Letters. The Miami Herald, June 4, 1996.

Genital mutilation has no place in society

It is ironic that columnist A.M. Rosenthal (`Bipartisan mercy' could curtail mutilation rituals, May 29) condemns female genital mutilation when his own religion practices male genital mutilation. Unmentioned in the column are the atrocities that regularly accompany ritual Jewish male circumcision.

Male circumcision is no less barbaric than female circumcision despite its euphemistic name and respectability from tradition and religious mumbo jumbo. In fact, because it is carried out on helpless male infants, its practice is even less defensible.

Attempts to justify circumcision's barbarism, such as greater cleanliness, reduction of cervical cancer in mates, etc., have been discredited. In any case, done for this reason, the procedure is analogous to amputating a foot to prevent fungus.

Male circumcision is carried out for the same reason as female circumcision -- an attempt to control youthful sexuality.

The anti-God aspect of circumcision seems lost on its religious devotees; foreskin excision implies that man is correcting God's inferior design. In truth, we are born perfect in every way.

Key Biscayne

© 1996 The Miami Herald

(File revised 9 May 2008)

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