Author Topic: Circumcision in Orthodoxy  (Read 47832 times)

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Offline simplygermain

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #90 on: December 03, 2009, 11:21:16 PM »
Isn't circumcision a symbol of being bound to the Law?
You know what's funny! How we Orthodox can pull the "fulfilled law" card, when our monks and priests grow their beards and hair according to Nazarite Law.

Just a thought.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 11:22:00 PM by simplygermain »
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #91 on: December 03, 2009, 11:23:22 PM »
To jump in to this LLLOVELY topic... and from a perspective I haven't heard much from, save Isa's,

Former background - BodyPiercer...Yes, I've held hundreds of the very unmentionables in my hand..*shudder*

From this angle, I saw quite a bit of wang and the men who came in with-out a circumcision... nasty, schmeggy, and smelly.




I am so glad I split this tangent off and sent it away from the forum I moderate.  Thank you, Peter, for taking it.   :)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 11:25:50 PM by Salpy »

Offline simplygermain

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #92 on: December 03, 2009, 11:35:15 PM »
To jump in to this LLLOVELY topic... and from a perspective I haven't heard much from, save Isa's,

Former background - BodyPiercer...Yes, I've held hundreds of the very unmentionables in my hand..*shudder*

From this angle, I saw quite a bit of wang and the men who came in with-out a circumcision... nasty, schmeggy, and smelly.




I am so glad I split this tangent off and sent it away from the forum I moderate.  Thank you, Peter, for taking it.   :)
Sorry if I'm blunt guys.  ;D
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #93 on: December 03, 2009, 11:36:16 PM »
I'm just squeamish.   :)

Offline NorthernPines

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #94 on: December 04, 2009, 12:14:41 PM »

This has been an entertaining thread. :)

It brings to light for me, in a very, very real way why St. Paul argued so strongly against circumcision of Gentiles, due to just how opposed Gentiles are to the act. If circumcision had remained a requirement, Christianity would never have "taken off" like it did. (speaking from a purely historical perspective of course)

Anyways it's been enlightening to me. a bit weird to read, but enlightening. :D


Edited to remove a question that was not relevant.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 12:17:00 PM by NorthernPines »

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #95 on: December 04, 2009, 06:38:54 PM »

This has been an entertaining thread. :)

It brings to light for me, in a very, very real way why St. Paul argued so strongly against circumcision of Gentiles, due to just how opposed Gentiles are to the act. If circumcision had remained a requirement, Christianity would never have "taken off" like it did. (speaking from a purely historical perspective of course)

Anyways it's been enlightening to me. a bit weird to read, but enlightening. :D


Edited to remove a question that was not relevant.



Yes, it explains why there were so many "Prosylites at the Gate" before St Peter's visit to Cornelius; those who were God-fearers but had not taken the step of circumcision to completely convert. Of course, there being no such impediment for women meant their numbers in regard to conversion were much greater before pre-Christian times.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #96 on: October 10, 2010, 07:37:02 PM »
What if my reasoning is practical rather than theological?  I am circumcised, and my wife is worried that the son needs to look like his father for his own psychological security. 

Although, I was not planning on showing my son my penis, but whatever.

Foreskin serves an important bodily function.

Removing it, as with the tonsils, wisdom teeth, and appendix, is only medically helpful if it is diseased.

Council of Jerusalem decided we are saved either way and equally saved and holy as the circumcised and followers of Moses.

Unnecessary at best, physically and psychologically harmful at worst.

Regards.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #97 on: October 10, 2010, 07:41:14 PM »
I look at it this way.  Who cares if there is a theological reason or not?  It's medically proven to be more sanitary.

Cutting off foreskin is sanitary in the same way that shaving all the hair off your body is. Just wash yourself.


Besides, Jews are smart and if they do it that's good enough for me.

Hilarious.

Causing great pain to an infant, mutilating them, destroying a section of their nervous system, and leaving them lacking in a natural sexual function for the rest of their lives, for no reason of equivalent value, is simply ridiculous.

I know.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 07:44:49 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #98 on: October 10, 2010, 08:42:02 PM »
I look at it this way.  Who cares if there is a theological reason or not?  It's medically proven to be more sanitary.

Cutting off foreskin is sanitary in the same way that shaving all the hair off your body is. Just wash yourself.


Besides, Jews are smart and if they do it that's good enough for me.

Hilarious.

Causing great pain to an infant, mutilating them, destroying a section of their nervous system, and leaving them lacking in a natural sexual function for the rest of their lives, for no reason of equivalent value, is simply ridiculous.

I know.


Fill us in then, 'cuz all I see is an impression, an opinion, a theory and a falsehood.
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #99 on: October 12, 2010, 01:26:08 AM »
I look at it this way.  Who cares if there is a theological reason or not?  It's medically proven to be more sanitary.

Cutting off foreskin is sanitary in the same way that shaving all the hair off your body is. Just wash yourself.


Besides, Jews are smart and if they do it that's good enough for me.

Hilarious.

Causing great pain to an infant, mutilating them, destroying a section of their nervous system, and leaving them lacking in a natural sexual function for the rest of their lives, for no reason of equivalent value, is simply ridiculous.

I know.


Fill us in then, 'cuz all I see is an impression, an opinion, a theory and a falsehood.

American hospitals don't do ritual circumcision, so it's not part of the faith, which is why the Old Testament had said to do it.

It's like hair- advantages and disadvantages. People have different opinions, so it's my opinion that it's best if each person could decide if he wants to have it done.

Regards.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 01:36:37 AM by rakovsky »
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Offline choirfiend

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #100 on: October 13, 2010, 10:01:40 AM »
To bring a little more medical information into the discussion on if it is bad, and some awareness and knowledge to assist those who assert it is good---

http://www.drmomma.org/2010/05/death-from-circumcision.html

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #101 on: October 13, 2010, 11:18:15 AM »
Quote
Males must be circumcised: it gives them more "personality". Not so for the womenz.


Should I take this rather comical image as a tacit admission that my point is correct?  ;D

Offline Punch

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #102 on: October 13, 2010, 09:21:37 PM »
This thread makes my wee wee hurt.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #103 on: October 14, 2010, 04:38:19 PM »
This thread makes my wee wee hurt.
TMI, dude, TMI. ::)
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #104 on: October 15, 2010, 07:47:01 PM »
Most men don't have foreskin and their machinery works fine. Those that do have foreskin also have working machinery.

Point being, it really doesnt matter and since it doesnt matter I would save the 8,000 dollars and not have it done to my kid. Take that money and put it in his college fund and make a joke about it latter when he ask why his wee looks different than the ones in the medical books.

"Son, it looks different so that you could have an education."
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #105 on: October 15, 2010, 07:55:53 PM »
Most men don't have foreskin and their machinery works fine. Those that do have foreskin also have working machinery.

Point being, it really doesnt matter and since it doesnt matter I would save the 8,000 dollars and not have it done to my kid. Take that money and put it in his college fund and make a joke about it latter when he ask why his wee looks different than the ones in the medical books.

"Son, it looks different so that you could have an education."

There is more than one kind of education, and by investing in one kind, you are closing doors regarding another kind. Here's a song about education that you might want to consider (though admittedly, in the case of that song, the boy was going to get an education regardless of what his grande teton looked like... but maybe your son will not be so fortunate!).

Offline Quid

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #106 on: October 15, 2010, 08:00:09 PM »
Most men don't have foreskin and their machinery works fine. Those that do have foreskin also have working machinery.

Point being, it really doesnt matter and since it doesnt matter I would save the 8,000 dollars and not have it done to my kid. Take that money and put it in his college fund and make a joke about it latter when he ask why his wee looks different than the ones in the medical books.

"Son, it looks different so that you could have an education."

There is more than one kind of education, and by investing in one kind, you are closing doors regarding another kind. Here's a song about education that you might want to consider (though admittedly, in the case of that song, the boy was going to get an education regardless of what his grande teton looked like... but maybe your son will not be so fortunate!).

Everything after the first two sentences was not meant to be taken seriously.
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #107 on: October 15, 2010, 08:05:59 PM »
Everything after the first two sentences was not meant to be taken seriously.

Oh :-[  :D lol, sorry about that...

EDIT--fwiw, I was half joking with my post... I don't typically get my philosophical positions from garth brooks songs, or consider them to be solid reference material to prove my points ;D
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 08:07:16 PM by Asteriktos »

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #108 on: October 15, 2010, 08:10:41 PM »
Everything after the first two sentences was not meant to be taken seriously.

Oh :-[  :D lol, sorry about that...

