Shalom Auslander: I understand the law has to come up with actual reasons, but this seems to trivialize it for me. As the father of two young children, I can tell you I violate their free will on a daily if not hourly basis. They don’t want to eat, I make them eat. They don’t want to sleep, I make them sleep. They desire with all their Nietzschean will to watch Spongbob Squarepants, and I say no – clean your room.

- © Foto: Archiv
© Foto: Archiv

I’d prefer if somebody in some position of power – Merkel, perhaps – just said, "Guys, this is really fucked up – don’t do it anymore or we’ll fuck you up in return."

No court case, no legal finessing, no dancing around – you cut your child’s genitals, that’s it: We’re cutting off yours. Somehow, the pretense of a legal argument makes it sound silly, makes it sound like a technicality, like too many men on the field in football or something. A government ought to be able to do that, to just say, "Here’s our position, go do it elsewhere."

In your book "Foreskin’s Lament" you very vividly describe the circumstances of having your newborn son circumcised. Would you personally recommend circumcision to anyone who is not mandated to have it done by his or her religion?

I’m not sure I would recommend cutting body parts off to anyone, unless I hated them. This was always a paradox for me. Jews were supposed to be God’s Chosen People: "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6. "Now", added the Lord, "go cut your dicks off". Seems like a strange way to show one’s affection. I know the thinking, as I was raised an Orthodox Jew and I’m still having the flashbacks – the idea being, I was taught, that we are taking part in finishing God’s creation.

- © Foto: Archiv
© Foto: Archiv

That’s a lovely sentiment as far as it goes, but I have to believe a haircut would have sufficed just as well. And cutting hair is something we do every few months, so we’d be helping The Old Man out three or four times a year.  Removing the foreskin is a one-and-done kind of a thing, am I right? I’m just trying to help.

The Cologne court’s decision has sparked a major debate throughout Europe about the practice of circumcision. What do you think are the reasons that this has become the kind of issue that everybody, particularly in the European media, seems to feel the need to have a strong opinion about?

I’d love to believe the interest in circumcision was because every adult cares so much about children, but if you look at the way most adults treat their own children, that’s obviously bullshit. I think that any time a human being has the opportunity to pass moral judgment on another human being and thus feel morally superior to them, they will take it; trust me, no man is so morally corrupt in his private life as the one publically protesting another’s corruption.