question circumcision

what circumcision does not do

Allegedly a panacea, or at least an effective preventive measure, for everything from masturbation caused epilepsy * to cervical cancer to now the spread of AIDS (HIV), circumcision has nothing to do with any of these things as the foreskin’s presence or absence does not affect cervical cancer rates **, has nothing to do with masturbation habits or practices, and does not play a significant role in transmission of HIV (we have looked over some of the “studies” purportedly showing circumcision as a factor in reducing transmission of HIV and these studies have some serious limitations and flaws).  Amputation of the foreskin (and that is what circumcision in the US is) is not medically necessary nor justified.

 

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Can Western Civilization survive?

Today, Western Civilization appears to have lost its identity, lost its soul.  It is under constant attack from many quarters.  By “western civilization”, we mean those ideas, values and traditions that have come down to us through history from ancient Greece and Rome and the rest of Europe and have been greatly shaped or influenced by Christianity.

Perhaps, our question could be rephrased as:  Can Western Civilization survive its current crisis of identity?  The crisis, the pressing existential drama, seems to be inexorably progressing towards a climax.

 

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individual actions and collective effects

Individual actions do have a cumulative or collective effect on society.  This may seem rather obvious, yet it is often overlooked or ignored in the discussions of the day on many, diverse (and contentious) issues.

We have in Western societies normalized so much that is destructive to both individuals and to the larger society since the 1960s.  Promiscuous and perverted sexuality, and recreational drug use are 2 examples.  Both of these serve to harm families and that makes for a less harmonious society.  Ego-centric, self-absorbed individuals have contributed to many of the societal ills we face today.  Many groups clamor loudly for “rights”.  But, on closer inspection, we see that these so-called rights mean merely being able to do whatever these folks want to do for any reason or for no reason.  And, no, licentiousness is not true freedom.  True personal freedom requires the acceptance of personal responsibility.

 

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the ossuary under Paris

An interesting historical item about Paris: beneath the city lies the world’s largest ossuary (a place or receptacle for the bones of the dead).  We only came across this fact quite recently and found it interesting.  Paris cemeteries were emptied of their dead beginning in the 1780s, and their bones were interred in the extensive tunnel system (former limestone mines and quarries) that lies beneath the city’s streets.  Estimates range from 6 to 7 million individuals have had their bones placed in this tunnel network.  We had wondered why in photos of Paris we do not see many tall buildings.  The presence of these extensive tunnels 60 feet below the surface prevents the large, heavy and deep foundations needed for modern sky scrapers.

Below the streets of modern Paris, every day is the day of the dead.

 

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