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Teen Claims Nose Stud Expresses Religious Beliefs

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Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: Here's a new one: A North Carolina teenager sued her high school for violating her religious rights when they told her to take her nose stud out.

Ariana Iacono

Ariana Iacono, 14, claims to be a member of the Church of Body Modification and says that having jewelry in her nose is central to her religion. And here I thought Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell was the only person proclaiming obscure religious affiliations!

If you're wondering if the "Church of Body Modification" is a legitimate church, you're not the only one. In fact, the second question on the Church'sFAQ webpage is, "Is the Church real?" The short answer is yes: The Church is recognized by the federal government as a tax-exempt nonprofit, just like the Catholic Church."Practicing body modification and engaging in body-manipulation rituals strengthens the bond between mind, body and soul," reads the website. "By doing so, we ensure that we live as spiritually complete and healthy individuals."

Iacono says she was abused as a child, and that the jewelry improves her self-esteem. "It kind of helps me look at myself in a better way," she told reporters. Her parents contacted the American Civil Liberties Union to help them with their case.

My question is, why is Iacono's school telling her she can't have a nose stud in the first place? Isn't that a decision the 14-year-old should make with her parents? After all, nose jewelry is legal. It's her body. Iacono's argument for keeping the stud seems like a bit of a stretch, but what would the school have done if she'd gotten a tattoo? They couldn't exactly have asked her to remove that!

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32 comments so far | Post a comment now
layla September 24, 2010, 4:26 PM

Church of Body Modification sorry but that have to be the most ridiculous religion in mankind history. tell how a nose ring help her through Child abuse.

layla September 24, 2010, 5:16 PM

*Church of Body Modification sorry but that have to be the most ridiculous religion in mankind history. tell me how a nose ring help her through Child abuse.

Renae  September 24, 2010, 8:18 PM

It’s sickening when parents let their underage children get body piercings and tattoos. This family is trash, suing over something so stupid. Also, way to teach your daughter to not respect authority.

Anonymous September 25, 2010, 5:07 PM

Piercings and body art have major cultural significance in some countries. Who are you to say that they can’t be of religious significance? Tattoos have been used in a spiritual manner since the Druids (and probably before)!
It’s also unnecessary for the author to interject her political views into this article. I’m personally annoyed with Ms. O’Donnell and her misleading stance on pagan religions but that doesn’t make her relevant to the article.

XXXX September 25, 2010, 5:20 PM

fake church, fake religion

Carol September 25, 2010, 10:08 PM

Can we all say BS?
Another case of overindulgent parents.
I personally she nothing wrong with her having a nose peircing, the school should just ignore it.
But this agrument of religion is nonsense.
This an actual place of worship? Any formal gethering? Or is it all internet based?

alex September 27, 2010, 5:54 AM

Nose Stud Expresses Religious Beliefs?
This is quite crazy

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michelle September 27, 2010, 9:52 AM

What makes a religion “real” or “fake”? No one here is qualified to draw the line. I’m not even sure there is a difference. Is the Church of LDS any less ridiculous or more legitimate than the Church of Body Modification? No. Also, this girl does have the right to a nose piercing. Many Hindu girls/women have nose studs too. Does the school make them take them out? And she should “respect authority”? No, that is for sheep. Better to teach our children to know what their rights are and to stand up for them against arbitrary authority.

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