The California ban initiative back in the news

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Registered: 04-27-2009
The California ban initiative back in the news
46
Sat, 06-04-2011 - 10:05pm

This is from today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/us/05circumcision.html

What I found interesting were a couple of quotes on two issues that procircumcision supporters, until now, have not only always avoided, but that would even be caught dead admitting:

'.....“People are shocked that it has reached this level because there has never been this kind of a direct assault on a Jewish practice here,” said Marc Stern, associate general counsel for the American Jewish Committee, an advocacy group. “This is something that American Jews have always taken for granted — that something that was so contested elsewhere but here, we’re safe and we’re secure.....'[my bold];

and

"...Dr. David Baron, a family physician, certified mohel — someone who performs ritual circumcision — and former chief of staff at Santa Monica-U.C.L.A., said that he would not press any parent to circumcise a son but that he viewed the effort to ban the procedure as “ridiculous and dishonest.”. “To say it is mutilation is wrong from the get-go,” Dr. Baron said. “It is a perfectly valid decision to say that it is not what you want for your child. Any doctor who says it is needed is not being honest [my bold]

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2009

"....I think they can see the writing on the wall.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010

“In that sense, I expect a significant outcry from religious organizations on this issue as the time approaches.”

The outcry started long ago. They have been an ever present presence on parenting boards supporting infant circumcision not just for their groups but for everyone’s child. Although Jews are only 1.75% of the US population, they have been the overwhelming majority on parenting boards and at virtually every place circumcision is discussed on the internet. They have not been content to just protect their own practices but have been at the forefront to convince non-Jewish parents to circumcise their child.

“The expected outcry may derail a positive vote for a ban, which personally I don’t believe would pass anyway.”

I think otherwise. The originators of this initiative wisely chose California possibly because that is the place with the lowest infant circumcision rate and therefore, the largest chance of passage. We already know there are some 12,000 supporters of the initiative from the number of signatories on the petition. It can be expected that virtually all of those will actually vote for the ban. California also has not been circumcising for the last 30 years. It is not the bastion of circumcision that most of the rest of the country is so that is a lot of “built in” votes there. Finally, the infant circumcision rate for the entire country in 2009 was 32.5%. In virtually any place in the country, it could be expected that the outcome of a vote would be very close.

“In Europe,Latin America, and other non-circumcising regions, the vast majority of the local populations basically have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to their minorities practicing circumcision.”

That is not what they want apparently. They don’t want to be “The last man standing for circumcision.” They want everyone circumcised so as a minority, they can blend in with the majority. The Old Testament told that circumcision was to be a unique cultural and religious identifier of the descendants of Abraham and Moses (Jews) but they argue that if only Jews are circumcised, it would be an identifier for them to be identified and persecuted a they were in Nazi Germany. Even in America!

“as long as it remains restricted to a minority”

The problem is that it was not restricted to the minority. I was/am not a Jew but I have been “marked.” If it were only the Jews that were doing it, it would not be an issue here. There would be so few and it would most likely be done in secrecy that most wouldn’t even know of it and precious few outside Judaism would practice it. I would have been safe but I was not. I have seen reports of Jews advocating Universal circumcision (all male babies circumcised) going back as far as 1830 and several instances since then including one rabbi addressing a medical convention.

“Furthermore, the minorities are fully aware of this situation and, intelligently, do not provoke trying to convince anybody to join in the practice, as long as they are left alone to continue it”

That is definitely not true. As mentioned above, they have addressed medical conventions in two cases, one in Chicago and one in San Diego. They are an ever present force on parenting boards and have been for as long as I’ve been involved in the issue (more than 11 years.)

“And here is the problem. In a way, theUKmanaged to drop its non-religious circumcision without too much issue about 50 years ago (or so I believe. Please correct me if I am wrong).”

Actually, it was about 60 years ago. I suspect that if this had happened in The US, we wouldn’t be here discussing this today. I just don’t see it happening that way today and a lot of that is because of the influence of 1.75% of the population (Jews) who continue to vocally support it and try to convince non-Jewish parents to adopt their ritual (without the religious connotations and influence. Edgar Schoen has been one of the most rabid promoters of circumcision for ALL. Schoen is Jewish and has even misrepresented The New Testament teachings about the issue in his attempts to have all babies circumcised.

“The trend may have reversed (largely due to demographics and dissemination of information via Internet),”

Yes, I give the internet virtually 100% credit for changing our direction in this issue. The internet allowed people to read actual medical research and learn that the vast majority of what they were lead to believe was outright lies and misinformation.

“Both the above interest groups have too much invested in circumcision to allow a European or Latin American-type status quo to take hold in the only country in which they still have a momentum going and a population ready to continue circumcising.”

Yes, now you are contradicting yourself from previous writings. They do have too much invested Also, parents who have circumcised their child have an enormous investment regardless of religious leanings and men who have been circumcised have this investment. Even grandparents who have advocated circumcising their grand child have this investment. The medical profession has an even greater investment and so continue to advocate it. Until these investments are negated, the practice will continue to be advocated by these investors.

“The only possible “ban” in theUSwill be something akin to what is already happening: a drop in demand.”

I suspect that is what the petition organizers are counting on. The demand is already down to 32.5% and apparently still dropping. The fact that they started the initiative in San Francisco indicates they chose it for a specific reason, the already low circumcision rate as a “head start” and the most likely place for a beginning success. If successful, I suspect the initiative will be repeated elsewhere as has happened with Medicaid defunding where 18 states have defunded the procedure.

“I am happy for the attempted SF ban. Even if it fails, anything that generates buzz, debate, loud discussions, etc. helps to eradicate this practice’s main “source of energy”: silence.”

I agree with you here. The main intent may have been to generate discussion and bring more people into the discussion. Typically, only those of child bearing age have been exposed to the issue and this brings a much wider audience. It is a learning opportunity for America as a whole.

 

 

Frank

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Registered: 12-01-2010

"Yet, the louder the noise the better the chances that more parents will question the practice and lessen its demand."

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-27-2009

Federico:

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2010
"I think otherwise. The originators of this initiative wisely chose California possibly because that is the place with the lowest infant circumcision rate and therefore, the largest chance of passage. We already know there are some 12,000 supporters of the initiative from the number of signatories on the petition. It can be expected that virtually all of those will actually vote for the ban. California also has not been circumcising for the last 30 years. It is not the bastion of circumcision that most of the rest of the country is so that is a lot of “built in” votes there. Finally, the infant circumcision rate for the entire country in 2009 was 32.5%. In virtually any place in the country, it could be expected that the outcome of a vote would be very close."

Ironically, I was circumcised in California. Do you have a link to the statistics in California over the last few decades, I'd be very interested in seeing it.
Avatar for islaywhisky
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Registered: 01-06-2002
Fri, 06-17-2011 - 11:56pm

Frank and Federico... two of my male friends who have constantly given so much valuable input here. :smileyhappy:

I'm sorry I haven't replied to you earlier, but I've been involved with BabyCenter's

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010

"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010

"Frank, even if the Jewish and Muslim minorities in the US are as low as you state, their influence vis-a vis circumcision will be aggressively obstructive."

Avatar for islaywhisky
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2002
Mon, 06-20-2011 - 11:03pm

Most now accept that the 32.5% figure is not realistic.. I thought you agreed.

It was a CDC pronouncement based on hospital data.

Christopher

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant


"Almost any manmade phenomenon i

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-01-2010

"Most now accept that the 32.5% figure is not realistic.. I thought you agreed.

It was a CDC pronouncement based on hospital data."