...continued from page 1
Already a rabbi in Bavaria (southern Germany) has been arrested for performing the ceremony of circumcision at eight days of age (brit milah), and several European hospitals refuse to perform the surgery at all.
This takes place in a climate of vicious anti-Semitism throughout Europe, with hatred of Jews running rampant – even ahead of hatred of Muslims, despite the fact that Jews have carried out no acts of terrorism against civilians.
Even in America, as the Stupid War goes on, Medicaid programs in several states have stopped paying for the routine circumcision of infants. And in San Francisco, the epicenter of American "liberal" anti-religious hate, there was a serious attempt to get a ban on circumcision on the ballot last year.
As if in reply to this, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced last Monday that new research indicates that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks.
This is not decisive – circumcision should not be mandatory, any more than it should be forbidden. It's up to the family, as it should always be in a free country.
Circumcision is a matter of religious faith and practice for Jews and Muslims, but, unlike so-called "female circumcision," which confers no benefits whatever and causes severe damage to quality of life in every case, circumcision can also be recommended for health reasons.
And hygiene, too. We circumcised males can go our whole lives without ever having to learn what smegma is, let alone how to wash it away.
Studies in Africa have shown that circumcision is also related to protecting heterosexual men against HIV, which is a grave health problem among heterosexual and homosexual populations in Africa.
"Intact America," the anti-circumcision group, likes to link the male foreskin to the female parts that are removed in the barbaric "female circumcision." But the foreskin is not linked to sexual pleasure, and removing it causes no detectable harm or loss. That's why I call it a "stupid war." Absolutely nothing is at stake – except individual and family choices.
Why do the procedure with babies? Because babies don't remember the pain of the surgery – which, you'll remember, was performed for thousands of years without any kind of anesthetic or antiseptic.
In fact, you can regard that as proof of the utter harmlessness of the procedure: Even before antisepsis, Jews and Muslims were not losing their boy babies to infections from circumcision.
Enough, already. The pediatricians, looking at the actual science (unlike so many ideological "scientists" today, who utterly ignore actual data), made it clear that there should be no war over such a complete non-issue. Benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, but not by so much that it should be mandatory. And to ban it on supposed medical grounds is absurd.
Which leaves the anti-circumcision forces in Europe exposed for the anti-Semites that they are. And it's time for Intact America to tone down their inflammatory and false rhetoric – male circumcision has no similarities to female circumcision. The latter should be illegal everywhere, period. The former is a matter for people to decide without the law taking sides at all.
The other night, my wife and I had supper at Black Sheep, a restaurant in downtown Provo, Utah, specializing in Navaho Tacos.
The tacos are made, not on tortillas, but on Navaho fry bread, which is delicious. Use a knife and fork – no way you can pick these up and eat them by hand.
The tacos come in three flavors: Navaho taco, which is pinto beans and other vegetables; Red Chili Beef and Green Chili Pork (their menu spells it "Chile," like the country, but I corrected it to "chili," the vegetable). All three are very good, though my wife and I both liked the pork best.
What blew us away, though, were the sides and appetizers. "Bleu-Fire shrimp," served on blue corn polenta, may be the best treatment of shrimp I've ever had. And I normally hate polenta – but this was great. (Why they give "blue" a French spelling on the menu is beyond me. Is there a French/Navaho fusion going on here?)
I also hate squash – but loved the way they spiced and cooked their grilled squash side dish. The sweet potato fries were the best I've had, anywhere, ever. And the "southwestern street corn" is the best-seasoned corn-on-the-cob I've had.
Not only is the food truly amazing, but the staff are all true believers. They're actually enthusiastic about the quality of the food they serve; they're eager to bring it to you.
The result is one of the best restaurant experiences you can get – great service, great food, unusual one-of-a-kind experiences.
I'm not telling you that Black Sheep alone is worth the cost of a flight to Utah. But if for some reason you find yourself in Salt Lake City, it's worth driving the 45 miles to Provo (19 North University Ave.) to have an amazing lunch or dinner that you can't get anywhere else in the world.