Today’s circumcision is not biblical circumcision

XN Intact Card Front

Check out: A Biblical Journey to Intactivism at SavingSons.org.

And illustrated examples of how Western/today’s circumcision (Brit Periah, entire amputation) is radically different from Abrahamic/biblical circumcision (Brit Milah, small cut).

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Letter to send to a pregnant friend regarding circumcision

Dear ______________,

I know that we talked about this topic a little the last time that you
visited, but I wanted to give you some more information for why we
chose not to circumcise our son.

I apologize, in advance, for this being such a long email!  But I hope
you read it!  This subject has become very close to my heart and I am
in no way trying to offend, but want to shed some light on a topic
that you may or may not have researched.  We decided to keep his
penis whole, the way God created him, because we realized that his
penis is part of his body, and it is not ours to alter or cut without
his consent.

Are You Fully Informed?

50 Reasons to Leave it Alone

First of all, I always thought that we would circumcise a son, it
seemed “weird” not to, after all, his dad and whole extended family
is circumcised.  But upon further research, we realized that
only about 32% of the United States families circumcise their sons
now, so he will be in the majority of boys, and he won’t feel
“weird” in the locker rooms.

Steep Drop in Circumcisions, New York Times

Also, only about 10% of the world’s population of men are circumcised,
and only in the cultures of Israel, South Korea, Muslim world, and
here in the US is circumcision a routine procedure for newborns.

Fact Checking Routine Circumcision

There is a ban on both male and female circumcisions in the
countries of Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, and more European countries
are also seeking a ban.

German Court Bans Circumcision

There are many reasons that we chose not to cut a part of our son’s penis
off.  First and foremost, I thought I wanted to circumcise because God
called Abraham to do so to his son Isaac.  Upon further research, and
extensive conversation with my Hebrew professor, who wrote his thesis
on Hebrew circumcision, I discovered that Abrahamic circumcision
(Milah) cuts only a small portion of the tip of the foreskin, like a
small gash.  This was a blood sacrifice, but was not foreskin
amputation (Periah) which is practiced today.  If they had practiced
entire foreskin amputation (which was introduced in Victorian timesand
is what American doctors practice today with infants), many children
would have died from blood loss or infection.

Milah v. Periah Circumcision

Motivations for “Medical” Circumcision

Today, still, in the US, about 110 boys die of circumcision surgery
every year. Also, many circumcisions can be “botched.”

Neonatal Circumcision Death Rate Higher than SIDS and Auto Accidents

Here is a thread on Baby Center for moms whose children have had to
undergo re-circumcisions and penile adhesion surgeries:

Re-Circumcision and Penile Adhesion Surgery

Of course the blood on the cross took away God’s command to cut male
penises (and the other blood sacrifice commandments of the Old
Testament.)  I wanted to make sure that I understood God’s commands
properly.  And these passages helped:

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means
anything, but faith working through love.”  Galations 5:6

“Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with
his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge
according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither
Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian,
slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:9-11

It is estimated that over 20,000 nerve endings are cut off when the
foreskin is cut.  (While female circumcision cuts only 8,000, but is
illegal in our country.)  This takes away a lot of sexual pleasure in
the future, as well as can be argued to contribute to erectile
dysfunction.  As you may know, the American Association of Pediatrics
classified male circumcision as a “cosmetic procedure” until about two
months ago when they changed their position to be neither for or
against the surgery.  They did so, in my opinion, so insurance
companies would again pay for the surgery, because insurance companies
had stopped paying for circumcisions due to their previous position.
But it is very important to note that male circumcision is not
actually endorsed by any medical or health organization in the world.

In terms of cleaning an intact penis, we have not had any difficulty.
The foreskin and penis are forged together as one (as a fingernail is
on a finger), so there is no need to retract the foreskin to clean the
penis.  (And also, our son never “sprayed” us on the changing table,
because the foreskin lays his penis down, rather than being exposed
and “up”, if that makes sense).  The foreskin and penis will come
apart naturally when child is between 9 months to 4 years.  Every
child is different.  It is actually harmful to retract the foreskin
before it is ready, because this damages the nerves.  The foreskin is
highly functional – cutting the foreskin from the penis eliminates
thousands of nerves that God created for male sensitivity and
pleasure.  During a circumcision, as you can see in the video of the
surgery, the foreskin is forcibly torn off the penis (again, as a
fingernail to a finger, but with many more nerves), and then cut.

(Also, statistics show that there are less cases of STDs in Europe, a
mostly non-circumcised area of the world, than here in the US where
circumcision rates are highest.  And there are no reputable studies
that can affirm the claim that circumcision can lessen your chances of
contracting HIV.  The campaign to circumcise adult men in Africa is
heartbreaking.)

Circumcision and STDs

Intact Infant Care

Here are links to see an actual circumcision to understand the
procedure:

On Dr Momma and on CIRP.

