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Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2001

Circumcision becomes divorce issue in Wichita

Father goes to court to prevent ‘abuse’ of 3-week-old son

July 26, 2001

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— The parents of a 3-week-old Wichita boy have agreed that he will not be circumcised.

The father of Asher Nathanal Grisham did not want the procedure performed.

Rodney Grisham equated circumcision with sexual assault, and went to court to get a protection from abuse order on his son's behalf.

His wife argued that not circumcising her son violates her religious beliefs.

The dispute started before the baby was born and contributed to the separation of Rodney and Sheila Grisham.

The agreement reached Tuesday ends the father's court fight to prevent his wife from having his son circumcised, a procedure he believes has no medical benefits and is traumatic for the baby.

"That was the one thing I wouldn't budge on," Rodney Grisham said. "I would have brought in experts if I had to."

Sheila Grisham declined to comment.

The dispute led to a falling out between Rodney Grisham and his family's pastor at First Pentecostal Church.

The pastor considers circumcision an important part of the Judaic Christian heritage, though not necessary for salvation.

Rodney Grisham said his efforts to stop the procedure were cited on several anti-circumcision Web sites.

He is a member of NoCirc, which advertises itself as a national organization protecting the birthright of babies to keep their sexual organs intact.

"It's growing pretty fast," Rodney Grisham said. "We're even thinking of opening a Kansas branch."

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