A New Idolatry: Foreskin Restoration

A New Idolatry: Foreskin Restoration July 1, 2014

PIC man worshiping obelisk

 [I’m not really here! I’m stealing WiFi at Dunkin’ Donuts to post this on our way to beach. This seemed like the perfect post for a day when I’m not really here.]

Today, a horrible new planet swam into my ken: foreskin reconstruction.

It’s a thing. It’s a thing among a small number of men who suffer from rare disorder called “phimoses,” where the foreskin won’t retract fully, and it’s a thing among a small number of men who had botched circumcisions, and experience pain and bleeding.

But it’s also a thing among men who have allowed themselves to be persuaded that their lives are significantly impoverished because of a missing flap of skin. They believe that they cannot be happy or fulfilled until they go through a lengthy process of skin grafts or, less risky but somehow more appalling, a years-long regimen of “tugging,” with tapes, weights, and elastic straps. They believe that they can be “restored” to something valuable, dignified, and worthwhile by devoting hours out of every day, perhaps for years, to measuring how much skin covers the end of their penises.

There’s a word for this: “Idolatry.” Elizabeth Scalia nailed it. We imagine idol worship is a thing of the past, just because we haven’t seen wanton wenches polishing a golden calf with their hair, lately. But idol-making has been the constant business of humanity for thousands of years. The idols themselves change, but the impulse is the same: replace God with something smaller and easier to manage — and devote your life to serving that, instead.

This isn’t about whether circumcision is right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy. It’s about who’s in charge: you, or what you think you lack?

Some people speak of the devil tempting us with pleasures and delights, which turn to ashes when we die. More and more, he tempts modern men and women with the idea that we are miserable. He tells us there is no way we can’t be miserable, under our current intolerable circumstances. He teaches us to examine every experience and tease out how unsatisfying it is, compared to some ideal which we’ve never experienced, but which we firmly believe we deserve. He trains us to focus on what we do not have. He constantly reminds us that we’ve been violated in some way, that life itself has robbed us of  . . .  something.

And the more squalid the locus of our desires, the better.  Exorcists often report an overpowering fecal stench in the homes of the possessed. The frantic masturbation scene in The Exorcist was not a fantasy. This is what the devil offers us: everything wretched and small, because he wants us to know in our hearts that we are wretched and small, that we stink, that we’re nothing more than a few square inches of skin.

He doesn’t just want us to lose God. He wants us to degrade ourselves as much as possible in the process. A fall is not good enough: it must be a ridiculous fall.

Foreskin restoration? I don’t care who you are, I can promise you this: there is only one kind of restoration that really means anything, and that is the kind that comes from letting go of that wretched little idol you’ve been clutching. Let Christ take everything from you, and then we’ll see how you can be restored.


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  • Amy

    Simcha, you always manage to say exactly what I need to hear at a particular time, and this is exactly it. You’re America’s 21st century C.S. Lewis! And I’m so grateful. Thank you for your well-written, snarky, funny faith that won’t quit. God bless you…I’m off to try and knock some idolatrous thoughts off their pedestals…

    • Dolores

      C.S. Lewis, like the vast majority of men who have ever lived, had intact genitals.

      • I know! It’s like Simcha never read “The Silver Chair.”

  • Eve

    I remember this procedure from a chapter in the novel “The Source.” Jewish men who wanted to climb the ladder with their Greek conquers had this done. They had to cover up the sign of the covenant with their God at the gymnasium.

    • MotherGinger

      That episode in history is actually why circumcision became the extreme procedure it is now. In Jesus’ time, only a small portion of the foreskin was removed. It wasn’t much later that the rabbis required complete removal so that no one could pretend not to be a Jew, and that is the circumcision which is done today, and why it is not at all the circumcision that Jesus received, or which the Apostles declared Christians did not have to do, and almost no Christians ever did until the 20th century.

  • anna lisa

    Did you ever take ancient Greek and Roman history? I can still remember the day our professor told us that they built monuments to their you-know-whats, and put them all over the place. I said,”Get. Out.” –He, feeling energized, went on a long and animated tangent about what the streets of ancient Rome looked like. (They lined the streets with them.)
    Did you know that they also had special screw in units for their statues on festival days? (I always wondered why their run of the mill, everyday statues looked so…lackluster…
    My point is, that we shouldn’t be surprised that men still feel the need to build shrines to their manhood.

    • donttouchme

      That’s hilarious because now in former Roman territory they build gigantic public sculptures of vulvas that exchange students get stuck in.

      • anna lisa

        !!!!Dying. 😀

    • KL

      Whenever people get worked up about “today’s society’s” obsession with sex and genitalia, I laugh. Welcome to the human condition. There is nothing new under the sun…

    • William Ortego

      You have an issue with men promoting body positivity and seeking physical happiness and fulfillment? Way to judge.

      • anna lisa

        Nah, just adding a little levity to the fireworks. All the power to anyone trying to feel more whole, if this process actually helps them.

  • Craig Adams

    There is nothing idolatrous about a human being wanting to restore a body part that was stolen from them. Circumcision is a euphemism for genital cutting. The forced genital cutting of male, female, or intersex intuitively is barbaric and primitive. Many men and women had their prepuces (foreskin, clitoral hood) forcibly cut off. I admire any man or woman who has the courage to speak out and say their human dignity was violated and they will stop the cycle of abuse and protect their children from this human rights violation.

  • Christina Intactivist

    Are you kidding me with this? Would you say the same to a burn victim trying to get skin grafts? A victim of female genital mutilation? You lack empathy and it’s scary.

    • donttouchme

      I don’t think it’s that bad because the head ends up exposed either way.

      • Thea Larson

        The head ends up exposed either way? How lame of an excuse is that?

        The difference is a stark contrast: in one case, an internal organ is permanently exposed to external stimuli. It is forced to adapt to its new environment by drying out and growing an extra layer of skin to protect it. As time goes on, this adaptation causes a loss of sensitivity, erectile dysfunction,

        In the other case, an internal organ is exposed only in a specific case and is covered up shortly afterwards. In the meantime, it has the benefit of its protective covering and as such loses little to no sensitivity during its lifetime.

        There’s a big difference in the two states.

      • Dreamer

        When you are not circumcised, your head becomes exposed for brief moments and then gets covered again.

        Circumcision in that sense would be the equivalent of removing the lips from our mouths. We would walk with gaping mouths, tongue out dried.

        Instead, we open our mouths when we need, and the environment inside the mouth remains moist and protected.

        • donttouchme

          I don’t think it’s that bad either. I don’t support circumcision. I’m uncircumcised which I’m glad about, but comparisons to having one’s lips cut off, or third degree burns, or a girl’s clitoris excised–these to me seem analogous to having the whole head cut off. Which would be a horrific crime. There isn’t much moisture under there, I don’t think. Anyway, it persists I think because the vast majority of circumsized men get along fine without their foreskin. I don’t know why someone would want it done on their sons, but I don’t think it’s an injustice.

          • Dreamer

            You may be taking for granted things that circumcised men have no way of experiencing and perhaps you have not compared closely yours to a mid aged circumcised male.i remember at thirty wondering why my glans was so dried out. At forty, after two years of restoration, it’s much softer and smooth.

            Do we need scientific proof that lips have a role in feeling pleasure when we kiss our loved ones? No. Well, the foreskin has a role in intimacy, but because the member is designed to work as a whole unit you may not be aware of the contribution of the foreskin to the whole experience.

            You probably wouldn’t appreciate it if someone forced a circumcision on you today. Don’t you think children have a right to their bodies as you have to yours? At what age do we acquire the right to be free from unwanted medical intervention?

            Add this.recent studies show correlation between early exposure to paracetamol and autism. So if babies are given pain control the risk for autism increases, and the alternative is excruciating pain which can cause reduced ability to cope with pain and stress. Sorry i don’t have the references handy on my Mobil device.

          • Dreamer

            Now,i did not compare circumcision to clitoral excision.nevertheless some men grow with no glans or no phallus at all due to surgical mishap.how fair is that? A baby in Memphis a year ago suffered this complication.

            On the other side, removing or pricking the clitoral hood of a female minor is considered mutilation, and that tissue is the true anatomical equivalent of the foreskin.

            In most societies, the idea of respecting the genitals of all minors it’s not that revolutionary. The only catholics who circumcise are Americans, and they do it not because they are catholic, but because they are Americans, even if they think it’s a religious thing.

          • donttouchme

            Christina Intactivist compared it to female genital mutilation, thats who I was referring to.

            But I gotta say, I do pretty much agree with your points. To me the extreme comparisons aren’t very persuasive.

          • Dreamer

            I am glad to know that we are in agreement in some points.

            Yes, intactivists often compare circumcision to FGM, but not for biological reasons, but ethical and moral reasons. What they have in common is that: a) all of them are procedures performed on the genitals of a minor; b) said minor cannot offer informed consent and is not allowed to refuse the procedure; c) said minor has to live with the consequences; d) parents and practitioners believe that the procedure will at least benefit the minor in some way (health benefits, spiritual benefits, purity, hygiene, desirability, marriageability…)

            Reasons often quoted for circumcision besides perceived health benefits, are often illogical and irrational, such as the need to match daddy or the locker room peers, that the girlfriends/spouse will thank mom, that “uncircumcised” “looks weird” or “is smelly” or “dirty”… If you are really not circumcised, you may find these reasons alienating and offensive, as everyone should. Social conformity is not a medical indication for surgery of non-consenting individuals. Society should protect those who are most vulnerable. Children are the most vulnerable of all.

            Another reason for this comparison is the often unknown fact that both the UK and the US had a history of performing clitoral excision of minors at the same time as they were starting to implement male circumcision. In the case of the U.S., even though the practice did not reach the prevalence of MC (circumcision), it ranged from the 1870s up to the late 1960s, and it used to be performed by doctors for a variety of reasons (most of which we would consider obsolete today), such as paralysis, nymphomania, mental disease caused by self pollution, clitoral phimosis, genital hygiene, etc. In fact, our countries still condone one form of FGM which is limited to a small minority, babies born with biological conditions known as intersex, in some cases have clitorises that are enlarged (and male organs that are small, after all both develop from the same fetal tissue) and doctors often recommend “reducing” the size of the organ to a “typical” sized clitoris (“normalization”), something that also causes physical and psychological harm.

            I have heard testimonials from a few American women who had their clitoris removed during childhood at parents’ request. Their testimonials have a lot in common with those of: a) African victims of FGM; b) intersex individuals who were surgically “normalized” during childhood; and c) extreme cases of males who were physically or psychologically harmed by their circumcisions, such as David Reimer (1965-2004) who had his member destroyed during circumcision. One of these women is the author of a book called “The Rape of Innocence” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QTfrLWfl6k

            Circumcision promoters often argue that the intention of the procedures is different, that circumcision is a medical procedure with health benefits. However, the subjects of the procedure, children, are not aware of this “intention” of the procedure, so their perception is the result of their own experience. I can attest to this, because as a child I perceived my own circumcision as an act of violence, as an action that I tried to escape from but I could not, so it was a violation of my physical integrity.

            The general Western framework is that women subjected to FGM are victims (which is true) and will resent the psychological and physical effects of their genital cutting (which is not always the case, i.e. Sierra Leonean-American anthropologist Fuambai Ahmadu who consented to a FGM ritual as adult – along with her minor sister- and is procircumcision for males and females), but that male circumcision is a minor procedure and that males won’t have any objection to being subjected to it. The very existence of foreskin restoration and the intactivist movement (two separate but related groups) shows that a percentage, even if small, of males object to the procedure that we were not allowed to accept or refuse. How big a minority needs to be before society recognizes their rights?

            Male circumcision poses an obstacle to the eradication of female genital mutilation, as: a) cultures that practice FGM also practice male circumcision (even the U.S. and U.K. have been examples of this), and b) people who defend their “right” to “circumcise” their daughters argue that as long as the U.S. circumcises boys, they don’t have a moral authority to demand that they don’t “circumcise” their daughters, a demand seen as neocolonialist.

            Finally, last year the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved a resolution recognizing the children’s right to physical integrity, and referred to non-therapeutic circumcision of boys, female genital mutilation, and intersex genitoplasties on minors, as procedures that violate this right. In other words, every child should have a right to their physical integrity regardless of their gender.

            Given that parents cannot know in advance whether their child will be happy or unhappy, affected or unaffected about the decision to circumcise or not circumcise, why not simply take the more conservative option of retaining the tissue and deferring any decision until a time comes when the boy can provide informed consent or refusal?

          • donttouchme

            That’s fascinating. Thanks for the info. “If” I’m really not circumsized? Do men often lie about that?

          • Dreamer

            Ha, I was just surprised that you, being uncircumcised, would not be fully aware of the way the foreskin contributes to the sexual experience. But I forget that I’ve spent 2 years dissecting my own experience as a restoring man. Most circumcised and uncircumcised men most likely take for granted that what they feel and how they feel is the way everybody else does. I mean, as a teenager I saw uncircumcised friends pleasure themselves, and yet I didn’t realize there was an obvious visual difference in the way they did it compared to myself. It took years, and knowing what to look for, before I realized that there was a significant difference.

            But I trust you. Uncircumcised men are more likely to disclose their status. Many circumcised males tend to become defensive when asked.

          • Dreamer

            There is a small but not null number of males who had the glans cut off, or the whole member cut off, as a result of circumcision. Reattachment or reconstruction is sometimes possible, but not always. This happens in medical environments (as recent as last August in Memphis), religious environments (last year as well in Pittsburgh), and traditional environments (every year in South Africa it happens to dozens of boys). People often argue that every medical procedure has some risks. But in these cases, the subjects of the operation had no urgency for the procedure and were not allowed to consent or refuse the treatment, so at the very least we should recognize that those individuals have been victims of, as you said, a horrific crime, right?






          • patrain17

            Really! You don’t think it’s an injustice! Take our place for a while and then tell us what you think. Otherwise, I don’t think you should say anything on such a matter.

      • Christina Love

        What do you mean? On an intact man, his glans (the head of the penis) is covered when flaccid. Upon erection, it can be difficult to distinguish. However, a circumcised penis has a scar, the glans is dried out, there may be abnormal curvature, hair on the shaft, skin tags or skin bridging, etc. The foreskin is meant to glide, providing pleasure to a man and his partner. The clitoral hood works in the same way. The glans is designed to be protected, smooth, shiny, and moist, like an eyeball.

  • Dreamer

    Really? So I guess people who use a glass eye in an empty socket, people who get dentures or bridges over missing teeth, people who use prosthesis to replace legs or arms, women who get breast reconstructions after mastectomies, are also engaging in idolatry?

    Look, we didn’t ask to have part of our members removed. Why would we be judged because we want what we can back? It was no one’s to remove without our consent. What is the name for taking something from someone without their permission? Yup.

    Who is in charge? Well, who was in charge when we were babies or children?

    You don’t want a restored foreskin, don’t get foreskin restoration. We didn’t want a circumcision, why should we be stuck with it?

    Just leave us alone.

    • anna lisa

      I’d never heard of this until today. I didn’t even know that such a practice was possible. Do you know what the success rate is? (We didn’t circumcise any of our six boys–I’m just curious.) I think that before you come out swinging you have to realize that people need to be brought up to speed. Also, in defense of the mothers who do circumcise their sons, some of them were coerced. I was able to resist what I naively thought was standard practice because my husband fought it so adamantly, but my pediatrician? He used all kinds of scare tactics on me to try to get me to change my mind when I supported my husband’s decision. He was an old doctor though. Luckily, this is all changing. Mothers do what they think is best. They should be given the benefit of the doubt, and given information. The blame game is a dead end.

      • Dreamer

        It is awesome that you left your sons intact. I am happy for every boy that gets to experience the totality of his body.

        Foreskin restoration as practiced today is a long process but it is very safe and reliable. It’s based on tissue expansion, the principle that when live tissue is under tension, it grows to alleviate that tension. So, just like the skin of the belly stretches and actually grows grows to accommodate a pregnancy, or like some people stretch their earlobes by using increasingly larger gauges, foreskin restoration is done by applying tension to the available skin for extended periods of time. There are many ways to do so, some with devices, some by hand, some using inflation, some using weights, some using elastic force… but it’s all a single principle.

        It takes several years to do. The skin has to grow usually over 3 linear inches in order to achieve full coverage of the glans in flaccid state. Some methods provide a typical growth of 1 or 2 millimeters per month, meaning that it would take one or two years to grow one inch of skin. Usually the early stage goes faster.

        The risk is very limited. Everyone has to find his own threshold, how long he can use each method and how much tension to apply. If one feels pain, then either take a short break, reduce the tension, or do it less time. Don’t do it while sleeping, or do it with caution, depending on the specific method.

        More than success rate, each person sets their own goal, how much skin they want to achieve, what they want to achieve (skin mobility, full flaccid coverage, full erect coverage…) and it’s a matter of persisting, with patience.

        I had a friend who started restoring at age 76, and he restored for some 6 or 7 years. He felt he had achieved his goal. He passed away a few months ago, at 84.

        I also often find teenagers asking about foreskin restoration on Yahoo Answers. From talking with a lot of guys in the U.S., they usually understand it during adolescence, when they are starting to experiment, and sometimes they become very bitter to realize that a part of their bodies is gone. They often want a quick solution, but then they learn that surgical solutions provide poor results and have more risk of failure. If the skin graft fails, they may end up having less skin than before, and besides, grafting would result in disrupting the nerves that are still in place, while tissue expansion will maintain the existing sensitivity.

        I’ve been restoring for 2 years and I am very happy about the results I have obtained. I will probably still have to do it for two more years.

        I know my first comment was angry, but you have to admit that the article was patronizing. As I said, many men just want to do this in their privacy and not be judged for it. Many men feel unhappy about their circumcisions but never say anything because nobody wants to listen, we are told to “man up”, to “get over it”. But our genitalia is part of our sexual experience and of how we define our relationship with our body, our self image and confidence. So feeling bad about circumcision is one thing, but being able to do something to overcome that, it is very valuable.

        I feel grateful for all the guys who have put their time into research, testing ideas, and making them available online. They are helping many men make their lives happier.

