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  • Thoughts on circumcision and Christianity?

    While the realization of the truth about circumcision occurred slightly after I became an atheist, I'm certain it would have been a contributing factor if I had discovered it earlier on.

    To elaborate: while Christians aren't biblically obligated to circumcise their children (Paul's reference to it in Romans serves to assure Christians that circumcision isn't required), it's still disturbing that the Christian god, Yahweh, commands that his people cut up the genitals of non-consenting infants, indicating, of course, that the omnibenevolent god of the hebrews has neither the knowledge nor the regard of the kind of sexual dysfunction, psychological harm, or immediate pain that male infants, and the men they grow to be, are subjected to as the result of circumcision. For many Christians, this could likely add to the conclusion that it wasn't "Yahweh" at all that commanded this, but a semi-literate tribe of desert savages which fabricated the support of their local god as a kind of divine justification for their rituals.

    Does anything I'm saying sound familiar? Did the truth about circumcision effect anyone's transition from Christianity towards nonbelief?

  • #2
    I learned about circumcision well after I became an atheist. Once I learned to think critically and use evidence based logic in college, I quickly advanced to atheism. Hard for me to understand how anyone well schooled/skilled in critical thinking would stick with religion. I was raised Roman Catholic, btw.

    And, for the record, as far as I know, religion had nothing to do with me getting circumcised. Instead, my parents agreed based on the advice the doctors were giving at the time. In fact, while I was circumcised, my younger brothers were not, and when I asked my mother about that, she said the doctors no longer recommended it.

    Regards

    Comment


    • #3
      Religion gets discussed on this and the old forum, from time to time. More often than not, that sort of post is driven by a person who is working out his issues, and sometimes those issues are pretty far removed from religion itself. In my experience on the internet, I'd say usually far removed. And a few times, the subtext is the same, tired old racial/religious intolerance. And that never works out.

      It's my impression that many of us have made a personal decision, similar to greg b, to live and let live, placing personal religion way down the list of acceptable topics on a restoration forum, if only because of the inevitably ignorant intolerance that crops up sooner or later; intolerance that always begins with the attempt to characterize a whole group as "them", with all of "them" the same, and with an implied conspiracy against "us". And that kind of nonsense is pathetic, to some of us.

      Comment


      • #4
        I always handle the subject of religion very professionally. My post wasn't driven by "issues" that I'm trying to work out, but rather by genuine curiosity about how some people reconcile, or don't reconcile, the unethical nature of infant circumcision with the idea of an omnibenevolent deity.

        I'm really not sure what to make of much of what you said. If you're implying that polite but firm critiques of religious dogma are unacceptable, I suppose I'd disagree. I mean, we're on a restoration forum. We regularly break the American taboo of just mentioning circumcision, but suddenly we're drawing the line at criticizing, or even discussing religion? I'm confused.. :P

        Comment


        • #5
          I meant exactly what I said.

          However, Le Bistro is a section where you can say pretty much anything. You can discuss religion if you choose to (and I'm not an admin here, and I'm not a censor anywhere else). What I question is the ultimate worth in doing it. I base that on experience. It was simple enough.

          You seem to be surprised that the discussion itself can be argued against. Not sure why, you did indicate you're aware this is a forum. Is it because you didn't expect that kind of reply? I should say, I have a basic disrespect for politically correct passive aggression, so to me, any discussion, and especially your topic, can be criticized. Is that your understanding as well? Should be, that's what happens on an actual level playing field.

          But feel free. We like discussion here. And consider my comment as one of the first, because it is. It would be better not to use straw man arguments, though. I don't think I've ever seen one quite as random and disconnected as your last sentence; actually it was hyperbole and a straw man argument. Congrats on that; kind of a first in my experience.

          See? You start a discussion, you ask for thoughts, and then it's all up for discussion. True for all of us.
          Last edited by Info; 03-25-2017, 06:34 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            In the book "The Joy of Uncircumcising" by Jim Bigelow PhD. there is a chapter that talks about religion and circumcising. Apparently circumcision way back at the beginning of Judaism (about 4,000 years ago) is not the same as it is now. It involved a symbolic cutting of the tip of the foreskin, properly only a few millimetres and certainly not the removal of the entire foreskin. That came into practice about 2,000 years ago. Apparently Jewish men where regrowing their foreskin so that they can be more acceptable to Greek society. The Rabbis at the time then came up with the idea of removing the entire foreskin because they didn't like the idea of Jewish men forsaking their religious identities. That will stop them re-growing it. For the most part the practice wasn't taken up by most societies, but mix in some silly nineteenth century ideas about sex and the reproduction process and circumcision gets a revival. Some silly old ideas still persist and are hard to get rid of even if science and logically thinking proves them to be false.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by starpilot149 View Post
              While the realization of the truth about circumcision occurred slightly after I became an atheist, I'm certain it would have been a contributing factor if I had discovered it earlier on.

