Jonathan Friedman is the last person some might expect to be lead activist in a high-profile circumcision case. After all, the Brooklyn-born yeshiva graduate was raised to believe in the centrality of circumcision.
But Friedman defies many conventions as he travels the U.S. organizing protests and otherwise rallying the Intactivist troops. Despite graduating from The Cooper Union with a degree in engineering, he doesn’t have a steady job in the “real world”—it wouldn’t give him any time to “Intactivate”—and he enjoys a lifestyle on the road, staying with other circumcision critics who eagerly open their homes to him.
Friedman now applies his engineering skills to building and managing websites, like SavingChase.Org. He says his drafting skills are particularly useful for designing eye-catching graphics for banners and signs, which he builds himself using PVC pipe.
For the past several weeks Friedman has been in South Florida, focusing his attention on the case of little boy Chase, a four-year-old caught in the center of a parenting dispute. The boy’s father wants him circumcised but his mother doesn’t. She’s afraid he’ll be traumatized by the procedure. A family court judge sided with the father, although there is no medical need for the circumcision and the mother has shared custodial rights.
Friedman and others have been staging peaceful street protests near the office of a doctor who had been called upon to perform the circumcision. The protests continue today and tomorrow at Bethesda Health City, by the intersection of W. Palm Beach Blvd. and Hagen Ranch Rd. in Boynton Beach, Florida, from 11AM to 6PM each day, rain or shine.
“Any surgery is traumatic for children, has risks, and should only be done to address a medical problem,” says Friedman. “We’re calling upon this doctor and others in the area to refuse the father’s demand for this unnecessary surgery which will be painful and emotionally traumatic for the boy,” he says.
Fantastic work, Jonathan.
The need for circumcised fathers to repeat this trauma through the generations is commonplace. It drives circumcision in America. That, plus medical doctor's greed.
Why any parent would want to do this to a child is obvious. It is to "normalize" the fact that they were circumcised.
Even for the Jews, this holds true. I am Jewish and I stopped this practice in my family. There is no compelling reason for circumcision, other than parental insecurity.
Circumcision of a healthy child is an illegal assault and battery, a mutilation done in the name of conformity. It is torture inflicted on a person who cannot give consent or even understand what is being done. Studies done on Turkish boys show that circumcision is traumatic, it lowers IQ, it interferes with relationships especially with females/mothers, it can lead to PTSD and other psychological disorders. A recent study out of Denmark shows a link between circumcision and hyperactivity disorders and autism. This is the second study to link autism with circumcision. The only thing circumcision prevents is normal sexual function. I had a patient who was circumcised by another physician at the age of three and the mother told me afterward she would never have done this to her child had she known how traumatized he would be. Physicians need to step away from children and put down the scalpel. Do no harm. Circumcision is harmful.
I support this child's right to bodily integrity: Genital mutilation should be a voluntary ADULT decision… as was my own castration.
His body… his choice! Shame on his father! You are a disgrace to man hood and so us the fricken judge… how does it feel to have a "tranny" tell you that… Mr. Nebus?
Jonathan, thank you for everything you do to end this barbaric practice on our nation's infant (and toddler, in the case of Chase) boys. Your passion and sacrifice are enormous and appreciated. Keep fighting the good fight and know that those of us who can't be there physically are with you 100% in spirit!
Trauma is a lot of BS! I was circ on the 8th day and it was great.
It's mostly women who are pushing for this. I think non circ is disgusting and so do all of my young girlfriends.