Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dear Rabbi, Leave That Infants Penis Alone

There is an orthodox Jewish circumcision ritual called metzizha b'peh. It involves a rabbi removing the blood from around the freshly butchered penis of an infant male. Health officials have long warned of the risks that this arcane practice poses to babies, yet if the Creator of the universe requires us to hack around with a child's penis then who are we to protest?
Hang on. Isn't this the same Creator that apparently, to quote Christian tradition, knits each human together in their mothers womb? If yes, it rather begs the question as to why if foreskin was so objectionable to him then why did he not just create boys without it?
Let's not dwell. Suffice to say that recently another infant died from the type 1 herpes simplex virus further to being subjected to this ritual. Another entirely preventable death the direct result of people abandoning common sense in the name of religion. Now I happen to think that the average newborn is quite an incredible thing, and slicing its penis with a sharp implement before sucking away the blood via priestly lips somewhat unnecessary. Yet we have not banned the practice. Why? 
Oddly, I find myself angry not just with the Priests who deem such an act as Godly, but also with the oceans of educated believers out there whom sit idly by and let such such barbarity persist. I don't doubt that the majority are unsettled by these stories, but why are they not leading the charge to outlaw these superstitions? I suppose they can simply hand wave the problem away and say that their denomination doesn't practice this particular Jewish rite, which is true, yet all versions of faith are brimming with bizarre notions.
Take for example my former denomination, the Baptists. They believe in speaking in tongues. For those not familiar it means praying in what's called the language of God, an indecipherable jumble of non words which are then interpreted by those nearby. It sounds entertaining as a children's party game, but these are adults, often middle class adults buying into it. 
Fancy another example? How about the "Laying on of hands". This is when believers place hands on the body of the sick or injured and pray that God bring healing and restoration. Whilst this act can have a certain placebo effect, and make the recipient feel genuinely loved and valued, there is simply no evidence to suggest the practice works despite many outrageous claims.
So in summary, whilst some practices are more dangerous and deviant than others, all are the offspring of delusion. And it matters not how clever you are in other areas of your life; if you're holding these views you've rejected reality and should frankly be ashamed. I could go on about how religion corrodes young minds, and infuses often lifelong guilt associations such like and so forth, but you get my point. If you believe ridiculous things then there's an increased chance you'll do ridiculous things. I can't speak plainer than that.

No comments:

Post a Comment