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Parents clash over 12 year old son's circumcision

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Aikanaro, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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  2. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    I think it's a horrible thing to do to a child who understands what's going on. Certainly doing it to a baby who has no idea as to their surroundings is one thing, but the child here certainly can understand that his father wants some doctor to cut his dingle-dangle.

    What if the child opposes it? Will they need to get police to restrain and force him to undergo the procedure?
     
  3. jaded empath Gems: 20/31
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    "Force"? This a very dubious choice of words; after reading the actual news article I gathered that there's no real consensus on the boy's opinion on the religious conversion and subsequent required procedure - dad says he does in court docs, mom says he doesn't.

    Oh my, divorced parents disagreeing on what their child actually SAYS? Never heard of that before. :nolike:

    Just another case of two people who hate one another trying to get at each other through their common bond of offspring - I'd be willing to wager neither of them gives a flying fig as to what the BOY really wants to do!

    And Aik? No, a twelve-year-old doesn't get any say; read on:
    (on page 3)


    And it's a case of a religious observance - Judaism. It's not optional, you have to have that superfluous flap of skin excised if you wanna join that religion.

    As such, I'd be less interested in the parents and the courts, but very interested in what the rabbi, etc. determines if this boy genuinely wants to convert to Judaism.

    Funny how the whole religious conversion issue got overlooked...


    Heck, not only from the religious standpoint, there's a simple matter of HYGIENE - since we men are slobs, a foreskin is just one more thing we'll forget to wash and get an infection in! :p

    (Yes, I was 'trimmed' at birth as was the custom even for Christians at the time. I don't see what the big fuss over a redundant flap is about - the argument "it enhances pleasure" is moot; if it gets any better than what I'm having right now, I'm gonna DIE! :lol: )
     
  4. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I believe that the child's wishes should be taken into consideration. If the son is opposed to the procedure and it is forced on him that will probably make him hostile to Judaism.

    I could only read the first page of the article so do not know if it states how the son feels about it.
     
  5. Late Gems: 4/31
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    I have little knowledge of the US law system, and I was surprised to read that no one was asking the boy's opinion on this.

    The issue was, back in the days of the Old Testament, that these guys lived in the Middle-East. It was warm. They sweat a lot. And unlike today, washing was luxury one could not afford even every week. (That's still the case in many countries, but we're talking about the US) I don't have much insight into judaism, as far as I know they circumcize simply because it reads in the Big Book. A tradition, nothing more.

    I'd really love to discuss with this guy about his 'religious observance'. Oh well.
     
  6. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    How the hell can this be allowed to happen? I can not think of a single reason why a parent should be able to force their children into anything, let alone a circumcision. How about 'Son, I'm a Jew and it would mean a lot to me if you would follow the religion to, as my son.. but the choice is yours lad, I'd think no worse of you if you decided against it'. How hard is that? This is a sad, sad situation when this is allowed to happen...
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I, myself, find it rather sick that our court system isn't asking the child whether or not he really wants the procedure done. The kid is 12. He's old enough to be able to tell anyone who asks if he wants the to have tip of his little friend trimmed or if he would prefer it to remain unmolested. We aren't talking about an ear piercing, here. We're talking about circumcision.
     
  8. Bahir the Red Gems: 18/31
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    The boy is not a jew unless his mother is a jew, or if he has converted. If he was born a jew, he should have had his circumcision about a week after his birth, and not any later unless under extreme circumstances.
     
  9. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    So I guess the question that needs to be answered before any further discussion can take place is: Does the child wish to convert to Judaism or not?

    Then again it does raise the point of who decides what religion the child is? I imagine this question has no answer that anyone can agree on and none can claim authority on.

    Given that the situation is a purely religious one the law should not get involved less something illegal happens to the child. Then again, if the child does not want the procedure they could lay a complaint of assault against whoever performed the circumcision and then possibly sue for damages since the procedure is permanent.

    In the end, it all depends upon the child's religious beliefs. Considering how the father has only just recently converted to Jusaism the child is more than likely not Jewish. Given the circumstance I say the procedure should not take place till it has been established what the child wants.
     
  10. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bahir, you don't know religious tradition. A Jewish boy is circumsized on his thirteenth birthday --it is an American tradition to have boys circumsized at birth (except for Jews). It is part of the whole Jewish 'coming of age' thing.

    Unless I'm mistaken, Jewish families are paternal -- that means the father has the right and obligation to ensure his children do the right thing in the eyes of God. The state is not allowed to interfere with religious practices. However, I believe such a rite is voluntary and the Rabbi will only perform the rite on a willing subject. I am certain there are many posters on SP who could give better information on this than I.

    In this case, the mother is wrong and has no right to stop the father from pursuing this course of action. When the time comes, the Rabbi should let the boy decide for himself.
     
  11. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    My friend, I believe you have confused the Bris with the Bar Mitsvah. A Bris (circumcision and naming ceremony) is performed when the child 8 days old.....not 13 years.....and this is most definitely in accordance with Jewish law.
     
  12. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Drew is right. Trim the foreskin while the child is too young to know how important his willie really is...

    AS for the boy, he should have the FINAL say. Any such religious ordinance or compliance should require consent. If the boy is forced to comply when he really doesn't want to, it will create resentment towards the faith...

    Honestly, if I hadn't had the trim as a baby, I wouldn't have the the nerve to go through that as a 12 year old boy...
     
  13. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I couldn't bring myself to have it done to my boys.....
     
  14. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Er - jaded empath - if the boy has no say then it doesn't really matter whether or not he wants it. The fact that it *could* be forced because the boy has no say over his own body - even though he is certainly capable of making that decision for himself - is the issue.