              To elaborate: while Christians aren't biblically obligated to circumcise their children (Paul's reference to it in Romans serves to assure Christians that circumcision isn't required), it's still disturbing that the Christian god, Yahweh, commands that his people cut up the genitals of non-consenting infants, indicating, of course, that the omnibenevolent god of the hebrews has neither the knowledge nor the regard of the kind of sexual dysfunction, psychological harm, or immediate pain that male infants, and the men they grow to be, are subjected to as the result of circumcision. For many Christians, this could likely add to the conclusion that it wasn't "Yahweh" at all that commanded this, but a semi-literate tribe of desert savages which fabricated the support of their local god as a kind of divine justification for their rituals.

              Does anything I'm saying sound familiar? Did the truth about circumcision effect anyone's transition from Christianity towards nonbelief?
              I realised it slightly after I became a Deist, but I'm an atheist now.

              Comment


              • #8
                I was raised Roman Catholic. I was circumcised as an infant. But I have not reason to think my religion had anything to do with me being circumcised, as my parents said it was done on doctors recommendations, and I never once heard that circumcision was recommended in religion classes or anywhere else.

                The only thing I needed to change to an atheist was a clear mind and logical thinking.

                Regards

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Roman Catholic Church is officially AGAINST circumcision. It's position is enunciated in the papal "Bull of the Union with the Copts," which was issued by Pope Eugenics IV in 1442.

                  In short, the Roman Catholic Church was considering merging with the Egyptian Coptic Christian Church in the mid-1400's. The Ecumenical Council of Florence was called, and the cardinals assembled to consider the matter. The Copts traditionally circumcised, but the Roman Church had no official position, and thus had to formulate one at the time. In the end, the merger of the two churches did not take place, but the Roman Catholic Church took a position firmly against circumcision that is enunciated in the papal Bull. An excerpt can be found here:
                  http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/councilflorence/

                  In addition, this position against circumcision has been affirmed at least once each century since, by the issue of the Catechism of the Faith, which states:
                  "Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."
                  http://www.cirp.org/library/cultural/catholic/

                  So, according to Catholic doctrine, performing a routine infant circumcision is a mortal sin - beyond redemption!

                  So then, why have so many Catholic boys, born in Catholic hospitals, been circumcised?!?

                  One college-aged member of restore-list decided to ask his parish priest. The parish priest didn't know off-hand, but consulted his superiors, and came back with this answer: The priest said that the clergy was in a position where they had to accept the professional opinion of the doctors, which was that the procedure was therapeutic.

                  David
                  World As Monkey Island
                  Last edited by Science Monk; 04-25-2017, 04:41 PM. Reason: fixed URLs
                  I declared myself finished restoring with 3/4 erect coverage (CI-8.5) in 2005. I primarily used T-tape, strapping up and around my waist.
                  I've participated in NORM meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle (RECAP), and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                  Every doubt, reservation, or concern I had about my restoration was resolved by achieving additional foreskin LENGTH.....So just KOT !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Phoenix View Post
                    In the book "The Joy of Uncircumcising" by Jim Bigelow PhD. there is a chapter that talks about religion and circumcising. Apparently circumcision way back at the beginning of Judaism (about 4,000 years ago) is not the same as it is now. It involved a symbolic cutting of the tip of the foreskin, properly only a few millimetres and certainly not the removal of the entire foreskin. That came into practice about 2,000 years ago. Apparently Jewish men where regrowing their foreskin so that they can be more acceptable to Greek society. The Rabbis at the time then came up with the idea of removing the entire foreskin because they didn't like the idea of Jewish men forsaking their religious identities. That will stop them re-growing it. For the most part the practice wasn't taken up by most societies, but mix in some silly nineteenth century ideas about sex and the reproduction process and circumcision gets a revival. Some silly old ideas still persist and are hard to get rid of even if science and logically thinking proves them to be false.
                    That book just arrived the other day. I agree with all of that. There was a lot of puritanical hysteria regarding human sexuality in the late 19th century. Considering how religiously fundamentalist my parents are, the idea that circumcision ruins sex probably wouldn't have made them any less likely to circumcise me and my brothers. Matthew 5:29, and such..

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