        • anna lisa

          Dreamer, thank you for patiently answering to the best of your ability. As you mentioned, people do this procedure behind closed doors (whew!) so there aren’t studies yet. I’m glad you have arrived at a point where you feel happier. The whole subject makes me wonder about a few things. First of all, I should say that I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do. I don’t have my tonsils, my adenoids or an appendix, and I don’t miss them. I feel like my body is complete –but I obviously wouldn’t put any of those things on the same level. What I’m wondering about is if circumcision is truly as dramatic a loss as you portray it (don’t get me wrong, maybe it is, I just don’t know) What I’m thinking is, that many men have fulfilling and satisfied lives and they are circumcised. –Which brings up the subject of fulfillment,
          There is this thing about pleasure in this life that always leaves us longing for more. It’s like a glimpse of heaven. A drunk will tell you that he is always chasing something to the bottom of a bottle. A drug addict is on the same goose chase. Binge eating, sex addiction, extreme *anything*…?
          The Dorito effect.
          There is this symptom of insatiable *thirst* that we all experience. I think God is trying to generously share with us, but at our level–too much heaven, too soon–and we fumble the ball. We aren’t supposed to worship the pleasure, we’re supposed to exist in *communion*. Augustine summed it up best, when he said that the soul never rests until it rests in God.

          • Dreamer

            Thank you for listening.

            Not everyone experiences circumcision in the same way and not everyone is affected in the same way. A Jewish researcher, Edward Wallerstein, used to say that nobody knew what circumcision really was. There is no standard. The experience if those circumcised at birth differs from those circumcised during childhood (as i was) or those during puberty or adulthood. As a child i experienced the surgery as an act of violence,as i tried to escape but i could not.

            The effects and results vary.a friends son was cut so tight that at four years, he cries in pain when he gets erections.

            My friend the old man that i mentioned before suffered torsion that almost made impossible for him to consummate his honeymoon.

            Another friend,a young adult from an orthodox Jewish family, was also cut tight and any sexual activity causes his skin to chafe and member to swell.

            I have friends who have nothing ofthe frenulum. One of them was cut as adult and he was not informed that his frenulum would be removed.he is deeply depressed and it’s been for years since the procedure.

            I have story after story.how i have meet all these men and shared these stories? In foreskin restoration groups, where we support and listen to each other what people don’t want to hear.

            From one of those groups a book was just published which you can find in Amazon.it’s called unspeakable mutilations.

            Complications and even deaths are more common than people imagine. I know of a man from California who suffered a badly botched circumcision and after a life of depression and anger killed himself at twenty nine years of age, 3 ayears ago. He was hurt beyond what restoration can fix, part of his glans gone and his whole shaft covered in pubic hair.

            Most men may not remember and may not even be aware of mild complications. I even know of three north American men who had to grow without member (one committed suicide ten years ago at 39). A baby also lost his member one year ago in Memphis, what will be of him in the future.

          • anna lisa

            Dreamer, I wish you blessings. When I say that the soul never rests until it rests in God, it is not a negation of what is whole and healthy in this life–it is that I believe that the pinnacle of what is whole and healthy here points toward a state of being that we can’t even comprehend. Despite brief tastes of it,that perfection which is to come can not be had by *any* of us in this lifetime. We are on pilgrimage. No matter what our challenges, we are not left on the side of the road, if we identify ourselves to perfect man, wounded.

          • Sara McD

            blessed Peacemaker. Anna Lisa, thank you for asking good questions and giving good answers. I love to read kind interactions – they are so rare.

          • anna lisa

            Sara, you don’t know how much that means to me. Thank you. Most of the time, I feel like a soccer ref. (I’ve been watching lots of that lately.)

          • Rebecca Fuentes

            Thank you for being so patient and informative on this subject. I had some of the same questions Anna Lisa did, but was too shy to ask (Thanks for asking, Anna Lisa!). It makes me glad my husband chose not to have our boys circumcised–I left it up to him.

          • Dreamer

            I am glad to learn that your boys were left intact, and I’m glad to know that you found value in the information that I shared. Best wishes.

          • anna lisa

            Thanks Rebecca, I guess maybe we dodged a bullet, that we didn’t even know was a bullet?
            Anyhow, regardless, (and even if there is some “grass is greener” aspect to this whole meltdown) no regrets with leaving it to the husband. I say P.P.s are their jurisdiction. 🙂 Happy fourth! 🙂

          • Dreamer

            As far as chasing pleasures, Indian spirituality used to say that there are two paths to enlightment, the path of excess and the path of abstinence. Christianity in general promotes only one. But we are given bodies to experience terrestrial life, and souls to experience spirituality. To justify harming our own body seems misguided. I’m reminded of Christian branch in Russia, early twenty century, who used to mutilate their bodies once they fulfilled their duty to reproduce.women would remove their breasts, males would be castrated and emasculated. Sounds horrible today, doesn’t it

            Jewish philosophers always knew that circumcision had a negative effect for sexuality.it’s written in texts by philo, 1st century, and moses maimonides, 12 century i think. It’s only now that there is denial in this topic

          • Christina Love

            Thank you for trusting your husband and keeping your 6 sons intact! My heart is joyful when a child’s wholeness is protected and they never experience the unnecessary, harmful surgery of circumcision.

            Specifically regarding “if circumcision is truly as dramatic a loss as you portray it,” please see these resources:

            Circumcision Trauma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAGNnqyNidY&list=FLtN-2GVCh0OM_JRuol-XJ-w&feature=share&index=6

            Global Survey of Circumcision Harm: http://circumcisionharm.org/

            Intact or Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis: http://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

            Myths about Circumcision You Likely Believe:

            And since you are the blessed mama of 6 intact sons, proper intact care is essential! Basically, wash like a finger and never forcibly retract; he should be the first to ever retract his foreskin; the average age for natural retraction is 10 years; then simply retract, rinse, replace. Here’s an article:

            Penile hygiene for intact (non-circumcised) males: http://www.cirp.org/library/hygiene/

  • Evan Roman

    If you lost a large part of your external genitalia, would that effect sex? would you want to restore some of the lost function if you could? You can practice foreskin restoration on yourself and still be christian.

  • Ano

    you’re too stupid to insult, circumcision ruins sex, circumcision ruins THE BEST and most INTENSE pleasure on earth, how is that okay? To me circumcision is worse than rape, there, I said it.

    • You’ve obviously never been raped.

      • One is permanent. The other is bad but can be overcome, maybe with counselling. A lifetime of painful erections due to a tight cut or a single rape, which is over when it’s over.

        I can comment on this with reasonable authority as I’ve been cut and molested. If I could undo one of them, I’d choose the mutilation.

      • William Ortego

        I was raped and circumcised. Circumcision is worse.

      • Vicky Lladnar

        I was raped! I was emotionally messed up over it but it slowly turned into a bad memory that most days doesn’t cross my mind. Also, my rape wasn’t a choice made by my parents who were supposed to protect me and I have no physical scars to constantly remind me of my assault…I believe circumcision is worse than rape as well!

        • MotherGinger

          And similar to rape, it affects one’s innocent spouse for the rest of his/her life, as well. How many women suffer from the lack of the naturally lubricated gliding motion that God created, leading to the need for commercial lubricants, leading to constant UTIs, leading to years of antibiotics, destroying one’s gut health and leading to the ailments that result from that? This is not a rare problem.

          The circumcision that God asked of the Jews was just a small, near-token cut. The extreme version practiced by Americans & Jews today was an adaptation made around the time of Christ when Hellenist Jews started to try to disguise themselves as Greeks. Rabbis of the time got mad and mandated a new, extreme, cut that would end any possibility of Jews’ penises resembling the Greeks’ anymore. What OBs are doing to baby boys today is nothing like what Mary & Joseph gave to Jesus on the 8th day.

          • sillyinterloper

            No, circumcision is nothing like rape. Only morons and narcissists would make that argument.

  • KL

    I have heard the anti-circumcision and pro-foreskin restoration arguments, many times over, and remain more or less neutral. I know too many men on both sides of the procedure who are just fine and are perfectly happy with their situation versus the alternative (many actively prefer it).

    What I hope readers and commenters keep in mind is that this post is not actually about circumcision! It’s about idolatry and funneling all our physical and emotional energy into something that fuels a sense of smallness, entitlement, and anger rather than charity, joy, and service. I am already seeing people asking whether the same argument could be made against, for instance, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Sure it could! If a woman funneled hours of her time and energy into railing against the injustice of her situation, publicly attacked those women who have chosen not to undergo reconstruction, and generally centered her entire life around regaining that which she believed was unjustly taken from her, I would have the exact same concerns about idolatry.

    Idolatry is pernicious precisely because it is so reasonable at first. It’s based in reality and on real goods. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t find ourselves seduced by it! Of course bodily integrity and autonomy are great goods. But when we elevate them above all others, and allow them to dominate our hearts and minds, we fall prey to temptation.

    • Dreamer

      First, people restoring their foreskins are not necessarily anticircumcision activists. Those are two different groups with some overlapping. Many males just want to restore in their privacy without ever reading stuff like this or commenting like I’m doing.

