Yahoo News has an article on “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Circumcision” (well, yes, some of us did) which leads in by saying that circumcision lowers the risk of HIV transmission as well as other venereal diseases. I’m not going to dispute that this may be true based on the foreskin being a moist area where infections can easily start. I will, however, dispute the idea of cutting off a part of the genitals to solve the problem of sexually-transmitted diseases. It’s a bad reason to cut off part of your body. And why are we afraid of an infant getting a sexually-transmitted disease? Isn’t circumcision of a newborn being a bit too proactive if this is the reason (how many infants have had their penis cut by circumcision mistakes?)
Think about this. If medical science articles came out that the female hood for the clitoris due to moisture increases the chances of a venereal disease–do you think parents would start cutting that off too? Per this article, the hood for the clitoris is the equivalent of the male foreskin and actually develops from the same tissue in the womb. The purpose is the same, to cover a particularly sensitive area of the genitals.
The reason for circumcision is tradition (a herd mentality) and pointlessly so as gentiles were never required to perform circumcision. It’s Biblically unsound unless you’re Jewish. Paul teaches circumcision is spiritual, not physical and is no longer necessary. This seems to be the overall message after the gospels including other Jewish traditions thrown out the window (like forbidden meats).
So why do American Christian parents keep circumcising their kids? For no justified reason at all except that they worry their kid’s dick will look funny to others if it’s not chopped off like the others. I’m not being sarcastic here, though, it’s morbidly funny. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine and Jerry were talking about if either of them had ever seen one that was not circumcised and it creeped them out. If every guy had an uncircumcised penis it would no longer be strange. It would be normalized.
The other possible reason American Christians might have started chopping is that the foreskin can increase sexual pleasure, especially when the hormones hit and teenage boys start masturbating.
There are no good reasons to chop your kid’s penis. He can make that decision later on and with a little anesthesia fix it the way he wants. This is nothing more than genital mutilation on babies who can’t object because parents have an ideal of what a dick should look like (I guess God just likes to attach useless skin to the genitals so we can have the fun of cutting it off?).
SIDENOTE: As for secular reasons, if medical science suddenly came out and said that circumcision will prevent venereal diseases including HIV by over 70 percent, that would be a statistic to pay attention to. I would still be in the camp that says not to circumcise an infant though. An infant is not sexually active. If we’re going to have a circumcision tradition then it should be at the age of 14 to 16 or the supposed “age of manhood” such as what was mentioned about Egyptian tradition in the article. We should also be encouraging the use of condoms, but ultimately, before having sex with a partner, it’s a damn good idea to get tested. Yes, it ruins the mood, but the mood is even worse when you get genital herpes or some other horrible affliction down there.
SIDENOTE 2: I was always told circumcision was necessary for male cleanliness. Moisture can cause infections. What is not mentioned is the other parts that have moisture issues. Per this Health and Human Services description: Most STD germs need to live in warm, moist areas. That’s why they infect the mouth, rectum and sex organs (vaginal vulva, penis and scrotum). The vagina seems to be an especially sensitive area. The point being that, again, the solution is not to mutilate the area but treat it. Our bodies have numerous “moist” areas that need to be cleaned.