Holiday Gifts and Peace on Earth
Earlier this month, I received the following message from a reader of my first blog post, “Why I Got Into this Penis Business“:
Thank you for making me understand why I should leave my son intact. This is my first baby and I didn’t know which way to go, but after doing a lot of research and reading all of your comments, I have decided not circumcise my baby. Thank You!!!!
At this time of year, with all the emphasis on seeking happiness through material possessions, this message wafted across my face like a warm tropical breeze. For me, a dream gift — another intact baby, and a mom willing to take the time to share the news!
We know that, in the past couple of years alone, in the time since Intact America was founded, the intact rate among newborns in the United States has risen to well above 50 percent. (The exact rate is hard to determine; a Centers for Disease Control study last year said that only 33 percent of infant boys are circumcised before leaving the hospital, but that didn’t include circumcisions paid “out-of-pocket.”) This means that thousands upon thousands of helpless babies have been spared the trauma and betrayal of trust that circumcision entails.
A Jewish friend of mine recently said, “The greatest mitzvah (act of human kindness) you can bestow upon an infant boy is to leave him intact!”
My first blog post, the one referred to above by the mother who wrote to thank Intact America, said how fortunate I feel to have left my own son — now 31 years old — intact. Similar to my friend’s concept of mitzvah, I used the metaphor of “gift,” saying that my awareness at the time gave both my son and me “the gift of not having to say ‘I’m sorry’ to each other” about circumcision.
So as I spend time this season with my family, I find myself feeling gratified that the work of Intact America has inspired so many parents to give a gift, bestow a mitzvah — by protecting the rights of their infant sons to an intact body. Every person who has saved a baby by spreading the word, every parent who has considered circumcision and decided against it, can bask in the light of knowing he or she has contributed in this way to the peaceful beginning of a new life — and thus to Peace on Earth.
Thank you all for caring, and happy holidays to all!
P.S. If you’d like to help Intact America keep up the momentum we’ve gained over the last year, please consider making a donation. Future intact babies will thank you for it!