Yoda or Darth? The Circumcision Debate Continues
My boys are both circumcised. It was not a decision that we took lightly.
Circumcision rates have fallen sharply in Canada, even in the last decade going from the norm to the exception. But we are a Jewish family and not circumcising them would have meant that they are not Jewish.
And while we are not religious, we want our kids to be Jewish without any kind of question mark attached. In honour of the millions of Jews who have been forced to assimilate or who have been killed, we are going to raise Jewish kids who can choose to be religious or not.
I know that is heavy. But the debate over circumcision is becoming more and more laden with fear and anger. San Francisco is debating whether or not to ban circumcision outright and while the first proposal allowed religious exceptions, the newest proposal does not. In fact, according to Time Magazine the debate is becoming more and more anti-Semetic as it progresses.
The debate in the homes of expectant parents can also be very heated. I know of couples who have wished for girls, just so they don't have to make the decision.
And it is a hard one. Many people know adults who had to be circumcised later on because of infections. But there are also the cases of babies getting infections during the procedures. There is evidence that circumcision lowers HIV risk and there are critics that say the studies are weak.
At the core of the debate is the "intactivists" argument that babies are perfect the way they are; that men lose something emotionally, physically and sexually when they are circumcised. Annie at Phdinparenting has a round-up of reasons not to circumcise. And while I disagree with her comments about my religious tradition as well some of her other points, I do agree that traditions need to be questioned.
This is a debate fraught with emotion and neither side can claim to be 100 percent right.
How did you handle the decision? Is the "hood good" in your house? Or do you have Yodas running around?
Just an extra caution while commenting: MSN will remove all comments that are offensive. Please keep in mind everybody's traditions while having your say, but please do comment.
Want more chaos? Last year, I was pondering whether to save or dump all the paperwork my kids had brought home from school.