This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell was published June 16, 2011 on The Huffington Post website.
CNN contributor LZ Granderson got it right. He has posted an online video taking issue with the San Francisco gay activists who want government to ban circumcision for little boys.
Keep the government out of this family decision, says Granderson. Strange, isn’t it, that the Left wing folks who are forever telling us they want to keep the government out of our bedrooms now want to invade the delivery room?
There are abundant reasons to approve this simple and effective surgery. The public health reasons are compelling. It’s safer for women, safer for men. Shouldn’t that be enough? Despite the strong case for infant circumcision, none of us would support a ballot initiative that forced parents to circumcise their sons.
There’s another side of this story, one that Granderson only hints at, and that’s anti-Semitism. It’s becoming increasingly clear that anti-Semitism is alive and well in this country. And it’s more often to be seen these days on the political Left.
The passage of this outrageous ballot initiative would be just one more way of poking the eye of Jews, of helping in the worldwide effort to de-legitimize the State of Israel. What are Jewish parents in San Francisco to do if this passes? Will it force them to seek OB/GYNs to deliver their children outside the city limits? What is this but a none-too-subtle way of saying Juden Raus — Jews get out.
Hollywood biggie Russell Crowe could not resist wading into the waters of controversy this week when he tweeted on this topic. “Circumcision is barbaric and stupid,” he wrote. “Who are you to correct nature?” He even appealed personally to Jewish friends to cease and desist from this practice dating back to Abraham. “I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats, but stop cutting your babies,” he tweeted.
For some reason, Crowe’s Jewish friends thought God’s Word was more revealing on this point than an actor in and out of trouble with the law. The Academy Award winner soon found out the Book of Russell was not quite as authoritative as the Book of Genesis. He quickly retreated, apologizing and assuring us that he did not mean to mock “the rituals and traditions of others.”
One of Crowe’s best-known characters on screen was Captain Jack Aubrey of the Royal Navy. In Master and Commander, he defends the rituals and traditions of that rigorous sea-going service when his best friend, ship’s surgeon Stephen Maturin, protests the severity of one of Aubrey’s orders. “You’ve come to the wrong shop for anarchy, Stephen,” he assures his shipmate.
Well, if you’re looking for the right shop for anarchy, go to San Francisco.
If this bizarre ballot measure is approved, look for widespread flouting of the law. As Dickens’s Mr. Bumble famously said: “If the law believes that, then the law is a ass, a idiot.”
We all have a stake in teaching respect for law. This foolish ordinance, if it should be passed, can only breed contempt for law.
CNN’s LZ Granderson also deserves high praise for stating the obvious, in public. He brushed aside the silly Goose/Gander distinction on these matters. Challenged about female circumcision, he correctly noted that this is like comparing apples, not even with oranges, but with potatoes.
More accurately, such assaults on little girls are called female genital mutilation. It is a tragedy that millions of little girls throughout Muslim and Arab lands are so mutilated. The intention here is clearly to underscore the subjugation of women.
This most unwise ballot measure should also demonstrate who exactly it is who is trying to dictate our lives. When conservatives put marriage initiatives on the ballot, it is to protect the institution that has been the foundation of society for thousands of years. When liberals put measures like this one on the ballot, it is to infringe on religious liberty and deny parental rights. It’s another case of apples and potatoes.