Friday, April 29, 2011

OK, What Picture Would You Post----

---if you were writing an article about the future of circumcision in San Francisco? The loons in Crazy Town are just shy of having enough support to put an anti-circumcision initiative on the November ballot. This movement has been growing since my own son was born in 1972, and I gave serious consideration to the arguments against circumcision. In the end (no pun intended) I came down on the side of the practice for multiple reasons with which I will not embarrass my only son any more than I already have.

There is no medical or scientific argument that the procedure is inherently dangerous or harmful. There are times when it is medically contraindicated. There have been unfortunately too many stories of botched procedures, but setting a leg after a fracture can be dangerous if the proper procedures aren't followed. So it has really come down to a religious ritual for Jews and a personal decision for Christians.

European doctors are considerably less likely to perform the procedure, and considerably fewer parents choose the procedure than their American counterparts. That's largely cultural, and there's still a debate over why Americans choose the procedure so much more often. The debate ranges from Americans being overly-clinical and obsessed with cleanliness to a vast Jewish conspiracy.

San Francisco, on the other hand, has managed to turn the debate into a more personal version of its ban on toys in McDonald's Happy Meals. In a town that believes that you can't own a dog or cat, only become its guardian/companion, this latest outrage shouldn't surprise anyone. San Francisco is the crucible for nanny-statism, interference in parental rights, and bizarre ideas of how other people should behave. While abortion supporters cry "keep your hands of my body," they won't admit that the vast majority of abortions are baby-murders. But to them, that's trivial compared to the government's right to determine what's best for the babies that make it past the abortion mill. Preferably without parental interference in the cause du jour.

Even Jon Stewart called San Francisco a "nanny state" based on its banning of Happy Meal Toys. Since he is of Jewish descent, I wonder what his parents would have thought of a city that bans circumcision. The law provides that it would be a misdemeanor to circumcise a baby, and forbids the procedure for anyone under the age of eighteen. Trivializing the issue with false analogies, San Francisco Examiner contributor Lloyd Schofield says: "We feel this is a very harmful thing. Parents are guardians. They are not owners of children. It's a felony to tattoo a child."

Those same parents are the very ones that have to authorize any other surgical procedure because they are, well, the parents. But for the leftists who populate Crazy Town, parents have only the rights that the government grants them. Determination of all other rights is reserved for the government, and the ballot initiative supporters want to take that religious and/or medical decision away from the parents.

Children in general, and babies in particular, do not have the intellectual ability to make decisions for themselves. Thus, Americans have traditionally carved out an individual rights exception which says that the parents get to make those major decisions until the child is old enough to make intelligent decisions for himself. The same people who will not condemn female genital mutilation in Muslim lands feel they have the right to make a decision for the parents of male children in San Francisco. Female circumcision almost never serves any genuine medical purpose, and often does serious damage to the girl. Properly-performed infant male circumcisions have as many proponents in the medical field as opponents. So guess which one the left wants to eliminate.

We are expected to honor religious beliefs in regard to medical procedures in the caliphate, but trample on them in San Francisco. We are expected to be neutral about a medical procedure in Islamic countries that is worse than worthless, but forbid one that has the support or at least the neutrality of the vast majority of the American medical community. Why would the San Francisco government want to do this? Because it can. Any barrier put between parent and child is a step forward for government control of our children.

The government already intrudes into formerly strictly parental decisions such as what they eat, what games they can play, and what kind of medical care they should get. Increasing unionization and government intrusion over the past few decades have eroded the right of parents to participate in deciding what their children should learn. It was probably only a matter of time before some government would decide that parents should have no decision-making rights in the matter of a millennia-old semi-surgical procedure for their male babies.

The lefties are correct. Parents don't own their children. But they are their natural and historical protectors. The law must prevent child abuse, but only the anti-circumcision zealots consider the procedure to be child abuse. Forgetting the tattooing argument, let's try a different example. Ear-piercing is a semi-surgical procedure as well. So far the lefties have been fine with the ear-piercing which is largely cultural and no less dangerous than male circumcision. Ear-piercing in infants is allowed and even encouraged in certain American subcultures, and all that is required is parental approval. But something as deeply-religious as male circumcision must now be subjected to the will of the government while taking parental responsibility completely out of the picture.

In case you think this is another "only in San Francisco" story, just wait to see what happens if it passes. It will be coming to a hospital in your neighborhood next. Even if the ordinance is struck down in part on religious grounds, there is still the likelihood that if your religion doesn't specifically require male circumcision, the law may yet be upheld. Parental choice would be nullified for Christians, since there has been no religious requirement of circumcision since the time of St. Paul. Long live the nanny state, down with parental rights.


rlaWTX said...

I have absolutely no opinion on this subject - being a childless (and staying that way) female... (great year to have a kid BTW!)

but it amazes me what the nanny-staters will decide constitutes harm and what they ignore... their reasoning - such as it is - is totally beyond my comprehension!

as for your pix choice... better than many alternatives that popped to mind!
have a good weekend, y'all!

Unknown said...

rlaWTX: I think nanny-state reasoning is not reasoning at all. It's pure calculation.

You would not believe the pictures I had to reject. Now I remember why I went to law school instead of medical school. LOL

Tennessee Jed said...

I don't think it is anybody's business except the parents. I want to cattle prod the s.o.b.'s that brought it up. These are the same bastards who champion "a woman's right to choose." As for the picture, perhaps one from the late Johnny Holmes? This one pisses me off (pun pretty much intended.) I won't even go anywhere near the religious issues involved.

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I agree, with the caveat that the religious issue might end up being the only one that can initially turn back this wave in the tide of nanny statism. If the Jews are forbidden to practice circumcision, then so are the Muslims. We both know which the government is more afraid of. For that reason, I hope that if it ever gets to the Supreme Court, the issue will be decided on parental rights and religious grounds.

T-Rav said...

LawHawk, I knew there was a reason you weren't telling us your real name...turns out you don't want to embarrass your children. Well, that reduces our comedic opportunities, but it's nice, I guess.

So, since I haven't read a lot about this, SF thinks circumcision is wrong because the infants don't get a say in it. Um...okay. Let's see them enforce this.

LL said...

They'll gleefully rip an unborn child from a woman's womb, but draw the line at circumcising an infant with its parent's express permission.

Liberals... go figure?

LL said...

The helmet/anteater argument has raged since Biblical times, but circumcision is a cultural choice in much the same way as hair style -- or to tattoo or not to tattoo is a cultural choice. Liberals don't understand that sort of thing and I get it. There's just so much that they don't understand.

So now, parents will spirit their children out of SF to Contra Costa County to have the circumcision done? And what of the Jewish rite? Is there no cultural and religious precedent for that which Liberals can see fit to allow? I'm not a Jew, but if I was, I'd cite practice that far pre-dates the founding of the City and Country of San Francisco and the People's Republik of Kalifornia.

Unknown said...

T_Rav: The inmates are already running the asylum, so why not let the children make the rest of the decisions?

Unknown said...

LL: Liberals think that if they're going to be inconsistent, they might as well be outrageously inconsistent.

Unknown said...

LL: You have to remember that San Francisco was originally called Yerba Buena ("good herb"). They've been smoking it so long that they don't think beyond their own haze.

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