Jewish Atheists

For Atheists of Jewish origin and others interested in Jewish history and culture.

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Started by Freethinker31. Last reply by Freethinker31 Sep 19, 2014. 4 Replies

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Comment by Leila Cook on November 15, 2012 at 8:38am

This is kind of the reason I hesitate in joining atheist minded groups.  I have met as many intolerant atheists as I have intolerant fundamentalists.  Besides the lack of fairy tales, what is the difference?  Both feel they need to be vigilant about swaying the other to their respective sides.  I always thought being a non-theist meant that you could have a discussion and disagree but respect that the other person's viewpoints.  I'm sorry that you feel you have been irreversibly harmed by your parents and their decisions Michael.  (This IS what you are referring to in all your exclamations- the fact that your parents made a choice for you or that your brother is making a choice for his son).  That's okay- its your life and you can have rage at your family all you want.  But it is hard for me to see as someone who supposedly embraces rational thought, that you can project your emotions about the subject and make blanket statements about everyone feelings about the subject.  I'm not suggesting that you can't have opinions, and, I may even agree with them to an extent, but that's the beauty of being a non-theist is that we can have our own thoughts and we are content to let others have theirs as well without feeling the need to change them.  If male circumcision is so terrible, I have a hard time believing that the medical community would still practice it with all the knowledge that is our there.  And, if you wish, you can have a procedure to have your foreskin replaced, if you wish.    I don't have boys so I never had to make that decision although I am positive my husband would have even though he is non-religious as well.  And as many Jewish anti-circumcision advocates as you have named, there are thousands more for each one who still have no problem with the practice.  Some of them are even doctors themselves. 

Comment by Michael Pianko on November 14, 2012 at 11:47pm

No. I know perfectly well how bad circumcision is. And I know of other Jewish anti-circumcision activists: Ronald Goldman, Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, Norm Cohen, Miriam Pollack, and others. There are non-Jewish circumcision activists, along with anti-circ organizations and some doctors and nurses are against the practice. If you are a man and are circumcised and claim not to have a problem with yourself, of course you lack the sensation you are supposed to have, your brain is misinterpreting the discomfort as real sensation, and of course people don't like to admit that something very bad was done to them. Yes, I am entitled to interfere with your so called decision when your decision is hurting someone. People are not entitled to have a viewpoint about circumcision and people are not entitled to make their own decisions because the decisions and viewpoints should not exist because circumcision should not exist. If you are a real atheist, you will be rational about circumcision also and you will see that circumcision is serious abuse just like you can see that religion in general is bogus. The so called medical benefits are all false, just myths and superstitions (circumstitions). I realize you don't want to feel like you have been harmed or that you harmed your son but that is the truth. Just give in to the truth and help end circumcision. Yes, I'm a real anti-circumcision activists and my moral duty is to do what I can to end this abuse.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on November 13, 2012 at 3:19pm

Like Sammy said, I don't feel I have the right to interfere in other people's decisions, unless they affect me directly, OR significant injury occurs. I actually asked my son, once, how he felt about being circumcised, and he said it didn't bother him in the least -- he never knew any different. So, Michael, that's why I worry about you -- it seems to have assumed a great importance in YOUR life, which it doesn't seem to have, in other men's lives. I won't invalidate your feelings -- they're real, and they affect you greatly, but perhaps objective reality says that many if not most circumcised men don't share those feelings.

Alan, circumcision MAY have medical benefits -- I've read articles saying it does, but I've never seen anything definitive one way or the other, and can't quote what I've seen, anyway. If a circumcision done by an MD is more esthetically pleasing, then people are free to do it that way, or they're free not to do it at all. I really don't have a vested interest in it, other than the fact that I'm put off by people who try to interfere with the decisions of others when they're not the one being affected, and they are projecting their own feelings onto others.

Comment by sammy on November 12, 2012 at 9:43pm

Michael, I was raised orthodox jewish, and actually my father circumcised my own 'brother' few weeks ago, and i DONT CARE, why? because Its non of my business what others do!    

