Dalton Trumbo's Masturbatory Epistle to His Son

Excerpts from letter performed by Nathan Lane
Full letter follows:

Masturbation - A Letter From Dalton Trumbo To His Son
Los Angeles, California
November 8, 1958
To Christopher Trumbo 
My dear son:
I have at hand your most recent letter addressed, I believe, both to your mother and to me. That portion which I assume was designed to capture my attention has. I refer to your addled account of an exchange between you and Mike [Butler] relative to mensal checks from home. You may be sure I shall give it much thought.
You also inform us you haven't made holiday travel reservations because you haven't the money to pay for them. Artful fellow! Do you truly think me so stupid as to send the fare directly to you, who'd only squander it in high living and end up stranded on Christmas Eve begging poor-man's pudding in some snow-swept Bowery breadline?
The procedure is this: go at once to an airline office and make round-trip reservations (not deluxe, not a milk-run either). Do it immediately, for the seasonal rush is already at hand. Notify me of the airline, flight number, date and hour of arrival and within twenty-four hours a check made over to the airline will be delivered into your greedy fist. Take it to the seller and the deal is consummated without laying you open to temptation.
I am sending you two books I think appropriate for a young man spending five-sevenths of his time in the monkish precincts of John Jay Hall. The first is Education of a Poker Player, by Henry 0. Yardley. Read it in secret, hide it whenever you leave quarters, and you'll be rewarded with many unfair but legal advantages over friend and enemy alike, not to mention that occasional acquaintance who has everything including money.
The second book I think you should share with your young companions. It is Sex Without Guilt, by a man who will take his place in history as the greatest humanitarian since Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Ellis, Ph.D. This good man has written what might be called a manual for masturbators. That is to say, in one slim volume he has clarified the basic theory of the thing, and then, in simple layman's language, got right down to rules and techniques. This in itself is a grand accomplishment; but what most compels my admiration is the zest, the sheer enthusiasm which Dr. Ellis has brought to his subject. The result (mailed in plain wrapper under separate cover) is one of those fortuitous events in which the right man collides with the right idea at precisely the right time. It makes a very big bang indeed.
It is Dr. Ellis' idea to spring masturbation from the bedroom's crepusculine gloom, where for endless generations it has lain a saprogenic curse on millions of little lechers, and turn it loose in the parlor where it rightfully belongs. This chap doesn't find anything wrong with it at all: indoors or out, he ranks it right up there with ping-pong, gin rummy and "Maverick" as a time-honored, health-giving, red-blooded patriotic pastime.
What Ellis wants to do - and by gad he does it, too! - is remove that gnawing sense of guilt so characteristic of the act, the awful tension of it, the leering, searing, sneering fear of it. (Oh Phalloform, dread Phallio / Let never me deride / My onanistic, irresistic, post-pubescent bride!) Once all that unhealthy brooding is dissolved, nothing remains of a former vice but unadulterated fun. And that's what Ellis is after. He doesn't want American youth to go about guilt-twitching like a pack of inbred Chihuahuas for nothing more serious than a raging appetite for fescenninity. He doesn't want those golden hours of childhood festered over with concern about the imminent putrefaction of genitalia. He wants young people not to give a damn! He wants them to relax. He wants, in short, a world of happy masturbators.
This whole new approach - this fresh wind blowing under the sheets, so to speak - this large-hearted appeal for cheerful self-pollution, invokes perhaps a deeper response in my heart than in most. For I (sneaky, timorous, incontinent little beast with my Paphian obsessions) was never wholesomely at home with my penile problem, nor ever found real happiness in working it out - all because of that maggoty, mountainous pustule of needless guilt that throbbed like an abscess in my young boy's heart.
On warm summer nights while exuberant girl-hunting contemporaries scampered in and out of the brush beneath high western stars, I, dedicated fool, lay swooning in my bed with no companion save the lewd and smirking demons of my bottomless guilt. Cowering there in seminal darkness, liquescent with self-loathing, attentive only to the stealthy rise and Krafft-Ebbing of my dark scrotumnal blood, fearful as a lechwe yet firmer of purpose than any rutting buffalo, I celebrated the rites of Shuah's son with sullen resignation. Poor little chap on a summer's night, morosely masturbating . . . !
There were lads in Grand Junction, Colorado (most of whom became civil servants or evangelistic clergymen) who strode the sunlit streets of that never-to-be-forgotten town like fierce young gods, lean and supple, tall and strong, pace brisk, shoulders well thrust back, frank of face, forthright of smile, clear of eye, innocent of heart, clean of mind. But I was not one of them.
Oh no, not I. Not your poor father.
When I appeared in public, toad-blinking against the unwonted and revelatory blaze of day, I conveyed the immediate impression of ambulant filth - of obscenity, so to speak, in transit. I lurched through those years like some demented crab, shoulders at a goatish hunch, eyes a-scum with fantasies of defloration, my acneous skin (hot with crimson shames) exuding from every greasy pore that sour effluvia which marks imagined love. My sweaty nippers - ah, cursed, cursed paws! - I carried thrust to the very bottom of my trouser pockets, in which humid and forbidden depths they secretly envaginated that marvelous little pendant I knew must drop from its frazzled moorings the instant I withdrew my helping hands.
