The Catholic Church forbids circumcision for any reason!
(02-28-2014, 03:49 AM)Chestertonian Wrote: either way, it is still cutting off part of someone's genitals which some have objected to on the grounds that it is genital mutilation and an evil act in and of itself.  However, even if the circumcisions done today are different from those practiced by the Jews thousands of years ago, would you say that one is genital mutilation and the other one isn't?  The idea of cutting off part of the foreskin is not an idea that originated in the mind of man, but rather in the mind of God.  I can understand objecting to the practice to eliminate confusion about the Old Covenant and the Law among Christians, however it is my understanding that the Church does not teach that it is an intrinsically evil, barbaric practice of genital mutilation that automatically makes you a bad parent. 

Just to be clear:  the idea of cutting off just the foreskiin that could be pulled past the end of the penis is what the OT rules called for. Literally ripping the foreskin from the penis, using fingernails to forcefully tear it away from the glans down, to the point of the preppuce, and cutting all that flesh away -- that's not what the OT called for. IOW, the two procedures -- the OT procedure, and the procedure called for by post-Temple rabbis and by modern medicine today -- are radically different procedures with radically different effects (for both the circumcise and for their wives).

So, do I see the original OT procedure as "genital mutilation"? I guess I have to in the sense that the genitals are altered -- but not in the sense that if affects functioning, including its sexual functioning and the very purpose of the foreskin, including its allowing "gliding" abilities that make sex for the wife a lot more pleasurable. I doubt that either procedure is pleasant for male babies, that's for sure. But the post-Temple procedure is, in fact, light years away from the OT procedure.

I haven't studied this fascinating topic in depth, but what occurs to me is that God ordained the (MUCH less instrusive) OT circucmsion which leaves all of the purposes of the parts of the penis intact in order to get folks to feel the pain of sacrifice, of having to endure seeing one's son shed blood in the same way that the Father had to endure seeing His Son shed Blood for us.  It's like with the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham that foreshadows the Father's offering up His only-begotten Son -- a sacrifice, BTW, which Abraham seemed to KNOW that God would not expect him to carry through (see Genesis 22:7-8:  "Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust? And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son.")  IOW, he went through the motions, obeying God -- while also TRUSTING God to not expect him to actually sacrifice his son, and trusting that He would provide a victim for the holocaust instead. And it seems that the purpose of the entire story is to get folks to imagine what it was for God to send HIS Son as a Sacrifice. It's easier to relate to some guy named Abraham who had a wife and a son and whom we know things about, etc., than it is to relate to "God, the Father" in all this.)

In any case, we are in the New Covenant, and the rites of the OT are meaningless outside of insofar as they act as roots and types of New Covenant rites. The New Testament is clear about circumcision at this time, as is the Church. Medical reasons --- i.e., reasons that pertain to a given individual who has particular problems which circumcision might help alleviate -- aside, Christians are not to be circumcised acc, to Scripture and the Church.The extreme differences between OT and post-Temple circumcision make this point even doubly clear to me -- and should, one'd think anyway, have some impact on how the "we need to follow OT Law" "Christians" should go about circumcising their sons, if that's what they insist on doing.

By saying all that, I do NOT mean to imply that parents who have their sons circumcised are "ignorant" as in "stupid"! And while my guess is that most parents who do circumcise don't put a whole lot of thought into it, thinking "eh, it's just what's done!", I think that lack of thought is problematic and maybe indicative of a belief that babies don't feel pain (a very wrong belief), or indicative of ignorance about what exactly is cut away, what its purpose is, how it affects the sexual pleasure of both the circumcised man and his wife. It's easy to get caught up doing things in a certain way because "that's just what folks do!" -- but I do wish that Christians think a LOT more deeply about all of this, listen to the Church, listen to what pediatricians have to say, etc. (and maybe throw a thought toward the possible future marriage of their sons and the sexual happiness they should have with their wives).


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Re: The Catholic Church forbids circumcision for any reason! - by VoxClamantis - 02-28-2014, 04:47 AM

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