      Second, people can restore while they are at work, or while they play sports, or while they take care of their chores at home. All that time, that part of their bodies is usually doing nothing. To just stretch and keep the skin under tension for that time does not represent hours of energy or centering their whole lives around it.

      Some of us choose to be active online to talk about this topic. Most don’t.

      Besides, multicultural world, multicultural country. Not everyone lives by the same religious standards. So why would the author of this be entitled to make a judgement over the morality and spiritual value of thousands of people she doesn’t know, based on the simple common factor that they wish they were not circumcised?

  • Dolores

    Ahem….There’s idolotry…and then there’s spiritual pride, which is almost as sad as victim-shaming. Jesus cares about the suffering of people who have had their genitals cut apart against their will. Jesus wishes that people would STOP harming their children in this way. We are either fearfully and wonderfully made…or we are not. Circumsion harms. We know that hurt people hurt people. One would think that a man who has suffered this violation would NOT want his own son(s) to suffer. But violence begets violence I suppose. I say that forcibly cutting apart your child’s genitals is making an idol of one’s self, one’s control, one’s opinions. You are destroying God’s perfect creation, making yourself much more powerful over another human being than anyone ever ought to be.

  • donttouchme

    We see a lot of wanton wenches anf altar boys polishing the golden calf with their hair. They call it the “feminine genius.” I do pity the poor schmucks who wish they had a complete penis or who masturbate all the time. But I pity/despise supplicating sycophants aka husbands even more. Who have to beg and coax for sex to which they have no right in the JPII scheme and whose principal vocation is serving as altar boys to their JPII wives as they polish the feminine genius with their hair.

    • anna lisa

      When sex becomes a “right” it seriously cools the engines.

      • donttouchme

        Why? It’s a sure thing. Win win.

        • anna lisa

          Well, if a husband wants it to be a nightly and frequently a morning affair as well, he needs to behave like she is his other half (not from the waist down)
          –the other half of his heart that he needs to live.

          • donttouchme

            Now that sounds like a trick—to keep the gynocentric, discofeminist JPII scheme up and running. “Keep circling the track, buddy, keep working and running forever (because you don’t have any rights so be grateful if I throw you a bone).”

            Basically because nothing is more phallocentric than a right to sex. Except maybe a vagina.

          • anna lisa

            You’re cyclical donttouchme, you go from intelligently funny to just darned creepy.
            I wasn’t throwing any bones or talking about a perfect world. I was just talking about life as I experience(d) it.
            BTW I named #4 of our six boys after JPII. I love him. He’s so on the money. If you were nicer I’d go get my husband to tell you the un-gynocentric truth.

          • donttouchme

            Sorry, I got issues.

          • anna lisa

            Patience. I haven’t had a perfect marriage. I couldn’t have learned what I learned in a marriage manual. We had to climb the mountain for it, and are still climbing. The view is much better once you’ve scaled it for a while.

          • donttouchme

            Oh I ain’t married. I can’t bring myself to sign up for it, whatever it is or has become. And post Mulieris Dignitatem it’s not what it used to be even in the heart of the Catholic Church. I might be able to get into it someday if I can understand it in a way that doesn’t sound suspiciously like a scam to enslave men and make them work. Or if I somehow become confident that I won’t be manipulated or eviscerated legally or emotionally.

          • anna lisa

            Well, that explains “donttouchme”. Sorry about that, but I wouldn’t let “issues” define me. That’s the problem with what can permeate the subject matter of this blog post, I’m afraid that those who perceive themselves to be wounded, allow that wounded-ness to color their entire existence. There’s this great big world out there with plenty of joy and love to experience, but instead of looking for closure by forgiving, humans are tempted to cling to that false identity, because it is a familiar one. This does nothing short of enslaving us –keeping us us from that light and joy that God made us for. A good prayer when we find ourselves tempted to this kind of cynicism, is : “Lord that I might see.”

          • donttouchme

            Re: donttouchme, maybe if we psychoanalyze a momentary choice in a name. Which is like poetry, it could mean something or nothing. Probably means both somehow.

            That’s probably true, but it’s also only half of the situation because not everything is purely subjective. We live in objective reality with real situations, and marriage has fundamentally changed in our society and even in the Church. Who even knows what he’s getting into anymore. Not even sex can be counted on and that’s pretty much the main thing marriage is supposed to be at its most basic.

          • anna lisa

            The thing is–you can’t judge life and the living of it based on what *might* happen. You can’t even judge it by what *will* happen–suffering–joy–
            Let me give you a concrete example: My oldest son turns 27 today. My youngest daughter is now five. If two weeks before I gave birth to my first (not long after my 21st birthday), God came to me and told me I would have as many children as I have, I would have been shocked and probably even rebelled against that idea. I wouldn’t have even been able to fathom what he was saying. There is no way I could have wrapped my head around it. What if I’d been shown that I’d be changing diapers for almost 24 straight years? Sounds awful and like slavery, doesn’t it? But it’s not! –it wasn’t. Now that I’ve experienced what I’ve experienced, I know without a doubt that I would gladly do it all again.
            To try to save yourself from a suspicion of future suffering, literally guarantees it, (and the little prison of “safety” that comes with it)
            Going “all in” for love–while *also* guaranteeing pain–(but a different kind) opens the door to something unspeakably huge and beautiful.
            The Church, with her laws and teachings can’t decide what marriage *is*. Marriage is a sacred reality. The Church merely translates this reality, as best as it can with words, into a language, which helps us to understand it.

          • donttouchme

            Church laws and teachings do though inform the general understanding of what marriage is, and the general understanding is fundamentally different and unreliable from what it once was as far as I can tell. It’s totally subjective, and you’re kind of making that point for me. For you and your husband it seems to have worked out well, but in general I don’t think men have even a moral certitude of they’re getting into in the JPII schema. It’s a crapshoot and they have nothing objective to appeal to. That’s just the reality today as far as I can tell, apart from any “issues” I have.

          • anna lisa

            It’s not subjective at all. It’s either a real marriage or it is not. We can have every document, filed with church and state to claim that it is valid, when in fact it could be a complete sham.

            One of the most self defeating things that humans do, is think that we can control our environment and others. While civil and church laws help to protect the rights of husbands wives and offspring, they can’t force anyone to actually *live* true marriage. A true desire to love ensures this.

          • donttouchme

            You’re still making my point. If I say it’s totally subjective as lived out, you’ll say it’s objectively marriage or not. If I say ok yes marriage is an objective fact, therefore a,b, and c are objective components of it, you’ll switch back to nullifying the objective components by describing subjective experiences.

            JPII marriage reflects the secular culture. It’s totally gynocentric and centered on the mushy mushy kissy kissy, which I’m interested in don’t get me wrong, but you should get the mushy kissy in return for mushy kissy. Men get sexual access in return for protection/provision/commitment and women get p/p/c in return for giving sexual access. Today men are totally on the hook for the p/p/c and up for public scorn if they fail in that. But women aren’t held to the same standard. Marriage is totally unreliable with a LOT of women who accept the JPII schema.

            That said, it was always more important to make a good choice of a particular person even back when marriage was rational and the culture and magisterium hadn’t sided with the mushy kissy uber alles demands of women. Because before a woman could divorce you, freeing her from literally all responsibilities while still making you pay legally, she could still make life unpleasant if she wanted to. Course back when men had more legal and social sway in marriage, they used it to keep marriages intact. Women tend to use it to end marriages judging by the statistics.

          • MightyMighty1

            I get what you’re saying, but the solution isn’t to treat all women as suspect, or to hope to find one who agrees that you get to use her vagina even when she’s not in the mood for sex. A good marriage begets a good sex life. I’ve always put out for my husband out of duty, but things have been so much better since we worked on our marriage and our shared attitude about sex. Now sex really is a source of joy in our marriage–like JPII said. Trying to have a regular sex life regardless of how close we were emotionally left me feeling violated and used and him feeling unwanted. I had to work on my Victorian attitudes toward sex (Simcha’s book was a big help) and he has had to work on keeping sex closely linked to ongoing loving behavior before and after the act.

            Women have a 45% drop in standard of living after divorce. They typically lose career standing and earning power to raise the kids, divorce their husband when they can’t take being treated like a robot/maid/sex doll, and then have to try to subsist on paltry child support, and in many cases, little to no alimony. (And plenty of men work hard to reduce their income over time so they can stop paying it altgoether.) Don’t kid yourself–divorce hurts everyone. Marriage is hard, but wonderful.

            If you haven’t read Simcha’s NFP book, it would probably be a great read for you–and give you a way of feeling out if a woman you like would be on board with a healthy Catholic sex life.

          • donttouchme

            I think it’s a good solution. It worked for you. You started out with a rational foundation and worked out the bugs and fine-tuned the marriage.

            The Plan
            Find a woman who:
            •wants to/is willing to have sex all the time
            •wants to be 100% submissive in a way that feels natural
            •wants to/is willing to have all the kids I can give her

            It’s a simple three-point plan. Not sure how hard it would be to execute.

            In return I will:
            •treat her like a middle school girl (which women seem to like no matter what they may say) alternating with treating her like an adult which they admittedly also seem to like.
            •work till I black out if necessary
            •let her read to me

            It’s a perfect plan.

