Probably the best (and worst) example of the Secularist utter tin ear for religion, expressed everywhere in lawsuits, billboards, and ridicule, is the attempt by some to do away with circumcision on the grounds that it constitutes mutilation of infants who have no say in the matter. (I will not pursue the irony of such protests being made by people who regard a human fetus as no different from a tumor. I cannot figure how an abortion activist thinks he/she deserves the epithet “humanist” any more than an “Earth First” eco-terrorist.)
If circumcision were comparable to the horror of female circumcision (clitorodectomy—and worse), then maybe there would be a legitimate issue here, but it isn’t.
“Oh, but the clipped baby boys cry!” So what? You are being a bigger sissy than they are if you think this is important.
If there are detrimental health effects, they are so marginal as to be negligible. At a recent secularist conference, an atheist, secularist MD gave this opinion only to receive protests from the peanut gallery, from laymen who figured they knew her specialty better than she did. You know, just like anti-vaccination zealots. Besides, given the artistic, intellectual, and other achievements of Jews, the greatest circumcisers of all, I can’t think being circumcised has hurt them all that much.
Here’s what I think it finally comes down to: Those who want to prohibit infant circumcision (in Germany and here, too) are following in the infamous footsteps of the Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanies who forbade Jews circumcising their children. It was a subtler version of Pharaoh’s strategy in the Exodus legend. Yul Brynner tried the clumsy way of eradicating Jewry: butchering Hebrew babies fresh from the womb. Antiochus realized you didn’t need to get blood on your hands. Just prevent circumcision, because that way kids would not grow up being Jews. Circumcision was (and is) the initiation into the covenant of Abraham. If you prevent a Jewish boy being circumcised, you are assimilating him to Gentile ways from square one. If this strategy succeeds, no more Judaism. Jews yes, but in name only, and then even Jewish ethnicity is doomed to extinction as assimilation results in intermarriage, and secularism follows on its heels.
My impression is that today’s secularists do not even realize what’s at stake. It seems not to occur to them that their so-superior opposition to circumcision is a direct assault on the Jewish religion, that Jewish identity is at stake here. To them, religion is so far from mattering that they do not realize it matters to anyone else. They certainly would not mind if Judaism (and all religions) were to vanish from the earth, and if you remind them, as I am trying to do here, that an attack on circumcision is an attack on Judaism per se, they will react with irritation as if you are making a mountain out of a molehill, trying to stop the Secularist freight train because a mouse is on the track. Secularists seem to think getting rid of circumcision is just another job of gender rectification, like eliminating non-inclusive language.
This is a terrible time for Jews. Vocal and virulent anti-Semitism is on the rise in once-civilized Europe. But of course it was cultured, enlightened Europeans who sent Jews to the gas chambers, wasn’t it? And it was effete, ever-optimistic, naïve Europeans who allowed the annihilation of Jews because they could not believe “Mister Hitler” could actually be such a medieval barbarian as he proved to be. Today things are no different. Bubble-headed Presidents and Secretaries of State assure us that Iran is just kidding when they repeatedly announce their intent to wipe out Israel in a repeat of the Holocaust they disingenuously claim never happened. What happened to “Never again!”? More like “Ever again!” As long as liberals with no spine to stand up to evil feel free to use Israel as a guinea pig in their experiment in diplomacy, the train continues chugging toward Iranian Auschwitz. Even certain Republican FOX TV hosts wave a scolding finger at Mike Huckabee when his voice on Israel’s behalf uses the word “Holocaust.” They didn’t like Mike speaking the blunt truth about Israel’s peril at the hands of Iran and America. Such PC prissiness only oils the rails for the hellbound train. How can they not see that? It is a fantastic irony when our ludicrous hyper-sensitivity produces a kind of pre-Holocaust denial.
And while the “enlightened” opposition to circumcision is not directly related to the looming Iranian Holocaust, it must be seen in light of this larger picture of resurgent anti-Semitism. I beg you to keep this in mind.
Just leave the Jews alone, okay?
So says Zarathustra.
SEINFELD The Bris – Season 5 – Episode 5
Featuring Shakey the Mohel