Do unto others, or something like that:
During spring break, [University of Florida quarterback Tim] Tebow added a new facet to his fame. In an impoverished village outside General Santos City in the Philippines, Tebow helped circumcise impoverished children.
“The first time, it was nerve-racking,” he said. “Hands were shaking a little bit. I mean, I’m cutting somebody. You can’t do those kinds of things in the United States. But those people really needed the surgeries. We needed to help them.”
Others saw [Richard] Moleno, who after a crash course from the Filipino professionals, circumcised 10 boys and removed six cysts, some the size of tennis balls. Tebow helped with the last few circumcisions, growing more comfortable with each one.
“I got a kick watching him,” [Tim’s father] Bob Tebow said. “He did a great job, and he didn’t look really nervous. I wouldn’t let him cut on me, but he did well and helped where there was a need.”
Before I comment, circumcision in the Philippines is generally not like what we think of as circumcision. It is more an opening up of the foreskin through a dorsal slit than anything. It’s also a ritualistic transition from childhood to manhood, although it’s still forced on children. And the social pressure to circumcise is even more intense than it is in the United States.
Also, I have no idea if the boys in this story needed circumcision or not. I assume they didn’t, but the conditions they live in don’t exactly suggest that as an obvious assumption. The number of child circumcisions suggests, though, that there was more of a ritualistic “need” than a medical need. Obviously I oppose the former entirely, with condemnation for the latter only when less invasive treatments are ignored when treating a child.
To the story… This is something to joke about? “I wouldn’t let him cut on me…”, but it’s acceptable to cut on a child? One doesn’t have to grasp the ethical problem with the medically unnecessary circumcision of children to grasp that competence gained through extensive education should be a prerequisite for performing any surgery. There is a reason we won’t allow it in the United States. There are actual human – with rights – beings involved. Complications occur. What would someone have said if Tebow had made a mistake? Not that this story implies Tebow performed flawlessly on these people, but would an accidental amputation of the glans earned anything more than an “oops”?
I like to run with my intellectual curiosity, like most people. Yet, I’m capable of understanding that getting my jollies should still recognize the rights of others.