This is My Religion : Church of Body Modification
Some of us may be new to piercings and body modifications and others, may be industry experts and aficionados. No matter your status, depth, or length of involvement and dedication to piercings and body modifications, The Church of Body Modification might be the new religion for you.
If you are totally new to the piercing world, take a peek at our previous blogs on “What to Expect When You Are Expecting (A Piercing, That Is)” to get the skinny of the basics, then join us back on this article as we continue to explore societal issues around piercings and body modifications such on discrimination and body equality as we head towards the Presidential Elections in this November.
About the Church
The Church of Body Modification is just as legit and “real” as any other church – so before you scoff at the idea that this is a practiced religion, you might want to think twice. The Church of Modification (CoMB) is registered as a 501c3 non profit organization AND recognized by the federal government as a religious entity. The CoBM has close to 10K supporters via various media across globe and has been around since 2008 and has an advisory board, ministers and members, just like any other church.
The CoBM’s core mission is to “…to educate, inspire, and to help lead our members along a path of spiritual body modification.As members of the Church of Body Modification, we aim to practice our body modification rituals with purpose, to unify our mind, body, and soul, and to connect with our higher power.” [Except taken from the CoBM website: http://uscobm.com/mission-statement/]
Mind, Body, Soul
The connection between the mind, body and soul is at the base of many religions, spiritual, and energy healing practices, including CoBM. The CoBM believes that practicing body modifications is a way to strengthen the connection between the mind, body and soul; the body modifications methods can vary from ancient to modern including but not limited to : body piercings, tattoos, scarification, branding, cosmetic surgery, surface piercings, suspension and more.
The belief is that when the body is tested and endured through the pain of body modification, the mind and soul becomes strengthened in bond to the body, and thus facilitates spiritual growth. If you think of someone who experiences in severe injury, gets diagnosed with a terminal disease, or experiences extreme physical pain, often times these individuals have a “come to Jesus moment” indeed and rightfully so. When we endure pain and suffering, we seek enlightenment to get ourselves through it. The only difference is that CoBM members practice this on a regular, deliberate basis instead of by accident or tragedy. The more we understand about the CoBM, the more we realize that the mission of the church is spiritually based rather than religious based. In fact, the CoBM has members with all different religious backgrounds, including Christians.
Vision in Equality
CoBM has a vision for it’s members and beyond to be treated with the same respect and kindness as anyone who does not sport body modifications. A noble cause that has been the center of so much controversy in equality in our history.
When it comes to equality with piercings and body modifications, the workforce is where we see the most issues arising. While we understand the need for companies to enforce a certain “brand cohesive appearance” for their employees, we must also consider that there is a spiritual basis for some of those sporting body modifications. The guidelines for how each situation is handled is highly unique to each company, so doing all you can do to find out what those policies are prior to joining the company can reduce the likelihood of conflict.
On the flip side, the CoBM should not be joined or used solely to fight with an employer so that you can have your way. (Like Peter Parker “With great power, comes great responsibility). To protect the integrity of the mission of CoBM, it is important to understand that while the CoBM may be able to offer support, there are no bylaws of the CoBM that indicate that piercings and body modifications should be worn or performed at all times in order to join the group- this means that employers can still ask you to remove or cover your body modification during work hours without violating any legal rights, as in the case of CLOUTIER v. COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP.
Piercings Are My Religion
If you feel strongly about the spiritual growth and connection between your mind, body and soul through your piercings, visit http://uscobm.com/ and join the movement. This month has been all about issues surrounding piercings, body equality and fair treatment of all, so we hope we have been able to shed some light for you on topics of interest, all which is essentially run through the government as a part of our inalienable rights. Be sure to get out there and vote for the Presidential election in November. Every voice, pierced, modified or not, counts.