So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cruel, barbaric, heartless: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

The prime directive of non-interference is not exactly a reasonable proposition if it allows innocent girls to suffer genital mutilation at the hands of cruel men and women. It's one thing to choose to be a eunuch and forgo the pleasures of sexual intercourse, to sublimate those urges and use that energy in self-sacrificial loving service to others. It is quite another thing to have part of one's genitals cut away and be mutilated just to satisfy some grotesque excuse for a cultural norm.

Female genital mutilation, or FGM, is a torturous practice perpetrated against young girls. As western countries allow more immigrants from certain developing countries, hospitals in the West are dealing with the horrific consequences of a diabolical practice commonly imposed upon young girls in the Middle East and Africa, a practice now being conducted in North American and European countries with disturbing frequency.

We, in the West, seem to be drowning in self loathing, a self loathing that inhibits our ability to challenge and put an end to irrational practices that some thoroughly misguided folk claim are intrinsic to a culture and people. We hate ourselves, and we hate our colonial past. We attribute colonial abuses to our traditional culture, a culture that, contrary to contemporary revisionist history, promotes the dignity and inviolability of the body. We, that is our governmental and social institutions, have largely abandoned a commitment to the sacredness of all human life. Our societies have devolved into the madness of human sacrifice.

The West now mostly embraces the culture of death which permits women's bodies to be invaded by the life destroying practice of abortion. If we permit the mutilation of unborn children, a practice which results in the destruction of the unborn child and frequently results in the physical and psychological mutilation of the mother, why all the kerfuffle when woman are subjected to FGM?

Western culture, at least that originating with the English, brought stability, civility, order and a sense of fairness and respect for the dignity of all men and women. Sure, the British Empire had its share of serious faults. However, compared to the barbarity of the Taliban, and the gruesome traditions of certain African tribal peoples and middle eastern peoples, the rush to judge the British Empire as wholly evil should be reconsidered, or at least tempered by the context at the time the British first encountered diverse populations.

In the good/bad old days of the Empire, tribal customs such as the immolation of widows (Sati) was common until the 19th Century when the Brits "imposed" their western ideals upon local populations which then began to curb the practice. No one is saying the British Empire was perfect. It did, however, bring education, ordered government, health, public works (sanitation, etc.) and the rule of law to lands previously ruled by ruthless warlords who routinely eliminated people on a whim. Sadly, many of the those countries have returned to their pre-colonial madness.

When it comes to permitting the destruction of inalienable rights, rights which pertain to the physical, psychological and spiritual integrity of the person, tolerance has its limits. Opponents of FGM should not be deterred in their quest to rid the world of FGM. Posturing by the politically correct "cultural diversity" lobby which attempts to prohibit the reasonable critique of unreasonable practices, because a perversion of diversity is in play, does not trump the need for just intervention and the cessation of barbaric cultural practices. Feminists of every stripe are right to demand an end to FGM because it hurts women and offends the dignity of woman. Where feminists of the radical secular bent go wrong is they unwittingly ally themselves with those who impose FGM on girls and women by imposing their own pro-contraception/pro-abortion ideology on indigenous populations and thereby commit their own form of imperialistic colonialism. Then again, the radical feminist NGOs are hardly the masters of cultural sensitivity because their rabid pro-death ideology prevents them from making rational distinctions between one cultural practice and another.

Simply put: any person who conducts or solicits FGM for a child or young woman should be jailed and, if reformability and/or future conformity to the law is deemed unlikely, deported. The child stands a much better chance at a healthy life as a ward of the state than to remain with relatives who accept FGM and are willing to put a young woman's health and well being at risk to satisfy compliance with irrational cultural values. There can be no tolerance for the practice of FGM. Not now, not ever.


In Canada, FGM is considered child assault and prohibited under sections 267 (assault causing bodily harm) or 268 (aggravated assault, including wounding, maiming, disfiguring) of the Criminal Code. 

Federal Interdepartmental Working Group on Female Genital Mutilation (1999), Female genital mutilation and health care – an exploration of the needs and roles of affected communities and health care providers in Canada, Health Canada.

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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