I turned thin and pale; my odor changed from sour to stercoraceous; reflexes vanished altogether; palpitations of the heart set in, accompanied by giddy spells and sudden faints. My left eye developed so fearsome a tic that its aftermath may be seen to this day in the crapulous squint with which you are perhaps far too familiar. My blood ceased to coagulate: for eleven months I went about completely swathed in bandages. Satyriasis, ever latent in my yielding genes, turned chronic and then acute: treatment consisted in the rapid alteration of ice packs with cauldrons of scalding water. I was placed on a diet of loblolly laced with seaweed extract.
It was this revolting dish even more than my rampageous libido that brought my nervous system to a state of utter dissolution. I would start up briskly at the slightest sound and begin to canter counterclockwise, and in ever widening circles, crepitating all the while like a Percheron at close trot (you know that horrid sound thup-thup-thup-thurp-thup), and nickering suspiciously. I became unhinged that the mere sight of a girl reduced me to mucilaginous pulp identifiable as human only by a pair of inflamed eyes and a faint squinking sound that seemed to proceed from the hepatized heart of the mess. Ah, sweet suppurating soul of Satan, I thought I never would get adjusted!
Even now, more than three decades later (and I, as you know, a power of moral strength, a civic leader, a respected - nay, beloved - unity figure), even now when I forget a friend's name, or lay my spectacles, or pause in mid-sentence idiocy (my thought having died twixt concept and delivery) - even now such lapses set a clammy chill upon my heart, while purulent memories of my secret shame incarnadine the sallow of these aging cheeks.
It's then, while panic tightens my sagging throat, that I whisper to myself: "It's true after all. It does make you crazy. It does cause the brain to soften. Why, oh why did I like it so much? Why didn't I stop while I was still ahead of the game? Was it only one time too many that caused this rush of premature senility? Or a dozen times? Or a thousand? Ah well - little good to know it now: the harm's done, the jig's up, you're thoroughly raddled, better you'd been born with handless stumps."
An instant later I blessedly recall the name, I find the spectacles, complete the sentence - and the salacious ghoul of my sickened fantasies retreats once more into the shadows, not banished to be sure but held off at least for a few more days or hours. I ask you, boy - if the mere memory of past guilt has such power to swoon my adult mind, can you imagine the effect upon a naturally depraved constitution of what then was present guilt?
I recall a certain chill winter night on which my father took me to one of those Calvinist fertility rites disguised as a father-and-son banquet. I was in no real shape to mingle with respectable society, being then at the dismal nadir of my lechery and much given to involuntary belching, squirching, belly-rumbling, wind-breaking, nasal pearl-diving and the like. The banquet consisted of dead fish, stale bread, soft-boiled potatoes and leather-bottomed pie.
Master of the revels was an acrid old goat named Horace T. McGuiness who kept a doxy, engaged in brutish orgies, and reserved his public hours for denunciation of everything dear to a little boy's heart. This excrementitious old fornicator was greatly venerated in our town, and much in demand for such festivities as that which I describe.
He buttoned his protruberant vest on discs of decayed egg yolk and brayed like Balaam's ass voiding hot barbed-wire. His nostrils extruded threads of ductile mucus which streamed downward in gay opalescent loops to a scraggle of brush which concealed practically all of that moist, pink, vulviform cave of the winds that served him as a mouth. When speaking - and he always spoke - he displayed the carious ruin of what in his youth had been a gaggle of strong yellow teeth. With every phrase he emitted dense clouds of sewer gas, while his harsher consonants shot forth such poisonous showers of spittle that full-grown bull blowflies fell stunned to the tablecloth the instant they flew in range.
The old debauchee opened his discourse with a series of blasphemous demands that the Almighty agree with his ghastly notions and make our young minds (his whole talk was addressed to us youthlets, never to pa) receptive to the bilge he proposed to pump into them. Then he got down to the meat of the program which, to no one's surprise, was girls. When you go out with a young lady, he slavered, you go out with your own sister. As you treat her, so will your sister be treated. It followed that you must not think of it in relation to her, you must not suggest it to her, and certainly you must not do it to her. If you did, you were a blackguard, a degenerate, a runnion, a cullion, and a diddle-cove.
To this day I don't know why that crazed old rake's clapper-claw affected me as it did. I was a menace only to myself. For all the harm I was able to do girls, or they me, their whole concupiscible tribe had just as well been my sisters. On the other hand, it seemed plain to me that if one day I did burst upon the world as the hymeneal Genghis Khan of my dreams, I'd be in for an extremely incestuous time of it.