          • donttouchme

            As far as divorce, what I have seen is women who get bored or unhappy with their choice in a mate and decide they want to try to upgrade. It like the “trophy wife” myth that never really happened all that often, but real. 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Part f their strategy is to always place the blame elsewhere or they will look petty and like they were abandoning their vows, which they are, but that fact could interfere with their plans to upgrade if it got out.

          • anna lisa

            I’m thinking that a mild exorcism might get the bugs out. lol

          • Kate Cousino

            Statistics about who initiates divorce are pretty meaningless. Divorce is almost always preceded by separation; once reconciliation becomes improbable, whoever has the children benefits most from initiating divorce and formalizing support and custody arrangements as soon as possible. That means that a woman-initiated divorce could be 1) a bored wife, as you describe, 2) an abused wife, or one whose husband has endangered her and her children, physically or financially, and who thus requires legal protections, or 3) a woman whose husband moved out and moved on to a bachelor lifestyle months or years ago, and who has given up on reconciliation.

            In cases of straight out abandonment, it rarely benefits the non-custodial parent to initiate legal proceedings. Rates of infidelity are higher among men, still (although the gap is narrowing, thanks to crappy moral formation and rampant sexual entitlement) and spousal infidelity is still one of the most common reasons cited for divorce. That alone suggests that a substantial number of that 70 percent is likely to be women who have initiated divorce after abandonment or discovery of their husband’s infidelity.

          • anna lisa

            ok, nevermind, I hadn’t read this yet. (skin crawling)

          • donttouchme

            It sounds a little unusual, but I’m confident it’s a totally orthodox and humanistic plan.

          • Emily

            Wow. Interesting that you imply that you’re a “traditional” catholic yet you fail to look at the sacramental aspect of marriage and helping the other get to heaven. You seem to boil it all down to sex. Idol, anyone? I can only guess you’re a troll who is only trying to goad the ridiculous religious people in to volleying with you. As much as I don’t think this even deserves a reply, I know someone married to a man that prizes sex and the church fathers so highly, he can quote church fathers and then turn around and hit his wife. He absolutely rejects the use of NFP even though they she has had 5 children in 8 years (and pregnant with #6). She has heart problems and they get more serious with each pregnancy. Her husband can’t seem to abstain even for her lif

          • Emily

            Ugh. Frustrated with discuss. I can’t successfully edit my comment so I’ll continue here. He goes to church every Sunday and is reverent and reads religious books, but does not know how to treat his wife and respect her. She is the most amazing mom and a good wife. There is more to being a husband than just providing an income. I sincerely hope that you inform any woman you date of your “list.” And what if something happens that means she couldn’t fulfill her “duty” to you? What if she becomes ill with a chronic illness? Would you still expect of her what you expect? See, that is what Anna Lisa is talking about. Despite the fact that your ideas about marriage are so . . . misguided and downright selfish and pretty creepy, you still aren’t promised those 3 things even if you find someone who would agree to that. Unforseen circumstances happen. Illness- one or two of you being sick and asking for the marriage act would be uncharitable. Unemployment or a job change- you having to work a state away as many have had to do after losing their jobs. Forclosure- moving in with in laws! Just hope you get a more realistic and loving view. You should learn to like women before trying to marry one.

          • donttouchme

            I definitely will be honest about what I’m looking for and expecting. Not interested in tricking anyone. I hope you inform any man you date that you think sex isn’t a duty of any wife and that there are lots of reasons to deny him sexual access and that he has no rights in the matter.

            Course you have to consider the list in the organic context of a relationship.

            I don’t believe in hitting a woman except for playful spanking or wrestling to reinforce a consensual power differential.

            “a man that prizes sex and the church fathers so highly, he can quote church fathers and then turn around and hit his wife.”

            Seems you associate sex with violence which isn’t what I’m talking about at all.

          • Emily

            Wow. Just wow. No, I don’t associate sex w voice. My point is that you can stand up for “traditional Catholicism” and bemoan all these Novus Ordo masses and women who don’t want to be treated without respect and still be an asshole.
            Actually, I’m married with three children- to a man who has always taken care to make sure sex is just as fun for me as it is for him. In fact, he hates it when I go along just for him because it makes him feel like he’s using me. He’s very thoughtful and respectful of my feelings surrounding sex. For women, emotions and sex generally are intertwined very much- he understands this. We also practice NFP and I admire his ability to respect and love me even when he can’t be fulfilled sexually, sometimes for long periods, like now after baby #3 and some chronic health issues demanding to be dealt with. Just remember marriage isn’t some ticket to as much sin-free sex as you want.

          • donttouchme

            Wow just wow. I haven’t said anything about “traditional Catholicism” or “Novus Ordo masses.” Or about NFP or about women who don’t want to be treated without respect or who don’t recognize their duties as wives. Well, I guess I have mentioned women who don’t recognize their duties as wives. Thanks for reinforcing some of the ugliness of modern marriage with modern women.

          • ClinchX

            It seems you have been deeply hurt and for that I am truly sorry. It has been said that where love is absent the void of one’s heart will turn to fear. Your description of marriage as a contract with its focus on sexual gratification of the man exposes a deep seated fear of intimacy and completely misses the root of our Church Tradition.

            Your position is no different than that of the hippies. Whenever, wherever, with who/whatever. Ok, good for you. So you will be physically faithful to one woman. Big shit. So was Hitler. But you are better than King Henry so props.

            We are created as physical and spiritual beings. Every heresy is rooted in the denial of the duality of man. To say that sex is the foundation of marriage is a grave error. And it certainly sounds less than Catholic. Marriage is a sacrament, not a sex contract. What you outline sir, is a prostitution agreement.

            As a sacramental vocation, I have experienced that marriage helps me to be a better person ONLY when I am actively engaged in all aspects of our lives. When I slack off and choose to only live my vows by “working until I blackout” it is a sham. And when in such denial, my heart has been clouded from receiving love from any source. My wife’s tender embrace, a gift from a coworker, an “I love you dad” from my son or an “I accept you because I made you” from my Father (and yours) the author of love.

          • ClinchX

            And as I write this, let me be clear. It is not an attack but a challenge. To you, to myself and to any men listening.

          • donttouchme

            Sex as the foundation of marriage isn’t an error, it’s natural law. That’s why sex is considered the consummation of the sacrament and why people of the same sex can’t marry each other.

            Really this whole controversy boils down to a wife’s duty to have sex with her husband. Everyone hates this idea because its ancient and androcentric in nature, which marriage has always been from the very beginning. We have in Catholic culture instead have adopted the JPII gynocentric model of polishing the golden calf named “feminine genius.” Men have the same explicit obligations they have always had, and then some, and women have none of the obligations they’ve had for eons. That’s marriage today. I respect your experience of marriage. I’m just trying to explain the basic framework of the covenant to myself in a way that isn’t scam on men, which it is all too often. Seen it every day of my life.

          • MightyMighty1

            @donttouchme:disqus, so you are looking for a woman who is willing to/wants to have sex all the time AND is willing to have a baby once a year until her fertility runs out AND is 100% submissive? It sounds like you are looking for a doormat. A doormat who manages to have either a raring libido or is an amazing actress (or maybe you’re cool with her lying there with her eyes glazed over while you jackrabbit her)–but she should also have the strength and wisdom to raise a huge houseful of godly children.

            A normal human might love sex but not be up for having it after running around after a brood of kids all day and having her caveman come home and talk to her like a middle school girl (whatever that means). She might not want to have sex with someone who is okay with using her for sex even if he can tell that she needs something else just then. Who wants to be used?

            Any marriage that is based on picking a stereotype to meet MY needs and demands is doomed to be miserable. This applies to both sexes. I’ve seen women marry for security, only to have their husband fall way down the earning scale; they are disappointed that their husbands are human beings who are capable of failure and need. There are lots of men who marry women who are supposed to do everything, meet their every need, and require only a little bit of infantilizing and reading aloud in return, and then get disappointed when these women turn out to be human beings capable of great sacrifice and emotional depth. Which complicates things and makes the caveman/100% submissive paradigm obsolete.

            For the record, I think that frequently refusing to have sex without good reason is a sin, every bit as much as adultery is. But so is treating another person as a thing to be used, rather than a person to be loved. The expectation that someone should be available “all the time” speaks to little to no understanding of how important sex really is. If it were a small thing, I’d say that the expectation is manageable. I make our bed and keep the house picked up every day. But renewing our marital covenant and baring my very soul? I can’t promise that this is something I am emotionally ready for every day no matter what. I can promise my husband to consider his needs as important as my own; when he does the same, it’s bliss. It all works out and nobody is starving or feeling raped.

          • donttouchme

            “so you are looking for a woman who is willing to/wants to have sex all the time AND is willing to have a baby once a year until her fertility runs out AND is 100% submissive? It sounds like you are looking for a doormat.”

            It’s not a doormat, as you, for example, appear to basically meet that standard, unless you think of yourself as a doormat in your marriage. It’s a framework/overview/plan that also works to smoke out covert feminists like Emily below. As a general plan it can’t include all the exeptions. It doesn’t include anything about NFP, for example, but theoretically a woman IS willing to have a baby every year of her fertility while married, right? 100% submissive is something like 90% a dynamic and 10% a chain of command.

