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Have you ever noticed that the individuals with the weakest opinions regarding male infant circumcision are men? It appears that way to me anyway. Why do you suppose that is?

I’ve spoken with a lot of women who seem to care a great deal one way or another.

Personally, before my son was born I didn’t even have an opinion about it. In my case, the damage was already done and I didn’t waste a single moment to notice or to rue the day it had happened. It just was… and I hardly noticed. So 15 years ago, when the nurses asked us while checking us into Labor and Delivery and my wife responded with a firm, “Yes!” I really didn’t argue, or question, or think.

I was super excited to be a Dad and I wasn’t about to let him out of my sight for a second in the hospital, so I told them I would be there when they performed the circumcision.

IT!

WAS!

AWFUL!circumcision_screaming_baby

I’ve never heard a baby make that pitch of cry before or since. I regretted it immediately. When I returned with him to the room where his mother was resting, I told her that if we had another boy he’d be circumcised over my dead body. I rarely put my foot down like that in our relationship, so I believe she knew I was serious.

We had 3 more girls.

I now find the physiological  and moral arguments strong against circumcision, but the strongest case can be made considering the logic of individual choice. The choice of the boy himself, I mean, not his parents. If left to males to make that decision for themselves when they are of a legal age of consent, I’d bet male circumcision would be eliminated in a single generation.

Speaking of my girls, I find it equally as puzzling that the individuals with the weakest opinions regarding female Mormon priesthood are LDS women. They don’t really seem to argue, question, or think about it at all.

Is that because for them the damage has already been done? Is that why they don’t waste a single moment to notice or to rue their exclusion? It’s certainly not scriptural, but for LDS women so conditioned the priesthood being a forbidden fruit is a foregone conclusion.

I’ve spoken with men who seem to care more one way or another.

I care.

In late 2011, a Pew Forum report found that 13 percent of Mormon men think women should be ordained as priests, while only 8 percent of Mormon women felt the same way. A year before, research done by Robert Putnam and David Campbell in the book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, similarly found that 90 percent of Mormon women are opposed to females holding the priesthood—while only 52 percent of men felt the same way. The authors conclude that “Mormons, especially Mormon women, appear to be the only substantial holdouts against the growing and substantial consensus across the religious spectrum in favor of women playing a fuller role in church leadership.” Mormon Women Face Off Over Right to Priesthood

I care mostly for my daughters’ sakes, but back when I was still LDS I would have even cared for myself… It should be a matter of individual choice for everyone (which we all know it is not… not for the boys, nor for the girls). I didn’t enjoy being forced into priesthood roles any more than many girls enjoy being excluded from them. Some priesthood tasks were fun or harmless (passing, preparing or blessing the sacrament, giving anointings and blessings,) while other priesthood chores were arduous (meetings, collecting Fast Offerings, meetings, Home Teaching, meetings, leadership responsibilities I never wanted nor asked for).

lds womenIf left to females to make that decision for themselves when they are of an age of consent (such as 12, when the boys are obligated), I’d bet female Mormon priesthood would  become the norm in a single generation.

For a religion that preaches “free agency” as a foundation for the entire Plan of Salvation, Mormonism is a very centrally master-planned, socialistic society leaving few individual choices to its adherents.

Individual Mormon women AND men should be able to decide for themselves if they want the priesthood… if you truly believe in “free agency,” that is.

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