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Evangelicals wade into circumcision debate

By ADELLE M. BANKS
c. 2011 Religion News Service

(RNS) The National Association of Evangelicals is siding with Jews and Muslims in opposition of a proposed ban on infant male circumcision in San Francisco.

“Jews, Muslims, and Christians all trace our spiritual heritage back to Abraham. Biblical circumcision begins with Abraham,” NAE President Leith Anderson said in a statement. “No American government should restrict this historic tradition. Essential religious liberties are at stake.”

The proposed ban, which does not include a religious exemption, would prevent circumcision of male children in San Francisco. If passed, circumcisions would be considered a misdemeanor that could carry a fine of up to $1,000 or a year in jail.

The NAE said the proposal violates the First Amendment’s clause protecting the free exercise of religion.

“While evangelical denominations traditionally neither require nor forbid circumcision, we join Jews and Muslims in opposing this ban and standing together for religious freedom,” said Anderson.

The Anti-Defamation League has also condemned the proposed ban, calling it an “assault on parental choice, legitimate medical practice, and religious freedom.” ADL leaders also expressed outrage when supporters of the ban promoted it with a cartoon character named “Foreskin Man.”

Matthew Hess, president of an anti-circumcision organization that supports the ban, has written on Twitter that the “Foreskin Man” series is not anti-Semitic.

“People who forcefully cut the genitals of children are not reasonable,” he wrote. “If they were reasonable, they would have stopped doing it by now.”



  • Pingback: San Francisco’s proposed circumcision ban galvanizes religious opposition – CNN (blog)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Nice to see 3 totally different religions agree on something!!!! I find it hard to believe the folks in San Fran have put on their ballot a proposed ban on what is a personal decision by the parents of a male child. My son and daughter-in-law consulted several doctors before deciding to circumcise their son. It had nothing to do with a religious belief. San Fran has no business interfering with that decision. NO government has the right to ban this kind of personal decision. Even IF it did include a religious exemption the government is still trying to mess about in a private decision. So wrong.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cmaglaughlin

    To cut or not to cut, that still is a weiner!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Obviously it’s a weiner of a story.

  • http://whatignorance Tom Tobin

    Did these evangelicals never read the New Testament?
    Or did they read it, and fail to comprehend it.
    I thought Paul made it quite clear in his letters to the Galatians, that circumcision is not to be carried out by Christians.
    Unbelievable.
    Where were these people to run to the aid of Muslims, when female circumcision was being outlawed in 1996? Don’t the Muslims trace their roots to Abraham as well?
    So much garbage, in the name of forcing a partial amputation on a healthy child. So much sexism and hypocrisy.

  • http://noparenthastheright Tom Tobin

    No parent, however well meaning, has the right to remove half the skin from their child’s genitals. Simply put, it does not belong to them.
    It’s his body, and he will have to live with the consequences.
    No matter how much you rationalize it, what percentage of your own genitals would you like to be permitted to keep? zero percent? 50 percent? Or 100%?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Susan

    Circumcision is NOT A GOVERNMENTAL LAW TO BE MADE BY ANY GOVERNMENT .. GOD ORDAINED IT FOR A REASON.. HAS MORE TO DO WITH CLEANLINESS AND PREVENTION OF INFECTION OF A MALE PENIS then a religious RITE OF MANY.. IT IS STILL A RIGHT FOR PARENTS to DECIDE hopefully BEFORE TO LONG. Because a NEW baby heals fasyter and does not suffer as an older child or man would. ASK ANY PHYSICIAN THAT KNOWS ABOUT INFECTIONS and SUFFERING YOU SHOULD RECIEVE THE TRUTH of the CONCEQUENCES OF uncircuncision of males.. While Circumcision is the Topic GOD DID NOT ORDAIN CIRCUMCISION OF WOMAN OF ANY BELIEF NOT EVEN WOMAN IN BELIEF AND FAITH OF THE RITUAL OF ISLAMIC MUSLIM WOMAN CIRCUMCISION. The MALES OF ISLAM CIRCUMCISE BECAUSE THAT IS THERE WAY OF TREATING THEIR FEMALES. NOT GODS WAY NOT AT ALL. THEIR FAITH BELIEF AND RELION TEACHES THE WOMAN ARE MANS POSSESION NOT WIVES THEY ARE CONSIDERED PROPERTY, LESS THEN THE MAN, MALES. I am SURPRISED HOW MANY NON-MUSLIMS OF ISLAM are NOT AWARE OF THESE PRACTICES especially since THEIR OWN WOMAN have TOLD of THESE atrocities SO NON MUSLOIMS WOULD UNDERSTAND the TREATMENT THEY FACE WHEN THEY BECOME OF AGE IN OTHER WORD OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS.. WHAT AGE WOULD THAT BE FOR ANY CHILD BEING A FEMALE. USED TO BE EVEN FOR OTHER RELIGIONS a female that had become to Mentration age THEY WE and Could Be married OF by the families If CHOOSEING TO DO so.. Many Cultures THE PARENTS CHOOSE the MARRIGE PARTNERS. TO MY KNOWLEGDE IT is THE FAITH RELIGIOUS CULTUREAL BELIEF THAT THE FEMALE CIRCUMCISION IS ALLOWED AND MADE BY THE WOMAN BECAUSE MOST OF THE OLDER WOMAN WERE BROUGHT UP AS SUCH.. YET IT IS NOT A ORDAINATION OF GOD ALMIGHTY I DO NOT CARE WHAT FAITH YOU ARE OF..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Susan

    SOMETIME TRUTH does NOT AGREE with those that refuse to KNOW WHAT THE FATHER GOD HAS ORDAINED TO BE DONE. OR NOT DONE IN THIS CASE..