    And so what if it's a religious thing? How does that change anything? The problem is, in my eyes, that children have no say over what happens to them when they have the ability to choose for themselves. Why should his father or anyone else have the right to determine what religious group he belongs to, let alone decide that part of his penis should be cut off.
     
  15. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    That's right, they don't. Dude, children BY DEFINITION aren't capable of self-determinism, that's one of the joys that comes with being an adult. It's the job of a parent to make choices for a child - and, more importantly to teach children how to make their own choices. You have to start small, with stuff like what to order at a restaurant or what clothes to buy, so that when the time comes to make important, legally binding or life-altering, decisions the kid has tools to work with and understands what's going on. Really, how young would you have the legal age of consent be?

    Religious education is one of those important decisions that parents make. I used to think like you did, Aik - that kids should be able to choose their religion for themselves, independent of what their parents believe - back when I was a teen chafing under the parental bit of having to attend weekly Mass and CCD and all that. The thing is, not liking the observances is not sufficient reason for leaving a religion. There are all sorts of fundamental questions of belief and understanding about all sorts of interrelated questions that most kids aren't eqipped to handle. Heck, I'll go so far as to say that most ADULTS aren't equipped to handle them, and would change religion if they took the time to really, deeply think things through! The thing is, even before I became a mother I had come to the opinion that kids SHOULD have some sort of religious training. How would a kids know that they aren't comfortable with the traditions of their parents, if they don't understand them?

    Also, there are far, far too many kooky proseletyzers out there. I want my boys to have enough foundation to be able to close the door on the first nutjob who knock on the dorm door, preaching salvation thru Jesus or herbal tea or dancing naked under the moon. I want to know that if they go that route, it's because it jives with their beliefs and not because they had a spiritual vacuum that was filled by the first thing to come down the pike.

    That said, I too would be very interested to hear from the father's rabbi. Forced conversion is NOT a tenet of Judaism, and since he wasn't born Jewish the boy would have to convert to be Jewish. At age 12, his bar mitzvah would be rapidly approaching and that's not going to happen unless he converts - which would include a circumcision (by the way, if a male who's already circ'd converts, a symbolic drop if blood is taken from the tip of the penis).

    And yes, Drew has it right. The brit milah is performed at 8 days, the b'nai mitzvah at 13 years.

    [ April 30, 2007, 10:39: Message edited by: Rallymama ]
     
  16. TrueBlueAussie Gems: 17/31
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    I reckon that the boy should have his own say. The fundementals and beliefs of the religion should be shown to him, and if he agrees with, then go through with the circumcision. But only if he agrees. Hell, when I was 12, there would be no chance of anybody coming near my wang with with a sharp object.

    @ Rallymama

    I disagree with your opinion about having a religion being taught to a child at an early age as that child would become drawn to that religion as he got older and would disregard any others even if there was another that was closer to his personal beliefs.

    My belief is that a child should have an equal influence of the many religions through the course of their childhood without a predominant influence and by the time that child reaches adulthood, they would be ready to choose a religion that suits them. Thats pretty much what I have done and I reckon it as worked.
     
  17. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    @TBA: You misunderstand me. I'm not making any conjecture about what happens with the religious foundation that parents provide for a child, just that it should exist so that the individual has a strong platform from which to dive into the religious practice of his or her own choice. It's my guess, based on experience, that most people will follw whatever they were raised with without much question.

    I, too, used to think that kids should be explosed to a broad sampling of religions and allowed to choose for themselves. But how does that broad sampling occur? How does one learn enough about any particular faith to make such a decision? How does one learn enough about oneself to be able to make that decision? That's not the kind of decision that can be entrusted to a person whose identity isn't anywhere near formed yet. I think the formation process is the time when the individual should be prepared for making that choice, and I see providing a foundation as the way to do so. Kids aren't equipped to judge the relative merits of complex systems of theology and cosmology and ethics -and they shouldn't be expected to be.
     
  18. TrueBlueAussie Gems: 17/31
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    I think that it should fall on the parents to teach their child about the differences in the many religion.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but according to you, as I read it, a child should not be expected to judge the merits of theology, cosmology and ethics (and I agree in part with this) but you would have them be taught a code of ethics, cosmology and theology which contradicts itself. (As I said, please correct me if I have interpreted that in a way other than you meant it to be)

    When I have kids, I will try to teach them about many different religions when I feel they are ready then they will be able to decide which they choose to follow. If my child wishes to follow Budhism, I'll let him, so long as he knows the fundamentlas of other religions as well.
     
  19. Rallymama Gems: 31/31
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    In the ideal case, you're right, but I don't think that most parents are capable of giving that kind of instruction on a meaningful level, and they're not interested in doing so anyway. A survey like that, if not taught equitably towards all faiths included, would be more damaging than helpful.

    I think kids need to be given a platform from which the young adult they become can then spring, and the support of their parents should they choose to make a leap. That's all.
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Circumcision....*shivers at the tought*

    Circumcision ford children is banned in Finland so it's really a non-issue in here. I think the legistlation is a bit vague about it though but I do remember that a muslim mother who had her four year old boy circumcised was convicted of assault. I must quite agree since I really don't find a reason for it. Religious practices? Well female circumcision is also an religious practice but I'd be stunned to see anyone defend it here. Male circumcision is the same only in a lesser degree.

    EDIT: Fixed the answer to prevent misunderstandings. Circumsition is allowed in Finland but until the child reaches the age of consent.

    [ April 30, 2007, 17:52: Message edited by: Morgoroth ]
     
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