bad memories. So, I don't want to say all of that could have been avoided had the parents been more sensible, but I'm thinking it.
     
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  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Goes back to my medical reasons for it.
     
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  8. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    I do think it might be worth adding to the thread that the US has a particularly unique perspective on the medical benefits of circumcision.

    In Australia only 15% of men are circumcised, and most of them are over the age of 60. The Royal College of Physicians states that the benefits no longer warrant routine circumcision and classify it as a cosmetic surgery. Some states have stopped providing the surgery for free at birth (obviously if its medically necessary it's still free). By comparison 81% of American men are circumcised. There's something beyond "health benefits" going on there - it's a cultural norm pseudo-justified by health benefits. And it's not like there is anything wrong with that (although Rexlion's story makes me incredibly uncomfortable), but it's no longer necessary with today's hygiene standards.
     
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Our doctors literally recommend it so I am not so sure how much of of a cultural norm it is.
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing from the way this thread is going that the 'sacrament' of circumcision is completely misunderstood or not understood at all, by anyone who has so far posted an opinion.

    Christians, according to the Apostolic advice from St. Paul in the New Testament, are no longer compelled to undergo this sacramental procedure for the simple reason that the grace signified by it is conferred through baptism, either as adults or as infants, both boys and girls, no distinction, so there is no necessity for both baptism and circumcision to take place, for any religious reason. Just baptism is sufficient sacramental, symbolic and metaphorical ceremonial to signify a life dedicated to Christ through the Holy Spirit, and made Holy, set apart by God, to perform his divine purposes upon earth.

    There may also, though, be good medical reasons for circumcision to be performed for some male infants or children or even some adults. Such circumstances should be identified in patients and procedures advised and carried out, by appropriately medically qualified persons.

    The same strictures should also apply to religious, ritualistic circumcisions carried out in !st World countries, in the faiths that still practice such, so that the rituals are carried out with the least possible injury or danger of infection, to the male patients. Female circumcision should be completely banned, no exceptions anywhere.
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Do they charge a fee. If so how much might this be influencing their enthusiasm for performing the op? :hmm:
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  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, I can attest that I wish, every time I ride my bicycle, that I had been left uncircumcised. The only solution is to change into much tighter underwear before riding. Friction... oh, for that extra layer of skin..... :blush:
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I am very sure the doctors don't do it for free!!! :laugh:
     
  14. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    That's what I mean by "pseudo-justified". They recommend it because it's a norm to recommend it. If you bathe your child every day then the health benefits are statistically insignificant.
     
  15. Clayton

    Clayton Active Member

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    The allure of cycling is lost on me. Any hobby that involves that much chafing just doesn’t seem worth it.
     
  16. Melkite

    Melkite Member

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    Most of the errogenous nerve endings of the penis are on the inner lining of the foreskin, concentrated on the underside and at the inner orifice. Most of this sensory tissue is removed in every circumcision, and depending on how much of the inner foreskin is removed, sometimes almost all of it is removed. This becomes the neurological equivalent of a complete removal of the clitoris for women. A bit of skin? Far from it!

    Now, before you say I'm obsessed with sex, bear in mind, all those errogenous nerve endings serve no other purpose than to make sex highly pleasurable, and they are only there because God designed them to be there. If concern over their loss makes one obsessed with sex, then God must be obsessed with sex to have put those nerve endings there to experience sex to such an extent. You may also say that sex is still highly pleasurable for you. That may be true, but ultimately, you have no idea how much more it could have been, nor how barely pleasurable your sex may be now if you were able to compare it in the way those circumcised as adults can.

    Of course, you've never missed what you haven't known. You don't miss it anymore than the man born blind misses color. But knowing what color is, would you miss it if seeing it were taken away from you? Many men circumcised as adults compare the loss of sensation they experience to being made blind to color. Whole sensations are lost, and the ones that aren't become more dull.

    Yes, it may have been better for your friend to have been circumcised as an infant. But there was no way to know when he was an infant if he would have such problems later in life. They are relatively uncommon, most boys having no issues at all. Those boys shouldn't be made to lose a normal, natural, healthy body part in order to spare a small minority from having to experience some pain later in life.
     
  17. Melkite

    Melkite Member

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    You express something very interesting to me about English-speakers. You are able to understand that female circumcision should be banned, no exceptions anywhere. Why is it so difficult to hold the same for male circumcision? Are you aware that in countries that practice FGM, they make the same health and hygiene arguments for it? Are you aware that the most common form of FGM is physically, structurally, neurologically less severe, does less damage, than the average Western male circumcision? Are you aware that most women in those cultures are proud of their mutilated genitals and insist that they are still able to experience sexual pleasure, that it is even good for them? If it weren't for infibulation, FGM probably wouldn't even be on Western social radar.

    If all those reasons why FGM is defended by those who practice it aren't sufficient to allow for it, but rather the practice should still be banned always and everywhere despite the objections of its proponents, then there is no logical reason why male circumcision shouldn't be treated exactly the same. To allow for one but not the other under any circumstances, whatever reason for the justification, would be purely arbitrary and probably sexist.
     
  18. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    No it will be a pediatrician recommending it and they don't perform the procedure.
     
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Work for and paid by the same company perhaps? Seems a nice way to get custom in a health system that depends on custom. :hmm:
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  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You seem strangely and ambiguously in favour of FGM but strongly opposed to male circumcision. You were far less accepting it seems of any medical arguments for the promotion of male circumcision. At least male circumcision seems to carry only the risk of infection immediately after the operation. FGM carries long term, even lifelong problems and it is nowhere in scripture ordained by God or regarded as in any way, any longer, sacramentally necessary.
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