Major negative Stereotyping of the foreskin by mainstream Abrahamic religions, which include Judaism, Islam and to a lesser extent Christianity (it’s not mandatory for Christians to be circumcised) have perpetuated the derision and vilification of a man’s most erogenous zone. Indeed it would seem that the God of the bible does not want men to have foreskins. Why doesn’t this God want men and women access to the foreskin? Could it be that this God doesn’t want humans to enjoy the natural blissful, pleasurable sensations of what an intact penis is capable of experiencing…which was what nature (surely…God) designed? Maybe God made a ‘mistake’ in the design of the human male because all males are born with a foreskin. If males were meant to be without a foreskin, then that’s how they’d be born, but this is not the case because nature / evolution designed human males to be born with foreskins. This would seem to be yet another major control agenda imposed on humanity, but this time decreed from the highest authority (God) and virtually immune from questioning and challenge. Criticism of religious circumcision inevitably results in cries and retorts of religious persecution and of being attacked for their beliefs, but it’s the unashamed sexual crime and torture that circumcision causes that’s being attacked for its human rights violation, not the beliefs themselves.
Jews and Muslims must circumcise their males because their religious dogma and traditions demand it, so for their males keeping a foreskin is forbidden otherwise the ‘covenant with Abraham’ cannot be fulfilled because it was God who commanded Abraham (the ancestral father of both Jews and Muslims) that all his male descendants had to undergo this blood sacrifice and be forever foreskin-less. (Genesis 17:9-14) says: –
“(9) And God said unto Abraham: ‘And as for thee, thou shalt keep my covenant, thou, and thy seed after thee throughout their generations. (10) This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised.
(11) And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt me and you. (12) And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. (13) He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. (14) And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.'”
In his book ‘The God Delusion’, Richard Dawkins describes the God of the old testament as “arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully”. Erm, indeed…well said Mr Dawkins…Bravo!!!
The Feast of the Circumcision of Christ is a religious celebration on the eighth day after the birth of Jesus. It observes the day that Jesus was circumcised, showing by tradition his descent from Abraham. To believers, it is a feast celebrating not only Jesus consenting to submit to Jewish Law, but also the first time that he spilled his blood for mankind, thus demonstrating not only his obedience, but also foreshadows the Crucifixion. Jesus’ circumcision is mentioned in the gospels of St Luke, and the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, still celebrated by many churches, falls on January 1. The first reference to the survival of the severed foreskin comes in the second chapter of the apocryphal Arabic Infancy Gospel which contains the following story: – [1. And when the time of his circumcision was come, namely, the eighth day, on which the law commanded the child to be circumcised, they circumcised him in a cave. 2. And the old Hebrew woman took the foreskin, and preserved it in an alabaster-box of old oil of spikenard. 3. And she had a son who was a druggist, to whom she said, “Take heed thou sell not this alabaster box of spikenard-ointment, although thou shouldst be offered three hundred pence for it.” 4. Now this is that alabaster-box which Mary the sinner procured, and poured forth the ointment out of it upon the head and feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wiped it off with the hairs of her head]. Supposed foreskin relics began appearing during the Middle Ages and there were at least 18 different holy foreskins in various European towns during this time. These relics began to disappear during the Reformation Iconoclasm of 1566 and by the end of the French Revolution (1799) most of the Holy Prepuces were lost or destroyed…Thank heavens for that then.
Moses Maimónides (1135 – 1204), known as the “Rambam”, was a medieval Jewish rabbi, physician and philosopher who stated unequivocally that the real purpose of circumcision was to reduce sexual gratification…”In my opinion, the wish to bring about a decrease in sexual intercourse and a weakening of the organ in question, so that this activity be diminished and the organ be in as quiet a state as possible…In fact this commandment has not been prescribed with a view to perfecting what is defective congenitally, but to perfecting what is defective morally. The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision. None of the activities necessary for the preservation of the individual is harmed thereby, nor is procreation rendered impossible, but violent concupiscence and lust that goes beyond what is needed are diminished. The fact that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. For if at birth this member has been made to bleed and had has its covering taken away from it, it must indubitably be weakened.”
In Jewish tradition there’s the practice of Metzitzeh B’peh whereby the mohel (circumciser) performs oral suction on the newly circumcised penis after he’s sliced off that baby boy’s foreskin. Whatever the origins and reasoning for this rite, its practice today must surely be questioned as whether this is a religious rite or a moral abhorrence. In current day awareness of child sex abuse practices, does this practice not seem like a blatant violation thereof? Why isn’t this practice being challenged as such? This isn’t something that’s occurring behind closed doors, but is openly being practiced in public in front of hoards of people in Synagogues. Why isn’t there an outcry of outrage about this practice then? There have been known cases of where a number of Jewish baby boys have died after contracting Herpes from having this oral suction performed on them by the mohel. How do the parents of these boys cope with the way that the death of their infants occurred? How would God react to this situation? Wasn’t it he, after all who commanded that all of Abraham’s descendants must be circumcised to satisfy this need of his? Maybe he’ll just write this one off as an unfortunate loss and hope that it doesn’t happen again…Right !!! Then, let’s continue regardless, because this is the 21st century and we can behave like we did 5000 years ago because it’s our tradition and we’ve always done it since we were ‘primitive’ people.
