This Guy Has a Good Reason to be Anti-Circumcision

This one’s not for the squeamish.

Here’s the short version of the story: Decades ago, in Montreal, an 8-year-old boy was accused of masturbating (?!?)… so a priest at his church-run boarding school grabbed him one night, took him to another room to see a mohel, and had the boy forcibly circumcised. “No anaesthetic, no disinfectant, no nothing.”

Paul Tinari has been an “intactivist” — arguing against circumcision — ever since, and Vice‘s Dave Dean interviewed him:

Can you get into the industry of circumcision a bit?

If there was no profit to be made in circumcision it would have been abandoned long ago. But Dr. Kellogg [a man who invented Corn Flakes because he thought "bland foods" could "curb passions" and allegedly thought circumcision could "cure" masturbation] realized he was making a fortune circumcising children—the parents were paying him to circumcise their children to prevent masturbation — so he taught, basically all the original doctors to perform circumcisions in the United States were trained by Dr. Kellogg. And you’ve got to realize he knew what he was doing. He was inducing sexual dysfunction because not only did he think that masturbation was evil but he also thought that sex itself was degrading. He advocated celibacy that sex was unhealthy as something evil, so he believed that rendering the penis dysfunctional was a good thing.

Do you have any idea if he was circumcised?

No idea. He probably circumcised himself. The guy was crazy enough to do that… So anyways, the industry grew up that discovered that foreskin is highly useful stuff. Actually from the 1980s on that it’s very useful for many, many products and so the profit is enormous to be made from this. So there’s a multi-billion dollar industry driving continued circumcision.

You can read the full interview here. If you’d like to read more about why male circumcision is a bad idea, check out this site’s interview with Francelle Wax, who’s working on an anti-circumcision movie.

(Image via Shutterstock — Thanks to Dave for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.