After a recent post by Justin (which linked to some rather sickening web sites specializing in “body modification”), I was asked how any of that could relate to Classical Values.
The answer is easy (and it’s something I have posted about before). A major war was started by the emperor Hadrian’s legislative attempt to stop mutilations:

The Jews, however blamed him for provoking and then brutally suppressing the Bar Kokba revolt in Judea (132-135 AD). The provocative act, a decree against physical mutilation, covered the whole Empire and was not, by any means, aimed specifically at the Jews. In the rest of the Empire, in fact, it was a protection against the whims of officials, heads of families, and slave owners who previously could lop off limbs and other body parts for many offenses. The law specifically forbade castration, but it clearly also applied to circumcision, and the Jews interpreted that as an attack on their religion. The suppression of the revolt was, in fact, as efficient and as brutal as usual when the Roman army was involved. When the more zealous Jews of Jerusalem still refused to comply, Hadrian had the city destroyed and replaced by a new Roman town, Aelia Capitolina.

One of history’s ironies is that Hadrian’s apparently well meaning reform led to a war so terrible that its outcome (the destruction of the temple and the Diaspora) still affects the world today.
Mutilation is thus very much an ancient issue as well as a modern one. If the lesson of Hadrian teaches anything, it is that government ought to at least think twice before telling citizens what they can and cannot do to their bodies.