Listen Michael, When i was in the community i was used to hear exactly your tone day and night from the believers, complaining and criticizing other religions (and non-believers) the way are acting.

Being an atheist i have the advantage of "calming down" and dont give a f.... about how religious people act. 

I am circumcised and i am perfectly fine, actually 'some' even like it...;)

And as Natalie said, It sounds like you feel tremendously hurt, and can't get over it, and are pouring your feelings out on other people's decisions, when they have the rights to make decisions on their own.

Comment by Alan Perlman on November 12, 2012 at 7:02pm

The decision should be made on the basis of science alone: does the procedure have medical benefits? 

The mythology -- God gets a piece of the penis instead of the whole child -- then the oral thing the moel's all so ghastly and primitive that it has no place in a modern, civilized society (but then, neither does religion).

Comment by Leila Cook on November 12, 2012 at 4:02pm

I have to agree with Natalie here.  My husband is circumcised and has no issue, nor do a good deal of the men I know who are.  Being atheist or agnostic doesn't give us a license to decide that our opinions are always the right ones and that everyone else must be ignorant morons, lol.  If we are going to be militant about our ideas then we are no better than religious fundamentalists who are immoveable on their superstitions. 

Comment by Natalie A Sera on November 12, 2012 at 3:49pm

Not property, but it's well-established that parents have the right to raise their children as they wish, provided they don't do things that will kill them or severely hurt them, like causing fractures. There IS freedom of religion in this country, even if you don't agree with others practicing what they believe. Circumcision is even sometimes done for medical reasons. There is no evidence that it is harmful. If you don't want it done to your son, don't do it. Just like abortion. If you don't agree with it, don't do it. I am NOT a militant atheist, and not invested in converting anyone to my way of thought, and not interested in arguing any further.

Comment by Natalie A Sera on November 12, 2012 at 1:51pm

Michael, I sense a bit of overreaction here. And it sounds like YOU are the one suffering massive damage and harm, psychologically. I'm pretty sure that MOST circumcised men don't give it as much thought and emotion as you are doing. It sounds like you feel tremendously hurt, and can't get over it, and are pouring your feelings out on other people's decisions. It's your BROTHER'S child, not yours, and you really have no right to question his and his wife's decision.

Of course, I don't know what it feels like to have a penis at all, but it sort of reminds me of the abortion debates. When I got pregnant at a very bad time financially and emotionally, it was after Roe vs. Wade, so I had the choice whether to abort or not. Even though my mother's first reaction was "Get rid of it!" I CHOSE not to abort, because to me, it was already a baby. And I will forever be glad I had a CHOICE -- some women choose to abort pregnancies and some don't. And if you look at it in a serious way, abortion harms everyone involved, but the harm of abortion may be less than carrying the pregnancy. Or not.

So, while I sympathize with your strong feelings (and think you should do some serious talking with a counselor about it), I don't think you have the right to dictate to anyone else what to do. There IS room for differences of opinions here.

Comment by Michael Pianko on November 12, 2012 at 11:12am

No, my brother's intent is doing massive damage and harm to their son. Much worse than merely brainwashing your kid into a religion without circumcising.

Comment by Alan Perlman on November 11, 2012 at 6:06pm

It's smorgasbord Judaism - pick and choose what you want to observe.  My Mom, now 95, raised hell at my first, interfaith marriage, then backed off from my brother's.  According to her Jewish-womb ideology, none of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren are Jewish because of my brother's gentile wife.  But she doesn't think about that, and I don't remind her.  Belle (Mom) will die with her illuisions intact. 

Her old-country, Yiddish-accent parents did the Orthodox lip-service but weren't terribly strict about kosher. 

I've become a total Christmas cynic. Once a year the goyim celebrate their founding myth (or not), shop themselves to death (gets earlier every year), practice for a day or two the virtues that they should be practicing every day...and attend mandatory excruciating office Christmas parties (I had two each year).  To all the offenses of Christmas excess, I add an exorbitant waste of energy in elaborate lighting displays. 

Have you heard of Festivus, the humanist winter holiday?  I've been to a couple of parties - a chance for us to make fun of Christmas.


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