Muslims systematically practice ‘Khatna’ or ‘Khitān’ (circumcision) although it is not mentioned anywhere in the Qur’an. It is alleged that Muhammad was born with Aposthia, which is a rare condition of being born without a foreskin. It was eventually deemed that all male followers should likewise not have foreskins, to be like Muhammad. Thus circumcision became one of the man-made laws, rituals, traditions and practices of the “Hadith and Sunnah” whereby it is demanded that all Muslims must have their foreskins cut off as a directive from Muhammad, although this is not officially required by the god of the Qur’an. It is the human authors of these man made laws and traditions who are responsible for the tyranical demand of this sexual crime which is ruthlessly implemented with impunity by followers who blindly obey that this practice, although an atrocious abomination and perversion, be adhered to ferociously and fanatically. The unfortunate tragedy of this situation is that there is no negotiation possible because Muhammad supposedly didn’t have a foreskin and so for the rest of eternity all Muslim men must have this tyrannical and barbaric ritual forced upon them as children. Circumcision is rigorously enforced by all Muslims everywhere around the world and it would seem that subjugating sexual enjoyment doesn’t matter in Islam as this cruelty is necessary and an inevitable part of the religion. Circumcision has been a curse on hundreds of millions of Muslim children, both male and female, across the Islamic world for a millennia and a half. Male circumcision which is universally practiced tenaciously throughout the Islamic world is thus seen as a ‘normal’, required and routine ritual, whereas female circumcision is widespread but not universal.
Female circumcision (the other side of the circumcision coin) or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a blatant violation of human rights and outrightly banned in Western societies. It is practiced in many Muslim countries with an estimate of 100 million women mutilated worldwide. It is usually performed on girls by adult women to prevent earthy desires, carnal pleasures, sexual enjoyment and fulfilment. It’s a means of dominating women in a patriarchal society where a man can have more than one wife and to sexually bind her to him and to control who is the father of her children. The victim is either an infant, toddler or young girl and is usually mutilated without anaesthesia whilst lying on her back, legs kept wide apart by helpers or by one lying under the young girl to anchor the ankles. To immobilize a 7 year old, sometimes requires up to 5 women to restrain the head, arms and legs. When the girl is a toddler, one assistant alone can manage body and thighs at the same time, while holding her in a sitting position.
Clitoridectomy, the operation of choice in Egypt is the surgical removal of the clitoris, the hood of the clitoris and the most important parts of the labia minora. Infibulation or pharaonic circumcision is practiced in Sudan and Somalia and involves the complete ablation (surgical removal) of the clitoris, labia minora and part of labia majora. The two sides of the vulva are then sewn together with silk or catgut stitches (Sudan) or with thorns (Somalia) in order to close the vulva, except for a very small opening for the passage of urine and menstrual flow. On the wedding night, the groom has to open his bride, more often than not with a double edged dagger. In some tribes, the woman is sewn back each time her husband goes travelling and is opened again each time he comes back. In case of divorce, the woman is sewn up to prevent any possibility of intercourse.
Now after several millennia of conditioning, a significant percentage of the planet’s population (around one third) are dominated and tyrannised by circumcision. A worldwide estimate of all circumcised men is estimated to be over a staggering one billion, which also includes non-religious circumcision. Enshrined in the doctrines, dogmas and man-made customs of religion, these hundreds of millions of men (and the hundreds of millions of women and men also affected by circumcision through being sexually active with them) are subjected to losing their foreskins in this genital mutilation and torture practice. Unfortunately for this section of humanity to deviate from the status quo would attract hostile derision, condemnation and rejection from their communities and so there’s a tenacious attachment to cling to tradition and a ferocious hostility to succumb from the norm thus continuing the perpetuation of this intolerable, barbaric and inhumane practice. Being religiously circumcised means being marked like branded cattle to distinguish ownership to God because this God (and man-made laws) demands genital mutilation as a sign of loyalty and ‘purification’.
