All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

8/31/2014

Circumcision

Why did God ordain the rite of male genital mutilation known as circumcision for the Jews?

God being the designer, and creator could have made man any way He desired.  If He was anti foreskin, why put it on in the first place?  Arguably He didn't have too.  He could have made men foreskin free as the au natural model.  If it was something just for the Jews he could have blessed Abraham with a genetic variation for his male descendants.  Snipping didn't have to be part of the plan. 

In many places today circumcision is the default, it hasn't always been that way.  All a mom has to do is check a box on a form at the hospital and it happens. 

No man has ever wanted a sharp object in the vicinity of THAT part of his body.  That's why they get you before you can think about it, or have any say. Most guys aren't in favor of any procedure that would reduce the perceived size of his manly appendage.  It not only doesn't sound like fun but it seems like it would hurt, a lot.
Yet this procedure is the one that God, in His wisdom ordained as a requirement for his special people the Jews.  It's not like this circumcision stuff was a suggestion either.  It's a big deal to God.  God's number one Jew, (remember Abraham wasn't a Jew, he is the father of Israel) a guy named Moses almost got himself killed over not circumcising his boys.

So what is it about a flap of skin on a wiener (that could have been left off during creation) that drives God bonkers?

Back in Genesis God is having a conversation with Abram about a legal agreement or covenant that they are going to enter into.  The covenant isn't much of an agreement, basically God makes a commitment to do a lot of great stuff for Abram.  Abram gets his name changed to Abraham and all the guys get their manliness trimmed back a bit.  This "deal" is an ongoing ordeal for all the generations of the decedents of Isaac. A few hundred years latter the deal gets amended to; snip-snip, and keep the law of Moses.  Basically the deal remains the same for the Jews, get it sniped on the eighth day or else.

I'm willing to accept correction on this point, but as far as I can tell nothing in scripture tells us why.  No explanation is given that I'm aware of.  Since the answer isn't given, I'm going to take my shot at it.

I think the answer is rooted in two things.  The first is in sin.  The second is the inherent nature of women.

Every married guy can related to the fact that a woman's mind (and her mouth) don't work they way we think they should.  Women keep roughly a quadzillion different things floating about in their heads at any one time.  The female of the species has this insane need to talk about whatever is going on in her head.  She doesn't know she has this need and she doesn't know that her mouth is going speak, but trust me it is. 

It seems like every time the Jews got in trouble with God, the problem was rooted in idolatry.  Throughout history the Hebrews would follow God for a bit and everybody would be happy.  Then they would get involved in worshiping idols and everything would get bad for them.  Most of the time part of what made the idol worship interesting was all the fun stuff you did to worship them.

An otherwise good Jewish boy gets led astray to go worship idols.  This worship was offered either as animal or human sacrifices and a drunken orgy, or as a visit to one of the many temple prostitutes. He pays the money.  She starts getting undressed.  He's thinking to himself, "this beats prayer shawls and phylacteries".  He strips off his robe and starts to make his move.  The girl points and much more loudly than needed and in her most concerned voice asks, "why does IT look like THAAAAAT?".

"Well, it looks like that because I'm one of God's special people that would never worship anyone other than Him" he thinks and sins anyway.  Circumcision was a last ditch reminder that the Jews were God's special holy people.  These people were supposed to do some things and not suppose to do others.  God knew he could count on temple prostitutes to remind His people who they were better than they could remind themselves.

8 comments:

  1. I'll bet it works better when you get it done later in life. Having it done at 8 days means you don't remember it being any other way. So, no reminder at all.

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  2. I do not remember why or how the subject came up when I was a kid, but my father said there was a couple of guys in the Navy with him who had it done.

    It ain't better. The guys were in misery for about two weeks, then uncomfortable for weeks after that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Susan, when I had it done it hurt so bad it was over a year before I could walk.

    ReplyDelete
  4. By "works better", I meant the reminder part. When I look down I see what I've always seen. Not "SOMETHINGS MISSING!".

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have heard it described as a mark on your flesh, cutting so personal that it could not be forgotten. Reminding you every time you saw it (seeing it every day). And not having to lose a finger instead was an easier sell.

    Marking of the body in devotion to one's deity was a common practice in the old world. Some do tattoos, some do piercings. Some do decorative cuttings on the face, hands, or chest.

    The curious part is why American Christians went along with it almost universally in the 60's.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ha! I am in the middle of a response to this, since it was one of the questions you posted earlier. It was the fourth question, but decided to tackle it first.

    The response is lengthy, so I'll probably email it, but your welcome to post any portions you might find useful or relevant.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Res Ipsa9:08 PM

    Thank you my friend. If you request I'll post it all.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete