Other Writing by John A. Erickson

Excerpts from Miscellaneous Letters

...The Declaration of Independence lists "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as among the inalienable rights of man. Cutting off part of people's genitals when they're babies censors their lives, violates their liberty, and cripples their pursuit of happiness.

...The most fundamental of all rights -- the one right without which no other rights are possible -- is the right of every human being to his or her own body. The "Fourth Article" of the Bill of Rights recognizes this right when it states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons ... shall not be violated." Cutting off part of someone else's genitals by force -- infant circumcision is by force -- clearly violates that right.

...Regardless of the reasons offered to justify circumcising a baby (medical, cultural, religious, social, sexual, hygienic, prophylactic, aesthetic -- whatever), the fact remains that infant circumcision is foreskin amputation by force -- the deliberate, irreversible destruction of a healthy, sensitive, normal part of someone else's body that is rightfully his and that he instinctively wants to keep intact.

...Cutting healthy, sensitive, normally functioning tissue -- living flesh -- an organ of perception -- from someone else's body by force -- infant circumcision is by force -- fulfills every requirement for the definition of vivisection and violates the "Do no harm" ethic embraced by every medical society in the civilized world.

...As you read the books and articles about circumcision; the "medical reports" and "scientific" "studies" by "experts" and "authorities" "proving" the many "benefits" of this "procedure"; the interviews, testimonials, and case histories; the arguments, justifications, and rationalizations -- one fact becomes clear: most of what is printed in this country about the human foreskin and circumcision -- even at the highest levels -- is nonsense and lies.

...Since it's impossible to know in advance how any given baby would eventually feel about having had his foreskin cut off, the only rational, ethical, humane choice is to do no harm, simply by letting him keep his foreskin intact.

...Considering all that is now known about infant circumcision -- especially the disastrous effects it can have on a child's life -- I should think its continued sanction by the American Medical Association would be an extreme humiliation to the entire medical profession.

...Most circumcised males probably don't know how strongly most uncircumcised males feel about circumcision because uncircumcised males, out of consideration for the feelings of circumcised males, tend to reveal their real feelings about circumcision only to each other.

...Foreskin? Ask a man who has one.

...Any way you look at it, there's something deranged about cutting off part of a baby's penis.

...The enormity of the wrong done a baby by depriving him of his foreskin becomes clear if you talk with enough men whose foreskins are intact to realize how much the baby probably would have valued his foreskin -- and why -- had he been allowed to keep it.

...When you circumcise a baby, you are cutting off a part of his penis that you can cut off only because the person you're cutting it off of can't protect himself because he is a baby.

...Not all Jewish male babies are circumcised. The protective, sensory, and sexual functions of the foreskin; the absence of any proven medical benefits of circumcision; the pain and trauma of the circumcision operation; the risks inherent with anesthesia; the occasional, inevitable circumcision disasters -- even deaths; reports by males circumcised as adults of losses of as much as 90 percent of penis sensitivity; evidence linking circumcision to psychological harm and sexual dysfunction; the fact that the vast majority of males who are given the choice prefer to keep their foreskins intact; the resentment many males, including many Jewish males, have expressed about having had a healthy, sensitive, normal part of their penis cut off without their consent; the growing perception of circumcision without consent of the circumcised as a violation of human rights, even when performed as part of a religious ritual; questions about the motives of those who, apparently insensitive or indifferent to these considerations, persist in circumcising babies anyway; and the almost ghoulish atmosphere of secrecy and deceit that pervades the entire circumcision issue -- are some of the reasons a growing number of both Jewish and non-Jewish parents in this country are deciding against circumcision and are keeping their newborn sons whole, uncircumcised, and intact.

...If doctors in the U.S. are cutting healthy, normally functioning foreskins off of babies for $300, what healthy, normally functioning body structures are they cutting off of adults for $3,000?

...How many men content with having been circumcised as babies justify the circumcision of that one baby who will eventually wish he had not been circumcised?

...How can anyone justify cutting off a part of a baby's penis that almost all males who are given the choice prefer to keep?

...Aside from anything else, isn't cutting off part of someone else's penis without his knowledge or consent rather presumptuous?

...What could more clearly indicate how circumcision can harm a baby than a man with part of his penis cut off who thinks -- or pretends to think -- he hasn't been harmed?

...How many women have been led to think that something was wrong with them, when the real cause of their problem was the absence of a foreskin from the penis of their circumcised partner?

...Why are so many so anxious to destroy this exquisitely sensitive part of a child's body? What compels anyone to cut off a baby's foreskin? Greed? Envy? Sadism? "Revenge"? What?

...What kind of person trains himself and maneuvers himself into a position where he can get away with cutting off the foreskins of children and babies?

...What is the relationship between the compulsion to circumcise and the state of having been circumcised? What are the extreme manifestations of foreskin envy?

...Isn't the circumcision of babies often nothing more than the desperate attempt of circumcised men to hide -- and to hide from -- their greatest secret fear?

...What is it that keeps people from speaking out against this "thing" that causes so much torment, bitterness, and grief?

...If a baby about to be circumcised could understand what was about to be done to him and could speak, what would he say?

...How is it possible that so many doctors who have circumcised so many babies have been so wrong about so much for so long?

...Who has made the mistake: nature or man?

...The very idea of giving a baby an anesthetic so he won't feel you cutting part of his penis off is itself hideously misguided -- like giving everyone at Auschwitz Valium so they won't become overly excited when you herd them into gas chambers.