The circumcisers of boys, who are usually men, must surely have a sadistic streak to be able to perform these painful blood rituals by cutting off the foreskins of their infants and boys over and over again continually. There is a difference between the Jewish and Islamic traditions in that Jews circumcise their male infants on the 8th day after birth in a ceremony called Brit Mila (Hebrew = covenant of cutting) while Muslims circumcise pre-pubescent boys, which is an absolutely horrendous ordeal for the petrified boys once they realise what is about to happen to them. A number of documentaries which have showed this practice say just how violent, frightening and deeply upsetting it is to witness this trauma. Often it is done en mass in public, where dozens of boys are circumcised at the same event. Often the boy has to be physically restrained by adult men because of their struggling whilst their foreskins are cut off. The crying and screaming which is horrifying and gruesome is always in vain because no one comes to help or save them from their fate, and the cruelty of the physical and psychological violation must surely give those boys nightmares and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Indeed a study of Turkish boys circumcised in late childhood found that a boy experienced a sense of powerlessness and felt a violent and an aggressive attack upon his body, which damaged, mutilated and in some cases totally destroyed him. Ritual circumcision appeared to be associated with increased aggressiveness, weakness of the ego, withdrawal, reduced functioning and adaptation and nightmares consistent with PTSD. At any other time anything of this nature would be classified as child abuse and a sexual crime, but somehow this type of barbarity is conveniently condoned as a ‘cultural right’, perpetuated by the religious demands of a bloodthirsty tormentor God and the untouchable archaic man-made laws and traditions, which remain unchallengeable today. Many Muslims males don’t really know why they have to get their foreskins cut off. It’s been deemed that all of Muhammad’s male followers must be circumcised to be Muhammad-like who happened to have supposedly be born without a foreskin. That means that he never had to undergo the pain, suffering and agony of having his foreskin cut off, but nevertheless the cruel practice of circumcision was then imposed on all of those unfortunate Muslim males who happen to be born with a foreskin. That seems to make this practice awfully unfair on all the millions upon millions of little boys who have to be held down by adults whilst their foreskins are sliced off without any anaesthetic. There doesn’t seem to be any negotiation on this situation because Muslims see any challenge to this practice as an attack on their right to practice their religion. But what about the fundamental right to keep one’s foreskin? Or what about the right to not be sexually tortured?
The male phallus has been under religious attack throughout history and to this day circumcision is mandatory throughout vast areas of the world and both males and females are the victims of this heinous, barbaric sex torture practice. As far as religious dogma goes it is up to Jewish and Muslim men and women to challenge the sexual fascism and slavery of this abusive genital torture and mutilation practice of their babies and children. Is it worth the cost of maintaining this excruciatingly painful, archaic, barbaric and illogical practice, which God demands or to break away from it? The pressure by those communities on anyone who challenges this heinous practice is a major problem because being shunned, rejected, ostracised and possibly killed are usually the result of resisting circumcision. Is it hardly surprising then that many of the most violent societies and wars on the planet are perpetrated by those who ritually circumcise their males, torturing their penises by severing the innocence of their foreskins, dulling their sensitivity to decrease their sexual pleasures and invalidating their right of maleness to possess a foreskin? An interesting but virtually impossible theory to test out would be to see if circumcision were to cease totally worldwide, whether violence and wars abate or cease in those societies that ritually circumcise?
The Abrahamic religions have embedded circumcision into the bedrock of their culture, with no negotiation of altering this practice. How then is this to be challenged? There has to be a start somewhere, to begin the ending of religious circumcision. There’s a growing number of enlightened Jewish men and women who are now challenging the practice of circumcision and refraining from having their baby boys’ foreskins cut off. They are certainly not rejecting their religion, just simply the barbaric sex torture of their sons. Dr. Jenny Goodman, a Jewish Medical Doctor and Psychotherapist says: “None of us do it for medical reasons. We do it because we fear being cast out from the tribe. But after having done it, we comfort ourselves with these medical myths … If we could progress from sacrifice through castration to circumcision, then we can continue to progress all the way away from any kind of physical injury.” The Brit Shalom is a surgery free Jewish naming ceremony (Hebrew = covenant of peace) which has nothing to do with circumcision. Their website is called jewsagainstcircumcision.org for further information. Islam however remains stoic in its tenacity to maintain the aggression and violence which circumcision generates and demands the penile mutilation of all males and depending on the nation, females also. Muslim men and women must begin to make a stand, take control of their genitals by rejecting the grisly criminal practice of genital mutilation and start preserving the most sensitive and precious parts of their bodies.
Ultimately, all religions are man-made constructions…devised, established and enshrined in beliefs created by humans under the guise of their so called God’s ‘personal’ voice. The cold, harsh reality is that, it was ‘Man that created God’…well at least the Abrahamic version in the Old Testament. And indeed if there was a God like creative force that created all of life, then surely this creative force via evolution, designed human beings to be perfect organisms, with no redundant or extraneous parts. The belief systems that humans devised to deal with the world thousands of years ago may have served them well, as the world was a very different place then. It would seem that the human hierarchy at that time enshrined their beliefs systems to appear like they were directives from God, with commands, instructions and punishments, in attempts to control their population through stories, anecdotes and accounts, ultimately becoming the collective conglomeration of texts known as the bible. However, the world has now become a very different place with global civilization and a hopefully more holistic understanding of human beings, nature and the world . We no longer need to follow archaic sets of rules and directives that don’t serve humanity any longer. We need to collectively say a very loud no to this outdated and brutally barbaric blood-lust practice of enforced circumcision in the name of religion because it is inhumane, cruelly harmful, dangerous and just simply wrong.