  • Pingback: San Francisco’s proposed circumcision ban galvanizes religious opposition – CNN (blog) » The Legends of the Jews

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Susan you don’t make your point better using a lot of caps. It makes you sound like you are yelling, and that’s unpleasant. I expect some folks just avoid reading a message like that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    Susan, so it’s wrong for Muslims to cut up little girls even if they claim their god said they could, but you cutting up little boys is fine and dandy because…you claim your god said you could? Can you say “double standard”? I knew you could.

  • http://www.catholicsagainstcircumcision.org/ Petrina

    By the NAE’s reasoning, polygamy should legal because it was part of the Mormon faith, denying life saving treatment to the children of Christian Scientists should be tolerated because it’s part of their religious faith, stoning adulterers to death should still be allowed because it was part of the law of Moses and also advocated by some Muslims, children of Jehovah’s Witnesses should be denied life saving blood transfusions if it goes against the faith of the parents, female circumcision should never been made a federal crime in the 1990′s because some Muslims believe in it for religious reasons.

    One person’s religious faith ends where another person’s human rights begin.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Ditto to nnmns, Susan. Caps do not make your point any stronger—it really only serves to stop people from reading what you wrote.

  • Pingback: Circumcision Ban Proposal Draws Opposition From Evangelicals – Christian Post

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cmaglaughlin
  • Pingback: Evangelicals Speak Out Against Measure Banning Circumcision – Christian Post

  • Pingback: Evangelicals Speak Out Against Measure Banning Circumcision – Christian Post » The Legends of the Jews

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    In my 73 years, and have read and studied the New Testamnt all my life. Contrary to what Tom Tobin says, Paul nowhere forbids circumcision, he just does not require it.

    When I was drafted, 50+ years ago, there were certain guys who were not circumcised and had this stink about them. The army had to teach them how to clean under their foreskin, and generally was none to gentle about it. Those guys would have been much better off if they had been circumcised as infants rather than have their penis scrubed with a scrub brush as adults!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Georgia Dude

    I’m all for it. Religious traditionalists shouldn’t always have theirs ways.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    OK – the coincidence of this becoming a headline right after the fall of the ill-named Congressman from New York cannot be a coincidence. The opportunity for “cutting” remarks (pun intended) is almost too great to resist.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Whoa! Good one, jestrfyl. :o)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Curt

    For all of the religious people, if you actually believe that your faith requires you to remove part of your sex organs, you should have them cut off yourself after you turn 18 years old. But how can cutting off someone elses sex organs demonstrate your faith. Talk about shoving your religion down someone elses “pants”.
    I vote BAN it! For both boys and girls.

  • Pingback: tmatt.net » Blog Archive » Parents, circumcision and the law

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sean

    Even worse than the childish use of caps is the dread-awful spelling and grammar mistakes. But, I suppose it supports the (il)logic…

    Allan, quite frankly I would very much like to tell you what you can go and do with your ever-so-dandy circumcised peepee, however, sadly I don’t believe you will be able to manage that, as you are equally unable to be logical about the circumcision…

    It is downright insulting to imply that having a foreskin is akin to a lack of hygiene. Any “stink” is due to bad hygiene practices and not because of anything else whatsoever! Do we need to, to avoid the stink of sweaty armpits, amputate someone’s arms too? Circumcision should never be a substitute for bad education.

    If a foreskin is so unhealthy and unnatural, why are all male babies still born with them?

    Please leave the child intact to decide on his own body one day. It’s not yours to decide on. Simple as that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sean

    My apologies, I never quite finished a thought on my post above:

    “…as you are equally unable to be logical about the circumcision…”
    …of helpless and voiceless individuals.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tom Tobin

    Susan, put on your thinking cap. I’m going to ask you a trick question.
    Why would God spend the effort in evolving a body part for 120 million years on mammals, then spend 4.7 million years perfecting it on humans, and then demand it’s removal?
    Answer:
    It is not God demanding its removal. It’s men, dressing it up as the word of God, and using it to subjugate people. They keep saying that God gave circumcision to the Jews through Abraham, but historical fact tells us that the Jews were circumcised when they were slaves in Egypt.
    Doesn’t make any difference. If you are a Christian, circumcision gains you nothing. Paul makes that abundantly clear, in his Letters to the Galatians.
    As for Jewish people, there is a bit of a double standard, and some confusion going on there. Please allow me to explain. Russian Jews have their foreskins, as to many European Jews. They get admitted to Israel, who rightly embraces them as their brothers. They don’t insist that they get circumcised. Many Jews are in the forefront of the anti-circumcision movement, and this is not just a recent thing, it goes back to the 19th century. Dr. Fleiss, Ronald Goldman, Jews Against Circumcision,
    An orthodox Israeli made a movie:
    Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision – A Movie by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon

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