Circumcision, like so many perverse cruelties cooked up by mankind’s macabre mind through the eons, continues here in the 21st Century.  Enlightened people reject it as just absurd, not to mention medically unethical and de facto sexual assault of the helpless, minors whose bodies are altered forever.

A book that first came out in 1949 –“In the Name of Humanity: Speaking Out Against Circumcision” by Joseph Lewis was republished in 2003 by The Book Tree in San Diego and is available on Amazon.  It’s a remarkable book for its thoughtful research of how the Hebrew people seemingly became so obsessed with the mysteries of blood, with where blood landed and the extreme steps that had to be taken to not be contaminated by it.  “Unclean” was applied wildly to things. Sin, taboo, avoidance, sacrifice, blood atonement were all facets of coping with it. Birth’s mysteries were wrapped in the mother herself being unclean, along with her household.  The menses meant cycles of “uncleanness.

“For the penalty of having become a mother, she was forced to make an additional blood sacrifice by offering a lamb to be slaughtered…It is solely a savage sacrifice of blood as an expiation because of the superstitious fear of blood pollution,” Lewis writes. Leviticus 12 calls for the mother to spend 33 days becoming purified.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. She shall then continue in the blood of her purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are fulfilled.'”

Lewis was a pioneer in providing the research behind real reasons the Hebrews adopted the practice — and they were far from originators of it. Tragically Jews and non-Jews today cling to a sort of sordid myths about the “merits” of circumcision and the absurd notion that any God who created humans would order babies’ penises trimmed down to establish tribal identity.

Lewis, a passionate anti-religionist, cries out for decency by adults to abandon the madness of circumcision as it did such nonsense as sacrificing flawless livestock to please an angry God or their ways of regarding menstruating women as pariahs. Rational people are wise to reject so much of the text and the practices of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — tribal ignorance at a time when science wasn’t even a notion.

Why, in heaven’s name, have we become civilized in so many ways, yet this repulsive sexual abuse of babies has been allowed to continue?  It should be outlawed like domestic violence and female genital mutilation.  Religious excuses to justify circumcision are just so much baloney. Scripture so absurdly gives parents the right to refrain from having a third son circumcised if the first two died from the procedure or hemophilia, for example.  So what if they never get their third son?

The book graphically tells again and again that concocted customs, traditions and rituals always trumped humanity. Never mind how many baby boys had to die from the regular botched circumcisions performed in putrid environments, with some mohel’s mouth sucking the blood from the cut penis– with syphilis, tuberculosis or venereal disease to infect it.   Over and over, Lewis pleads “to let our children to grow and develop in mind and body as Nature intended, and to avoid, through ignorance or callous brutality, mutilating bodies and crippling their minds with fears and inhibitions.”

I have read perhaps 15 book exposing the fraud, damage and cruelty of circumcision. Fortunately most of the non-Jewish, non-Muslim world has rejected male genital mutilation, with the exception of the U.S. where the cabal of slick cultural brainwashing and corporate medicine have been able to perpetuate it and make nice profits despite the credo of doctors, “First, do no harm.”

Sex is better with a foreskin, so why do parents opt to mute the full sexuality of their sons? Tragically, somewhere along the way, they’ve equated birth of boys and circumcision as going hand in hand. Shallow thinking, blindness, the tyranny of culture.

Lewis writes about the common practice in the Middle Ages to track down innocent boys, then force them to be castrated “in order to secure soprano voices for the church choir since women were not permitted to pollute the holy offices of Religion?  This infamous crime prevailed, despite the fact that fatalities due to castration amounted, at times, to more than fifty percent.” Binding of children’s feet, knocking a boy’s front tooth out at puberty or strapping a skull at infancy to get a desired shape — just a smitten of other cruelties imposed on the helpless to culture and religion.

“The religious maniacs who practice these mutilations upon the boy differ only in the degree and not in kind from those religious fanatics who practice circumcision,” the author writes.

Why do 21st Century Americans take a leave of their senses and submit their perfectly crafted infants to the knife where their offspring lose a structure all male mammals have, a body part that belongs in the full, rich mechanics of sexuality and as a protective covering for their glans?

As Lewis notes, “Is there, in the catalogue of man’s stupidity, a more perverse act?”

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