Danielle Keeler

think about it.

California judge removes circumcision ban from ballot

with 9 comments

Recently in California, a group of human rights advocates requested a ballot that would present the option of banning circumcision in newborn males.  The measure would have banned male circumcision, with a potential punishment of a $1000 fine and jail time.  It would not have allowed for religious exemptions.  The bill faced strong resistance, and superior judge Loretta Giorgi had it struck from the ballot, stating that circumcision was “a widely practiced medical procedure”.

The advocates of this group declared circumcision to be a violation of basic human rights and a “mutilation of male genitalia”, and many believe that the judge’s decision to strike it from the ballot without a vote was undemocratic, regardless of what the obvious outcome would have been.  This is understandable, considering the fact that the public is supposed to play a major role in politics, but let’s get real.  That doesn’t always happen, and anyone with an education is well aware of that fact.

Several opposing groups declared that the ballot held a strong element of antisemitism, and argued that it violated the constitutional right to religious tolerance, as guaranteed in the first amendment.  In the aspect that the ballot would not have allowed for religious exceptions, the latter is true.  However, the ballot would apply to all religions, and though Judaism is particularly known for the requirement of circumcision, the ballot does not specify a religion.  Therefore, the ballot itself is not anti-Semitic; rather, only anti-circumcision. However, many advocates of the ballot have taken it to an extreme that includes blatant antisemitism.

Those in favor have even gone so far as to create comic books on the topic.  One such comic is titled “Foreskin Man”, written by Matthew Hess, one of the leaders behind the initiative to ban circumcision.  In the comic, the hero takes on “Monster Mohel,” a black haired, bearded man with bloody scissors, clad in the traditional Jewish Orthodox wide-brimmed hat with a tallis around his neck.  The hero is a retired corporate scientist who now heads the Museum of Genital Integrity, and his heroic deed is to kidnap the baby from Monster Mohel and bring him to a group on in-activists.  They then light a bonfire with all the instruments typically used for circumcision, and the battle is won. When asked if he considered the comic to be anti-Semitic, Hess replied with:

“A lot of people have said that, but we’re not trying to be anti-Semitic.  We’re trying to be pro-human rights.”


The villain wears traditional Jewish Orthodox clothing.  On the table where the circumcision will take place, there is a book with traditional Hebrew writing, and the traditional wine and goblet beside it.  Hess claimed his group to be only liberal, but it is now undeniable that this is a viscous attack against Jews masked behind a liberal name.  See my source (newjewishmedia.com) for screenshots taken from the comic.

So much for religious tolerance.  I thought we got over antisemitism after the Holocaust, but apparently there are still many groups who hold a strong belief in it.  May I point out–and I am not trying to suggest this is what will happen, I am just noticing the similarities–that the Holocaust also began with anti-Jew propaganda?  Just something to think about.





9 Responses

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  1. I interned in the neonate units of several hospitals. I didn’t see any religious symbols anywhere! Though I realize circumcision has a cultural origin historically, most males who have it here in the U.S. aren’t Jewish. It’s also not done automatically. It’s an option offered to new parents, most of whom choose to have the procedure performed in a safe, antiseptic environment. I hear it’s less prevalent in Europe.

    There aren’t any highly likely infections prevented by being cut, but a lot of less likely ones are prevented, such as HIV transmission and phimosis, which soldiers in combat areas contract. Foreskins are like the appendix. Whatever original function they had, we’ve evolved beyond. Now it’s just an incubator for bacteria and viruses.

    Invisible Mikey

    July 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm

  2. I understand your point about being born with it, but I want to ask you one thing. I am not trying to sound accusing, I am honestly curious:
    You say that boys are born with a foreskin, and for that reason, it should stay there. Is it not the same situation as the appendix? It seems to serve no purpose now (maybe it did at some point, but in the modern day it does not), and it can cause a variety of health issues such as infections. Why, then, should we not take the preventative step of removing it before it can cause any problems?

    Danielle Keeler

    July 30, 2011 at 1:45 pm

  3. …….. There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the Orthodox to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity

    * Jews Against Circumcision http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

    * Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, Ph.D. http://www.jewishcircumcision.org

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1

    The Kindest Un-Cut Feminism, Judaism, and My Son’s Foreskin by Professor Michael S. Kimmel

    Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack has some great commentary on Foreskin Man in this recent interview.

    Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    http://intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors … ……..

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