2015-02-25

Government-Funded Bris?

From an NPR piece about how the Feds are considering cutting Medicaid funding for circumcision.

I find the argument that "cutting Medicaid for circumcision would hurt poor Jews" to be very odd. This means that the Federal government has been cutting chèques to mohels this whole while, not to hospitals? It seems like saying that cutting Federal money for Christening gowns would hurt poor Catholics. The argument that the Federal government should "continue to fund" a given religious practice strikes me as being on shaky ground from a 1st Amendment point of view.

I think that Jewish people need to get firmly behind the termination of so-called "medical routine infant circumcision" (RIC). Mutilating the genitals of an infant is almost certainly a horrible thing (and rabbis at least admit this) and the burden of proof that it's appropriate lies firmly on the holder of the knife. However, doing it to uphold the Covenant of Abraham is at least a reason. Secular circumcision has no such reason, except for these vague, constantly shifting ex post facto status quo apologia such as "hygiene" or "prevents AIDS" or other such transparent nonsense. It will be put a stop to, and if it turns into a big fight, the bris and hospital circumcision being convolved is ultimately going to put American Judaism in a bad position, e.g., circumcision being made generally illegal, like it is for females in the US now since the 1950s, by Title 19. "Hospital circumcision" needs to be put down immediately and quietly, and Jews need to get behind it so that they can remain free to deal with the issue of "religious circumcision" on their own, without government interference.

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