Over Christmas we had one of our "normal" crazy conversations with a set of nieces and nephews. Within the last few years they've started throwing out what they call "random topics" for us to discuss (though I'm finding they're a lot less random than they want us to believe). This year one of their topics was facial piercings (to which they clarified eyebrow, cheek, lip, tongues, excessive ear piercing...the "all over" look I think they called it). I think they expected Bobby's "yuck", but my response sent them into a fit of giggles and shock. There's nothing wrong with it, the Bible doesn't condemn it, but it makes me want to throw up. If I go into a restaurant and waiter/waitress has it, I lose my appetite. I would seriously consider leaving. Even if I don't, I wouldn't go back there again. (I think it was the last sentence that made their jaws hit the floor.) My niece, who is all about peace and love and harmony (whose mouth was still on the table) asked "You mean, if I came home, the niece you loved so much, with my face all decorated like that, you wouldn't love me anymore?" Bobby told her she better NOT come home like that, but then said he'd still love her. I told her I'd love her but I would have a hard time looking at her and certainly wouldn't find her pretty any more. And then jokingly told her we'd take her to the doctor for a mental evaluation.
I do find such degradations of the body repulsive. My stomach literally heaves when I see a person (or a clerk) in a store who has the circular holes punched into their ears. It reminds me of the remotest tribal areas of Thailand and Africa. I find it as revolting as female circumcision.
So why am I bringing this up? Because last night when we got home we had a discussion on an issue that a friend finds morally wrong. While the activity is not something either one of us do, our reasons are personal. We simply do not see this as a moral issue. My first thought was to totally dismiss the person's concerns as trite and critical. But my niece would probably say the same thing about my revulsion to certain facial piercings. In her 14 year old mind, it is almost normal. In my 42 year old mind, it's downright insane. But it's really not a doctrinal matter. It is a matter that impacts your day-to-day life and how you and others perceive you, but I would be very hesitant to call piercings an issue of morality, even if they do impact the body/temple and repulse me. I fear that sometimes we get so caught up in being "right" (which is actually the sin of pride) that we forget others who share our core doctrinal beliefs can practice something that we personally find repulsive and still not be wrong.