Moses and the Suckers
A friend of mine, a mohel and also a physician, is strongly against metzitza b'peh. Unfortunately, he lives in a country where he is a lone voice, battling against numerous other mohelim who are staunchly in favor of it. He told me how at a conference on mohalim, he tried to convince them not to do it, arguing not only that it has no halachic necessity and is dangerous, but also how in that country, there is a threat of a metzitzah b'peh expose leading to bris milah being banned altogether.
But his arguments fell upon deaf ears. In desperation, my friend tried a different tactic. He proposed to his opponents that he and they go to the Gadol B'Torah of their choice, that they both present their arguments, and that they both agree to go by whatever he says.
Personally, I thought that this was very foolhardy. Any Gadol B'Torah remotely recognized as such by his opponents would probably insist on metzitza b'peh! But it was irrelevant. One of his opponents stood up, and announced: "Even if Moshe Rabeinu himself were to come and rule that we shouldn't do it, we would not listen to him!"
Wow, what a response! The formulation is especially interesting in light of the fact that whereas the opponents to metziza b'peh argue that it is not part of the Talmudic requirement, its proponents argue that it is halachah l'Moshe miSinai. You'd think, therefore, that Moshe Rabeinu could therefore have something to say about the matter!
But in fact, this response is spot on. The hypothetical construct of Moshe Rabeinu coming refers to a scenario of there being absolutely certainty that there is no halachic reason to do metzitza b'peh. But as I wrote in my post "Suckers for Orthodoxy," the reasons for insisting on metzitza b'peh have nothing to do with halachah. Rather, it is due to meta-halachic considerations. These are rooted in Chasam Sofer's approach that when there is any kind of threat to Judaism from the outside, one should fictitiously elevate the importance of practices.
Thus, since there is opposition to metzitza b'peh from external sources, such as non-Jews or Modern Orthodox Jews (it's not clear which is more dangerous in their eyes - my friend was called "a Reformer"!), one must ipso facto insist on it being non-negotiable. This non-negotiability can be dressed up in whatever way suits the needs at hand - call it mesorah, call it kabbalah, call it halacha l'Moshe Sinai. It's a meta-halachic social strategy, not a halachic position.
Thus, I do indeed understand this person's response. I just think that such meta-halachic social strategies should be weighed against a proper understanding of the topic, likely responses from the wider world, and the safety of babies.