Real Religious Child Abuse


The Oregon Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in the case of a father who wants his 12-year-old son to be circumcised. His ex-wife — the boy’s mother — is fighting the request. Listen to NPR report.

No parent should be allowed to affect their kids physically due to religious belief. Period. This means surgically altering their genitalia or refusing medical care such as blood transfusions, medications or vaccines. Everyone by now has heard about the HPV vaccine and religious opposition to it spelled out well by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, “I personally object to vaccinating children against a disease that is 100% preventable with proper sexual behavior.” Of course the obvious flaws in this clown’s logic are:
1) What about a momentary lapse in judgement?
The whole point of religions like christianity is that we’re born flawed, right? And children especially make mistakes, so how can you have no safety plan? You’ll put a helmet and pads on your kids when they ride a bike, but won’t grant a vaccine to safeguard against cancer?
2) What about rape?
3) What about if kids redefine “sex”?
Probably taking lessons from christian apologetics where the illogical and contradictory sections of the bible are either ignored or redefined, they’re redefining what’s sex, as in oral and anal aren’t considered sex by them. Nice (personal note – I grew up in the wrong era). So ok, this avoids cervical cancer but not STDs and the big one, AIDs since, of course, they’ve already objected to condoms for the kids. People are even lying now about their religious beliefs in order to opt out of vaccines. Religion shouldn’t even be an option for opting out of anything!

But back to the point, genitalia. We can scoff or be horrified by the muslim world’s female genital cutting and get all sanctimonious about how “those” people are barbarians, but right here in the US 3 out of 5 boys have their penises snipped at birth. Now in fairness, many have subscribed to the myth that it’s healthier and more hygienic but where did that come from? Religious bullshit, like the US being founded as a christian nation or we can’t have morals without a god. This is what happens when religious bullshit goes unchallenged, not even our genitals are safe. First they’re mutilated, then we’re given strict instructions for what we can’t do with them. It’s insane.

It may be arguable whether religion inflicts mental damage on children, but there can be no doubt of the physical damage. Certainly abstinence programs are having no positive effect on the numbers of teen pregnancy or STDs, especially AIDS. Kids suffer and sometimes die every year because their parents refuse medical care for them, preferring prayer instead. And here we are with some poor 12 year old boy whose penis is a prize in some twisted divorce court battle involving religion where it lies, quite literally, with the sword of Damocles teetering above it.

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18 Responses to “Real Religious Child Abuse”

  1. I always wondered if circumcision causes sexual dysfunction.
    Yeah, it is child abuse.

  2. Well it serves no medical purpose and this doctor’s opinion is:
    “If physicians would simply leave the newborn’s penis alone, as Dr. Benjamin Spock recommends in the latest edition of Baby and Child Care, the foreskin would be left to fulfill its several functions. In infancy, the foreskin protects the glans from irritation and from fecal material.”
    and my favorite:
    “the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis and can enhance the quality of sexual intercourse. Anatomical studies demonstrate that the foreskin has a greater concentration of complex nerve endings than the glans. If there were any possibility that the foreskin could contribute significantly to sexual enjoyment, is that not a cogent reason for rethinking our motives for this ritual procedure?”

    I’ve seen listed years ago, and the good doc mentions it, that it was also supposed to severely curb masturbation. He cites the old jewish take on it by Maimonides that the effect of circumcision is:
    “to limit sexual intercourse, and to weaken the organ of generation as far as possible, and thus cause man to be moderate… for there is no doubt that circumcision weakens the power of sexual excitement, and sometimes lessens the natural enjoyment; the organ necessarily becomes weak when… deprived of its covering from the beginning.”

  3. Ever notice that most the the egregious examples of religious hypocrisy and fundamentalism, those things that reasonable people object to, involve the human crotch?

    One of my most popular posts (6600 hits and counting) involves the single-minded hypocrisy of religion and sex. I think it’s so popular, because sex sells, especially in conjunction with religion.

  4. I suppose those genital snips originally started off as a compromise with some early gods: “Listen, I don’t wanna actually sacrifice my kid, but how about if I cut off his/her…?” The Abrahamic deity, who, at least in his Christian incarnation, sees nothing wrong with asking his followers to eat him (in the non-sexual sense) is, of course, ghoulishly attracted to mutilations of all kinds.

    I think all operations in which parts of the body are removed for non-medical purposes should be outlawed.

  5. First of all-

    Where did you get that great picture? LOL! Is that art, or is that art? That beats Pissed Christ and Chocolate Jesus all to hell.

    “But back to the point, genitalia. We can scoff or be horrified by the muslim world’s female genital cutting and get all sanctimonious about how “those” people are barbarians, but right here in the US 3 out of 5 boys have their penises snipped at birth”

    There used to be a time when we could look around the world and point out a number of flaws that needed correction. But the time has come when every American needs to concentrate on changing his own country before talking about anyone else. Almost every non-partial listing of various traits of advanced cultures has the U.S. far down in nearly every important category. We need to get our own house in order before telling the world what they are doing wrong.

    SI said: “Ever notice that most of the egregious examples of religious hypocrisy and fundamentalism, those things that reasonable people object to, involve the human crotch?”

