May 19, 2011 is the day when a ballot initiative was approved for the upcoming elections.  San Francisco voters will vote on banning circumcision of any male under the age of 18.  The wording includes the provision that there will be no religious exemptions

Not surprisingly, the San Francisco Jewish community is pledging to fight this initiative.  Christians and other religions would be wise to join with them. This is merely a first step in another attempt at secular control of religious tenets. 

Many improper or sinful patterns have begun on the West coast. This one is really dangerous to all Christians, as well as to other religionists.

Fr. Orthohippo


About Fr. Orthohippo

The blog of a retired Anglican priest (MSJ), his musings, journey, humor, wonderment, and comments on today's scene.
This entry was posted in authority, culture differences, persecution, popular culture, prejudice, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sid Hall says:

    This initiative feels just plain silly to me, but I have to admit, I feel some ambiguity. The medical reasons for circumcision are widely debated and have been for years. However, for the last twenty years, the AMA say that there are no good reasons for male circumcision. I chose to do this for my son back in 1987, but not for any good reason, even then. It was simply the culturally acceptable norm and I went along with it. My daughter and son-in-law chose not to circumcise my grandson so as not to put him through the trauma. I think they made a good decision.

    I am not settled on this. I find it very extreme to make circumcision of males a crime, particular when it is has religious significance, like in Judaism. However, when I read about female circumcision in some cultures of Africa (Alice Walker has written extensively on this), even though it is also religious in nature, I find it abhorrent. Why am I inconsistent in this matter? I usually have a clear position on most things, but this isn’t one of them.

    I am curious about your comments about things coming out of the west coast tending to be improper or sinful. I can think of at least a couple of things, like allowing gay people to share in the covenant of marriage, or allowing marijuana to be legally regulated (like alcohol) as being two good things coming from what we think of as west coast values.

    • I agree with you about female circumcision. As to the trauma, while it is usually of significantly less magnitude, one might argue that any procedure which causes pain (and trauma) should be prohibited. Would this include shots?

      Cultural changes of many sorts can trace their inception to the West coast. The most graphic was the (fortunately shortlived) treatment of Japanese, mostly US citizens, during WWII which was generated by California politicians.

  2. kateyleigh says:

    Medical benefit or not, I think it’s a personal choice of the parent. The area is usually numbed and the child usually is more upset about being held down, than the actual procedure. Once done, diapered and wrapped, the baby generally settles.
    I don’t think government in any form has the right to legislate whether a parent chooses to circumcise or not. I know of no males that have been traumatized by the procedure.
    In the case of the Brit milah, the Jewish covenant of circumcision…I’m not sure how San Francisco justifies allowing no exceptions. Since I’m guessing they would allow exceptions (if it applied) to other religious groups—in the name of tolerance—it seems to be discriminatory and rather intolerant.

  3. cici says:

    The west coast thing is ridiculous. Really, nothing evil every came from the east coast? How @ taking the native american nations land? The west coast is no more evil than the east, or north or south. We all are sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

    • Cici – Of all the things mentioned in the blog, you chose to comment only on the idea that social trends have often started on the West Coast, and then spred east. De you really believe that absolutely nothing evil found its incception in California, for instance, and then spread to the rest of the nation?
      Of course we all are sinners and continually fall short of the glory of God. This is basic Christianity. The theft of Indian lands is indefensible, as is the imprisionment without any process, let alone due process, for example of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestory in 1942-46. One of the two most vocal proponents of this action later became a member of the U.S. supreme court (Earl Warren). The other was the army general in charge of the west coast military district. The internees was housed inhastically raised temporaty housing internment camps all over the south.
      Fr. Orthohippo

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