Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"I love the carnal, discomfiting aspect of a bris"

The author of this article in Slate observes:
The answers to these questions depend in part on whether you think circumcision causes babies lasting subconscious trauma or momentary discomfort, like ear piercing. In my limited experience (two sons), it's somewhere in between. Both my boys screamed and then cried hard until the mohel stuffed a gauze pad soaked in Manischewitz wine in their mouths. Then they nursed and fell into a deep sleep. On a Richter scale of pain, I'd say their newborn vaccine shots were a 3, circumcision was a 5, and the spinal tap my older son had shortly after birth was a 7. Since the kids don't remember any of this—at least not in any way I'll hear about—none of it much concerns me. Also, I love the carnal, discomfiting aspect of a bris.
Let us put aside the question of how one measures another's pain and cut straight to the horrendous logic. First, why must the trauma be "lasting" to be objectionable? Second, does the author really believe that it's ok to do terrible things to your children as long as they're too young to be able to remember them?


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