On the daily news cruise this morning, I read an article of a 14 year old girl who got kicked out of school for piercing her nose. The officials at the school asked her to take it out, but the girl belonged to The Church of Body Modification, as does her mother, and refused based on an official religious practice.
I gotta be honest, I've never heard of the Church of Body Modification, but evidently there are members who are into piercings and body art. The church is now 2 years old, and has thousands of members. The school's dress code evidently bans the nose ring style, but it does allow for certain religious traditions to be exceptions to the rule.
So this brings up a number of questions in my head.
Although the freedom of religion part of the constitution was clearly set up for the freedom to worship however someone deems necessary, it was obviously a reaction of God fearing people rising up against a state run church. I won't get into all the founding fathers reasons here, but for a simple explanation I think that might do for this story.
I guess the question I'm wrestling with today is the Freedom part. Is Freedom simply the right to express yourself however you want under the umbrella protection of religious liberty?
If so…how do we categorize religion today?
What if I want to make up a religion that calls for me to walk my dog wherever I go? Does the Freedom of Religion allow for me to take my dog to school, public buildings, public parks, or public assemblies? What if someone is allergic to dogs? Does that play into my rights as a person of faith?
I'm not trying to stir up any PETA comments, but I am wondering where the Freedom of Religion begins, and where it ends. Are there clearly defined rules for religious organizations?
Oh, and what about the school?
Evidently the ACLU has gotten involved in this debate now, and is standing in the gap for the 14 year old nose offender claiming the school acted unlawfully to dismiss her from the class.
It might seem like an easy situation to work through, but clearly; this kind of question would play into the burning of Korans based on my Freedom to do so, the building of a Mosque wherever I want, or even the freedom to read my Bible in my own free time on public land.
It seems like we live in a place where all freedom can be expressed, I guess I'm stuck this morning on how far is too far, what actually makes a religion, AND are we ready to really give total freedom to anyone that claims faith as their guide?
What say you?
OH…here's the article….Click Here