Circumcision is in the news now that San Francisco, California will vote on a referendum in November to criminalize the practice, even though it’s a religious requirement for Muslims and Jews, and common in the general population. Foreskin-free has been the norm in the US since the mid-20th century, although there’s a vocal minority in the US who regard it as cruel and sadistic. The medical establishment largely agrees that while medicallly unnecessary, circumcision is not abuse, does not cause harm and may even convey some health benefits. Neither government nor law enforcement has ever tried to interfere with what’s ultimately a decision made by parents for religious or medical reasons.
The real problem here is the way some Californians think they can put their fellow citizens’ religious (and/or medical and parenting) decisions to a vote. But I confess, thus far I haven’t waded into the debate because it’s moot; if the ban passes, a court will strike it down for violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
Here’s where I got angry: when the debate slid into ugly ethnic hatred. Even though circumcision is far from an exclusively Jewish practice, the anti-Semites showed up to the party. Somehow opposition to circumcision took a wrong turn and landed in Nazi Germany: