A high school student in Clayton, North Carolina has been suspended for wearing her nose stud to classes. According to the school dress code, body piercings are in direct violation of school policy, holy or not.
The student and her mother are contesting the suspension claiming that they belong to a religious group known as the Church of Body Modification, and therefore the piercings on the student's body are protected by religious freedom.
When asked about the nose stud, the student's mother had this to say "I'm surprised you are even asking about a stupid nose stud. The question you should be more interested in is this 'Is the Church of Body Modification a bona fide church?' Hell, if this is all it takes to be a reporter for the Clayton Examiner, then I could do your freakin' job."
Not being able to get any further information from the mother or her daughter, this reporter went online to find out exactly who and what the Church of Body Modification is and just what it is that draws many into their fold. So far, from what we can tell, it is not a physical church in North Carolina or anywhere else really; however, by logging onto uscobm.com, you can ascertain that the owners of a website known as Church of Body Modification do indeed refer to themselves as a religious entity.
It is unclear what professionally accepted credentials the "ministers" of this church possess; however, a quick perusal of their various bios indicate that at least one of them has an aversion to sushi. In addition, the belief that pain brings about spiritual awakening seems to be a recurring theme among the high priests of piercings, as does a propensity toward procrastination. In fact, so much so that the church website hasn't been updated since sometime in 2009.
Meanwhile, the principal of Clayton High School, Mr. Spindorfer, was asked whether or not this student's story about belonging to the Church of Body Modification is going to fly with his office. He replied, "Oh yeah, sure. Let's allow body piercings and call them holy. Oh and when another kid shows up with a venomous snake next week telling us he is practicing his religion as well, let's all just welcome him with open arms. Look, the way I see it is this: piercings and tattoos are against the school's dress code. Openly practicing religion is against school policy. This student and her mother may have even won on the issue that it is just a cheap chip diamond nose stud, but when they brought religion into the mix, that just sealed the deal. Too bad this kid didn't belong to Church of the Valid Argument."