Several winters later, when my headmaster at McTeague's Chicago Academy for Distraught Boys, enraged by the nocturnal racket of my solitary revels, clapped hands on me and dragged my quaking hulk to a lupanar much favored by the faculty, I stood spellbound and terrified as the grisettes paraded for my selection. The vile, incestuous objurgations of old Reek-mouth still fevered my brain. These girls were my sisters - the tall one over there, and the tiny one with the dazzling blue curls, and that charming creature with the wise clitorial wink (the first I'd seen to that time) - all of them sisters! How could I even think of them that way?
Piteously I tried to explain the taboo that held me apart from this naked herd of mooing female relatives. Headmaster (he was a goodhearted man but quick with his right) cuffed me about for something under an hour. Toward the end of the beating I was enabled to see the thing from headmaster's point of view rather than that of old Stench-tooth. I began to regard the lovely denizens of that establishment with rising interest. My heart grew light. My temples ceased to throb. My eyes began to glitter brilliantly. I found myself laughing, as Columbus must have laughed when first he spied the shimmered green of Hispaniola.
Ah-ha, my darlings - no sisters ye nor brother I, blessed be the sapient gods! (Descend, Murgatoyd!) Flee for your lives, thou still unravished brides of quietness - thou foster children of slow time! (Down, slavering monster!) Weep, ye Sabine maidens - cringe, ye moaning seraphim! (Abajo, little Sir M!) That which ye greatly feared has come upon you! The stuprator is at hand! Estoy aqui! Me voici! Adsum!
I learned, so to speak, the hard way. (Ah, Chicago, Chicago - stud-barn of the western world!) Not once in those three wild aphrodisiacal weeks did headmaster or I set foot outside that house of ecstasy. We ordered the telephone disconnected, and had our meals sent in piping hot from the Pump Room. I, who had barely matriculated, qualified for graduate work in three fiery days. When finally we returned to the vertical world (headmaster, being without tenure, lost his appointment at the Academy, while I, poor lad, was sent down for simple venery) I was a new boy: snake-lean, rock-hard and ferociously determined that earth herself should reel beneath the measured thunder of my copulations. That, however, is a different story to be reserved for later times and nicer problems. Returning now to that atrocious hugger-mugger which set me thus to dreaming: -
Having deranged our building psyches with this sister business, old Pus-head passed on to the subject of procreation - or, more precisely, non-procreation. In unbelievable detail he shambled through the story of Judah, son of Jacob, son of Abraham (nee Abram), son of Terah, son of Nahor, son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Salah, son of Axpharaxed, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalalcel, son of Cainan, son of Enos, son of Seth, who was born to Adam and Eve in their autumnal years.
Now to the story. Judah had three sons improbably named Er, Onan and Chezib. Er caroused so heroically that "the Lord slew him," making of his wife Tamar a widow. Judah thereupon commanded his second son, this Onan chap, to marry his brother's relict and have children by her. Onan yielded to the first command and moved in with the girl (note how that sister theme creeps in again?), but he flatly refused stud service, devising instead an escape route that ensured his memory and made his name practically a household word to this day. He spilled his seed out onto the ground. (Hence onanism, onanistic, and the like, for you know what.)
By closing my mind and abandoning all sanity I can still hear that demented old reprobate howling his bill of particulars against poor Onan, shaking his fist at us all the while and sweating like a diseased stoat. "He wasted his seed! Oh monstrous, shameful, nameless act he spilled it right out into the ground! All of it! Yes sir, every last drabble of it! And this displeased the Lord. And the Lord slew him!" This ringing period he concluded with a gust of spittle so noxious that a waitress, caught in its mere fallout, sank fainting to the floor beneath a tray of priceless cut-glass fingerbowls.
Without even a sideglance at his gasping victim, old Sprue-tongue rushed on to a warning against the most dangerous period of a boy's day, which he leeringly defined as those last ten minutes before the coming of blessed sleep. This period, he rasped, was Onan's hour, that dread time of temptation which separated the men from boys. He commanded us, on pain of Onan's fate, as we loved God, loathed sin, and cherished our immortal souls, thenceforth to sleep with our hands outside the covers "until, in the unpolluted glory of young manhood, that chaste girl of your dreams appears on the transept of God's heaven to give you, through holy matrimony, that love which no man deserves and all desire." Whereupon we were ordered to rise en masse, lift high our swearing arms ("All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand!") and take the pledge.
Well. You can imagine how I felt, poor shuddering pertinacious masturbating little dolt! My young companions, their faces shining with devotion, rose like eager chipmunks to recite that preposterous oath as solemnly as if it were a Te Deum. I felt compelled to join them, my skin flushing beet-red beneath a field of yellow pimples then riotously in bloom from the base of my throat to the farthest border of my scaly scalp. Seated once more, I vomited softly into a cannister of caramels my father took with him wherever he went. As for father - from that time forward a murk, a dark estrangement rose between us. How could I, degraded sperm-wasting voluptuary that I was, ever again look squarely into the calm serenity of his grave sperm-thrifty eyes? I couldn't and never did. For us, that moment was the end.
