Ariana Iacono was suspended from Clayton High School again today. She wears a small nose stud in her left nostril & face piercings are against the Johnston County school system's dress code. She will not remove the offending piece of jewelry and has been removed from school once again.
WRALnews ORIGINAL STORY.
The Johnston County School Board is flat wrong on this issue and I find myself on the side of the members of The Church of Body Modification & the rather left leaning ACLU.
Miss Iacono wears her nose stud as a part of spiritual wholeness for her mind, body and spirit as a member of The Church of Body Modification. The church is a non-theistic religion that encourages its members to seek spiritual strength by modifying their bodies through body piercings, tattoos, body implants, scarification and other physical challenges. Their faith is built by their mutual support for each other as they face the day to day challenges of life. It appears they have built some form of spiritual family, nurturing and care for each other even having clergy to lead and guide individuals/groups through spiritual rituals.
As a christian I may not believe in their view of faith or spirituality but, I have chosen to follow a Christian faith with a pretty orthodox theology & worldview; Miss Iacono, her mother and members of the Body
Modification congregation have not. They have chosen to exercise their Creator endowed unalienable right of liberty to go in a different religious direction than I.
On this one the U.S. Constitution is clear. Government shall make NO law respecting any religion. They cannot make decisions that prefer Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastriansim, Neo-Paganism or any other ~ism or ~ity that comes down the road. The Supreme Court has loosely defined what it takes for a new religion to meet the standard of a new religion and by all things I understand The Church of Body Modification has met that standard. They are a religion as defined by our laws and the precedent of lower courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. The USSC has also made it clear that whether I like the religion or understand the religion or support the religion has nothing to do with whether it is a legitimate form of worship.
So here it is in a nutshell. I might not agree with the CofBM, I might not like the CofBM, I might not feel comfortable with the beliefs and practices of the CofBM but, I must support their Creator given right to freely exercise their faith as they believe & stand up against any and all who would attempt to hinder them in that freedom. You see, they may not agree with my church, they may not like my church, they may not feel comfortable with my beliefs of practices. Do I want them telling me I cannot exercise my faith? Never!
The Johnston County School board has shown they prefer certain religions by telling Miss Lacono she could wear a nose stud if she were Hindu or head covering if she were Muslim. I suppose she could also wear a sexual purity ring if she were Christian. They are foolish here and will waste countless hours and many dollars in defending a decision that will never stand in a court of law if it goes that far. Any ninth grader at Johnston High can see that and Miss Iacono has shown herself to be more wise than the school board on this issue.
The Johnston County School Board is barking up the wrong tree, this dog will not hunt.
May all members of the Church of Body Modification be blessed and may they prosper in their endeavors.
Miss Iacono, you are welcome to wear your nose stud or whatever body modification to my church anytime. And maybe after a conversation we will find out we are both after the same thing...a life beyond mere existence.