A Strange and Barbaric Practice | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly

A Strange and Barbaric Practice 

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A Strange and Barbaric Practice
In the well-written City Weekly cover story on circumcision ["Circumcision Decision," Sept. 17], the God of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions is credited with beginning this practice: God demands that the 99-year- old Abraham cut off his foreskin in order to prove his loyalty. God further demands the same of all Abraham's male offspring.

Why was God so fascinated with an old man's penis? If God required a physical proof of a man's membership in this limited fraternity, why not something more easily visible? A tattoo on the upper arm would have sufficed. Only a complete body search would reveal this mark of the chosen ones.

Today, it would be considered pretty sick and against the law if the coach of a football team required circumcision of the players. Likewise, it would be very strange if a corporate CEO demanded that all male employees show proof of not having foreskin.

Yet, as strange and barbaric as all of this is, Congress and legislators in Utah and most other states make decisions based on the supposed teachings of the God who demanded the sacrifice of an old man's shriveled foreskin.
Ted Ottinger

The Unkindest Cut
Just wanted to say a big thank you for the article on circumcision ["Circumcision Decision," Sept. 17, City Weekly]. It confirmed our choice not to have the unnecessary cosmetic surgery performed on our son's genitals 16 years ago. My family and some friends cautioned me at the time about all the terrible ills I was allowing and what a mistake I was making. So good to be proven right! I feel like giving them all a copy of this article and saying, "See, I told ya so!"

My husband and I are atheists, so we had no religious reason to circumcise our son (and the religious justification described in your article sounded ridiculous and even sadly comical to me) but I hadn't really given the idea serious thought until the class we took at the Seattle hospital where our son was born.

The nurse conducting the class was against circumcision but, instead of trying to explain to parents as to why they shouldn't opt for it on their boys, she just matter-of-factly described the procedure itself in explicit and accurate detail. Most of the mothers looked horrified, and the men looked pale and nauseous.

According to the nurse, the baby's arms, legs and torsos are strapped down, there is usually screaming, and there is often bleeding. My husband and I just looked at each other and didn't have to say a word: There was no way in hell someone was going to do that to our precious little man! Somewhere in his psyche, that would be one of his first memories of life on Earth. Not if we could help it!

Interesting that there seems to be a movement to repair or replace the foreskin. I wish all these men well and hope they are successful. Hopefully that kind of surgery will not be necessary in the future as we quit performing this ridiculous operation in the first place.

I shared the information in this article with my now-16-year-old son and he was interested and pleased to hear it but slightly confused. He says he has never experienced any problems of any kind in the locker room or elsewhere as a result of being uncircumcised, and was even surprised that some boys or men would. I guess, in his generation, it just seems to be normal. How awesome is that?

So thank you again for having the courage to put this story on your front page. Keep up the great work!
Laura Zielinski

Correction: Oct. 1 is the first day of the federal government's fiscal year. City Weekly's Sept. 17 Five Spot column incorrectly listed the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah's fiscal year.

City Weekly's Sept. 17 cover story, "Circumcision Decision," incorrectly named the the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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