One of the big reasons some decide to circumcise is that they want the
baby to look like their Dad.  _________, if you ever want to talk to _________
about this, I know he would be very open and happy to give his
opinion.  It came down to the fact that baby penises don’t look like
adult penises anyway, whether intact or circumcised, and when he is
old enough to “look like Dad,” they won’t be comparing penises
anyways, because that would just be strange.  (Or I like to use this
analogy: my husband’s ears are attached and our son’s are lobed, like mine,
but we aren’t going to cut his ears to look like his father’s, so why
would we cut his penis.)

I want to say that, whatever you choose, of course, you don’t have to
defend your decision to me or anybody.  However, I wanted to write
because I thought we would always circumcise, but once I began talking
to a couple people about it and researching circumcision, we realized
that we have the power to give our son this choice over his body.  And if
he chooses to do so, he can when he is 18 years old.  I just wanted to
make sure I knew everything before we made a very informed decision.

(However, adult circumcision can be very traumatizing to men who have
it done because all those mature nerve endings are severed.  Ben
Affleck, the actor, is a man who was circumcised in his twenties and
he has spoken out against circumcision and about the huge differences
between being uncircumcised and circumcised.  His infant son, Samuel,
is uncircumcised.  There are many famous men, actors, politicians who
are not circumcised, too.  Will Smith, Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling,
Heath Ledger, Denzel Washington, James Dean, etc.)

Intact v. Circumcised Penis Sensitivity

Ben Affleck on The Daily Show

Famous Intact Men

I will not ask you what you decided or follow-up to this email; I want
to respect your choices as parents as much as possible.  But please
let me or _______ know if you would like to talk about this further.

Thank you for reading this.

I love you three!,
Amy (with _______ and our son)

Wildflower Ramblings

My notes on male (and female) circumcision

I wrote this for the one-year anniversary of saving my son’s penis.  I was going to cut him according to Jewish custom, on the eighth day of life.  Though I am Christian, I adhere to some Jewish traditions and enjoying reading my Bible in its original Hebrew.  In no way is the following seeking to minimize the importance of the Jewish religion.  My husband and I became informed from hours of research and decided to keep our son whole — he was born perfect.  I hope and pray that our research may benefit another young baby boy from the harmful effects of circumcision.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians that it is by faith you are saved; circumcision (the blood sacrifice introduced to Abraham in Genesis 17) is no longer necessary for salvation: “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:9-11).

History

God ended required circumcision, through Christ, on the bloody cross.  He asked Abraham and his descendants to make a huge sacrifice.  But this practice was only a small portion of the tip of the foreskin (called Milah).  Evidence can be found at Milah v. Periah and an article written by Jay Michaelson.  Both explain that the destruction and cutting of the entirety of the foreskin (called Periah) is quite different than what was introduced in Biblical times.

Circumcision has been accepted and “normal” in our country for a little over 100 years — a detailed history of circumcision in the US can be found here.  Male genital mutilation began in Victorian times (notably by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg) in an effort to prevent male masturbation. This tradition has been accepted as normal and non-questionable.

Procedure and fatalities

Before my own son was born, I never thought of circumcision as unnatural or barbaric because I blindly thought that it was done for the sake of the baby.  After watching a male circumcision being performed, I am beyond thankful that we chose not to cut my son.  When people ask me, “Why didn’t you circumcise him?”  I respond, “Would I have circumcised a baby girl? Would I cut her genitals apart?”  Of course not — I see both of these surgeries as equal.  They both cut from the human body their most sacred and private parts.

Many parents choose circumcision now because of American tradition.  This decision can never be reversed and many parents make this decision without thinking of the long-term damage it can have on their child.  Many children die from circumcision due to complications during the procedure. Read: Death by Circumcision which explains this with powerful statistics.  In 2009, 115 babies died of SIDS and 117 died from circumcision.  This tragedy is real.

Here is another video of the procedure.  Observers often can be heard saying that they have never heard a louder, or more powerful, scream as the one a child makes when their manhood (or womanhood) is cut from their bloody bodies.  I think that every parent should watch a dozen of these videos.  And here is another video.  And another.

Why alter perfection?

Even the American Association for Pediatrics now classifies male circumcision as a “cosmetic procedure,” but it classifies female circumcision quite differently, as this procedure is, (rightfully) outlawed in the United States.  Why are baby boys not protected and baby girls are?  Both practices are genital cutting. And until male cutting is against the law, I will not be satisfied, and nor will many millions of others who devote their lives to exposing the atrocity of male genital mutilation.

Many parents blindly use the excuse that they desire for their sons to not look or be different from their fathers.  But, I ask, does a child’s penis look the same as an adult’s, circumcised or intact?  Certainly not.  And when a male reaches the age of maturity, will he be comparing penises with his father?  Certainly not.

