There are some ex-Jews that hold the position that circumcision should be banned because it is a practice that a person (who is now a baby) must accept upon himself when he gets older to an adult. Adults cannot make such a choice on their children. It is therefore unethical to preform circumcision on babies, and so it must be banned.
I understand this argument. I do agree that it is wrong for religious Jews to preform circumcision on their children before they are old enough to be able to agree to do it or not. I am not some defender of circumcision. I think it is a barbaric ritual that Jews inherited from primitive animal sacrificing men. I would certainly love to see circumcision eliminated in my life time. But do I think it should be banned?
Before I answer the question I want to say that it is not just circumcision that I find wrong, it is child indoctrination that I find wrong. In fact, on many of magnitudes more so than circumcision. All what circumcision is, is a minor surgical operation preformed around the penis. It is based on barbaric reasons of the past, but it is really not such a big deal. I am circumcised. My tiny little penis is circumcised. But it does not bother me. I do not wake up during the night and cry to myself, "why, why is my little penis circumcised!". Circumcision is really a trivial issue when compared to the real problem, and that is child indoctrination.
I certainly find it wrong for parents to brainwash their children into a religion. Children should be free to explore and make sense of the world themselves. Parents only proper responsibility is to provide the means and help for their children to do so. But the beliefs and the ideas that children form should entirely be their own. This applies to everything. Including atheism. I do consider it wrong for parents to bring up their children as atheists. Children should be given access to modern science and philosophy and what is known today in the world. Children should learn about religion and atheism. But the final decision that children make should be their own. In fact, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens agree with me. Richard Dawkins objected when atheist parents brought for their babies a baby t-shirt that said "atheist baby". Dawkins said that babies are not Hindus, Muslim, or Jews, nor are they atheists, they are just babies that will develop their own beliefs when they get older. Hitchens said that he does not teach her daughter about atheism. She goes to a Quaker school where she learns a little bit about other religions. But Hitchens himself never once made her be an atheist.
Child indoctrination is worse than circumcision because it has a major effect over the lives of children. Circumcision is just for the most part a trivial physical procedure. While child indoctrination is a major psychological impact. Religion can drive children to commit suicide. Either because they have conflicting religious ideas or because they discover that they are gay. It can lead people who come out as atheists to be completely ignored by their religious communities. Indoctrination can have terrible mental effects on children when they get older, something that circumcision entirely lacks.
Worse of all child indoctrination steals from children their own path in their life. Nobody should be handed a path and be told "this is what to believe". TheAmazingAtheist made an excellent video many years ago, it was directed towards the movie "Jesus Camp", you can fit it here. It discusses the evils of child indoctrination.
Opponents of circumcision who say that it is unethical for parents to do that to their children are not being consistent. They say that circumcision is unethical. This is certainly true. But what about child indoctrination? If you want to ban circumcision then you need to be consistent and say to ban child indoctrination. But not many of these anti-circumcision people actually believe in this ban, that is too much for them.
Now to answer the question of whether or not circumcision should be banned.
I have a bias against bans. Because I hear a new ban proposed every single day. It makes me want to vomit at this point. Just turn on a TV news station and watch some commentator. It will not be long until he proposes a new ban. Nearly ever person you would meet in your life has a few things they like to ban. The whole idea repulses me. How about we try to come up with something more creative than banning? Bans are for the intellectually lazy who are unwilling to fight the problem, but would rather see it banned. So whenever I hear "we need to ban ... ", I am always repulsed by the idea.
But that is just my bias against bans, I did not give a reason for my opposition to the circumcision ban. I oppose bans because I am able to understand the anatomy of bans. I wrote about it back here. All what a ban is, is the declaration of using violence against those who perform the action that is banned. If you say that "cigarettes should be banned" then you are saying that violence should be used against cigarette companies who sell them and against people who buy them. If you say that "circumcision should be banned" then you are saying that violence should be used against Jews who attempt to preform circumcision.