When I went to bed that night the thermometer shivered at twenty-three degrees below zero. I slept alone in public, so to speak, an open porch with only a dismal flap of canvas to separate my quarters from those glacial winter winds that howled for three straight months each year on the other side of it. Shuddering like a greyhound bitch in heat, I burrowed beneath mounded covers. My congealing breath formed a beard of frost on the quilt beneath my chin. My pale hands, like twin sacrificial lambs, lay freezing outside the covers. It made no sense at all to me, yet I'd been gulled into taking their peccant oath, and now in my own dim-witted fashion I proposed to keep it. It was the witching hour.
While I lay there pondering Onan's fate, nerves twitching, gonaducts aflame, ten chilly digits convulsively plucking at my counterpane, I tried to divert my tumescent thoughts from their obsession. I thought on heroes and their heroism: on Perseus, Jason, Odysseus, Achilles - and it was on Achilles that I paused, evaluating again that dip in the Styx with only his left heel exposed. It occurred to me that the tragedy of his death stemmed directly from the triviality of the wound that brought him low.
At this point my incomparable flair for nastiness took charge. What would have happened, I asked myself, if Thetis had held the little tyke by his tippet instead of his heel? Since everyone understands there's utterly no point in living once your tassel's been shot off, all tears and sympathy would have been focused on that gory dopple, reducing his subsequent death to mere blessed anti-climax. The whole point of the yarn, it seemed to me, would have been changed, and for the better. Thus musing, I fell asleep. The next morning I was rushed off whooping to the hospital, brought low with quick pneumonia and seven frostbit claws. So much then, for keeping pledges.
There are still other stories I could tell you - tales of those corybantic pears that would inflame your bowels and thin your heart's young blood. They would, however, be merely cumulative: if my point isn't made by now it never will be. Yet the more I think on it the more positive I become that you will never truly be able to comprehend in all its horror that interminably sustained convulsion which was your father's youth. It's only reasonable that this should be so, since you've had so many advantages that were denied to me. To name but three of them - a private room, a masturbating father, and Albert Ellis, Ph.D.
Neither, I think, will you ever be able to understand that flood of savage joy which filled my heart on first reading Sex Without Guilt. I felt, with Keats, like "some watcher of the night skies. When a new planet swims into his ken." Having passed through such flaming pubic hells as would altogether carbonize a weaker lad, can anyone hope to imagine the wild surmise that stunned my soul on discovering that I'd been right all along? That all my Brobdingnagian juvenile debaucheries had been as innocent as so many taffy-pulls? That I was, in truth, an example and a martyr for all who'd gone before me and for endless millions still to come?
For that's what it amounts to, son. I carried the ball for all of us, and carried it farther than anyone had a right to expect. I was the Prometheus of my secret tribe - a penile virtuoso, a gonadic prodigy, a spermatiferous thunderbolt; in fine, a masturbator's masturbator. In that sad hour when you lay me away, remember with awe what I did, and carve those words in ageless granite above my resting place, that your sons and your sons sons may not forget the blood of champions coursing through their veins.
I am still, as you may suspect, somewhat distraught from reliving for your instruction the calamitous tale of my youth. That it's been painful I can't deny, but what is pain compared to the immeasurable satisfaction of being a proper dad to you? I am also, perhaps, still too deeply under the literary and erotic spell of Lolita, which I've read four straight times in four straight days. If you don't know the book, you must get it at once. This chap Nabokov, like Dr. Ellis, is a way-shower, one of those spirits who understands that everything under the sun has its time and place and joy in an ordered world.
His description of a two-year Saturnalia between an aging pervert and a twelve-year-old female (a "nymphet," as Nabokov so charmingly describes young girls in the immediate stages of pre- and postpubescence) is something to make your mouth water. Now that Lolita has brought nymphetophilia into the world of fashion and made it, thank God, as respectable as ornithology, I'm willing to place it on record that my own sexual taste in young girls runs strongly to larvines, beside whom your average nymphet seems gross and dissolute. A larvine begins to glow at five-and-a-half and generally is quite hagged out before her eighth birthday. Perhaps it's the very brevity of her flower that so attracts me. The man fortunate enough to catch one of these delightful creatures at the very peak of larvineal bloom - provided, of course, no one catches him - will be rewarded indescribably.
A pair of them approach even as I pen these words. They live two houses down. I spy on them night and day with a 40-power Stankmeyer-Zeitz. They're on the point of passing my study door en route to Sunday school. One of them's already in the third grade. Soon she'll be too old. Closer and closer they come. My excitement mounted like the fires of Krakatoa.
Now (squish-squish-squish) they draw even with the door. Glowing grandeur of tiny milk-fleshed thigh. Liquescent breath of gay vulvaginous pearl. (Psst! Speak to the nice old man. Come into my parlor. Ice cream? Candy? Morphine? Exciting photographs?) They continue down the drive. Patter of footsteps fainting with my heart. Nubescent rumplets winkling wild their nappled wonder. Scent of loinwine sighing, crying, dying on soft amber-tawny singing little legs. Oh my God --
Goodbye, boy!

con·cu·pis·ci·ble adj. Driven by or filled with strong sexual desire; concupiscent.
Cor·y·bant n. Greek Mythology pl. Cor·y·bants or Cor·y·ban·tes (-b n t z ) A priest of the Phrygian goddess Cybele whose rites were celebrated with music and ecstatic dances.
dox·y n. Slang pl. dox·ies 1. A female lover; a mistress. 2. A promiscuous woman.
fes·cen·nine adj. Licentious; obscene.
gri·sette n. A French working-class girl or young woman.
hy·me·ne·al adj. Of or relating to a wedding or marriage.
in·car·na·dine adj. 1. Of a fleshy pink color. 2. Blood-red.
Krafft-E·bing , Baron Richard von. 1840-1902. German physician and neurologist particularly known for his studies of sexual deviance and the published collection of case histories Psychopathia Sexualis (1886).
lechwe n : tawny-colored African antelope inhabiting wet grassy plains
lob·lol·ly n. pl. lob·lol·lies 1. Southern U.S. A mudhole; a mire. 2.The loblolly pine.
[Perhaps dialectal lob, to bubble + lolly, broth.]
Regional Note: Loblolly is a combination of lob, probably an onomatopoeia for the thick heavy bubbling of cooking porridge, and lolly, an old British dialect word for "broth, soup, or any other food boiled in a pot." Thus, loblolly originally denoted thick porridge or gruel, especially that eaten by sailors onboard ship. In the southern United States, the word is used to mean "a mudhole; a mire," a sense derived from an allusion to the consistency of porridge. The name loblolly has become associated with several varieties of trees as well, all of which favor wet bottomlands or swamps in the Gulf and South Atlantic states.
men·sal adj. Belonging to or used at the table.
ob·jur·gate tr.v. To scold or rebuke sharply; berate
Paphian \Pa"phi*an\, a. Of or pertaining to Paphos, an ancient city of Cyprus, having a celebrated temple of Venus; hence, pertaining to Venus, or her rites
Per·che·ron n. Any of a breed of gray or black draft horse originally used in France for drawing artillery and heavy coaches but now bred in other countries for general purposes
pu·ru·lent adj. Containing, discharging, or causing the production of pus
rel·ict n. 1. Ecology. An organism or species of an earlier time surviving in an environment that has undergone considerable change. 2. Something that has survived; a remnant. 3. A widow.
sap·ro·gen·ic adj. Of, producing, or resulting from putrefaction
sa·ty·ri·a·sis n. Excessive, often uncontrollable sexual desire in and behavior by a man
ster·co·ra·ceous adj. Consisting of or relating to excrement
stoat n. The ermine, especially when in its brown color phase
stuprate, stuprator v. t. To ravish; to debauch

