Circumcising the Root of All Evil January 18, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, huh?, manhood, sadness, silliness, Society, Tradition.
The post title is a bit tongue in cheek, Sensus Fidelium on Youtube posted the video below yesterday, an upload from a recent episode of the Crusade program of the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire. The topic is voluntary male circumcision, which is done to the large majority of males (Jewish or otherwise) in infancy, generally at the hospital within a day or so of birth. I’ve always thought circumcision was mostly a question of taste with perhaps some overtones of cleanliness and moderation, but it appears at least one Catholic philosopher/ethicist has determined circumcision to be a barbaric practice that causes a huge gamut of (potential) deleterious health effects. None of which any of the males on either side of my family has ever experienced going back at least 4 generations, and all of which were circumcised.
I’m posting this not because I really care either way, this is a very personal decision. There are pros and cons on both sides and you can decide where you line up. It’s quite possible the medical benefits of circumcision have been overstated, but I think the dire claims made in the program of negative effects are also being dramatically overblown. Love, and do what you will, and all that.
The reason I’m posting this is the fascination I had with the responses on Youtube. People who had almost certainly never heard such a detailed (and one might even say, extremely opinionated) presentation on this subject before were suddenly lining up declaring circumcision to be a barbaric practice that must be stopped NOW. Which is odd, because, this is just one presentation, which may or may not be accurate. Why are folks getting so exercised over something they may have never heard a cogent argument on before? Are those expressing instant shock and outrage really in a position to judge whether or not this guy is really telling the truth, or maybe has gone a bit around the bend?
There was another aspect to that drew my attention – some pretty hardcore comments regarding Judaism. Certainly circumcision and Judaism have a long connection, but some of the direct commentary – leaving alone snide implications – regarding filthy Jews, et. al., was a bit extreme. I found that unfortunate.
As I said there are arguments on both sides, some people say circumcision negatively effects a man’s ability to feel certain pleasures, some say being uncircumcised can lead to accumulation of dirt and disease. I’ve never known anything different, so I have no way of knowing if these claims are right or not. I do think maybe we should tone down the instant outrage generation on every single little issue that comes along. If one wants to argue that circumcision is a bad practice that has outlived its usefulness, fine. He’s probably right. But for folks to turn it into a giant conspiracy and start to allude that you’re somehow less Catholic if you’ve been involved in this very optional, tangential practice, I think that’s where the circular firing squad and the shrinking of the membership of the True Remnant Church (TM) down to one (me!) starts to get a little extreme.