Religion v health

Tomorrow in Oxford – a panel discussion on circumcision. The event is organised by Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists.


John Dalton: John Dalton is the lead researcher at NORM-UK, whose mission statement is, “To advance the education of the public in all matters relating to circumcision and other forms of surgical alteration of the genitals, including alternative treatments and offering information and advice on such matters.” The organisation has a very informative website at . Mr Dalton will speak about Principles of Consent and Autonomy in Relation to Circumcision.

Dr Antony Lempert: Dr Lempert is chair of the Secular Medical Forum, “Our main objective is to limit the harm done to patients by the imposition of other people’s religious views on them. We seek to present a secular opinion on present-day medical and health care practices throughout the UK.” Dr Lempert will present the medical case against circumcision, “The Secular Medical Forum believes that genital surgery (such as male circumcision) should only ever be performed on children where there are compelling medical indications.”

Rabbi Eli Brackman: Rabbi Eli Brackman is Oxford University’s Rabbi. Rabbi Eli’s blog at his frequent speakers, events and discussion groups, and his (unusual amongst non students in Oxford) ability to use Facebook, have very much made him a recognisable feature of the wider Oxford scene. Though the majority of Oxford’s circumcisions are carried out by Muslim practitioners, Judaism is the faith most closely associated with circumcision and is also most likely to suffer persecution and stigma.

Brian Earp: Brian Earp is an Oxford Philosopher, Psychologist and Ethicist, who writes for the Practical Ethics blog, including posts about circumcision.  Brian Earp can also be found on YouTube, challenging Sam Harris and US Ethics Professors, as well as impressive musical theatre performances.

I would go to that if I could.

Update: more information on the event’s Facebook page.

Tuesday 27th November, at 7.30pm. Exeter College, Saskatchewan Room


  1. says

    Confusion on the date. This is from the Oxford Atheists, Secularists and

    Circumstition – Panel discussion, religious freedom or child abuse

    Tuesday 27th October, at 7.30pm. Exeter College

  2. says

    Eh? The link doesn’t work, pei (are you a curmudgeon on Prince Edward Island?!), and I don’t see that on the site I linked to.

    [Lots of clicking back and forth]

    Ok I get it I think – it’s at Exeter College, so that’s why it doesn’t show up on the calendar of the Practical Ethics Center.

  3. Steve R says

    Note that in the United States, circumcision is usually done out of pure conformity. Mommy is afraid that Junior will suffer if his penis looks “different.” Ar one time it was thought to prevent masturbation (then regarded as an Abomination), but hundreds of millions of snipped boys have independently invented masturbation anyway.

  4. 'dirigible says

    Wikipedia seems to have a better definition of mutilation than Websters. I assume the mutilation fetishists (hey if I’m a foreskin fetishist then the least I can do is return the favour) are using the latter when they complain that altering the form and function of part of the body in this way doesn’t count as mutilation because God.

  5. says

    I’ve not been able to get to there and apparently some of the speaker haven’t either. The train service between Oxford and London has been disrupted by flooding. However Brian Earp has manged to get there and he is a very interesting speaker so it should still be a worthwhile meeting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *