Old Men Still Sucking Dicks

In previous posts, I pointed out the viscerally disgusting, extremely unhealthy and potentially deadly practice of ritual of metzitzah b’peh, or MBP, involving direct oral suction of the penis of new born infant males.

In the last of those, I wrote about a Manhatten Federal Judge who upheld a ruling requiring mohels, who perform circumcisions, to obtain advance consent that tells parents about the risk of a potentially fatal herpes infection linked to the ritual of MBP, involving direct oral suction of the penis. Of course the Rabbis felt this was an overt attack on their religious freedom and have not followed the new rule.

The religious beliefs of these people goes much deeper than any concern for their followers, as two more children have contracted herpes from mohels. According to the ABC report, none of the parents signed the required consent forms—forms that were fought against on grounds or religious freedom. Not only do the mohels not want to stop, they don’t want to let the parents know of any potential risk to the infant.

“By telling a mohel he is prohibited from performing a religious ritual unless he tells the parents that, by the way, the child might die in the process, you are forcing us to say something which we are convinced is wrong,” said Rabbi David Niederman of the Brooklyn-based United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg.

In other words, we don’t care what has been proven, or how many children we harm. we believe something different and we won’t back down. It is not only a US issue, Orthodox organizations in America, Canada and Israel have joined forces to vigorously protest the city’s efforts to interfere with the sacred mitzvah or bris milah, and to issue a rebuttal of its “unproven medical claims.”

Freedom to practice your religion does not mean freedom to harm others in the name of your religion. It’s really not a complicated concept, but one that is lost on many believers. An argument couched in the language of religious freedom is also more likely to bring in people who otherwise might not be allies.

What are these risks they don’t want their flock to be aware of?

The diagnosis of neonatal HSV can be difficult initially. The presentation is nonspecific, with signs and symptoms such as irritability, lethargy, fever or failure to feed at about one week of age . Infants often do not have skin lesions (less than 50 percent of infants with encephalitis or disseminated disease). By the time diagnosis is made, many infants have severe disease and have developed complications. When diagnosis is delayed, mortality is high despite antiviral therapy. There is virtually no mortality among infants with disease limited to the skin, eyes and mouth, but mortality increases to 15 percent among infants with encephalitis and 57 percent among infants with disseminated disease, even with antiviral therapy. Long-term morbidity is common in infants who survive with encephalitis or disseminated disease, and may include seizures, psychomotor retardation, spasticity, blindness or learning disabilities.

Boys who undergo MBP are 3.4 times more likely to contract HSV-1 than those who do not.

This is not a trivial issue. These are infants who are being harmed for absolutely no reason other than religious beliefs that date back thousands of years. Polite societies have rules, some of which are very simple such as: ‘keep your mouth away from my baby’s genitals’.

I just can’t think of anything else to say.

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