EDIT--fwiw, I was half joking with my post... I don't typically get my philosophical positions from garth brooks songs, or consider them to be solid reference material to prove my points ;D

Dude, that song Rodeo changed my life.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #109 on: November 13, 2010, 10:57:42 AM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

Quote
"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

[Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271.]

....

From what we have just described, it is obvious that Orthodox males are not circumcised. This is also obvious from the tradition that has been handed down to us in the Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., that they do NOT circumcise their males or females.

Circumcision has always been associated with a religion and done for religious reasons. The two religions which demand circumcision are Judaism and Islam. Certain African and Australian aboriginal tribes have it as an initiation rite as well. Christianity does not require circumcision; in fact, it looks down upon it as we have said as mutilation, and therefore a sin."
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 10:58:14 AM by Jetavan »
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #110 on: November 13, 2010, 01:01:25 PM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

In the US, they do not demand it on the grounds of religious "unleanness" as meant here, rather they do it for quackery-medical reasons.

However, Copts do it for religious reasons, so from that perspective they are doing it sinfully.

However-however, it could be technically possible for religious reasons as per Paul's letter that Jewish Christians may/should do it.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 01:01:45 PM by rakovsky »
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Offline CRCulver

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #111 on: November 13, 2010, 01:08:17 PM »
[From the Philokalia:]

As pointed out innumerable times in Orthodox internet fora, the Philokalia is not something to be quoted to score points in an argument. It is a text that ought to be read only by people under the guidance of a spiritual father and is not a general resource for Orthodox belief.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #112 on: November 13, 2010, 01:48:40 PM »
[From the Philokalia:]

As pointed out innumerable times in Orthodox internet fora, the Philokalia is not something to be quoted to score points in an argument. It is a text that ought to be read only by people under the guidance of a spiritual father and is not a general resource for Orthodox belief.

Even if it was, though, it doesn't show that US circumcisions for imagined medical benefits are sinful.
Plus, Paul's letters saying that Jews can continue circumcision would trump the Ph.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #113 on: November 13, 2010, 02:36:14 PM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

Quote
"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

[Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271.]

....

From what we have just described, it is obvious that Orthodox males are not circumcised. This is also obvious from the tradition that has been handed down to us in the Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., that they do NOT circumcise their males or females.

Circumcision has always been associated with a religion and done for religious reasons. The two religions which demand circumcision are Judaism and Islam. Certain African and Australian aboriginal tribes have it as an initiation rite as well. Christianity does not require circumcision; in fact, it looks down upon it as we have said as mutilation, and therefore a sin."
No, dumb words, since the Creator Himself both commanded and submitted to it.  I'd like to see the original context. And how did hygiene find its way into a text on prayer, particularly for monks for whom hygiene in this area isn't a particularly partical concern.
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Offline Punch

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #114 on: November 13, 2010, 05:23:34 PM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

Quote
"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

[Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271.]

....

From what we have just described, it is obvious that Orthodox males are not circumcised. This is also obvious from the tradition that has been handed down to us in the Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., that they do NOT circumcise their males or females.

Circumcision has always been associated with a religion and done for religious reasons. The two religions which demand circumcision are Judaism and Islam. Certain African and Australian aboriginal tribes have it as an initiation rite as well. Christianity does not require circumcision; in fact, it looks down upon it as we have said as mutilation, and therefore a sin."
No, dumb words, since the Creator Himself both commanded and submitted to it.  I'd like to see the original context. And how did hygiene find its way into a text on prayer, particularly for monks for whom hygiene in this area isn't a particularly partical concern.

Oh come on!  We all know that the only reason Jewish men are circumcised is because Jewish women will not take anything that is not 20% off.
I would be happy to agree with you, but then both of us would be wrong.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #115 on: November 13, 2010, 10:25:06 PM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

Quote
"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

[Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271.]

....

From what we have just described, it is obvious that Orthodox males are not circumcised. This is also obvious from the tradition that has been handed down to us in the Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., that they do NOT circumcise their males or females.

Circumcision has always been associated with a religion and done for religious reasons. The two religions which demand circumcision are Judaism and Islam. Certain African and Australian aboriginal tribes have it as an initiation rite as well. Christianity does not require circumcision; in fact, it looks down upon it as we have said as mutilation, and therefore a sin."
No, dumb words, since the Creator Himself both commanded and submitted to it.  I'd like to see the original context. And how did hygiene find its way into a text on prayer, particularly for monks for whom hygiene in this area isn't a particularly partical concern.

