[b:32d7f1e407]I am not sure that this is the best section for a "health topic" - which is not about alt. med. - but it is a religious (and humanist) issue as well as a health issue, so here goes it.[/b:32d7f1e407]
CIRCUMCISON: A Short Humanist History of a Cause
by James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
It was at the 1986 Annual Convention of the American Humanist Association (AHA), held in Sacramento, CA that I was first introduced to the circumcision issue by Marilyn F. Milos , R.N., Founder and Director, NOCIRC, who had a booth and was showing video clips of a circumcision. I was standing next to her booth in conversation with a humanist colleague when a piercing scream interrupted our conversation. I turned to her and asked her, ŌWhat was that?”
Marilyn responded, ŌA baby being circumcised.”
This infant scream was unlike anything I have heard beforeŘa scream of tortureŘand set me on a life path to end the genital mutilation of children worldwide. I immediately formulated a Resolution to end the genital mutilation of children worldwide and submitted it to the next Board Meeting of the AHA for approval.
Thus began a long journey of submitted Resolutions and rejections by the AHA and other humanist organizations to end the genital mutilation of children worldwide.
The First International Symposium On Circumcision was held on March 1-3, 1989, Anaheim, CA, which was organized by Marilyn Fayre Milos, R.N. Founder and Director, NOCIRC. At this Conference, a Resolution "The Universal Declaration on Circumcision, Incision and Excision" was unanimously passed by the General Assembly.
At the Second International Conference on Circumcision held in San Francisco (1991), Ashley Montagu presented his address "Mutilated Humanity" - http://nocirc.org/symposia/second/montagu.html
The American Humanist Association bestowed upon Ashley Montagu its 1995 Humanist of the Year Award. As part of its award ceremonies, the AHA/The Humanist negotiated with Marilyn F. Milos, R.N. and Dr. James W. Prescott the publication of "Mutilated Humanity" in its July/August 1995 edition of The Humanist in exchange for the publication of The Ashley Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide: A Petition to the World Court, The Hague, which was passed unanimously at the Fourth International Symposium on Circumcision: Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy held in Lausanne, Switzerland, 1996, which the General Assembly unanimously endorsed - http://montagunocircpetition.org/montagu_resolution.pg
Regrettably, the AHA/The Humanist refused to live up to its contractual agreement and refused to publish The Montagu Resolution. Fred Edwords, Editor, The Humanist and Executive Director, AHA gave no satisfactory response to his refusal to publish The Montagu Resolution. This action was consistent with a long tradition of the refusal by the AHA Board of Directors to endorse The Montagu Resolution, which this writer initiated many times beginning in 1986 and which continues to this day.
During this time period, I submitted The Montagu Resolution to the American Ethical Union for their endorsement. They refused to act upon The Montagu Resolution despite the historical significance of Rabbi Felix Adler’s opposition to circumcision, the Founder of Ethical Culture. The American Ethical Union remains to this day unsupportive of The Montagu Resolution.
Professors Paul Kurtz and Rob Tielman were co-Presidents of the IHEU from 1986-1993 (PK) and 1986-1996 (RT). During their tenure I repeatedly requested that they submit The Montagu Resolution to the IHEU for endorsement. They repeatedly blocked the submission of The Montagu Resolution to the IHEU General Assembly. Similarly, appeals to the Council For Democratic Secular Humanism (CODESH) were rejected.
In the Fall 2005, I began a series of email correspondence with Roy Brown, President, IHEU and requested that he submit The Montagu Resolution to the IHEU General Assembly for their consideration and action. After much review he submitted the following Resolution that calls upon all IHEU member organizations to take action opposing non-medical circumcision. The IHEU action follows.
We are all grateful to President Roy Brown and the IHEU for the action taken that opposes all non-medical circumcisions. Although, we believe that the ethical and human rights issues needs greater emphasis this is an important and significant step in protecting and preserving the human rights and integrity of the infant/child body. All member organizations of IHEU are urged to endorse the IHEU Resolution on Circumcision and endorse The Montagu Resolution.
The following names are only a partial list of Humanists, Scientists and Citizens that are opposed to the genital mutilation of children worldwide.
Felix Adler, Ph.D. Founder of the Ethical Culture Society, New York (1876)
Roy Brown, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union (2003-2006)
Francis H.C. Crick, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine (1962)
Edd Doerr, President, American Humanist Association (1995-2002)
John Hardebeck, M.D. President, First San Diego Chapter of the AHA (1954)
Lester A. Kirdendall, Ph.D. Author and Humanist of the Year (1983)
Gerald A. Larue, Ph.D. Biblical Scholar and Humanist of the Year (1989)
Joseph Lewis, Biblical Scholar, Author "In the Name of Humanity" (1947)
Ashley Montagu, Ph.D., Author and Humanist of the Year (1995)
James W. Prescott, Ph.D. Author and Director, Institute of Humanistic Science
Jonas Salk, M.D. Founder, The Salk Institute and Humanist of the Year (1976)
Benjamin Spock, M.D., Author and Humanist of the Year (1968)
Thomas Szaaz, M.D., Author and Humanist of the Year (1973)
George Wald, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine (1967)
Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1976)
Despite this partial list of distinguished endorsers of The Montagu Resolution, The American Humanist Association, The American Ethical Union, the Council For Secular Humanism, and the International Humanist and Ethical Union have consistently refused to endorse The Montagu Resolution to End the Genital Mutilation of Children Worldwide: A Petition to the World Court, The Hague that was submitted to them by its author.
Letter to Paul Kurtz from James Prescott in 2005: http://www.violence.de/prescott/letters/Lt_Kurtz_9.27.05.html
[b:32d7f1e407]Here is a science site on circumcision: http://www.racp.edu.au/hpu/paed/circumcision/summary.htm[/b:32d7f1e407]