Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that a magazine with its origins in Britain, a largely intact country, would take a sober and objective look at the San Francisco circumcision ballot measure. The Economist correctly concludes, “Whatever the fate of his proposed law, Mr [Lloyd] Schofield seems most interested in changing minds. He is thrilled that many Jews signed his petition. Some have begun practising an alternative ceremony; brit shalom, the ‘covenant of peace’, which involves no cutting.”
Brit Shalom began long before Lloyd spearheaded this initiative. But the idea that changing minds is what this is all about is precisely correct. Putting the word intactivist in quotes notwithstanding, The Economist chooses to examine the issue with the seriousness in which the measure is offered rather than with silly assumptions, a haughty or dismissive tone, or a reflexive lament about growing government interference in private matters or waning parental rights.
“MALES need protection as females do,” says Lloyd Schofield, the main sponsor of a local ballot measure in San Francisco that, if voters pass it in November, would in effect make circumcision of babies illegal in that city. A federal law and various state equivalents indeed ban female circumcision, whether performed as a religious rite or not. So-called “intactivists” such as Mr Schofield therefore quite reasonably ask why the cutting of a baby boy’s foreskin should be any different.