The Show Must Go On…

No circumcision bans in California, so says the governor.

California's governor has signed a bill that that will prevent local governments from banning male circumcision.

Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced Sunday that the Democrat signed AB768, a bill written in response to a ballot measure proposed in San Francisco.

I'm not particularly militant either way, but circumcision is definitely a weird holdover from darker times (though the hangups and Puritanical fears about human genitals in modern day America aren't much of an improvement).

Legislation gets constitutionally sketchy, however, when it comes to regulating religious traditions, no matter how bizarre. I'm not sure there are many politicians who are willing to tell Jews and Muslims that they're unable to continue an ages-old ritual -- nor would the Constitution allow them to get away with such a thing. Jerry Brown didn't really have a choice here.

  • Razor

    Once again, the magic word prevents us from pulling ourselves out of the dark ages. Just imagine, if it was part of someone’s religion to cut off a toe or give girls double mastectomies upon the onset of puberty, would we allow that?

    I’m sorry if your religion is one with absurd practices (example: all of them), but it’s time to end stupid shit like circumcision. Is it a #1 priority issue? No, but it is a common sense issue and it’s beyond ridiculous that it’s even up for debate.

  • IrishGrrrl

    It was a stupid distraction basically. As if CA doesn’t have a million more important things to worry about!?

    • DevilInPgh

      The problem is that San Francisco and Santa Monica sorta forced this onto the agenda. This effectively puts an end to “Foreskin Man’s” pseudo-Nazi escapades. Yeah, I said it. Why else would such a person obsess and smear over Jewish ritual in a comic with a Nordic-looking “superhero” fighting against images right out of Der Stürmer?

  • nicole

    I know it isn’t just Jews and Muslims who circumcise male babies. It is also done within the general population because it offers important health benefits, and is perfectly safe and not painful when performed by a competent physician.

    That said, this is O/T, but, Bob, you need to see this video.

    • Robert Burns

      According to my son’s doc it offers equal mild benefits and mild negatives – it’s a wash. It IS painful, but can be done with a local anesthetic if done early. If the kid gets a few months older, it requires full anesthetic.

      Brown did the right thing. The State of San Fransisco was looking to take things little too far.

    • Razor

      It’s completely pointless. 70% of the civilized world doesn’t participate in the practice… you can’t get 70% of the civilized world to agree that puppies are adorable. It’s outdated barbarism and needs to be phased out.

      • D_C_Wilson

        Pointless and barbaric, maybe. But this proposed law in San Francisco was Constitutionally suspect. CA definitely has far more important issues to deal with than fighting this through the courts.

        • Rick Janes

          My friend who was a nurse says that no matter how skilled the physician (or moyel, as the case may be), and no matter how much painkiller is used, the infants scream in terror when the circumcision is performed. If people want to continue a practice due to religious belief, let them assent to it as adults, not helpless children. (And keep in mind the outrage in the West when some African tribes circumsize women and remove their clitoris in the process.) As we’ve seen with slavery, bloodletting and other barbarities of the past, just because a thing is popular with the public and even approved by many physicians, does not make it right. In this case, I’d support a ban on subjecting infants to circumcision and leave it open for adults to decide for themselves if they want the surgery done.

          • nicole

            I observed when my son was circumcised. He didn’t “scream in terror”.
            After all, why would he? Infants don’t know what the hell you’re going to do to them until you do it.

            If no anesthetic was used, or if the infant had somehow developed a major fear of doctors, then I could see it.

            Meanwhile, I will be very blatant and tell you that I have only once been with an adult male who had not been circumcised. And, before you leap, not one of them was Jewish or Muslim. The point, of course, being that this is a mainstream procedure in America.

            I don’t think this is barbaric. I think it is barbaric not to do so, for both your own protection, and that of your woman.

            Adding… outlaw it is simply ludicrous.

          • Alex0001

            Well all I can tell you is my mom is also a nurse and I’m personally circumcised. I’m not entirely sure why (that, to me, is one damn awkward conversation to have with my parents) but I can guarantee it wasn’t for religious reasons. Whatever the case was, I haven’t had any issues, mental or physical, because of it.

          • Razor

            To be fair, I’ve always heard the opposite, they don’t scream, they’re silent… because they’re in shock.

            And to say it’s barbaric to not circumcise is pure lunacy.

      • nicole

        Come on, Razor. Where did you come up with that 70% number?

        I would guess that a lot of those in third world countries aren’t circumcised, but by my count, it’s very much the norm in this country.

        • Razor

          It’s the norm in America (though dropping dramatically), but like many other things, we’re not in the best company. Circumcision is more prevalent in third world, under developed nations.

          And I didn’t “come up with” that number, the WHO estimates only 30% of the world’s population is circumcised…