Circumcision in California: Update

An update to an earlier Pileus post: The woman who had submitted the ballot measure that would ban circumcision in Santa Monica has now withdrawn the measure (h/t: Roger Ream). The woman in question, one Jena Troutman, claims it had not occurred to her that there might be religious objection to her measure, especially from Jews, for whom circumcision is an important religious rite.

Ms. Troutman claims that, Jewish beliefs notwithstanding, her measure was “never about religion.” Now that she has seen that for many others it was indeed about religion, Ms. Troutman reflected upon their concerns, and decided to withdraw. Her respect for those whose beliefs differ from hers was evident in her thoughtful comments:

“I don’t have the time or the energy to argue with everybody, but you shouldn’t go around cutting up your little babies,” Troutman said. “Why don’t people [expletive] get that? For me, this was never about religion. It was about protecting babies from their parents not knowing that circumcision was started in America to end masturbation.”

If only everyone were as enlightened as Ms. Troutman. Until that happens, I suppose we will have to muddle along in a second-best world of religious liberty. Sigh.

4 thoughts on “Circumcision in California: Update

  1. I think the problem, as always when it comes to problems regarding children and parents with libertarians, is a matter of conflicting senses of liberty between the two parties. The question is whether or not you own your children. If we move to the point where you don’t, quite literally, own your children, then it must be true that they have rights that aren’t entirely inimical to the rights of any other person. The issue, therefore, is in tracing the boundaries of said rights.

    In this case, I think it would do more radical libertarians some good to take religion and culture into more serious consideration – at least to the extent as to go about their points more politely and without making defenders of circumcision out to be people with malevolent intentions. On the other hand it would do traditionalists some good to consider that the liberties of TWO parties are juxtaposed in this debate and that they are begging the question by deferring to whatever parental rights they perceive that they have.

  2. 🙂 🙂
    There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the Orthodox to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    * Jews Against Circumcision
    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1

    The Kindest Un-Cut Feminism, Judaism, and My Son’s Foreskin by Professor Michael S. Kimmel

    Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack has some great commentary on Foreskin Man in this recent interview.

    Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    🙂 🙂

  3. Some Jews feel the time has come for a symbolic bris without surgery.

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity
    * Jews for the Rights of the Child
    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D.
    * Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, Ph.D.
    * Beyond the Bris: Jewish Parenting Blog
    * Israeli Association Against Genital Mutilation ( )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s