    The bible says eating shellfish is an abomination. It says homosexuality is an abomination. One is completely disregarded and one is screamed about ENDLESSLY. They are completely obsessed with sex and sexuality. And nearly every one of them has some “issue” that they themselves consider a “perversion”. And thanks for tipping me off about your post “Religion and Sex”. Who knew? I’ll check it out.

    Exterminator said: ” suppose those genital snips originally started off as a compromise with some early gods”

    No doubt, and it just so conveniently dovetails with their fascination with sex. Killing two dicks with one stone.

  6. Through the power of google I found the original image of the cut salami hanging in a frame. I reddened the salami a bit and added the star of David.

    What’s going on in my own country disgusts me, but unlike many who joke of where to flee to, I would never leave. It’s mine, and I’ll do what I can for it.

    There was an article I read recently where either the headline or the opening went something like, “you can buy a gun but a dildo is illegal in Alabama”. Apparently the crotchety christians, or crotch obsessed christians, have made it illegal in Alabama and a few other states to have sex toys. Guns of course, no problem. Religion is fucked up. This whole negation of the crotch except for this horrible act which unfortunately is necessary for producing more people who will of course also be flawed and need snipping and taught to negate their crotches, too, because the magic man says. This all came about because some cranky and bloodthirsty desert people who hated their crotches compiled some old myths into a book? Because of this someone can’t get off in Alabama and this 12 year old boy faces having his penis mutilated. That’s some fucked up shit.

  7. They should put this Father’s penis in a meat grinder! While it’s still attached to the piece of Sh-T!

  8. You’ll put a helmet and pads on your kids when they ride a bike, but won’t grant a vaccine to safeguard against cancer?

    With all the opposition going on over the HPV vaccine it was so good to read the above comment on your blog.

  9. It should be fucking obvious to everyone and it baffles me why it’s not. The idea that there’s no need for things like a HPV vaccine or condoms when people would be fine if they simply practiced “proper sexual behavior” is so ridiculous that anyone saying it should be openly laughed at. The other half of the dynamic duo of dumb rationales is that having such things promotes having lost of sex or what they’d consider “improper sexual behavior”. Yeah, like putting on my seatbelt or getting in a car with front and side airbags would inspire me to drive improperly or installing a smoke detector would inspire me to try and light a fire in my house.

  10. “Through the power of google I found the original image of the cut salami hanging in a frame. I reddened the salami a bit and added the star of David.”

    You have quite the creative streak in you.

    “Yeah, like putting on my seatbelt or getting in a car with front and side airbags would inspire me to drive improperly or installing a smoke detector would inspire me to try and light a fire in my house.”

    Just stop making sense, will you?

  11. The real creativity is coming up with a good search term for google that would deliver something suitable to work with. ;)

    btw, if you think it’s amazing how porn manages to turn up no matter what you enter as a search term, see what happens when you include words like “wiener” or “salami”. ugh

  12. Sorry this is off topic, but I’m trying to work with my blog and I cant figure out how to get the first paragraph to show in the blog proper, with the [...] if you want to read more.
    Does anyone know how to do this.

  13. On topic with what Phillychief said, there are some pretty cool search strings in Google. I cant recall them now, but i will try and find them and give them to you.

  14. I know it’s a bit late to be commenting on this, but I just wanted to add my agreement on this issue.

    As a chick, and a feminist (in the equal-rights sense, not the man-hating sense; though I really shouldn’t feel the need to point that out *sigh*) I’ve spent enough of my life raising awareness about female circumcision that I’ve had more than enough people wittering at me about my ‘double-standards’, because I ‘support male circumcision.’

    This is, of course, massively unfair as I most certainly do not support the carving up of anyone’s genitalia, regardless of gender. It’s just that at that moment in time, I happen to be discussing female genital mutilation. The two beliefs are not mutually exclusive. However, it does strike me as a shame that the growing power of anti-female circumcision movements has not yet been harnessed to campaign against this form of child abuse.

    Plus, it would be an excellent move for gender equality if we could all discuss it together rather than dividing the issue. Send out a united message to those who would meddle in our underwear:

    Hands off our fun-bits!

  15. Never too late to chime in.

    That’s very strange logic used by those people writing you. Why would one think you advocated a snip here when you’re against a snip there? I would assume you’d be against snips in general if I had to guess. How very odd of them.

    Well I’m against snips and I’m glad you are as well. Thanks for stopping in. Take your time, look around, and make yourself at home. :)

  16. I think it’s a slightly bizarre attempt by chauvinists to divert the discussion into “women are illogical hypocrites, feminists are man-haters” territory. That’s when I’ve seen/heard it used most often.

    The most recent place I was confronted with it was this frankly horrifying story:

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/10/30/when-is-female-genital-mutilation-just-peachy/

    Some way down the comments a rather bizarre conversation about male circumcision begins. It’s not as in your face as it could be, but there’s a clear undercurrent of “you shouldn’t be bitching about this issue, you don’t mention male circumcision in this article, therefore you support it.”

    It’s a response I find very weird, as I’ve said. Let’s hope people can pull their heads out of their arses and work together for a snip-free future.

  17. Ooh, apologies for fucked up link, since I’m more a lurker than a poster I don’t get much practice at this. *sigh* Anyway, the site is http://www.feministe.us/blog/ and the article was called “When is female genital mutilation just peachy?” on the 30th of October, 2007, if you’re interested. It’s a pretty horrific story you may well have come across before.

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