            “All the time” is also theoretical and unlikely, same as having a baby every years of one’s fertility. The whole little controversy here boils down to a whether a wife has duties or not because in today’s environment women are loathe to recognize duties to men, but the reverse isn’t true today and never was true. In the JPII gynocentric/feminist marriage model, a husband has duties and a wife has the option of making a “gift” of herself, the end. It’s the basic reason interest in marriage is declining among men and increasing among women.

            Edit: also the caveman/submissive paradigm is in no way obsolete. If anything it’s taking off in an uncontrolled manner as a direct result of the new gynocentric model of marriage and will most likely wreck the world.

          • Kate Cousino

            I cannot reconcile your depiction of marriage with the marriage vows “in sickness and in health, in good times and in poor” which require self-sacrifice on all sides.

            A healthy marriage is one in which both spouses are responsible for the health of their sexual relationship. Both spouses are responsible for the financial security of their household. Both spouses are responsible for treating each other with love, honor, dignity, and respect. Both spouses are responsible for the upbringing of the children. Both spouses are responsible for the spiritual care of the family.
            While the couple may divide the day to day tasks and responsibilities between themselves, the ultimate responsibility belongs to both.

            Your expectations of marriage are infinitely poorer than this…and I suspect you would, in practice, find it lonely and unfulfilling.

          • Kate Cousino

            “What you outline sir, is a prostitution agreement.”

            YES! And it is not only insulting, it’s untenable and vulnerable. Sooner or later, any woman is going to be sexually unavailable, whether for health reasons or something else. A man primed with a “sex is my right in exchange for ____” mentality will respond to this by either ‘punishing’ his unavailable wife by withholding some of ‘his contribution’ or will seek sex elsewhere. A woman trapped in this exchange mentality will have a similar response if her husband becomes disabled, unemployed, or mentally ill. This exchange mentality contradicts the marriage vows, which should be a caution against adopting it.

          • donttouchme

            You can’t deny the “this for that, mine for yours” aspect of marriage without denying the material part of your humanity, and you can’t point to exceptions to the rule, as if they are the rule.

            Edited this because I somehow crossed your comment with someone else’s in my mind and responded to something you didn’t say

          • Kate Cousino

            Given the market in sex toys, cosmetic surgery, lingerie, and issues of Cosmo for women, I think your caricature of modern marriage as gynocentric and sex-starved is pretty far from reality. I suggest you step faaaaaaaar away from the nutty men’s rights forums and the like, and try spending time with actual happily married couples.

          • donttouchme

            The fact that you think sex toys, plastic surgery, lingerie, and Cosmo indicate a non-gynocentric environ is completely retarded. Do you also think they indicate a healthy marriage culture? My goodness.

          • Kate Cousino

            You miss my point–these things indicate a culture that is still skewed towards male pleasure and objectification of women for their sexual use. And that your approach to marriage is consistent with that disorder.

            Basically, there’s no evidence of a female-centered social order, but there is a lot of evidence of the need for a corrective to the tendency (which you display) to reduce people to objects of use.

          • Kate Cousino

            There’s also a correlation between church attendance and satisfaction with sex life that suggests that modern Christian women are not frigid either. If you stretch yourself and imagine how much more satisfying and attractive it is to voluntarily contribute to a relationship in which you are appreciated and valued, you might begin to understand why.

          • anna lisa

            Donttouchme, I just baked a layer cake. There are balloons on the chandelier, and happy little children running about. I just caught my five year old trying to fill her pink balloon from the spigot of our bottled water. She broke the eggs into the cake and I shrugged about the couple of shells that might have made it in. I had to yell at the eight year old because he was scootering on the street with his nine year-old -cousin without me, when I was coming home from a shopping trip with my son and his sister. I haven’t seen my oldest daughter since mother’s day weekend in S.F. I yelled, but was just so. happy. about the day, and being with my big little girl, and her beautiful older brother, (who briefly lost his parking ticket in the parking garage). There are about eight of the older cousins that have come in to town for the weekend, and they will all end up going to celebrate my son’s birthday at a club that features live music downtown. They are beautiful, optimistic and they all love each other. My Mom just picked up food from one of my son’s favorite restaurants. Some of us will stand because the dining room can’t hold us all. My father will complain a bit about the fact that he hasn’t added those extra 15 feet to the dining room. Life is good. Love has an urgency to grow.
            God Bless you donttouchme, I really, truly hope you find love.

          • donttouchme

            It does seem to have worked out well for you. I went to a “refresher” class at work, then cooked a pizza from a box, drank a little bourbon and saw “Frasier” reruns from 1995.

          • anna lisa

            I didn’t even make it to bad TV before I crashed. Now I’m wishing I’d gone with the kids to the club. The man of honor begged us to come. Even more of the cousins showed up. (There were 22 kids sleeping here last night) I would have risked the wrath of my eighteen year old –at least to take pictures of the cousins crowd surfing my birthday boy. Dang. I missed it.

          • donttouchme

            Have your kids found mates? They can’t marry their cousins, even in California.

          • anna lisa

            Ah well, only two are of marrying age really, and the third is in love. She needs to finish college. One of them finally put his broken heart back together. The other one–I don’t know. I wouldn’t be so surprised if he became a priest some day. He’s like Jacob wrestling with God.

          • donttouchme

            If they’re reasonably intelligent and have a shred of self-respect, and I’m guessing they do, I bet your sons are trying to come to terms and make sense of the fact that they’ve been robbed of their inheritance. By the feminist culture and its quislings in the magisterium. I hope they build some heavy armor around their hearts and get demanding because JPII women are merciless and entitled with very little respect or regard for men. Not JPII women like you but your sons’ prospective mates I mean.

          • anna lisa

            d.t.m.,(seriously, you have to change that)
            I told you I named my fifth kid (4th boy) after JPll. He is not the problem. A world that worships the pleasure paradigm is the PROBLEM. I can’t believe you don’t just love JP2. Good Lord, what a blessing he was for our poor love starved world.
            T.O.B. is an inspiration of the Holy Spirit. You have no idea. It’s like a green light on what we already guiltily intuited. The dark one doesn’t want us to feel all of the joy, elevation and abandonment which comes with it.
            A 50’s housewife has got to be the most boring creature on earth. My husband gets the devotion of tradition without all of the stupid artifice.
            My sons love their faith, but they went to a conservative Catholic college. They are afraid of phony Catholics who have the uniform, the stance, the reading material, and the church all down pat, but act like martians that hate earthlings.

          • donttouchme

            I think the pop culture image of the 1950s housewife was an artifice entirely not a reality, that came from a patriarchal culture. It’s generally analogous to the guy in the picture here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithonthecouch/2014/06/marriage-after-baby-simcha-fisher-interviews-dr-greg/
            That’s the new “1950s housewife” that comes from the gynocentric world we live in. It came from a recognized expert on TOB. If that’s the kind of man you want to be, study TOB.
            Edit: actually if you look at Popcak’s “about” photo you can see the same basic spirit as that other photo so you know that’s what men become from TOB. It definitely won’t turn you into that Vietnam war prisoner who signaled “torture” in morse code with blinking.

          • anna lisa
          • Barbara

            Turn to Mary, unclench the fist.

          • gregcamacho8


  • David J. White

    Well, Dreamer, when you were a baby no one asked you whether you wanted to grow up as an American, or speak English as your native language, or be fed the kind of food you were fed or wear the kind of clothes your parents got for you, or be vaccinated, or be taken to the doctor when you were sick, or be bathed when you were dirty, or receive the kind of elementary education you received. Those awful parents of yours, to impose those things on you! Sucks to be you, I guess.

    • Dreamer

      David, if they waited for me to grow up before feeding me, I would starve.

      If they waited for me to grow up before teaching me to speak a language, they would harm my development.

      But if they waited for me to grow before sending me to an elective irreversible surgery that removes a large portion of my external genitalia what would have happened? Nothing.

      You probably have no idea what your foreskin would have looked like, or that you have a scar in the center of your member. You have never experienced what it feels like. Well, I have now. 40 years later.

      If men had an idea of what they are missing, they wouldn’t defend circumcision. They would see that it is not a valid parental decision, that sending children to “elective” genital surgery is not child rearing. It’s a cultural ritual, a social fetish, a hazing ritual.

      • Evelyn

        Thank you for posting your experiences. I am a woman, and sex with a tightly circumcised man was so consistently uncomfortable and even painful for me that I will discuss restoration with any future potential husband who is circumcised. His reduced sensation meant a great deal of extra thrusting and friction so painful that I sometimes bled. Until I educated myself, I believe there was something wrong with me.

    • Why do women get sympathy but men get told to get over it? And people say men have all the advantages. I think not! If someone feels violated, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a man or a woman. People shouldn’t tell them to just get over it!

  • Julie

    Oh boy! This is going to be just as much fun as the time you killed Thomas Kincade!

  • Julie

    A gentleman of my close acquaintance was the recipient of a circumcision
    at the age of 12 due to an infection of the foreskin that did not
    respond to antibiotic treatment. His dad bought him an ATARI and Optimus Prime out of horrified sympathy. He said it was a fair trade.

