The Unkindest Cut Of All

There was a small article in The Times a few weeks ago that left me scratching my head.  Apparently, there’s some organized group in San Francisco that wants to ban circumcisions for all men under the age of eighteen.  To that end, they have gotten enough signatures to get the measure  on the ballot in the upcoming November elections.  The proposed law would call for making the practice a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine of $1000 or up to a year in jail.

Of course, it’s easy to understand the call to end this barbaric procedure when it takes place in a hospital.  But why, in God’s name, would anyone want to end the practice when it’s  performed by someone with no medical training whatsoever.  Especially when it’s performed in some non-hospital environment like someone’s living room or a rented rec room and includes bagels, cream cheese and probably lox and/or whitefish.  Are these people crazy?

If this measure passes, it will cause the disruption of families who have to leave the area in order to get a “legal” circumcision.  Or worse yet, some reality news program will soon be covering  back-alley circumcisions performed by all manner of misfits.  And believe me, the chances of getting smoked fish in those alleys is less than zero.

I expect the Jewish community in San Francisco will throw its weight around in opposing the new law.   After all, what’s a bris without a circumcision?  Just a bunch of people milling around making small talk… without any liquor.  Really, not much to recommend it. 

Because this proposed legislation has the potential to take a big slice of their income, the mohels in the area will surely demonstrate in protest.  While their group, MOSES (Mohels On Schwarzenegger’s Election Staff…[hey…let’s see you come up with an acronym on short notice]), is not as relevant as it once was, it still has some influence.  And I’m all but certain that the libertarians in the Bay Area will join forces with them.  After all, this is exactly the kind of government intervention that you would want to (s)nip in the bud. 

Keep Your Eye On The Prize

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