Circumcision is a very hot topic. So hot, in fact, that many parent health forums on Facebook completely ban it from discussion and all posts using the word are deleted. Discussing the genitals of males seems to elicit strong emotion from all angles. For this reason, I believe a lot of people have never really taken a serious look at the discussion; never investigated the true facts for themselves. My toddler grandson was able to get away from his mother during a diaper change at a church social gathering and enjoyed the freedom of walking around naked. There were several young fathers who noticed him and remarked amongst themselves, “He must be European.” Between them they had seven sons. They totally accepted that the American way is to cut off the foreskin.
1. Circumcision practiced today is NOT the same as Biblical circumcision. Firstly I want to address the actual word. The word circumcision is a familiar term to Christians and people familiar with the Torah or religious practices of Abraham’s descendants. The use of the word in our modern context is not at all the same. The procedure performed on infants today, predominantly in the US, should more appropriately be known as foreskin or prepuce amputation. Many people refer to it as genital mutilation.
Language is critically important in this discussion. The practice introduced to Abraham was not the same practice performed in US hospitals today. During Abraham’s time no one could imagine the complete amputation of an infant’s foreskin. This is part of the reason that ancient artistic depictions of the infant Jesus show him to be intact. (http://www.drmomma.org/2009/11/jack-black-on-circumcision.html) Of course the fact of Jesus’ circumcision according to the Jewish law was never questioned, but the procedure was one of a slight cutting of the foreskin which left the appearance of an intact organ. Biblical circumcision was a cutting of the foreskin, not a cutting off of the entire prepuce.
2. Rate of death from the modern practice of foreskin amputation is approximately one infant every two days in the US. According to those who have researched documented cases of death where the stated cause is circumcision, every second day a baby boy dies as a result of circumcision complications. The actual number may be far higher, as circumcision is not always listed as the cause of death. Deaths may be attributed to a secondary cause such as infection or bleeding, which would never have occurred without the surgical procedure of cutting off the foreskin. Parents are rarely warned that there is a real risk of death from the trauma, or from the bleeding.
MORBIDITY: Deaths from circumcision and its complications are estimated at 229 per year based on a ratio from a British study. There are about 178 times the number of circumcision deaths than schoolyard violent deaths each year. http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/bollinger2004/
3. The US is the only country with high rates of routine infant foreskin removal. Prevalence of circumcision in other countries according to the WHO is ±30% of the total male population. Parents in the US are completely oblivious to the rate of circumcision throughout the world.
“The strange truth is that the U.S. is the sole country in the world where a large majority of its male population is routinely circumcised at birth for non-religious reason.”
“The neonatal circumcision rate peaked in the U.S. in the late 1960s, at around 80-90%. Since then, the procedure has been slowly declining—in part due to the skepticism of parents who no longer place blind faith in the medical establishment and in part due to the profession’s own writings.”
Good news: “The intact rate among newborn males in the U.S. has increased from 15 percent in 1965 to 44.5 percent in 2006. This is an increase of 294 percent.” http://www.cirp.org/library/statistics/USA//
4. The positive role of the foreskin. The foreskin is an organ that the majority of men in the US have not experienced. “Removing this healthy, vital, fully functioning organ from a non-consenting person will forever change the sexuality of this future adult man and his partner.” The intact foreskin provides external protection, self-cleansing, internal self-protection, immunological protection, antibacterial function, coverage during erection, erogenous sensitivity, sexual functions, and self lubrication. Foreskin removal deprives a man of these benefits. http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
5. There are no health benefits from routine infant foreskin removal. Circumcision has no justifiable benefits and is in fact harmful – from pain and suffering, to surgical botches, to reduced maternal-child bonding, and confounding of breastfeeding. Medical authorities throughout the world consider circumcision medically unnecessary and unethical. Botched circumcisions can cause trauma for boys and men throughout their lives. https://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org
6. Blood loss is a serious risk of routine foreskin amputation, especially for infants. Parents are not adequately warned of this danger. Losing a small amount of blood results in a significant loss of a baby’s total blood volume. “An eight pound baby only needs to lose 1 ounce of blood to hemorrhage, and just 2.3 ounces to die as a result of this blood loss. It can, and does, occur at a frightening quick pace.” Smaller babies are even more at risk. http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/death-from-circumcision.html
7. Baby Foreskin is a highly profitable commodity. Infant foreskins are sold at considerable profits for scientific research, vaccine development, and other consumable uses. Details of the many uses and how to harvest the highly valuable fibroblast cells are discussed here. https://vactruth.com/2017/09/28/foreskin-used-in-vaccines/
8. Baby boys should be like their fathers/brothers/etc? Performing a surgical amputation is not justified because of a surgical amputation performed on the infant’s father, siblings, or other males. Most of us were taught as children, two wrongs don’t make a right.
9. Male infants are not able to give informed consent AND the experience is painful and traumatic. The most popular surgical procedure performed on male babies is profoundly stressful, derives no medical benefit, and can impair breastfeeding and thus long-term health, yet it is completely cosmetic.
10. There is no current Biblical imperative for Christians to circumcise their infant. In fact, the imperative is to love and treat others the way you would want to be treated. Part of the parental role is to investigate every single medical procedure recommended for your baby and ask questions. Any procedure that provides an income stream to hospitals, doctors, and research labs is going to be promoted. Get the facts. I encourage you to read the entire letter Paul wrote to the Galatians, especially chapter 5 and 7. Here are the highlights:
“But if I still proclaim circumcision … then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.”
“I wish that those who are pushing you to do so would mutilate themselves!”
“And even those who advocate circumcision don’t really keep the whole law. They only want you to be circumcised so they can brag about it and claim you as their disciples.”
“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision matters. Rather, what matters is being a new creation.”
Galatians 5:11, 12, 6:13, 15
“Cutting off a functional, protective, and sensitive body part is a far-reaching decision that the vast majority of Europeans believe should be left to its owner when he becomes old enough to understand the consequences. Despite the recent, backward-looking statements by U.S. medical organizations, more and more Americans are beginning to agree.” Morten Frisch, M.D., Danish epidemiologist
“Genital cutting and the amputation of a healthy, functioning body organ from a non-consenting human being is a severe violation of human rights. If we did such a thing to a dog, we would be charged with animal abuse.” http://www.drmomma.org/2010/07/biblical-circumcision-information.html
Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus and truth. As a breastfeeding counselor for over 23 years Becky is devoted to helping parents make wise decisions for the long-term health and wellbeing of their babies.