Oh come on!  We all know that the only reason Jewish men are circumcised is because Jewish women will not take anything that is not 20% off.

 :o Wow, just wow... That is just... Wow  ::)
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Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #116 on: July 11, 2018, 07:59:55 PM »
What if my reasoning is practical rather than theological?  I am circumcised, and my wife is worried that the son needs to look like his father for his own psychological security. 

Although, I was not planning on showing my son my penis, but whatever.

Well, I know it's too late, but I think there is more chance of your son's psychological security being damaged by realizing his parents mutilated his penis than by knowing his doesn't look like his father's mutilated penis.

Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #117 on: July 11, 2018, 08:04:07 PM »
No, the covering, and you don't need it.

You don't "need" fingernails, a knee bone, toes, pinky fingers, a gall bladder, yet God put them all there for a reason, and it would be a mutilation to dispense with them without a significant cause to do so.

Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #118 on: July 11, 2018, 08:09:11 PM »
Sir Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor) was circumcised as an adult and greatly regretted it because of a loss of sexual sensation.

I guess there's probably a way to scientifically verify that but I haven't seen it done.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06685.x

Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To map the fine‐touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised men, and to compare the two populations.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS
Adult male volunteers with no history of penile pathology or diabetes were evaluated with a Semmes‐Weinstein monofilament touch‐test to map the fine‐touch pressure thresholds of the penis. Circumcised and uncircumcised men were compared using mixed models for repeated data, controlling for age, type of underwear worn, time since last ejaculation, ethnicity, country of birth, and level of education.

RESULTS
The glans of the uncircumcised men had significantly lower mean (sem) pressure thresholds than that of the circumcised men, at 0.161 (0.078) g (P = 0.040) when controlled for age, location of measurement, type of underwear worn, and ethnicity. There were significant differences in pressure thresholds by location on the penis (P < 0.001). The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis was the circumcision scar on the ventral surface. Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision had lower pressure thresholds than the ventral scar of the circumcised penis.

CONCLUSIONS
The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.

Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #119 on: July 11, 2018, 08:17:15 PM »
If you want your child to be circumcised, they can be circumcised. If you don't want your child to be circumcised, then they aren't circumcised. Why does it have to be circumcision is wrong and no one should ever do it? That, my friend, is the insult.

-Nick

Because when you're someone like me, who grows up to resent the decision your parents made for you, and there is nothing you can do to reverse it, you're stuck mutilated for the rest of your life.  NO ONE should have the right to make that decision for another person.  Consent by proxy doesn't exist on issues like this.  Ban it, make it illegal, put doctors and parents who do it in prison and throw away the key.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #120 on: July 11, 2018, 08:22:51 PM »
What a cop-out.  Parents make hundreds of other decisions that affect their children more than circumcision - it only draws the attention because (a) it's cosmetic and plainly obvious, and (b) most of us are in some ways hedonists.  But parents make decisions about dexterity, language, educational progress, physical fitness, diet, and in many ways (knowingly or unknowingly) about personality and identity.  Tell me which one of those aspects is less important than circumcision...

Fr. George, perhaps you have some examples of amputations of other body parts that are decisions parents are allowed to make for their children.  None of your examples here compare to circumcision.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #121 on: July 11, 2018, 09:11:34 PM »
If you want your child to be circumcised, they can be circumcised. If you don't want your child to be circumcised, then they aren't circumcised. Why does it have to be circumcision is wrong and no one should ever do it? That, my friend, is the insult.

-Nick

Because when you're someone like me, who grows up to resent the decision your parents made for you, and there is nothing you can do to reverse it, you're stuck mutilated for the rest of your life.  NO ONE should have the right to make that decision for another person.  Consent by proxy doesn't exist on issues like this.  Ban it, make it illegal, put doctors and parents who do it in prison and throw away the key.
I doubt you would get an extra inch out of that. I'm uncircumcised. Born in a Jewish hospital.  Can you imagine the Jewish dr. Explaining to my Greek mother what that is? It didnt go over to well. For obvious reasons.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #122 on: July 11, 2018, 09:45:24 PM »
If you want your child to be circumcised, they can be circumcised. If you don't want your child to be circumcised, then they aren't circumcised. Why does it have to be circumcision is wrong and no one should ever do it? That, my friend, is the insult.

-Nick

Because when you're someone like me, who grows up to resent the decision your parents made for you, and there is nothing you can do to reverse it, you're stuck mutilated for the rest of your life.  NO ONE should have the right to make that decision for another person.  Consent by proxy doesn't exist on issues like this.  Ban it, make it illegal, put doctors and parents who do it in prison and throw away the key.