Do not misunderstand me. I am not a pacifist. I defend my property with lethal armed force. I am not always against the use of violence. But for the most part violent solutions are terrible ways to solve social problems. Violence leads to unforeseen consequences that often turn out being much worse than what was intended.
As much as I philosophically oppose Noam Chomsky, he does make a good point. He says that the responsibility of justification for using violence or aggression is always on the one who is willing to be forceful. Thus, if you propose a ban on circumcision you need to justify why you think that violence is the proper method to deal with religious Jews. It is not the responsibility of religious Jews to explain why you should not use violence against them, it is your responsibility.
This is why I oppose a ban on circumcision. I agree that circumcision is wrong. I agree that parents have no right to circumcise their children (or brainwash them for that matter). I think that parents who make their children religious are in a way kidnapping their own lives, and take away from their freedom to develop themselves intellectually. But at the same time taking out a gun and pointing it at religious Jews who do these wrong things is not the correct way to deal with the problem. Both circumcision (and child indoctrination) and violence against Jews are evil actions but the lesser of these two evils is circumcision.
I have another reason to oppose a ban on circumcision. This is more of an economical objection to it. I just simply do not think that it will do anything. Jews have be mutilating the genitals of boys for thousands of years (and sucking on their penises too). They were willing to die for this practice in every generation. What makes you think that a ban on circumcision will end circumcision?
Advocates of bans, not just circumcision, but any ban, always fall into this standard fallacy. They imagine that a ban will put a stop to whatever they are against. But that is not how bans really work. A ban is put into place and there remains a great deal of people who still ignore it. A ban on drugs is one big failure. Is there any reasonable person in US today that thinks that another ban on drugs will eliminate them? No matter how hard you try you just cannot stop the flow of drugs. Bans do not work that way. The idea that a law is put into place and the citizens respect it immediately is a foolish way to look at bans. The way it really works is that a ban is put into place and there is an opposition to this ban. The people who oppose it keep on doing what they are doing. Sometimes they might go into the black market to do it but they keep on doing it. And in that way bans become entirely useless. Not just useless, but even harmful, because they end up putting people into jail for no good reason.
If a ban on circumcision is passed do you really think it will stop Jewish circumcision on children? Can you really believe it will do anything when most other bans that are puts into place turn out being economic failures? What is likely to happen with a ban on circumcision is that the Jews will preform circumcision is non-hospitals. Circumcisions will still be done. But just not anymore in a hospital environment. Maybe in a mohel's apartment, or something like that (through the black market). As much as you can hate circumcision you have to agree that circumcision would be a lot less safe being preformed in someone's apartment rather than in a hospital. In effect, a ban on circumcision has created a greater problem than what it was intended to solve. Banning circumcision will be just like a ban on prostitution. Prostitution does not end with a ban. Rather it gets redirected to the black market. If prostitution was not illegal it could have been a more safe practice, now that it is illegal it is not eliminated, just redirected to a more dangerous environment. Hence, a ban on prostitution did more harm than good. Do you not think that a ban on circumcision will backfire and do more harm than good?
I will always keep in mind what Thomas Sowell says about economics, "economics is not the study of intentions and hopes, but the study of causes and effects". People who propose a circumcision ban certainly have good intentions. But that is all irrelevant. I want to hear a reason to why such a ban would produce the desired conclusion that they seek. When I read other Jew blogs about people arguing in favor of a ban on circumcision they do not address whether or not such an intention is realizable. We must accept that such a ban would work as a given to us. They simply are arguing intentions. Which I find to be totally and completely irrelevant to whether or not it is a good or bad idea.
This does not really have much to do with what I said above, so I will mention it here. Jews who oppose a ban on circumcision argue that circumcision has health benefits. I hate this argument so much. It is such a ridiculous argument. I do not want to address it again. You can read about what I wrote here.
I oppose circumcision, but I also oppose a ban that opposes circumcision.