German court rules circumcision goes against "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity"


Michelle Castillo - June 27, 2012 12:29 PM

(Credit: istockphoto)
(CBS News) Religious leaders are outraged after a German court ruled that circumcision infringes on a child's right to be protected from bodily harm.

The regional court in Cologne said that circumcision went against the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents." They added that religious freedom would not be curtailed because the child would be able to choose later whether he wanted to have a circumcision. However, if the parents decided for the boy, it changed the body of the child "irreparably and permanently" and went against that child's rights to choose his religious beliefs.

"The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised," the court added.

The ruling has now set a precedent that anyone in the future who performs a circumcision on a child not old enough to consent could potentially be breaking the law. Experts say that the decision would not be enforceable in other jurisdictions but because of the legal limbo and possibility of charges brought upon them, doctors may decline to do the procedure, according to the New York Times.

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Dieter Graumann, said in a statement that the ruling was an "unprecedented and dramatic interference in the right of religious communities to self-determination," calling it an "inappropriate and insensitive act."

Graumann said that circumcision by a medical doctor or a mohel with "medical competency" is "an integral part of the Jewish faith that has been practiced around the world for millennium."

"This right is respected in every country of the world," he added.

Male circumcision is an integral part of both Jewish and Muslim religions, and is also practiced by some tribal groups. It is very common in many African countries, and is often done in North America and most of West Africa. Although female circumcision is outlawed in Germany, male circumcision had been completely legal.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 30 percent of men - 665 million men - were circumcised as of 2006. In the United States, the WHO estimates about 76 percent to 92 percent of men are circumcised today.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend routine circumcision, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but defers to parental choice based on religious, cultural and personal beliefs. The WHO says that circumcision can lower HIV infection risk by about 60 percent. Circumcision can lower risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the NIH, but can cause unwarranted pain and a low risk of bleeding or infection.

The case was brought to the German court system after a four-year-old Muslim boy in Cologne was rushed to the hospital when he was found to be bleeding heavily a few days after a doctor had performed a circumcision under the boy's parent's request. The doctor was charged with grievous bodily harm.

The doctor was both acquitted by a lower court that determined that he was legally right to perform the circumcision because he had parental consent and cited religious freedom. The ruling was appealed, and although the regional court also acquitted the doctor of any wrongdoing, it was the court's reasoning that caused controversy in the religious community.

Holm Putzke, a professor of criminal law at the University of Passau in Germany, told JTA that he hoped the decision would inspire conversation about "what should be given more weight - religious freedom or the right of children not to have their genitals mutilated." Putzke has crusaded for anti-circumcision laws for children for many years.

"After the knee-jerk outrage has faded away, hopefully a discussion will begin about how much religiously motivated violence against children a society is ready to tolerate," he said to German news agency DPA according to the New York Times.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on circumcision.