Christ accepted circumcision.  Good enough for me.
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #123 on: July 12, 2018, 12:48:18 AM »
If you want your child to be circumcised, they can be circumcised. If you don't want your child to be circumcised, then they aren't circumcised. Why does it have to be circumcision is wrong and no one should ever do it? That, my friend, is the insult.

-Nick

Because when you're someone like me, who grows up to resent the decision your parents made for you, and there is nothing you can do to reverse it, you're stuck mutilated for the rest of your life.  NO ONE should have the right to make that decision for another person.  Consent by proxy doesn't exist on issues like this.  Ban it, make it illegal, put doctors and parents who do it in prison and throw away the key.

Why are you so worked up over a flap of skin at the end of your manhood?
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #124 on: July 12, 2018, 01:44:47 AM »
If you want your child to be circumcised, they can be circumcised. If you don't want your child to be circumcised, then they aren't circumcised. Why does it have to be circumcision is wrong and no one should ever do it? That, my friend, is the insult.

-Nick

Because when you're someone like me, who grows up to resent the decision your parents made for you, and there is nothing you can do to reverse it, you're stuck mutilated for the rest of your life.  NO ONE should have the right to make that decision for another person.  Consent by proxy doesn't exist on issues like this.  Ban it, make it illegal, put doctors and parents who do it in prison and throw away the key.

While your proposed penalty is Draconian, I do believe that circumcision should be made illegal except on religious grounds, when performed by a religious functionary.  This would end the circumcision of Orthodox Christians in general, since there are no Mohels in any Orthodox church.  This would also I believe have the effect of interfering with the Islamic religion, which does demand circumcision, but which does not have any equivalent of the Mohel of Rabinnical Judaism.

The Coptic and Ethiopian churches have been doing a superb job stamping out FGM, and a ban on male circumcision would, I believe, enhance these efforts by promoting the idea of the body of infants as something which is holy, that should not be modified by parents or relatives, but simply baptized.  Indeed, the presence of FGM in the Coptic and Ethiopian churches is certainly the result of Islamic persecution/cultural contamination, and it would not suprise me if at least in the case of the Coptic church, circumcision was also the result of Islamic influences propagated in part through violence.

Fortunately I was not a victim of this mutilation, which increases my sorrow for people like you who were and who have suffered as a result.

Also I have to confess, I found the argument presented in the OP, apparently by the wife of the OP, that the boy needed to be circumcised to avoid psycological issues deriving from having genitalia that looked different from those of his father to be deeply perverse.  If we look at sacred scripture, we find that children are not even supposed to look at their parents in the nude; I have never seen the privy parts  of any of my relatives and am thankful for that, and I would assume the same would hold true for the greater number of those of us present in this discussion who grew up in normal families.  Therefore, the argument that psychological trauma could result from the son of a circumcised man not being circumcised is literally demented, the product of a depraved or perverted mind.

The only surgeries that should be performed on the reproductive anatomy of children of either sex should be those required for medical reasons to correct birth defects, treat cancer or traumatic injury, and so on. 
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 01:48:12 AM by Alpha60 »
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #125 on: July 12, 2018, 02:14:14 AM »
Strong words: circumcision as a sin:

Quote
"[From the Philokalia:]

42. Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:3) But, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cut away by circumcision, one endeavors to amend God’s own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things.

[Philokalia, Faber & Faber, vol. 2, St. Maximos the Confessor, “Fifth Century on Various Texts”, pgs. 270-271.]

....

From what we have just described, it is obvious that Orthodox males are not circumcised. This is also obvious from the tradition that has been handed down to us in the Orthodox countries of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, etc., that they do NOT circumcise their males or females.

Circumcision has always been associated with a religion and done for religious reasons. The two religions which demand circumcision are Judaism and Islam. Certain African and Australian aboriginal tribes have it as an initiation rite as well. Christianity does not require circumcision; in fact, it looks down upon it as we have said as mutilation, and therefore a sin."
No, dumb words, since the Creator Himself both commanded and submitted to it.  I'd like to see the original context. And how did hygiene find its way into a text on prayer, particularly for monks for whom hygiene in this area isn't a particularly partical concern.

