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Teen suspended for religious nose ring

  1. Sep 17, 2010 #1

    Evo

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    The teenager, Ariana Iacono, belongs to the Church of Body Modification. Should "religious" items of clothing and jewelry be forbidden in non-parochial schools?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_rel_piercing_church [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Sep 17, 2010 #2
    "Church of body modification"? This is kind of like that time I tried to convince my teachers I was joining the "church of beer" - didn't go over quite so well.

    I think if she was hindi or some other widely known/respected religion, the school would have had no problem with her claim. I think the issue is whether or not the "church of body modification" is a legitimate religion or is it just a (not so) clever method to get religious exemptions whenever piercings are against the dress code.

    The wiki page says the church has approximately 3500 members in the US. At first look it doesn't seem like a very legitimate religion in my opinion.
     
  4. Sep 17, 2010 #3

    cronxeh

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    I wonder if they can use peyote in their practices for 'spiritual' purposes, since it modifies your brain
     
  5. Sep 17, 2010 #4

    Dembadon

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    Hopefully you aren't implying that the use of illegal substances and having body piercings are analogous.
     
  6. Sep 17, 2010 #5
    I think this is correct. From what I know by talking to lawyer friends, freedom of religion doesn't allow you to just make up a religion, and expect everyone else to tolerate your funny religious requirements. And there are other limits. For example, as had been alluded to, Native Americans are apparently required by their beliefs to smoke a mind-altering substnce. It's a well established religion, and this does protect their right to smoke it. But you can't just walk into school with a joint because you happen to be Native American. Now if this girl were part of a more popular religion, there might be a controversy to be had. But this body modification thing is a fake religion, plain and simple. We can debate all day about what constitutes a real religion, but for practical purposes nobody takes these guys seriously. Thus, this shouldn't be treated as a First Amendment case.

    I still don't see why this is such a problem. Back when I was in high school (which was only 8 years ago) girls used to wear noserings.

    Oh, by the way Bishop, it's "Hindu." Hindi is a language, Hindu is an adherant of Hinduism. Sorry, I'm Indian. :smile:
     
  7. Sep 17, 2010 #6

    cronxeh

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    No I'm implying religion and use of drugs is analogous.
     
  8. Sep 17, 2010 #7

    loseyourname

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    This is what I was getting in that thread about legitimized discrimination when I said we privilege belief systems based on how old they are. Every religion had to start somewhere, and when it did, its adherents were viewed as kooky and "illegitimate" by adherents of the previously prevailing religion.

    Remember how Mitt Romney came under scrutiny because of the wackiness of Mormonism two years ago? The whole Joseph Smith being told of ancient golden scrolls by the angel Moroni and Jesus visiting the Americas and all that. How is that any wackier than Moses seeing a bush catch fire then talk to him to tell him where to find stone tablets telling him not to kill, right after that same bush had just slaughtered all the firstborn sons of Egypt?

    But since one supposedly happened 3,000 years ago and the other only 200 years ago, it's more okay to believe one than the other.
     
  9. Sep 17, 2010 #8
    Is it the government's job to decide whose religions are real and whose are fake?
     
  10. Sep 17, 2010 #9
    Oh god. If I had read this a moment sooner, my coffee would have been sprayed all over my new computer. :rofl:

    baaaziiinng!
     
  11. Sep 17, 2010 #10

    Chi Meson

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    "Church of body modification"?

    Then the "Church of Never doing any assignment."

    "The church of constant disruption."

    "The church of never bathing."

    "The F****** Church of F****** saying anything you F****** want whenever you F****** want to."

    It's no religion, give us a break.
     
  12. Sep 17, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    If you look at their page, the so-called church of BM only asserts that we have the right to modify our own bodies. It isn't a mandate. I see no consequences cited for taking off a nose ring for six hours a day.

    If I'm a Catholic and cannot attend Church on Sunday because of a school function, by Catholic beliefs, I have committed a sin. So this would be a violation of my religious rights. But I am not free to pray outloud during class just because Catholics are taught it is good to pray.

    On the other hand, what business is it of the school's if someone wears body piecings? While the BM church seems to be a scam, it seems to me that the school district is abusing its authority. Their job is to educate, not legislate. So, at a glance, I would tend to support the girl's right to wear whatever jewelry she wants.