Arguments against pro-circumcision activists

It was argued, in the past, that circumcision is more “clean” or prevents sexually-transmitted diseases.  This argument is faulty and the statistics prove it.   Here is a rebuttal of the “circumcision prevents HIV transmission” argument.  Presently in Africa, many celebrities are misleading uneducated Africans that circumcision will prevent AIDS.  Adult males are being harassed into cutting their penises and being told it is best for their sex lives and for their health.  This is a lie and a travesty.  Bono and Bill Gates are a part of this barbaric movement.  And a circumcised penis is no easier to clean than a whole penis; the argument that a foreskin is unclean is beyond ridiculous.  Do we cut female genitals, because their labia have to be “pulled back” to rinse in the shower?

Sexual dysfunction

Periah circumcision continues today, and causes male sexual problems such as: painful penile growth during maturity and up to adulthood, impotence, erectile dysfunction, dissatisfaction with sexual life, and lastly, poor sexual experience.  Women often have “sexual dysfunction” issues or problems due to dryness, when actually the real issue is that her partner is cut and the friction during sexual intercourse is painful due to male circumcision and not a woman’s personal lubrication issues.  Jews against circumcision and Catholics agains circumcision have been speaking about these consequences for years.

Many adult men deeply resent their most private and nerve-sensitive areas being cut off.  There are men out there who have chosen circumcision (or were told by a doctor that it was required after an injury) after experiencing life with an intact, whole penis.  These men write honestly about their loss and devastation in regards to feeling and climax satisfaction.  Actor-director Ben Affleck is one of these men, having been circumcised at an older age and deeply resenting it.  A glossary of proud intact men can be found here.  There is also a movement towards foreskin restoration to help men revive some of what was taken from them.

Where in the world?

Today, the only countries that routinely practice male circumcision are the United States, South Korea, Philippines, Israel, and some Polynesians and Australians do as well.  In the US, the infant rate is now approximately 36%, which is much lower than 55% just ten years ago and 80% twenty years ago.  However, the rate in European nations (and Canada) are are about 20% and Europeans are aghast at how readily circumcision is still routinely practiced in the US; over there, it is done for religious reasons, particularly still amongst Jews in Europe.  However, an estimated 1/3 of the anti-circumcision (intactivist) movement consists of Jewish people. European nations are even beginning to limit the circumstance allowable for legal male genital cutting, and circumcision has been banned in Sweden.  Male circumcision is most prevalent amongst Jewish and Muslim peoples.  Here is a map breakdown of countries that practice genital mutilation, both male and female.

Sexual abuse

One more interesting point should be noted.  In this country, we have more sexual abuse perpetrated by men than any other country.  It has been argued that a root cause of this may be from the psychological harm caused by male circumcision. (See: Ending circumcision: where sex and violence first meet). The explanation for this is that the first sexual experience for the infant male consists of his foreskin being ripped from his penis (they are molded together, similar to a fingernail to a finger) and then painfully cut from his body.  This is an extremely violent and bloody experience.  The sexual and violent act merge, becoming inter-connected in the psyche of men, and can lead to abuse perpetrated by these men onto others.  I am not arguing this as fact, but it is certainly a well-written and well thought-out argument.

Cherish our sons

Lastly, I must say, I know many men who are circumcised and have a very high-quality of life.  (Obviously), life does not end with circumcision.  All the men close to me — as far as I know — are circumcised, with the exception of my son.  I do not judge their parents for making decisions based on their experience and their knowledge at the time.  I do think that we are capable of cherishing our boys’ sexuality in the same way we cherish our girls’.  I believe their bodies deserve to be treated as sacred and perfect, from conception.  I want to encourage my son to love himself and his body, as it was created by God, from birth, through puberty, and throughout his sexual life.

**Are You Fully Informed? and How to Care for the Intact Penis — from the Peaceful Parenting site: DrMomma.org and 50 Reasons to Leave it Alone.

The circumcision decision

The choice between cutting our son or leaving him intact, as God created him, weighed heavily on our hearts and minds. The only real reason we considered circumcision was for religious reasons, as God instructed Abraham to circumcise in Genesis 17 — circumcision for medical purposes is no longer a valid reason. Upon further research, I realized that ancient day circumcision did not include cutting the entire foreskin of the penis, but just the tip of the foreskin. In Victorian times, modern circumcision was introduced in hopes that it would discourage male masturbation. Jesus talked about circumcision once, but Paul wrote about the issue multiple times in his letters. This website breaks it down, though for me, it was helpful to go to the index of my Bible and to read and study each section on circumcision, particularly those in the New Testament.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.” Galations 5:6

In the end, we found there were more reasons not to cut him than to make that decision without his consent. Now, the more we read and research about the subject, we are more than 100% confident with our choice. We have realized that the decision to circumcise (which this website and this website both strongly equate to female genital mutilation and also provide pictures and video of circumcision as well as statistics on where both are practiced) should be our son’s and his alone. We believe his future wife will thank us someday.