According to the Intactivist site, Circumcision and HIV, the local ACLU chapter of Santa Cruz, CA, was in very bad form at a recent Pride parade, and apparently, this isn’t the first time Northern California ACLU chapters have displayed a double standard in protecting civil liberties — particularly protecting the religious freedom rights of parents over the basic civil liberties and human rights of infant boys.
Protecting the United States’ First Amendment is the cornerstone of my writing and music. I find it unconscionable to see the ACLU’s Northern California and Santa Cruz affiliates and others putting some people’s religious beliefs ABOVE infant boys’ pro-choice rights to their bodies.
If someone wanted to take a slice out of my body or my daughter’s, the ACLU would stand behind my right to my body and her right to hers. I doubt the ACLU would support the stoning of a woman because she had premarital sex — a stoning dictated by a misogynist religious mandate. And yet, the circumcision of newborn boys is a perfectly acceptable religious mandate?
Believe it or not, there are growing numbers of Jewish groups that oppose circumcision, so not all Jews approve of such orthodox misogyny and misguided body mutilation.
Why would any person or group support the physical and sexual abuse of defenseless infant boys by putting religion over the child’s right to his body? Is this a case in which the Orwellian adage rings true: “All animals are equal… but some animals are more equal than others”? Since this body mutilation occurs on the penis, which is necessary for reproduction later in his life, isn’t circumcision a violation of the boy’s reproductive rights as well?
Every American baby boy has inherent, inalienable, protected rights including his First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. Since he is only days old when the scalpel-happy doctor and religious fanatic parents are wanting to permanently modify and potentially permanently harm his newborn body, the baby boy cannot say what HIS religion is yet — if he even wants to participate in his parents’ religion that mandates this mutilation.
The baby boy does not have a voice. Except for us activists — intactivists!
Contact these ACLU branches and use YOUR freedom of speech to speak out against the ACLU protecting adults over innocent babies: ACLU-Northern California: (415) 621-2493, and ACLU-Santa Cruz: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet them @ACLU and @ACLU_NorCal or find them on Facebook to let them know this is NOT acceptable for an organization supposedly devoted to protecting civil liberties for ALL.
I want to be proud of the ACLU again. So ACLU-Northern California and ACLU-Santa Cruz need to do the right thing and protect baby boys from religious extremism.
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Infant circumcision puts the ACLU between a rock and a hard place. If the ACLU acted as we would prefer, that would antagonise the wealthy liberal Jewish donors who are the backbone of the ACLU’s financial support. This is why it is very important to promote the notion among nonorthodox Jews that brit milah should be a free adult choice, and not something the current generation imposes on the subsequent one.
Opinion and policy in the USA is very much determined by the well educated “chattering class” (a useful British colloquialism). The American chattering class, made up of journalists with a national readership, book authors, people who write for the New Yorker/Atlantic/Harper’s, Ivy League college professors and so on, is at least 10% Jewish. Many/most of these Jews are unaffiliated. They are not Biblical literalists. They wince at talk of Chosen People and Covenant. Sadly, American Jews find it very difficult to put circumcision behind them, even though circumcision contravenes Jewish feminism and commitment to progressive sexual values. I suspect that Jewish parents fear that Jewish young women find it offputting to encounter, when dating, a man who has been left in his natural state.
If North American Jews whose first commitment is to progressive political and intellectual values were to make circumcision a free adult choice, that would considerably reduce the obstacles we intactivists face in much of the USA east of the continental divide.
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