Liz Robbins, Baby’s Death Renews Debate Over a Circumcision Ritual:
Prosecutors are investigating the death of a newborn boy who died in September after contracting herpes through a controversial practice of ritual circumcision, reviving a debate in New York over safety and religious freedom. [...] The cause of death of the 2-week-old boy, who died at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn on Sept. 28, was Type 1 herpes, caused by “ritual circumcision with oral suction,” according to the medical examiner’s office. The ritual of oral suction — or in Hebrew, metzitzah b’peh — is practiced almost exclusively in ultra-Orthodox communities and, to a lesser degree, in Orthodox Jewish communities, despite efforts by the city to curtail it and educate communities about its health risks. The procedure occurs during the circumcision ritual of the bris, as the practitioner, or mohel, removes the foreskin of the penis and then sucks the blood from the wound to clean it.
Following up on OVO blog posts commenting on mainstream media in the past [2/05] [8/05] [11/05] [9/07] [12/07], another report of grown men sucking the blood from a baby boy’s freshly wounded penis in front of an appreciative audience. Only religion gets a free pass on such atrocities. Only religion allows you to mutilate a child’s genitals, suck blood from the wound, do so in public and get away with it. Somehow this one more dead baby on a pile of who knows how many more dead babies isn’t really a dead baby. It’s a debate, a controversy. There’s two sides to it. Two sides, a debate. We’re having a conversation about it, it’s a controversy. Just put that dead baby over there while we have a debate about this controversy. On one side, there’s not practicing amateur cosmetic surgery on newborns, wrapping quivering bearded lips around the delicate member and drawing out blood through the sucking motion of a diseased tongue. And on the other side, there’s religion.
I’d like to live in a world where there isn’t a debate about this ritual of oral suction, and it isn’t controversial. A world where everyone recognizes this as wrong in every circumstance and without exception. I’d like to live in a world where the parents who allow this to happen have their surviving children taken away, and the men who do it are put in prison for life. There’s no subtlety necessary, no need to be concerned about the feelings and traditions and communities involved. May metzitzah b’peh end and never again be practiced. If the practitioners are not willing to give it up, the full force of the law should be used against them. Let the charges of antisemitism fly. My defense is I advocate the criminalization of all sucking of cradle cock, not just the hemopedophilia carried out by these monsters.