What you need to know before you decide

*Names of parents and children have been changed to protect their privacy

When Bob and Jeanette Sullivan* welcomed their first son, Trevor, into the world 13 years ago, they had already decided not to have him circumcised.

"I read about the procedure before he was born," remembers Jeanette. "I talked with other Christians who felt there was a scriptural reason for circumcision, but I couldn?t see it. I noticed that the New Testament spoke only of circumcision of the heart. Then I asked, ?Is there a physical reason?? and after researching it, felt that no, there wasn?t.

"God created boys this way, and it?s all meant to work fine without the procedure. It seemed like there was no point to cause that pain." All five Sullivan boys are uncircumcised, and Jeanette has no regrets. "I just wasn?t convinced by any of the arguments," she says. "And it seemed so permanent. I guess I figured they could do it later if they want or need to. But once it?s done, it?s irreversible."

At first, Heidi Moore had a similar opinion. "When Michael was born, most of what I?d heard supported the idea that circumcision was unnecessary and painful. Even my birthing coach was vocal in her opposition to it. At the time I didn?t have much information, so I was persuaded by her.

"But," says Heidi, "when he was 3 years old, Michael?s penis became red and infected and I just couldn?t keep it clean." That?s when Heidi?s husband, Sam, spoke with his own father and learned that his dad had not been circumcised as an infant and had experienced problems much like Michael?s. Sam?s dad had to undergo the surgery as an adult. Heidi says, "We had Michael circumcised when he was 5?at this point using total anesthesia. Needless to say, it wasn?t a question when our second son same along!"

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May 25

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