City Of Free Love To Ban Circumcision

An enraged citizen’s group in San Francisco has submitted legislation that, if passed, would ban abortion—no, wait. I have that wrong. They would ban circumcision.

In a fit of Enlightenment not seen since Dr Joseph-Ignace Guillotin discovered an efficient way to reduce the surplus population of France, and although somewhat opposite in effect, the very concerned Lloyd Schofield has demanded that parents cease snipping at their male children’s pertinents. says that if the Male Genital Mutilation bill passes, “circumcision would be prohibited among males under the age of 18. The practice would become a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to one year in jail. There would be no religious exemptions.”

Lloyd SchofieldSchofield (pictured at the Left) realizes that if he is to carry the day, he must first win the battle of words. He’s off to a good start.

He says that circumcision, which he calls “forced genital cutting”, is a “more invasive medical procedure than many new parents or childless individuals realize.” A procedure, you see. Coronary bypasses, emergency appendectomies, and bowel resections are also procedures—all frightening things. Who wants to let infants undergo procedures?

Circumcision has been a practice of humans so long that we have had enough time to compile statistics on its effects. A look into the database reveals that very few or no individuals who have been circumcised go on to become murderous dictators. Mao and Stalin, for example, went to their graves uncut. Too, circumcision has apparently not limited breeding, since there are more of us now than ever. Thus, circumcision can’t be particularly harmful and might even convey benefits.

And what’s this about “new parents” or “childless individuals”? Are there persons that do not fit into either of these categories? Old parents, we suppose, individuals who have had time to bone up on the subject of circumcision. The only reason to mention “childless individuals” is to motivate these poor souls who sit at home alone on Mother’s Day and weep for what might have been to stick their noses where they do not belong.

In this line, Schofield also states, “Parents are really guardians, and guardians have to do what’s in the best interest of the child. It’s his body. It’s his choice.” These statements are mutually contradictory, but inconsistent in the familiar, modern way of asserting “choice” while also arguing for limiting choices to those that are government approved.

Parents are guardians of their minority children because their children, particularly infants, are unable to think for themselves. They do not know what is in their best interests. Parents do. A circumcision is, parents judge, as their parents and their parents before them, etc. have judged, that circumcision is worthwhile.

A circumcision cannot be the “choice” of an infant, because an infant cannot make a choice (about so complicated a matter).

Schofield insists that the State, guided by able men like himself, take over the parental function and become the guardians of all children. Schofield says he is able to make the choice the infants cannot make. Schofield asserts that he knows more about what’s best for society than do parents who rely on custom. And religion.

Jews, of course, circumcise their children. But so do many Christians. These, however, are religions on their way out. They may be freely disparaged. Calls for upholding circumcision based on religion will carry little or no weight in San Francisco.

Except for the big Uh-Oh. Schofield, too busy contemplating his own moral greatness, has forgotten that Muslims also practice circumcision. See what I mean? Uh-Oh. Jews and Christians can be ridiculed with impunity, but Muslims? Good luck, Schofield, old boy.

It’s even worse for our enlightened hero—and in a way that is difficult to comprehend, especially give that Schofield calls himself a “long-time San Francisco resident.” reminds us that “International health organizations have promoted circumcision as an important strategy for reducing the spread of the AIDS virus.”

Many of these organizations have the backing of Gay rights groups. And many of these are based in—you guessed it!—San Francisco.

Schofield has cut off his own head. His legislation will wither and die and he will be lucky to escape with his goatee intact.

What is worrisome is that Schofield found enough support in the first place. Schofield is a symptom of the growing disease of Statism, a disease which is invariably fatal.


  1. Noblesse Oblige

    Ridicule is too mild a response to this outrage, this self caricature of stupidity and Statism incarnate. Kurt Vonnegut would have had a field day with this.

  2. Ray

    A wonderful example of the creeping facism of the nanny state. Mark Steyn pointed out that in the unenlightened days we had the state church with priests telling us how to live our lives. In these enlightened days we have the church state with politicians and bureaucrats telling us how to live our lives.

