Romans 2:28-29 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.
I went to a baby shower a few months back and the topic of circumcision came up. My friend is having twin boys at the end of September or October. The general feeling I got from it was that circumcision was a totally normal thing to do. Although as many in the party pointed out, you had to go to a urologist because the hospital doesn't preform them.
It seemed rather odd to me because as I've mentioned a lot, I used to work at a day care. And after changing many baby boys, you notice something. A vast majority of them are uncircumcised. Perhaps this is because I worked in a poorer part of town. Perhaps this is the new trend on the issue. MK said there is a trend that less and less boys are uncircumcised.
Just so you know, to circumcise or not is not a Christian or Catholic issue. It's an American one. Other Christian nations do not circumcise their children. A friend of mine from Colombia pointed this out to me one day (don't ask how the subject came up because honestly I don't remember). He said that it's purely an American thing to circumcise, not a religious one.
The Bible backs this up. Their are numerous quotes from Paul clearly pointing out that it's not the circumcision itself that makes one holy, but how one behaves. He tells many of the Jews evangelizing the Greeks to stop forcing them to go through a circumcision.
The Catholic church also says that circumcision is not mandatory. And from what I've heard (I have no evidence of this), it's actually frowned upon.
I've looked into how our country got into circumcision and it's largely based around doctors. In the 70s and 80s, 90% of all boys were circumcised. Doctors were telling families to perform the procedure so that boys could receive the now deemed benign benefits of lower risks of contracting STDs and lower risk of urinary tract infections.
Fast forward to the next generation, the AAP says that because there are risks and only benign benefits, they do not endorse it or refute it. In other words, it's up to the parents to weigh their options. Today, only 60 % of American boys are circumcised.
Some reasons to circumcise today include: religious reasons (Jews and Muslims especially are obligated), less risk of UTI, less risk of AIDS/HIV contraction, less risk of other STIs or STDs contractions, "easier" to clean (I say this because cleaning an uncircumcised boy is a piece of cake), and because their father was so they want to look similar.
Some reasons to not circumcise today include: expense- insurance carriers are no longer covering the procedure because it is deemed cosmetic, risk of infection, risk of hemorrhaging, and to keep the child as is.
Now many of you know that HB is a boy and are probably wondering what choice we have made on the subject. I actually hesitate to tell you because I strongly feel it's my duty as HB's parent to protect his privacy. However, this blog is largely anonymous and the ones who know me in person, for the most part, already know what our decision was. That being said, I will tell you.
Since there is no religious obligation to circumcise nor is it considered immoral, I left the decision up to Hubby. Hubby is a man. I don't have a penis so I don't feel that I could make that sort of decision because I don't have the faintest clue as to what something like that would do. Hubby, in his wonderful wisdom, took the same attitude I did. He decided that he couldn't make that body altering decision for another man. He decided to let HB decide. Since HB is an infant, he can't really decide right now. In the mean time, he will remain intact because it's a lot easier to remove a foreskin than it is to sew one back on. When he's old enough to make that decision for himself and if that's what he wants to do, we will take him to be circumcised. And that was our decision.
It's the same decision that my parents had with me over piercing my ears. Although circumcision is surgery. My attitude is not to alter the body the child has. If they want to, then that is their decision. So things like circumcision, body piercings, and tattoos should be something that the child decides when their of the age to. But that's my opinion. Parents have to decide whether they are circumcising their boys for the benefits or for religion or for society and to weigh the options against the risks.