From the September 2007 Idaho Observer:
"In the name of liberty, put down the knife!"
"In the name of liberty, put down the knife!"
A boy is born in an American hospital in the 1960s. He’s taken from the loving arms of his mother to an operating room behind closed doors out of sight and sound of his mother, strapped down to a cold plastic board, and then (without anesthetic) has the most erogenous part of his penis ripped, crushed and cut away. He has no sense of time, so he has no way of knowing that this terrifying, unspeakable torture is only temporary...that is...if you don’t count the lifelong detrimental effects of this procedure.
By Rich Angell
Over 20 years later, as a Marine stationed in Okinawa, he sees a platoon mate strutting out of the shower with no towel. He catches a glimpse of his intact penis, all neatly wrapped and comfortable looking. "So that is what I’m missing!" he thinks to himself. He feels a sense of anger toward his parents. "Why didn’t they let me keep my foreskin?" he wonders.
Since he likes to be natural in every way possible, his mind starts racing with questions, but he quickly dismisses the whole idea and suppresses his anger. No point in getting worked up over something about which he can do nothing.
Over the next few years, further observations and discoveries lead him to start asking some serious questions that no one seems to want to answer or talk about. Why do doctors seem compelled to amputate that part? What do they do in parts of the world where there are no modern doctors or facilities? If God doesn’t want us to have that part, why are we born with it? Doesn’t it hurt to cut it off? Could this have anything to do with the uncomfortable sensation of the glans rubbing on my clothing? How about the severe pain there when caught in cold weather, or when submerged in icy cold water? How can we do something like this to a helpless baby without his consent? Am I the only one who thinks there’s something wrong with this picture?
Finally, as a college sociology student, he reads a passage from Dr. Warren Farrell’s book, "Why Men Are the Way They Are." Dr. Farrell asks some serious questions, too. Where are the studies of the longterm effects of circumcision? Where is the outrage we would surely see if girls received similar treatment?
At last, someone else who challenges the idea of amputating foreskins!
From that moment, a series of events leads the guy to a deeper and deeper understanding of what circumcision is, what it does, and how it affects the penis...and the sexual partners of the preputial amputee.
He learned that:
• The great majority of men worldwide are not circumcised.
• The U.S. is the only country in the world that circumcises the majority of baby boys without a religious reason.
• Circumcision was introduced in the 1880s as a means of preventing (gasp!) masturbation, which was "known" at the time to be the cause of myriad diseases and syndromes.
• Every medical excuse for circumcision has been debunked,
• Girls are "circumcised" in certain parts of the world.
Then the startling realization: Not only does the foreskin have the advantage of covering and protecting the glans, an internal organ like the analogous clitoris of the female, but it provides a gliding mechanism during intercourse (reducing or eliminating any chaffing or drying effect), features certain pleasurable sensations for both the man and his partner—and is loaded with pleasurable nerve endings that are permanently lost as a result of circumcision. (Could this have anything to do with so many American women faking orgasm and complaining of painful intercourse? And why do so many couples use artificial lubricants, anyway?)
As you might have guessed, the experience about which you just read happens to be that of the author of this article. That epiphany took place October 23, 1990. I remember it well, because it was the day I declared war on circumcision. It was also the day I began the transformation from a clean-cut, all-American, flag waving, Christian Science, former Marine, college grad, card-carrying Republican to what I am today: A reader of The Idaho Observer.
Other than the day I was circumcised, it was the worst day of my life. I felt devastated, incomplete, helpless, betrayed, bewildered, angry, sad and shocked all at the same time. It was time for some more questions:
• Why aren’t the media reporting this insanity inflicted on the majority of baby boys?
• What else aren’t they telling us?
• What else were my parents wrong about?
• What else didn’t I learn in school?
• How can doctors get away with it?
• What else are they getting away with?
• What other insane cultural practices have we normalized without even thinking?
• As a Marine, what kind of country was I defending?
• If there is a God, where was he when my parents allowed this to happen to me?
• Why isn’t my church taking a stand against this?
When I first became an intactivist (intact + activist), there were four organizations listed in the Encyclopædia of Associations. Today there are intactivist organizations all over the world, international symposia, support groups and web sites. Once in a while the mainstream media will cover the issue of circumcision and, occasionally, they’ll be accurate when they do.
There is one glimmer of hope for those of us who are dissatisfied with our circumcised status: Foreskin restoration. For those who can afford it, surgical reconstruction of the foreskin is possible, although risky. But the preferred method is any of various non-surgical stretching techniques. The basic idea is that with adequate tension, skin stretches and even grows new cells. A good example would be a certain tribe where the people use weights to greatly lengthen their earlobes over a long period of time. With time, patience and persistence, a somewhat normal looking and normal functioning foreskin can be achieved by stretching the vestigial tissue. Much of the degree of success depends on how much tissue is left to work with in the first place. The aforementioned nerve endings and the mucosal tissue cannot, however, be replaced.
Why should readers of The Idaho Observer be concerned about this issue? There are certain things that every liberty-oriented individual should be aware of and, hopefully, do something about:
1. Liberty is freedom in balance with responsibility and the rights of others. Those who think parents should have the right to choose circumcision for their sons or daughters should remember that the foreskin (or clitoris, labia, et cetera) belong to the person being cut. We maintain that the child, no matter how small, has an inherent right to an intact body and, as responsible champions of liberty, we should respect that right and allow the child the freedom to choose later, as a competent adult, whether to keep his or her body intact.
2. In all but about 13 states in America, circumcision is covered as a "benefit" through the states’ Medicaid programs. Should liberty-oriented people tolerate having their tax dollars pay for the torture and mutilation of children?
3. Right now, there is an aggressive campaign to promote circumcision as a means of preventing HIV/AIDS. Ever since the masturbation hysteria died, the medical establishment has claimed that the scary disease du jour (cervical cancer, penile cancer, urinary tract infection, venereal diseases) can be prevented or reduced by circumcision. Every time, the claims are soundly refuted, although one wouldn’t know it by following the "mindcontrol" media. Today the scary disease du jour is HIV/AIDS, and it’s business as usual.
Let’s put aside for now the question about whether HIV is really the cause of AIDS, or whether AIDS is a uniquely definable disease. Here is an inconvenient truth for the pro-circumcision crowd: America, which has the highest rate of circumcision among industrialized nations also has the highest rate of "AIDS." Scandanavia, where circumcision is rarest among industrialized nations, has the lowest incidence of "AIDS." Unless the trend for global tyranny is reversed it may be only a matter of time before all males are required to undergo circumcision.
In case the reader finds the terms "torture" and "mutilation" an exaggeration, here’s your cure:
Torture: do a Google video search for circumcision, or simply go to http://tinyurl.com/2avfhr and watch how the procedure is done and listen to the baby’s screams.
Mutilation: look the word up in a dictionary, and do a study of the anatomy and physiology of the foreskin.
For more information on this issue, the best place to start that I know of is the award-winning web site: www.cirp.org (Circumcision Information Resource Pages). In case you do not have Internet access, contact NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers), PO Box 2512, San Anselmo, California 94979-2512; 415-488-9883.
Rich Angell is the executive producer/editor of the television program Sovereign Solutions (www.sovereign-solutions.info). He is also a Liberty Dollar associate and in the first 1,000 "porcupines" to relocate in New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project.
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