Happy Fourth of July, blog readers! As we celebrate America's independence for over 200 years, it's also a good time to celebrate our freedom of choice to circumcise our sons in the traditional American way.
Circumcision is as American as apple pie. "We are a circumcised country," one pediatrician was quoted as saying. The roots of the practice are very old and very deep in this country, perhaps not back to the Founding Fathers but at least 150 years old.
Today, to be uncircumcised is to be un-American, not in the political context, but in the social context. That's why so many second generation Americans from all over the world circumcise their sons -- "to be American" -- is the common refrain. This accepted belief, that you're not really a true American if you're uncircumcised, drives the anti-circ fanatics ballistic. But it's deeply engrained in the fabric of our country.
I would argue that circumcision unites us. We may come from different religious, ethnic, and national backgrounds -- but one thing almost all American boys share is a circumcised penis. It may strike uncircumcised foreigners as whacky, but it's the one thing (hopefully along with our common language) that American males can share together.
Admittedly, circumcision is not as universal here as it is in the Phillipines or Korea. The Filipino government offers free circumcisions to encourage a foreskin-free nation, while some of our states have withdrawn free Medicaid coverage of circumcision. This will likely change when the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics update their policies to encourage circumcision as an effective HIV, STD, HPV prophylactic.
In the meantime, on this Fourth of July, let's celebrate our circumcised nation and our freedom to circumcise our sons, something the anti-circs are working hard to deny us. They won't succeed because America is and will always be a circumcised country.
Happy Fourth of July!