Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 23rd, 2012

Part 2. Why Christian Catholic and Orthodox Churches do not circumcise new-born males?

This second post on circumcision was in reaction to Germany making it illegal to circumcise new-born and non adult males on religious ground

In the first 3 centuries, almost all Christian sects circumcised new-born males: They strictly abide by the Jewish laws for their daily customs, and circumcision was first on the list.

Mind you that there existed scores of Christian sects, each one forming a specific closed community, reading in particular Books that they compiled, and going about according to a particular set of laws, mostly matching the Jewish laws.

This trend continued until the year 325 as the Orthodox Byzantium Church, recognized formally by Emperor Constantine as one of the official religions in the Roman Empire, met in conclave and adopted four Books as valid sources of Jesus story and his message.

In fact, St.Paul had to fight the valiant fight against all the disciples huddled in Jerusalem in order not to impose circumcision on non-Jewish baptized Christians. Citizens  in the Roman Empire were not circumcised: a special tax was levied on circumcised adults in order to maintain the Temple in Jerusalem. And as the Temple was destroyed by Titus, the tax reverted to the Emperor treasury…

The disciples in Jerusalem were living comfortably, abiding more strictly to the Jewish Laws than any Jewish sects, and they were protected by the Roman Empire civil laws.

As St. Paul started establishing Christian communities every where he traveled, he was lenient on the circumcision law. Learning about this lax behavior of Paul, the disciples got on the road, on the steps of Paul, visiting newly established communities, just to rescind Paul’s circumcision position on the non-Jews, and forcing the new Christians to be circumcised…

By the early 4th century, as the Christians acquired formal recognition as an official religious status, the Orthodox Church started to emulate the Roman laws, customs, and traditions in order to fit better among the overwhelming pagan communities

Circumcision was abolished among the Orthodox Christians and they had no longer to pay the tax on being circumcised….

December 25 was adopted as the birth date of Jesus since Emperor Aurelian decreed as the date of the God-Sun, 260 years before.

Bishops donned purple garments and the pagan glamorous attire (as the Roman aristocracy) and pomp in order to show-off their new higher status among the classes…

The higher the Orthodox Church rose to the status of being considered the main religion in the Byzantium Empire, the faster they emulated the customs and tradition of the Empire and the harsher they persecuted the various Christian sects that refused to follow suit

Those “heretic” Christian sects, called the Churches of the Orient, had to flee eastward to the Persian Empire, east of the Euphrates River and beyond.

The heretic sects disseminated their message along the caravans of Silk Road and reached China and translated their Books to Chinese and to the languages along the road…

By the 6th century, the Church of Rome became the main power broker and imposed its theology as the Church of the West. The Catholic Church particularly targeted the Jewish religion as the nemesis of Christians and being responsible for crucifying the Christ and…

The uncircumcised youth, mostly the peasants and lower classes, were very convenient: They refrained forcibly from engaging in sexual activities (very sensitive penis) and even indulging in masturbation and were practically chaste until they got wed…

The new-born of the aristocratic families that were allied to the current King or Emperor, and supported by the Church, were incited to be circumcised. Why?

Circumcised youth are far more active sexually: the penis is far less sensible to the intercourse act.  These aristocrats were to show their superiority and manhood and were given free rein into raping all the girls they liked and procreating out-of-wedlock better races…

As political situations changed and newer aristocratic families came to power (associated with “usurping Kings”…) the former families were persecuted. All that was needed to recognize the male members of the enemies was to check the penis.  Those who fled to other cities, far from their original locations, they could be sentenced as Jews who were baptized for all kinds of reasons except the valid reason…

How to break a discrimination trend? In any selection hiring procedures…

In the previous post wrote:

“When judging musician players, the eyes and all the other senses increase prejudiced assessment, and only the ears should be used in selecting talented musicians.

Herb Wiksleblatt, tuba player for the Metropolitan Opera in New York, let the fight in the 60’s for blind screening auditions. High heel sounds or coughing or anything that might divulge the gender or origin of the person coming to audition were ground enough to be issued a different number and come back behind the screen…

Control the environment and rapid cognition that usually decides can come under control and reduce biases.

Control the first impressions and you have the opportunity to hire the best qualified talented people…

Since blind screen auditioning procedures were instituted, the number of female musicians increased from 5% to 50% within two decades.”

The question is:

“Would blind screening procedures acquire such an excellent success story in selecting the best talented musician if the laws of equal opportunity was not enforced and educated?”

Probably not to such an extent of 50%, but do you have any doubt that equal opportunity laws alone could have made a dent?

Suppose that instead of this practical anti-discrimination solution (blind screen) the musical world followed the route of:

1. Creating affirmative action programs for women in the music industry

2. Establishing awareness programs for gender biases

3. Teaching female musicians to be more assertive in making the case for their own abilities

4. Conducting discussions with maestro on the trend of social discrimination…

Do you think that women and maestra would have made any significant victories if maestra were still the sole decision makers and relying on their “blink decisions” without removing the biasing elements or variables in the selection process?

Suppose you are presented with the task of reducing the biases in the court jury system.  It is evident that any jury is biased in its judgement on gender, skin color, religious affiliation, minority, wealth status…

For example, in many US States, blacks are sentenced to prison terms 50 times more frequently than “while classy citizens” on drug charges.  So how would you go about bringing some kind of fairness in court proceeding?

You are facing a constitutional restriction that the charged person has to face the jury in person, and you know that the first impression weight very heavily on the jury judgment in the remaining proceedings…

Would consider that the jury hear the charges and facts in the first session without the presence of the person, that the jury does not have to see, hear or even know the name of the charged person? Like all communication be done by a third person through e-mail or any other means that does not divulge the origin and gender of the person?

Once the jury is educated on the evidences, it is very likely that biases will be reduced when the jury meet the person face to face. Why?

First impression of evidences may resist the inevitable follow-up natural discriminating behavior…

At least, prison term frequency will be reduced on blacks and Latinos and Moslem-looking people.

Any practical method that diminish instant first impression biases and enhance fairness should be welcomed…

Note: Piece inspired from a chapter in “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell




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