From the Philokalia, specifically,
St Maximos the Confessor
Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice
Fifth Century

Quote

39. ‘The letter kills.’ says Scripture, ‘but the Spirit gives life’ (2 Cor. 3:6). Consequently, the letter whose nature it is to kill must be killed by the life-giving Spirit. For what is material in the Law and what is divine - namely, the letter and the Spirit - cannot coexist, nor can what destroys life be reconciled with that which by nature bestows life.
40. The Spirit bestows life, the letter destroys it. Thus the letter cannot function at the same time as the Spirit, just as what gives life cannot coexist with what destroys life and the prejudice from which he suffers as a result. This is to show that, thanks to contemplation, the letter of the Law has been killed by spiritual knowledge.
41. Circumcision, in its mystical sense, is the complete cutting away of the intellect’s impassioned attachment to all that comes into being in a contingent manner. Viewing things on the natural level, we recognize that the removal of an attribute naturally bestowed by God does not produce perfection. For nature does not bring about perfection when it is mutilated by human ingenuity, or when through over-subtlety men deprive it of something conferred on it by God at creation. Otherwise we would be attributing to human ingenuity more power to establish a perfect order of things than to God, and to an ingenious mutilation of nature the ability to make good shortcomings in God’s creation. But if we understand circumcision figuratively, we learn that we .are spiritually to circumcise the impassioned disposition of our soul. In this way our will, having freed the intellect from its impassioned subjection to the law that rules the birth of contingent things, is brought into harmony with nature.

Uncircumcision is natural. Everything that is natural is the work of divine creation and is excellent: ‘And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good’ (Gen. 1:31). But the Law, by demanding on the grounds of uncleanness that the foreskin should be cutaway by circumcision (cf. Gen. 17:10-14), presents God as amending His own work through human skill. This is a most blasphemous way of looking at things. He, then, who interprets the symbols whereby the Law is expressed in the light of knowledge attained through natural contemplation, knows that God does not set nature aright by means of human skill, but bids us cir- cumcise the passible aspect of the soul so as to make it obedient to the intelligence. This is indicated figuratively in terms of the body, and means that we are to excise the flaws from our will by means of spiritual knowledge acquired through the courageous practice of the virtues. The circumcising priest signifies spiritual knowledge, and the knife he uses is the courageous practice of the virtues, which cuts away the passions. When the. Spirit triumphs over the letter, the tradition of the Law is abolished.
43. The Sabbath (cf. Exod. 16:23; 20:10) signifies rest from the passions, and from the intellect’s gravitation towards the nature of created beings. It signifies the total quiescence of the passions, a complete cessation of the intellect’s gravitation towards created things, and its total entry into the divine. He who has attained this state - so far as God permits - by means of virtue and spiritual knowledge, must not ponder on any material thing at all for, like sticks (cf. Num. 15:32), such things excite the passions; and he must not call to mind any natural principle whatsoever. Otherwise, like the pagans, we will be affirming that God delights in the passions or is commensurate with nature. Perfect silence alone proclaims Him, and total and transcendent unknowing brings us into His presence.
44. A crown of goodness (cf. Ps. 65:11) is a pure faith, adorned with eloquent doctrine, and with spiritual principles and intellections, as if with precious stones, and set as it were on the head of the devout intellect. Or rather, a crown of goodness is the Logos of God Himself, who encircles the intellect as if it were a head, protecting it with manifold forms of providence and judgment - that is, with mastery of the passions that lie within our con- trol and with patient endurance of those we suffer against our will; and who makes this same intellect more beautiful by enabling it to participate in the grace of deification.


Thus St. Maximos the Confessor, with the fullest authority of sacred tradition, in the most blessed Philokalia, is explaining how a carnal interpretation of certain aspects of Mosaic law is not only wrong but sinful for the Christian, enlightened and illuminated through baptism in Christ, and then applies these old laws, which it is sinful to interpret literally, through allegorical interpretation, as guides for the Monastic life, extracting an allegorical and spiritual interpretation from these laws for which a carnal interpretation would be an obvious sin.   That this is written into a text for monks shows the extent to which, by the time of St. Maximos, the Church had rejected the carnal literalism of Judaism; consider this in parallel with the rejection of Chiliasm, an error which had in early years been made by distinguished saints such as Irenaeus and Justin Martyr, but which by the Second Ecumenical Council had been rejected to the point that the Creed was modified to make plain this fact versus the Apollinarians who had made Chiliasm a central aspect of their heresy.

