It’s likely to be a cold day in hell if the wind coming out of the Nordic countries puts a chill on the almost thoughtless practice of snipping the tip off a baby boy’s penis. The reason for the ‘religious’ metaphor is because circumcision is an ancient religious practice for Jews and Muslims, and a regular ‘cultural’ operation for North American newborn boys.

Male genital mutilation would be the ‘inflammatory’ words to describe the ancient practice – allegedly dating back to the time when humans thought they could throw stones at, and hit the moon. The practice has been speculated to date from before recorded history – how do we know? An expert guess.  The earliest documented origin of circumcision, like much of ‘Western’ religion, originates in ancient Egypt. The point is, pun intended – the practice is old. Just because it’s old does not mean it’s justified. People not so long ago, believed that bloodletting was a beneficial procedure – remember the red and white barber’s pole?…

I don’t recall getting circumcised, because it happened within days of my birth, just like it did for the thousands of others that day; Happy birthday! If I wasn’t snipped, would I do it now? Not bloody likely! I do recall the first time I saw an uncircumcised penis, it was when I was in grade school during a quick side glance at the urinal. I was shocked, and thought my fellow pisser was hideously deformed. It would be years later before I realized it was I who was deformed, or enhanced, improved upon, or whatever word we want to use to describe the widespread planned surgery. And widespread it is – about 1 billion males are snipped worldwide. But in the Scandinavian countries at least, some health practitioners, will no longer perform the procedure.

The reason for the Scandinavian initiative is partly politically based. There is a faction that want the practice banned in the hope of discouraging Muslim immigration, and there is the other camp that believe it’s a human rights violation. The secular camp uses the UN Rights of The Child document as support for their argument to stop male circumcision. However, the document is so carefully worded that opposing argumentation is equally viable in support of circumcision.

There is research that indicates male circumcision may have health benefits for both heterosexual males and females, “All published economic evaluations offered the same conclusion that [Adult Male Circumcision] AMC is cost-effective and potentially cost-saving for prevention of heterosexual acquisition of HIV in men. On these grounds, AMC may be seen as a promising new form of strategy for prevention of HIV and should be implemented in conjunction with other evidence-based prevention methods.” That quote was from a study based in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The argument for religious practitioners of circumcision is, ‘Why should the state get involved in a practice that is safe?’ And it mostly is. The American Academy of Family Physicians have taken an educated guess that only 1/500,000 snips cause death in America…And there are risks for certain viral vaccinations, yet they are performed…And there are a number of articles that point out that anti-circumcision legislation would be anti-Semitic. But laws that prevent the practice of Sharia law may also be seen as anti-Semitic, which arguably it is – so what.

From the material I’ve read, female circumcision is by varying degrees, depending on the type, a horrible and painful procedure that in no way compares to male circumcision other than as a cultural and religious practice.

Is the Nordic ombudsmen right in seeking to ban the seemingly inert practice?