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Friday, June 17, 2011

Why apologize?

This post is by Longrider. The author below will be changed presently.

Russel Crowe has apologised for comments he made regarding the circumcision of infants.
Hollywood star Russell Crowe has apologised for criticising the ritual of circumcision on his Twitter account.
Crowe said the procedure was “barbaric and stupid” but later deleted his comments.
He later wrote: “I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress.”
“My personal beliefs aside, I realise that some will interpret this… as me mocking rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry,” he added.

The whole point about discussion –  particularly when it comes to rituals and beliefs is that someone, somewhere will be offended. Frankly, that’s just too bad. Crowe is right, circumcision of infants who are unable to give consent is barbaric and stupid. And mocking is probably not the right thing to do –  round, vigorous and repeated condemnation is more appropriate.
I presume that what prompted the discussion was this.
San Francisco voters will decide later this year whether, like its female counterpart, male infant circumcision should be outlawed. If passed, article 50 — the “Genital Cutting of Male Minors” — would make it unlawful to circumcise, cut, or mutilate the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person aged under 18. The bill includes an exemption for cases of medical necessity, but not for custom or ritual, which has profound implications for the many Jews and Muslims who consider it an essential part of their religious or cultural practice.
Now there’s a situation to get libertarian knickers in a twist. Is a ban on infant circumcision a case of the state interfering where it has no right or is it a case of upholding the non aggression principle? I am inclined to the latter, even though I dislike bans and the state making new laws. Indeed, given that it is assault, a new law is unnecessary, prosecute the bastards who do this using existing ones. The parents’ right to religious practice should not extend to the mutilation of their infants –  as they are conducting what amounts to assault. No, let’s call a spade a spade, it is assault.

And, no, saying so is not anti Semitic. Frankly, the idea that it is okay to cut off a part of an infant’s body on the basis of some ancient tribal ritual is abhorrent, barbaric and deeply repugnant. Worship whatever you like, conduct whatever silly rituals you choose, but if you really think that your chosen deity made the male body so imperfect that it needs some impromptu modification carried out by a religious leader, then wait until the boy is of an age to make an informed decision. If he chooses of his own volition to have a part of his penis hacked off, then fine, go ahead.

Ah, but, that would kill the practice overnight, wouldn’t it? And Crowe? He has nothing to apologise for, he was perfectly correct and should have had the guts to stick by his principles.

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