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Posts Tagged ‘circumcision’

Well, the inevitable has finally happened.  The New York Times has descended into the realm of bullshit.  Remember when it used to proudly proclaim “All the news that’s fit to print”? Actually, it still does tout that line, except that it is no longer true.  Yesterday, a “health” writer for the New York Times, Roni Caryn Rabin (a young lady who I suspect is of the Jewish persuasion) wrote an article about the Centers for Disease Control, saying that they are considering the routine circumcision of all baby boys born in the U.S. in order to prevent the spread of AIDS. No, I am not kidding.  She’s as serious as a sharp knife.  I’m not so sure about the CDC though; hopefully they are of a more scientific bent of mind.  But after eight years of the Orwellian world of Bush/Cheney who knows what passes for science and truth in the government anymore?

Here’s the essence of Roni’s story: it seems that some folks in Africa decided that if they circumcised baby boys they could cut down on the spread of AIDS, which, as we all know, is a scourge in Africa.  I guess they did the circumcisions a long time ago because it seems the baby boys have now grown up and are having unprotected sex but not contracting AIDS at same the rate that their more intact brothers are.  That’s the research story.   It reminds me of a story I heard a long time ago, when I was student.

There was a professor who demonstrating a remarkable experiment to his class. He held a trained grasshopper in his left hand and then held up his open right hand.  “Now watch this,” he said to his class. “Jump, grasshopper, jump!” he shouted.  Immediately, the grasshopper jumped to his right hand.  Now, the professor took a pair of scissors and cut off the grasshoppers hind legs.  He took the now legless grasshopper and put it back in his left hand.  Once again he shouted the command, “Jump, grasshopper, jump!”  The grasshopper did not move.  The professor shouted the command again, only louder.  Again, the grasshopper did not move. The professor then turned to the class and proclaimed, “As you can see, I have now proved that if you cut off the rear legs of a grasshopper it will become deaf!”

Based upon the “research” in Africa, that is similar to the anecdote above, Ms. Rabin reports that the CDC is seriously considering circumcising all the new born baby boys in the U.S.  She adds that there is scientific evidence to back up the removal of foreskins.  She says that  the “mucosal tissue of the foreskin is more susceptible to HIV and can be an entry portal for the virus”.  Interesting – not true, actually it’s total bullshit.  This claim is a complete fabrication.  The foreskin is not made of mucosal tissue, it is skin. The only mucosal tissue in the penis is in the urethra, Ms. Rabin. That is where the AIDS virus enters almost all the time. It doesn’t really matter  whether you have a foreskin or not.  So, if there is some sort of correlation between removal of foreskins and a decrease in AIDS, it is not because of the removal of the site of entry of the AIDS virus. I wonder if anyone thought it might be caused by a change in behavior? Maybe men who have had circumcisions simply have less sex because it is less pleasurable? Of course, that would be a sin, I suppose.

Is that why these people all hell bent on circumcising little boys?  And why is it when little girls are circumcised it’s called mutilation but for boys its a healthy thing?  The fact is that it is mutilation for boys too.  Circumcision is a Jewish custom – you can find its origin in the Bible.  Then, somehow, back in history, the Muslims started following this Jewish practice of mutilating boys. The Jews did it to show that they had made a deal with God. I don’t know why the Muslims decided to follow this practice.  But the vast majority of the world doesn’t. It’s not too popular in China or India where most of the population of the world lives with intact foreskins. But Ms. Rabin wants to circumcise all American boy babies – but, wait a minute, why not the adult males too?  After all, they’re the ones having all the sex, aren’t they?  It’s not the poor innocent babies.

Here’s another question: if we need to remove our foreskins in order to be healthy, does that mean that God made a mistake?  Or, if you don’t believe in the creation story, does it mean that millions of years of evolution came up with the wrong answer?  Which is it?  And, if we need to surgically alter out bodies because they are born imperfect, then what about all the poor horses and donkeys and cattle and elephants and tigers and monkeys and apes and  such. Shouldn’t we circumcise these animals too who have been born to suffer with such imperfect bodily designs?

But here’s my most important question: Is this what passes for science in the United States today?  Really? Is this what passes for the truth in the New York Times these days?  Is it really true that our government would begin a program of mass mutilation of babies without even asking if we, the people, approved?  It’s hard to believe.  If it were true it would certainly be enough to make me want to become a Libertarian or even a Republican.

Wait! Is this some sort of planted story, like the death panel stories?  Is this just a clever hoax to make us all turn against government health care? Hmmm.  I suppose it’s possible, and who can be sure with the Republicans? There is, however, one thing I do know about this story.

It’s all bullshit.  I am deeply disappointed in the New York Times.  This isn’t fact; it’s African pseudoscience, and it is definitely not news that is fit to print.

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