  3. Marty

    Maybe the post-OBL al Qaeda will do what needs to be done wrt Mr. Schonfeld, in the interest of preventing discrimination against Islam.

    One can hope, anyway.

  4. Ken

    While circumcision seems to curtail the spread of AIDS among heterosexual men, it, apparently, does little or nothing for gay men (per that Politico article, link provided).

    Perhaps this is just a means of “leveling the playing field” (such as it is) — to help ensure that hetero’s can die from AIDS as much as homo’s. After all, its not “fair” to let some groups have conferred advantages.

    Legal challenges, such as on “free speech” or ‘religious freedom’ grounds, if the law gets passed, would be interesting. It seems hard to comprehend that one’s freedom of religion is carried to such an extent it includes cutting off someone else’s body parts. But then, its not at all clear if infants/very young children legally qualify as ‘individuals’ in the usual sense we take for granted. IF the law passes, such legal challenges will bring out some very archaic & primitive (& most will find abhorrent) legally sanctioned values most of us likely will find abhorrent in some ways.

  5. Anthony

    Briggs, circumcisionist to the stars!

  6. Speed

    1. One more thing that would be better handled through appropriate non-government-financed marketing, educational and PR campaigns.

    2. Since this is a quick low risk “procedure” it is a moneymaker for pediatricians.

  7. Rafe

    Personally I hope this gets through. Lopping off children’s bits for cultural or dubious health reasons is just wrong. I can’t see this as creeping statism (really, can’t you use that line against any proposed legislation?). Ah, and if you don’t want AIDS, wear a condom.

    I admit to being mystified by the responses so far on this forum. As an uncircumcised male, let me assure you that my unremoved bits are most definitely more than a decorative optional extra.

  8. DM OF WA

    Mr Briggs, You stated “Jews, of course, circumcise their children”. However,
    I believe you meant to say “Jews, of course, circumcise their male children”.
    I am not a Jew myself but I understand they do not they circumcise their
    daughters. This raises an interesting point:

    From what I have heard reported, female circumcision is quite horrific while
    male circumcision is only a minor cosmetic operation. Should we ban one and
    not the other?

    Personally, I am unsure what position to take on this matter. I am committed
    to the liberty of the individual and I hate all forms of socialism and state
    interference in our lives. On the other hand I can see we need to be pragmatic
    about things and unfortunately personal liberty needs to be restricted sometimes.

  9. Rich

    ” A circumcision is, parents judge, as their parents and their parents before them, etc. havejudged, that circumcision is worthwhile.” Can we try that with “forced marriage” instead of circumcision?

  10. You seem to be a libertarian. What part of individual freedom don’t you understand? This bill will keep anyone – parents, doctors, imams or mohelim – from cutting (normal, halthy, non-renewable, functional) parts off individuals until they are old enough to decide for themselves that they want those parts cut off. Sounds like a libertarian proposal to me!

    The parts in question happen to be the ONLY parts not already implicitly protected by existing law. (The fact that they are not is anomalous, since there is no explicit exemption for them.) The most nearly corresponding parts of baby girls already have extra protection from ALL cutting, and with no exemption for religion or culture. So why the double standard and why are boys not grantted equality under the 14th AMendment?

  11. The same reasoning that might lead people to ban infant circumcision could also be used to ban children’s haircuts. After all, children do not normally consent to haircuts.

  12. Rich

    Joseph Hertzlinger: do you think there’d be the same fuss about circumcision if foreskins grew back after a month?

  13. Katie

    Some find convention to be troublesome and unnecessary:–parents-keep-child-s-gender-secret (via boing-boing)

    Altho, as part of the free-to-be-you-and-me generation, I missed the meta-lesson of gender neutrality. Marlo Thomas probably wasn’t the gender-neutral role model, as she was overtly pretty feminine.

    PS Would the bill also disallow parents from piercing the ears of their infant daughters?

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