    I have little patience for some of the wanna-be politicians that run our schools. My longest friend in life was an educator, and later, a politician. He was constantly complaining about people who use the school system to push their personal agendas. If the parent or parents of a child allow him or her to get body piercings, that is a family matter and not the business of the school district.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  13. Sep 17, 2010 #12
    We have laws and rules that everyone should have to follow. I don't care if your religion is made up 10 seconds before I posted this or if it's 5 thousand years old. One religion shouldn't have precedence over another religion for any reason.
    If they tell her that her religion isn't real, now they're insulting her religion. If they want to have laws respecting religions, they have to be consistent.
    I don't agree with that at all. Everyone should have to obey the rules. Either you change your religion to not include the "requirement" to smoke pot, or you go to jail.
    I bet their "religion" has been changed many times with not much protest, but when they can't get high anymore, all hell will break loose.

    What happens if someone is part of that religion and they're allergic to marijuana smoke? Do they force them to smoke it and die? Or do they just not require it for that one person? And if it's not required for that one person, then it's not required by anybody. Religions people make exceptions for their religions only when it suits them.
    "You better get on your knees and bow to Mecca or you're going to hell. You have to do it or else you go to hell! You hear me? HELL!"
    "But I have bad knees and I'm in a wheelchair."
    "Oh, well then you can just sit in your wheelchair and pray."
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  14. Sep 17, 2010 #13

    Gokul43201

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    I've actually met a person who works for someone writing a book of how tattoos control "energy" flows between people. She really believed this stuff as sincerely as any Christian or Hindu or Muslim I know believes in their own version of things.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  15. Sep 17, 2010 #14

    Office_Shredder

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    Do you make this statement with any factual basis (the implication that they only keep this rule around because they want to get high especially) or just making it up on the fly?

    This is always a serious grey area. As an extreme example, let's say there was some sort of nature based religion, which is 4000 years old and well established historically (though not so much today) which dictates that wearing clothes is sinning. How should that case be treated?
     
  16. Sep 17, 2010 #15

    Dale

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    The Supreme Court has ruled that the government has no authority over one's religious opinion, but does have authority to make and enforce laws that govern individual behavior even if that behavior is motivated or permitted by their religious beliefs. The "wackiness" of the religion is not an issue.

    However, in this case wearing a nose ring is not illegal. I don't know enough to know if the school board overstepped their legal authority.
     
  17. Sep 17, 2010 #16

    Hurkyl

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    But nobody's asking you to support that! They're trying to turn the old "you have to let me do _____; my religion I just invented says so!" joke into a reality -- it would be quite irresponsible to support her cause just because you are philosophically opposed to the idea of dress codes.
     
  18. Sep 17, 2010 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    This isn't really about religion. It is about having the right to live as we please. Whether it be drugs, or jewelry, or tattoos, the government needs to do its job and stay out of our personal lives.
     
  19. Sep 17, 2010 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    It doesn't matter. The school is imposing authority where it shouldn't have any. Their job is to educate, not legislate.

    I don't think it is irresponsible. I think the entire argument about this girl is backwards. We wouldn't have a problem if the school district stuck to its business.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  20. Sep 17, 2010 #19
    Making it up on the fly.
    If it was something undesirable that they "must" do, there's a lot higher chance that it would be gone by now. It probably never would have been included in their religion in the first place if that was the case.
    They should have to wear clothes just like anyone else, or they could change the law. I don't think being naked should be a crime anyway.
    But if they allow one person to do it because they're part of that religion, you can't put other people in jail for the exact same thing. If the law sees an activity as harmful to society, it remains harmful to society, regardless of the beliefs of the person breaking the law.
    But even if they did allow it, anyone could just go walking around town naked and claim they're a member of that religion. There's no way to prove they're not.
    But they have a dress code. Every student should have to abide by it. If they can claim a religion prevents them from adhering to the dress code, then all the students could join that religion. Even better, they could make a new religion that prevents them from adhering to ANY of the dress code rules, not just nose rings.
     
  21. Sep 17, 2010 #20

    Hurkyl

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    Ah, a 'witty' sound bite. I'm convinced!

    How do you figure it doesn't matter? The following two are very, very different things:
    1. Opposing the legality of dress codes
    2. Expanding the scope of the freedom of religion clause

    Rallying behind someone pushing for the second doesn't do anything for the first.
     
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