Growing up in the Jewish faith, I witnessed my fair share of 7-day-olds taken from their parents to face scalpel, prayer and barbaric snip. Why seven days? Undoubtedly, the number of Jewish boys converting to Methodism grows exponentially each day the foreskin remains attached. . . .(Nyukyukyuk. He's got a million of 'em folks! He just flew in from Denver and, boy, are his arms tired!)
Newborn circumcision rates are at 65 percent, but have dropped for decades since just after World War II, when they were at more than 80 percent. This might be partially attributable to immigration of non-circumcising populations. There are also various movements afoot that question both the health benefits and the morality of slicing a newborn.(Entirely so. Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I am not obsessed with other men's penises.)
I do not possess any ironclad opinion on the topic of circumcision -- and, perhaps, not so coincidentally, I also do not have a son. Many of you, I will assume, are foreskin-neutral. . . .
Here's the problem: Why is the CDC launching campaigns to "universally" promote a medical procedure? If you're an adult (and nuts), or a parent, no one stands in your way of having a bris. Today, 79 percent of men are already circumcised, and even if 100 percent the effect on the collective health of the nation would be negligible. If this is the standard, where does it stop?Read the whole thing -- or maybe it's not the whole thing. Perhaps Harsanyi's column was originally longer, before his editors at the Denver Post performed a bris.
And what would a proactive CDC mean when government operated health care insurance? No, I don't believe Washington would deploy a phalanx of grinning, twisted doctors to perform coerced circumcisions. But when the CDC dispenses medical advice of the "universal" brand, it's difficult to accept that a government-run public insurance outfit wouldn't heed advice and act accordingly. . .
Male Journalistic Mutilation!
(Hat-tip: The Jawa Report, avoiding the TMI factor.)
UPDATE: OMG, now a Memeorandum thread. I'm warning you people . . .