Friday, December 7, 2012

Male Circumcision, From St. Paul to Hillary Clinton

Some more enlightenment...


The Muslim Times | AlislamSubscribe
Male Circumcision, From St. Paul to Hillary Clinton
Epigraph: "Do they seek a religion other than Allah's, while to Him submits whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him shall they be returned?" (Al Quran 3:84)
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, USA
Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
In a recent CNN video clip, in the context of the World AIDS Day, it was documented that the Secretary of State, USA, Hillary Clinton is promoting male circumcision, to prevent HIV infection.
World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Government and health officials observe the day, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.
AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007,[1] and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007,[2] making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.  In this context, in the last few days Secretary of State, USA, Ex. First Lady Hillary Clinton made comments to promote condom use and male circumcision to prevent HIV infection.  This sets the stage for my article to review the religious history and medical implications of male circumcision.
The Jews, the Muslims and the Coptic Christians practice circumcision and other Christians don't.  There in lies the conflict and tension that we want to explore here.
For centuries the Christian apologists had criticized Islam and Judaism for male circumcision and sang the praises of their fore-fathers and their customs.  Even in 2012 we hear of political activism in Germany to ban the practice of male circumcision.  Little did they know that God will over throw their strategy with a very small virus, only 0.1 micron in size, namely HIV virus and establish the utilitarian values of His revealed law, which was given up by St. Paul and declared to be  a curse.
Jesus, may peace be on him, was born and raised as a Jew and followed and interpreted the Jewish Law, all his life.  A narrative in the Christian Gospel of Luke makes a brief mention of the circumcision of Jesus.  When St. Paul came on the scene, some 20 years after Jesus was put on the cross and took on himself to preach to the Gentiles, he hit a road block.  He discovered that the Gentiles were not ready to go through the ordeal of adult circumcision to be Christians.  So, in a moment of Machiavellian creativity,  St. Paul came up with the idea of over throwing the yoke of Moses' Law and called dietary restrictions and circumcision a curse, even though he himself being Jewish had been circumcised.  As the generations of Christians idolized and idealized with Pauline teachings, a line was drawn in the sand.  For centuries to come, the Jews maintained the tradition of Patriarch Abraham and Christians condemned it.  Islam preserved everything worthwhile in the previous religions and scriptures and as Islam spread, the tradition of male circumcision became common among the masses, through out the globe.  The conflict created by St. Paul continued for centuries, but, the plot began to thicken in the last few decades with the arrival of the HIV pandemic.  As millions died from the infection, scientists reconfirmed that there is a silver lining to every cloud and that there is something positive to be gained from every tragedy.  What they found was that Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus and Muhammad, may peace be on all of them, were all right and the only odd man out is St.  Paul!
There is evidence of a controversy over religious male circumcision in Early Christianity. A Council of Jerusalem,[1] possibly held in approximately 50 AD, did not include male circumcision as a requirement for Gentile converts. This became known as the "Apostolic Decree"[2] and may be one of the first acts differentiating Early Christianity from Judaism.[3] At roughly the same time Rabbinic Judaism made their circumcision requirement for Jewish boys even stricter.[4]
According to the Columbia Encyclopedia,[5] "the decision that Christians need not practice circumcision is recorded in Acts 15;[6] there was never, however, a prohibition of circumcision, and it is practiced by Coptic Christians."
Before we dwell into more recent history of circumcision and HIV infection, let us travel in time and study some additional ancient history of male circumcision. 

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