Saturday, August 6, 2011


In the United States of America circumcision is a cosmetic procedure that the New York Times shows is still performed on 32.5% of infant boys soon after birth. The rates of circumcision have declined drastically in the past decade, but this is still 32.5% too much. The circumcision of females is illegal in the US, and the same right should be afforded to all males born here as well. Routine infant circumcision is a violation of basic human rights and is a medically and spiritually unnecessary cosmetic surgery.
The foreskin is a fully functioning organ. It is also known by another name, the prepuce. In the documentary, CUT: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision, it is noted that a man's sexual life without the prepuce may still be great -- but it is as though his sexuality is an orchestra missing the entire strings section. The music just isn't the same. It cannot be. The #1 organ necessary for full functioning was taken from him. Men (and women) ought to have their full 'orchestra' intact. It has a purpose in infancy as well as adulthood. As a child the foreskin protects the developing penis on the infant. At birth it is fused to the head of the penis, and protects it from infections and physical harm. The foreskin allows urine to pass through and that is all. As the child matures, it slowly is able to retract on its own by the end of puberty. The child has no use of it for sexual function until it reaches adulthood. It is perfectly designed.
Many parents circumcise their children because they believe that is what is best for them. However according to many doctors including the Doctors Sears, circumcision is not medically necessary. Many people believe that circumcision can help prevent the transmission STDs like HIV. The fact is the only two real preventions of these diseases are the use of condoms and even more so abstinence.  One other medical reason many believe the surgery protects from is penile cancer. This cancer is very rare and according to it is even rarer than male breast cancer. Penile cancer amounts to <1,200 cases a year, while Breast cancer is approximately 1,400 cases a year. There are many other medical reasons once believed to be beneficial. However even if any of these were in fact true, modern medicine has come a long way in treating most infections. Preventative amputation surgery is now a primitive measure when we can treat a simple infection with antibiotics and cleanliness.
Every human has the right to bodily integrity. God created our bodies in his image. He made no mistakes; everything on our body has a purpose. Some people are born with deformities, or an absence of something that is normally there, but even that has a purpose that only God knows.  We were given agency over these bodies to use wisely and protect. By performing cosmetic surgery on a child we are saying that Gods plan for the human body is in some way defective. With this agency that we have been given, we can choose to modify our own bodies, but should not the bodies of other non-consenting individuals. If the child chooses to modify their own body when they get older, that is within their own agency to do so but not the parents.
The church has no official stance on circumcision but according to Robert J. Matthews in “A Crisis, a Council, and Inspired Leadership”
“In like manner today, there may be questions on which the doctrinal foundation is clear but on which tradition or custom are so strong that the Brethren are impressed not to take a firmer stand, trusting, as did Church leaders in New Testament times, that if the basic revealed principles are known, the Holy Ghost  will eventually lead the adherents to forsake their tradition, or academic popularity, or peer pressure in favor of the word of God.”
It is up to the people to make their own informed decision through careful research and pray. The church cannot tell us everything that we should and should not do. We need to use out agency to make these decisions.  Moroni 8:8 says “ the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me…”  Christ’s ultimate sacrifice fulfilled the Law of Moses, and circumcision is no longer required.
            Every parent does what they believe is best for their child. When we know better, we do better. Modern day parents are learning that there are no benefits to routine infant circumcision. This is seen by the decreased rate shown in The New York Times from 56% in 2006 to 32.5% in 2009. There are no medical benefits or religious reasons for Christians. Circumcision is a violation of the child’s basic rights to choose what to do with their own body.

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