    • Obviously I can’t say for certain, not knowing the details, but given that only 1/16,666 of intact men ever need a truly medically necessary circumcision, it’s a shame he didn’t get a second opinion. Also, I wonder if he was forcibly retracted; this can cause all sorts of problems.

      Many American doctors used to use any slight justification to push circumcision, and some still do. Surgery should be the last resort. This is why The WHOLE Network maintains a list of intact-friendly doctors – it’s a shame this is necessary but some medical “professionals” know nothing about the foreskin and its normal development except how to chop it off.

      • Julie

        Stop wondering. I have. His sex life is pretty good.

  • Blobee

    Okay, well now I am officially revolted.
    Maybe it’s okay for Oprah and Dr. Oz to address these topics, but then, I can vote with my “clicker” and change the channel.
    Too bad I didn’t stop reading right after I saw the headline.

  • jen

    Dave Barry did an entire spiel on this 20+ years ago.

  • Clare Short

    “…It’s about who’s in charge…” “Who did decide to cut off your foreskin in the first place sir? I zhink unresolved issues from your childhood are causing your real pwoblem i zhink.” Just out of interest… Why are Americans so fond of circumcision anyway? Here in the UK we don’t do it.

    • William Ortego

      Victorian era sex fear.

  • Jason Wells

    Filed under There is Nothing New Under the Sun:

    “So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil.”

    1 Maccabees 1:14-15

    • Dreamer

      Yup, the pondus judeaum, a metal weight used some 21 centuries ago when circumcision was less extreme than it is now (brit milah) led enraged rabbis to modify circumcision into something more extreme (brit periah) so that they couldn’t do it anymore.


    • janusee

      yes in the old testament period’s perverse crudeness and violence, genital cutting was ritualized. the above quote is an example of why a new era and a new testament was desperately needed, and began. as we transition now into a next age or period, a renewed and greater level of compassion and love is emerging.

    • MotherGinger

      You sound like one of the millions of American Christians who honestly don’t realize that before the 1900s, almost no Christian had ever been circumcised.

      Our family was shocked when we found out that my grandfather wasn’t circumcised, when he was in hospice. That’s when most of us learned what a modern lie it was that Christians had always circumcised like the Jews, despite the whole brouhaha over it in the New Testament.

  • Joseph Nelson

    I haven’t seen it on here yet, but I love my circumcised penis! I have no issues with sex or enjoying the sexual act. It still functions as an idol too, if I focus on it more than God.

    • Look up the functions of the foreskin and learn what was taken from you. Many people are happy only because they don’t know what they’re missing.

      • KL

        This is a truly sincere question: If someone is genuinely happy with their situation, and their happiness is not harming them, why is it necessary to arouse jealousy and envy for what they lack? What is the purpose of deliberately making someone less happy?

        • Dreamer

          I agree with you KL that there is no point on trying to make anyone less happy. The only reason however would be to try to educate someone when that person may subject a child to the same surgery. The only reason I ever spoke about my feelings about circumcision with my mom was because I could not stand the idea that she might one day recommend circumcision to expectant parents.

          • KL

            Thanks, Dreamer — you and Matt above make a similar, good point. I agree that discussing this issue for the sake of raising awareness is important, but with such an emotionally-charged subject it’s vital to strike the right tone and avoid a confrontational, accusatory, or antagonistic stance. Your interlocutor will immediately pick up on it and may shut down, emotionally and/or intellectually, which is directly opposed to the intended effect. I understand that it can be difficult to avoid bitterness, given your personal experience, but as someone who has witnessed many debates on this topic devolve into firmly entrenched insult-hurling, I believe a gentler approach is more conducive to a true conversation.

        • You make a somewhat valid point and I would agree if it was only about that individual’s happiness. However, people make bad decisions due to lack of knowledge. Someone might let his sons be cut, simply because he was cut and thinks it either did him no harm or even improved him. The end goal is to get people to stop cutting unconsenting babies.

          Ignorance is only bliss when others aren’t affected.

          • KL

            That is fair, and for what it’s worth, I agree with you. However, in that case I think a better approach with a circumcised man who is happy and satisfied might be something like, “I’m very glad you are content with your situation, but many men are not, and I would hate for you to make your son’s life less fulfilling, even accidentally.” Otherwise, it can come across as trying to wreck someone’s happiness just to prove a point — which rarely has much emotional or intellectual appeal!

    • Angela Erdstrom

      That is not justification for the continuing genital mutilation of baby boys.

  • Dan C

    Oh my. Look at all the comments in defense of the penis. Krazy with a K.

    For all the stories below about linking circs to female genital mutilation, my bet is that a post on that would generate less than half the number of comments.

    Because the penis gets people nuts.

    • MightyMighty1

      I think it’s because it’s a given that we in the US don’t circumcise our girls. We still have a lot of people circumcising their boys and a lot of people agitating about mutilating baby boys. It’s a hot issue. I’m not sure if the penis really makes people crazy. (If anything, people are a lot more uncomfortable with the terms for female parts. Think about how most people would respond to a little boy referring to his penis and their reaction to a little girl referring to her vagina. The second one seems grosser to most people because we have such a mishmash of Victorian prudery and modern promiscuity that we think the vulva is both indecent and pornographic.)

      Nice pun, btw.

      • Sara McD

        I agree. I’ve noticed that on certain websites, typing the word ‘penis’ is OK, but the word ‘vagina’ gets censored. Weird.

  • William Ortego

    I’m a gay atheist who is restoring his foreskin. It’s a sexually fulfilling and gratifying experience to have a foreskin. So, go shove your bible and your apathetic words where your lord don’t shine.

    • Blobee

      And may God bless you too! (you don’t have to visit this blog you know. You can read other things besides things you don’t agree with. You certainly don’t have to insult people who have a different point of view than yourself.)

  • Justin Perez

    Religious people keep saying religious things.

    • gregcamacho8


  • joseph4gi

    “Penis idolaters,” say those who say a prayer before mutilating a child’s penis… And then proceed to suck it… The “sign of the covenant” is a mutilated penis. But rest assured; it’s those who would rather have kept their bodies as god gave it to them who are the “idolaters.” Projection much?

  • Monicatoby

    Oh I agree. It’s just appalling that these men aren’t happy because a healthy part of their bodies was cut off and thrown in the garbage. It’s just SICK that they would want to find a way to make their bodies as close to normal as possible.

    While we at it, what do you think about those women who have had a mastectomy and then want to have surgery to make it look like they still have breasts! Those people who have them brainwashed into thinking it will take away from their happiness to go through life with a scar where a breast used to be should be shot!

    Isn’t it disgusting how people in the military who have lost an arm or leg in battle want to have a fake thing made for them, so they can pretend to have all their limbs? What cowards! REAL men aren’t afraid to be in wheelchairs or on crutches their entire lives!

    What you have said about men who want to try to restore their penises to being more like if they hadn’t been circumcised, is every bit as ridiculous, heartless, and ignorant. Many of those men do foreskin restoration because decades of being out in the open has decreased their sensitivity to the point where they can’t achieve orgasm. Others were cut so tightly that they have pubic hair growing almost all the way to the glans. Many of those have also lost a significant amount of overall penile length, because of too-tight circumcisions. It is fairly common for those who restore to regain a half inch to an inch of overall penile length.

  • Angela Erdstrom

    Simcha Fisher’s discounting of the physical and emotional damage done to male victims of genital mutilation strikes me as quite unchristian! The lovemaking of a marriage is an important family value! The foreskin is highly specialized erogenous tissue that benefits both the husband and his wife. Foreskin restoration doesn’t return all of the foreskin’s 16 functions, but many men who have done it report satisfactory results, and their wives report greater enjoyment of coitus with much less discomfort.

  • Christina Love

    “compared to some ideal which we’ve never experienced, but which we firmly believe we deserve”
    Every human being (male, female, intersex) has a right to ALL the body parts they are born with until they are of adult age when they can be fully informed and consent to permanent body modification, in the absence of medical emergency. All mammals are born with foreskin. It is not a medical emergency. If girls’ “deserve” their genitals without surgical, cosmetic alteration (they have been protected by law in the U.S. since 1997), certainly boys deserve equal protection.

    Adult foreskin actually measures approximately 15 square inches. Imagine missing that much skin, our largest organ, from your face. It would be significant, as it is when it’s missing from a male’s penis. Change form, alter function. Indeed it is degrading (and devastating) to a newborn to be restrained and have the most sensitive part of his body torn (like tearing off finger nails), crushed, and cut away, all with little to no pain medication and without his consent. 1/3 to 1/2 the skin on the penis is removed, and 117 babies die annually from complications. 80% of the world’s men are intact, and less than 1% of them ever choose circumcision for themselves.

    Was Christ/god flawed in his divine design of males?

  • Sheila C.

    Hey, if I were a circumcised man, I’d probably do it. Save myself perhaps some sexual dysfunction as I got older, and save my wife some discomfort (which she probably would have been assuming was a problem with *her*).

    But I’m not a man, and I did my part in leaving my kids the way God made them, and I’m happy with that. I’m not sure why you would judge someone who tried to turn their body back to the way God made it. It’s a few minutes of attention a day. Kind of like losing weight. You can make an idol out of it, or you can simply say “my body is worth a certain amount of attention every day” and take care of it in a healthy way.

