"I do not have a preference either way but I just think people should make an informed decision when it comes to circumcision, and should not make their choices based on fear or guilt. A circumcision can be performed safely and without trauma today and parents also have a right to know that the person performing the procedure is competent to do it. This is important since many still do it for religious purposes."
my view is that a parent's first loyalty is to the child, not to any social system or religious system. protect him from anyone and anything that might harm him in any way. circumcision hurts babies. circumcision hurts the men those babies become. if you need something to say to others to keep their hands off your baby's genitals, here are a few things that might come in handy.
1) religious reasons?
a) judaism, christianity, islam, all circumcise, and all blame it on abraham and his talk on the mountain with god about marking all his possessions: slaves and children. was circumcision really god's idea? no. in the world since abraham, these three religious traditions have circumcised not for god's sake, not for the baby's sake. who knows who really profited from the practice? maybe it was just a tribal marking, like a cattle brand -- this is our property.. we probably will never know where/why/how circumcision really began. but some little guy edited the original history of the jewish people and started a really big fashion statement: "the book of J" -- a beautiful book with no circumcision covenant. you'd think if there really had been a circumcision covenant, it surely would show up the first time they told the story about abraham and isaac, wouldn't you. but no, it's not there. the circumcision covenant was added hundreds of years after abraham's death when a certain faction took over the tribe. "corrupt priests" one scholar called them. i call them 'the kinky ones.' why? because there is more...
b) you might want to also compare the story of the rape of dinah in the book of j to the torah/old testament. those same priests sexed that story up. they added the element of circumcision! dinah's two brothers said they would consent to the guy who raped their sister's proposal of marriage if he and all the men in the town would be circumcised. he gladly complied and talked the other men in the town into doing it too. on the third day -- when they were all in excruciating pain (hint: the only pain and trauma are not at the moment it is done -- the pain continues and continues -- some men complain of pain with every erection), the two brothers slaughtered all the men, stole their belongings, wives and children. circumcision and cruel slaughter were added hundreds of years after the original story was penned. so whoever those new editors were, they were certainly fixated on blood and penises.
c) these days, many who "should" circumcise for religious reasons, but who don't, have a naming ceremony instead; same celebration, without the human sacrifice.
d) all religions first and foremost encourage kindness, compassion, loving, "do to others as you would have done to you" and, conversely, "don't do to othes what you wouldn't want them to do to you." if something contradicts that basic premise, i'd suggest thinking twice about doing it. might be a human invention instead of a holy thing.
2) choice? choice is an ironic word to use when talking about circumcising a baby. if an adult chooses, himself, to be circumcised, then i call that choice. if it is a baby -- i call that a human rights issue. so whose choice should it be? the parents? the religion's? the medical system's? the child's, whose body it is? i'd say the respectful and loving thing to do would be to let him decide when he comes of age. i would have preferred not to have been circumcised, personally. but i was; against my wishes. and i was a girl. an american girl.
3) safety + trauma? you say that circumcision can be performed safely & without trauma. i have to ask, "whose safety" and "without whose trauma"? "it won't hurt," is a FAMOUS medical/dental FIB.
4) fear and guilt? my observation has been that the fear and guilt element might not be about the fear of the procedure (other people's surgery is always minor surgery, right?), but fear and guilt motivated by a religious or a social concern, such as:
* fear of not looking like daddy,
* fear of not fitting in in the locker room,
* fear of not being ok with women who are squeamish about foreskins
* fear of not being ok with god
* fear of disease, infection
* fear of doing it wrong
* fear of not doing it right.
* fear that you are disobeying god
* what will people THINK/SAY?
* what will my parents say, if i don't have it done?
* what will my friends say, if i don't have it done?
* will people think i am a negligent parent if i don't have it done?
* will people think i am cheap if i don't have a big bris?
5) what about bonding? i'm sure the mothers in the olden days were screaming inside during the bris, just as they do now. but they were overpowered, just as their baby boy is overpowered. they are forced into submission to the group. circumcision requires the mother to close her heart, a distancing that is not good for the bonding of mother and child. and from what i understand from psychologists, the baby blames the mother for any harm that befalls him, because she is supposed to protect him. circumcision throws a cruel monkey wrench in the bonding process.
6) psychology? circumcision is a primal wound. freud didn't have HIS son circumcised.
please put yourself in the baby's shoes before you even think of cutting him. cutting hurts babies. best to raise them with peace and love and kindness.