Wednesday, October 13, 2010
In any contest between organized religion and the public schools, you can expect the schools to win -- that is, unless that organized religion is the Church of Body Modification. And yeah, I know, it sounds like either some sort of weird niche or a scam… but hey, all anyone has to do these days is call something a “church” and they’re home free -- especially if said church has nothing to do with Christianity or (better yet) any form of monotheism. And frankly, I don’t know too much about the theology of the CBM -- other than they would, I suppose, have to have a theology of the body. (ahem) But their claim was enough to get a high school student in North Carolina reinstated. She had been suspended for wearing a nose piercing, but it turned out that said piercing was her way of exercising her religions freedom… so the school had to capitulate, a rare and humiliating experience, I’m sure. And of course you can bet -- and you’d be right -- that the ACLU is heavily involved in the matter… but that should not be taken as an automatic condemnation. After all, there was a time when the ACLU was a fairly principled outfit, and before they declared their intention of wiping Christianity off the map at all costs. And it is nice, once in a while, to see the public schools take a hit, since they are so used to running roughshod over everyone and everything. Of course, I assume that possession and/or use of a Bible will still be strictly forbidden in the public schools -- as will nose piercing if it is not in pursuit of religious freedom. But let’s not quibble; at least the dress code as currently written says “the principal or designees shall not attempt to determine whether the religious beliefs are valid, but only whether they are central to religious doctrine and sincerely held.” In other words, school principals are not allowed to go around acting like mini-Oliver Cromwells. Let’s be thankful for that much and then move on from there.