  • Meredith

    I really think you should reconsider your stance, Simcha. I don’t think you’d ridicule a Sudanese woman who wanted to have her clitoris reconstructed. Regardless of how some men sound while complaining online, it is insulting to call the foreskin just “a few square inches of skin” and a “wretched little idol,” and criticize men who feel “violated in some way.” If they feel violated by their circumcision, it’s really not up to us women to sit in judgement over the legitimacy of their feelings.

  • MotherGinger

    Everyone who disagrees with you is un-Christian in your mind, so it seems, based on what I’ve heard from you in the last year or so.

    • simchafisher

      Really? Can you give me an example?

      • MotherGinger

        This article. If someone is restoring, it’s because he’s an idolater. You leave no room for someone to be doing it for any valid reason at all.

        Then there are your articles on those who don’t vaccinate the way you do, and on those who don’t see the “children at our border needing help” issue the way you do. These are just the ones that come quickly to mind.

        I’m not saying whether your opinion on any of these is right or wrong. But I’m very, very disturbed by the way you paint, and treat, those who dissent from your opinion.

        God has blessed you with a tremendous writing gift, but tremendous gifts always come with tremendous responsibility, and tremendous temptation. May God continue to bless you, and guide you, and keep you, Simcha.

      • MotherGinger

        Dear Simcha, my friends tell me you accidentally mistook me for a gay man, which is an understandable mistake, in context, if amusing. I can’t figure out, however, why you think my profile picture is that of a man. I can only guess that you accidentally clicked on someone else’s profile here? I have no picture, and never have.

        • simchafisher

          I am not sure! It must have been some kind of bizarre Disqus glitch. There was a picture of a man wearing glasses on your profile a few days ago.

          I am not sure why your friends need to report my Facebook conversations to you. I know that you read my Facebook page yourself, because Facebook is the only place I have talked about vaccinations or the border situation. If you’re interested in learning more of the context and my response to your comments, you could always just check back on Facebook. I don’t have any particular interest in replicating that conversation here.

          • MotherGinger

            I see your writings only when my friends share or like something that you have posted on FB; that’s how I happened on the vaccination & immigration conversations.

            I know why my friends “reported” your FB conversation about me to me – it was hilarious! Thinking I’m a gay man? Every swamped mother should have a break like that in her day!

            I’ve now read today’s “gay man” conversation myself. I’m glad you see now that my comments about vaccinations and the border were not about your blog, which I did not mention.

            This isn’t a conversation I’m interested in taking part in publicly (as on FB), because honestly, it’s too painful for most people discuss in a public forum. I appreciate your honoring my wish for anonymity on this topic.

            May you be blessed & fruitful in all that you do, Simcha.

          • Guest

            I believe the “man with glasses” that you clicked on was probably Dreamer’s profile. The words you attributed to me sounded more like they would have come from him.

          • MotherGinger

            Something weird is happening in these comments, indeed. A post that I made, then deleted (b/c it was inappropriate speculation) is now showing up as something posted by a “Guest.” Oh well. Fun times.

  • Francis Francis

    On your FB page, you suggested that people who disagree with you should read other bloggers in order to avoid upset. Well, why do you read sites like LifeSite
    News? You don’t seem to understand that your talent is going to pull people in, but you can be polarizing and the more known you become, the more you are going to encounter people who disagree with you. What’s most annoying to me is your tendency to attack and eviscerate, and the subsequent distress you show when you get a dose of your own medicine. Also annoying is your huband’s rudeness. His defense of you is wonderful, but the manner in which he does it just stirs the pot. My small group reads you often, and many think that this all by design, to get page hits. I don’t think it matters why it happens, I just think you should own it. If you want to be a tart, sharp-speaking, rough personality, fine. But own that. Don’t write a piece that is going to cause an uproar and then whine when people go at you. It’s hypocritical and disingenuous.

    • simchafisher

      I read sites like LifeSiteNews because I’m a blogger and am expected to keep up with the news. I read all kinds of sites I don’t enjoy. My blogs, here and at the Register, and primarily about entertainment, not news delivery; so yes, it’s foolish to read my site if you don’t enjoy it. I rarely deliver information that you can’t find in several other places. People read me because they like my tone and insights. If a reader doesn’t enjoy those things, there really is no reason to be reading me.

      What “distresses” me is when people think they can make judgments about my spiritual state. I try very hard to attack ideas, not people. When people attack my ideas, I am willing to engage them. It’s the “ooooh, I can’t believe she said this thing I disagree with! It’s uncharitable! I’ll pray for her” that chaps my hide. Yesterday, someone called me “uncharitable” for panning the plot and themes in a George Clooney movie. If I had one wish, it would be that all Catholics would undergo a training session about the difference between criticizing and being mean.

      I don’t tell my husband what to say, and he doesn’t speak for me. I suspect his comments loses me more page views than they gains me, so if it’s a scheme on my part, it’s not a very smart one.

      • simchafisher

        Ha, I clicked on your name to see what other comments you made. In the last one, you criticized me for complaining on Facebook about Pewsitter. You misunderstood that one badly badly, Francis Francis. I never thought that Pewsitter would be silly enough to link to my post; but since they did, I had a great traffic day. So I wasn’t being sarcastic by thanking Pewsitter – I really meant it!

        • Francis Francis

          Ha! And you asked me to explain, then shut down the comments right after asking, thus preventing any dialogue that would enlighten me. That’s your MO, throw the Molotov Cocktail, watch the explosion, and when you get burned, cry and then run away.

          Why is it silly for Pewsitter to link to your critisism? They want the page views. Whenever you criticize someone, you are publicizing them.

          What I am trying to say is that you want to be ” a lippy dame,” as you often refer to yourself, then embrace it fully! When you put it all out there, people are going to criticize you and ascribe motives and intentions that might be incorrect. It’s the nature of the beast. Lippy dames don’t look for sympathy or get their panties in a knot because people don’t like what they say. They haul off and give them more with no apologies.

          • Francis Francis

            As for your husband. He might not speak for you, but he is a reflection of you, as you are of him. He’s the Michelle to your Obama, Hilary to your Bill, etc. You two are intertwined and his words and actions are going to impact how people think of you. That’s not bad or good, it is just part of being somewhat of a celebrity.

          • simchafisher

            Did I? *shrug* sorry. I close the comments when it doesn’t seem like anything nrw is being said, and frankly, it’s jus a combox. If someone doesn’t get to speak their mind every single time, it’s really not the end of the world. I manage the combox according to what makes the most sense at the time. At my level of “celebrity,” I’m not convinced I have some obligation to absorb any and all abuse people want to fling at me. Same goes for Facebook. I’m an individual, not an institution, and there’s no particular reason I have to abide by what seems fair to you. My blog is free, so I guess you get what you pay for, all right?

      • Francis Francis

        I completely agree with you that people should not making judgements about your spiritual state. You get more than your fair share of those types.

        I think that your husband actually gets you more page views. People who cannot stand your POV will come back for more for the same reason Damien garners clicks; because the ugliness and controversy is compelling. It’s the same reason people watch reality television or pundits scream at one another. Our society likes strife and train wrecks. People love it when you get the blogosphere bubbling, and they flock to your FB page and blog when it happens. I’m not making judgements about you or the people who
        enjoy the furor you create, I myself am a regular reader who gets sucked in by it all. But sometimes (not always) your blog and FB page is like the written equivalent of “Dance Moms.” People frothing and slinging mud and loving every ounce of vitriol and hatefulness. You yourself are not always kind, in fact you can be plain mean. There is a place for it, I guess. Maybe it serves a purpose, God knows enough people seem to have a yen for itLook at Andy Rooney.

  • Ellen Mary

    It isn’t a flap of skin, it is densely enervated functional genital tissue & many men are restoring for the women in their lives. They ‘lubricative burden’ is thought to rest on the woman’s shoulders & to that end women in midlife & beyond avail themselves of lubricants with a carcinogen factor, yet they are not the ones missing a piece of their anatomy that fundamentally alters the mechanics of the sexual act . . .

  • As a Christian, I find this article misguided and strange. There is nothing idolatrous about seeking health and/or wholeness. There is nothing idolatrous about accepting God’s design as “very good” and seeking to fix what man has botched.

    And Christians throughout time would probably disagree with you, too. Even today, my Russian and British pastor friends call the US’s obsession with infant circumcision “abuse on a national scale” that “must be stopped.” Christians since NT times (with a couple of rare exceptions) have never practiced circumcision. This includes all Catholics today (except in some of the USA).

    What you say about Christ being the only true restoration is very true, but He is in the business of fixing creation and relieving suffering. Anyone who is a victim of burning, cutting, or other injury may freely seek healing without being necessarily accused of idolatry. This article demonstrates a lack of research, a lack of logic, and a lack of compassion.

  • Simcha Fisher is a stupid cunt.

  • Circumcision violates human rights, and it must be banned to protect all men.

    When you steal foreskin from a baby, you’re stealing sexual pleasure from the MAN he will become. All cut men should be infuriated that they’ve been robbed of so much pleasure. It’s rape, and Simcha Fisher is a Rape Apologist.