These quotes of St. Maximos also represent a triumph of the Alexandrian School, of allegorical and spiritual interpretation, the approach of St. Clement, Origen, St. Athanasius, St. Anthony and St. Pachomius the fathers of monasticism, and St. Cyril, over the literalist Antiochene school and the literalist-fundamentalist interpretations associated with it, which have been revived in recent years by various Protestant and Restorationist sects.

Thus these are not dumb words, but the very authoritative words of a great confessor for Holy Orthodoxy, a man whose tongue was ripped out for his refusal to embrace Monothelitism.

Indeed, for this specific reason I think it is extremely inappropriate to call anything said by St. Maximos, even if you disagree with it, “dumb,” because the reason we venerate him as a confessor is that he was made literally dumb by virtue of his tongue being extracted for refusing to confess a heresy.  He died a few days later, doubtless as a result of having his tongue removed, the complications arising from such a physical trauma as bacterial infection, shock, uncontrolled bleeding, inability to eat perhaps due to inflamation of the mouth, and so on. 

Thus, St. Maximus was effectively martyred in an attempt to make him dumb, depriving him of his ability to speak, because of his refusal to confess the heresy of monothelitism.  So please, lets agree that even if we disagree with something St. Maximos writes on a profound level, we will not call anything written by him, even if quoted out of context, as “dumb,” for the specific reason of the nature of his suffering and martyrdom for Christ.
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Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #126 on: July 12, 2018, 09:10:32 AM »

Why are you so worked up over a flap of skin at the end of your manhood?

Because it isn't just a flap of skin.  It has more use than your pinky fingers,  your toes or your earlobes.

Offline melkite

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #127 on: July 12, 2018, 09:12:12 AM »
Christ accepted circumcision.  Good enough for me.

 :-\  Not good enough for me.  Christ also accepted crucifixion.  It doesn't mean we should be happy about it if we are subjected to it.

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #128 on: July 12, 2018, 09:38:35 AM »

Why are you so worked up over a flap of skin at the end of your manhood?

Because it isn't just a flap of skin.  It has more use than your pinky fingers,  your toes or your earlobes.

Actually your toes are vital for balance.  On the whole, bearing in mind my opposition to circumcision, given the choice of losing that vs. losing my toes or the outermost finger, which is vitally important in touch typing and grasping,  I would willingly opt for the former.

The foreskin is more useful than the appendix, however, and less likely to explode.  Although my appendix is intact, the thought of an appendicitis is frightening and if I were to pre-emptively have anything excised from my person, it would be that.  (The appendix does perform some minor functions in the digestive system but people routinely have them removed with no noticeable change in quality of life; I think the site of the appendix would be a good location for implantable artificial organs to perform a range of tasks, or for the storge of batteries to power these implants).
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #129 on: July 12, 2018, 09:54:59 AM »
Actually your toes are vital for balance.  On the whole, bearing in mind my opposition to circumcision, given the choice of losing that vs. losing my toes or the outermost finger, which is vitally

I've spoken to intact men who would rather lose an arm or a leg than their foreskin.  Seems illogical if they, who've experienced having a foreskin, thought it to be a useless flap of skin.

Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #130 on: July 12, 2018, 10:04:25 AM »
Sometimes the index page has unusual and unfortunate juxtapositions.

Today is one of those days.

Sequentially:

Circumcision in Orthodoxy
   
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #131 on: July 12, 2018, 10:21:23 AM »
What if my reasoning is practical rather than theological?  I am circumcised, and my wife is worried that the son needs to look like his father for his own psychological security. 

Although, I was not planning on showing my son my penis, but whatever.

Well, I know it's too late, but I think there is more chance of your son's psychological security being damaged by realizing his parents mutilated his penis than by knowing his doesn't look like his father's mutilated penis.

It's doubtful that a child will be psychologically damaged by realizing that penises are not exactly alike.
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #132 on: July 12, 2018, 07:23:46 PM »

Why are you so worked up over a flap of skin at the end of your manhood?

Because it isn't just a flap of skin.  It has more use than your pinky fingers,  your toes or your earlobes.

Not your toes.
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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #133 on: July 12, 2018, 07:25:10 PM »
Why did he suddenly respond to posts written in 2009?

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Re: Circumcision in Orthodoxy
« Reply #134 on: July 12, 2018, 07:46:22 PM »
Why did he suddenly respond to posts written in 2009?

Is it illegal?
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