Monday, May 28, 2012

religion v. tattoos .

In the religious ethical system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the naysayers, who condemn tattoos and their every existence; and those who are inked, who proudly display their tattoos with pride. These are there stories.

Okay, so maybe my story is not exactly that of a TV show (if you know what it's from, props to you. I'm going to be mysterious and not say. Hint: I changed some of the words to fit my scenario). But I have a huge problem with people who have issues with tattoos, and use religion and biblical quotes to condemn them.

I currently have 4 tattoos and with 10 or so more on the way (when I have to stop pouring money into my damn truck and actually have money to spend) I have some things to say about the constant fight between people who use religion to look down upon those of us who are inked.

The single most brought up verse to use an argument is Leviticus 19:28
"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you; I am the Lord."

Most would say, this explicitly basically says, in a more complicated way, "thou shalt not get any tattoos. Right?


While most against that verse would also use the fact that it's in the Old Testament to shove it under the carpet, I'm going to use a different approach. I think that things both in the OT and the NT are relevant and useful. I think that the teachings are valid and that the stories have merit regardless of when they were written. Just because someone writes a newer version of something doesn't mean that the old version doesn't apply at all.

Before I got inked I found a site called Religious Tattoos that talked about all kinds of reasons people brought up against tattoos from the Bible etc. etc. etc. There are also tons of pics on there of the religious tattoos that people have gotten. I guess in the Old Testament there was sort of a strict list of guidelines, things you should or shouldn't do in order to achieve eternal life in God's kingdom. Yet it seems to have been revised in the New Testament, where it basically says, if you believe wholeheartedly and are faithful will reach eternal life. That's shown in one of the most commonly quoted Bible verses around:
"For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life"
-John 3:16

So are you seriously going to tell me now that if I believe and am doing my best to be a good person etc. etc. that I'm going straight to Hell just because I have tattoos on my body? You are a stupid fuck.

I agree that tattoos are not for everyone. I agree that they can sometimes seem satanic, and that perhaps years ago when they weren't as popular that many people getting them were getting skulls or other symbols that fall into that area that makes Christians sort of feel unsettled. There are still people that get those sorts of tattoos, but that doesn't mean that they are bad people, that they are evil or satanic, or that they will miss out on eternal life. I'm being completely honest when I say that some of the nicest people I've ever met have been artists at the tattoo parlor. I even have the phone number of the main guy I go to.

It's hard to make anything in the Bible black and white, because let's be real, there is SO much gray area there. In this article the point is brought up that only in the Old Testament was bestiality forbidden, and does that mean that if we only believe in the New Testament that God approves of that now?

Uh. Are you serious? Thanks for being Devil's advocate for a moment there. Actually, see, there is this thing called common sense... usually people use that in life, but apparently not everyone else does.

That article is really long and there is tons of other information there if you want to read it. If you also click next at the bottom of the page, there is another whole piece on the people who seriously regret their tattoos and they start vomiting statistics about this and that percentage that regret getting their tattoo.

I'm sorry, but that statistic means nothing! What that means is that people don't have common sense and don't think about what they're getting! There are many many people out there that get a tattoo because they can (they've turned the age where it's legal) or because they want one, or because they think it'll make them cool or hip. Hell, I know a good number of people who got tattoos who ended up hating them, realizing later they didn't get it for the right reasons. I even dated one! BUT. That doesn't mean that everyone who has a tattoo is a blithering idiot who just decided they'd get permanent ink injected into their bodies.

Alright I've rambled on that part of the issue for long enough.

My final comment is, what say you to the people who get tattoos to proudly display their religion or glorify the Lord, or remind themselves constantly of a specific teaching in the Bible? WHAT SAY YOU, FOOL!? I am one of those people! In short, I got my first tattoo because I was going off to college and wanted a reminder to keep myself grounded in my religion; I didn't want to forget it or lose it while I was at a new point in my life. You can read the long version if you like.
the first tat I ever got done, just after it was finished. It has since grayed and mellowed out a bit, and I still love it.

I seriously don't think there is an argument against something that is so permanently glorifying the Lord. Right? Tattooing is not what it used to be. It is not used the same way. It is a lot more respected, and while I have certainly experienced those who look at you and think you're some kind of punk just because you have ink, I have also talked openly with many about my tattoos and what they mean because they're curious and they are interested. Once I had them, I started to notice so many others that had them too, and thing is, there are so many interesting stories behind people's tattoos. Sometimes it gets a little bit tiring to always explain what things mean or why you got it, but it's flattering that people are interested! I can't wait to get more.

If you're thinking of getting a tattoo, hit me up. Ask me questions about what it's like, what kind of commitment it takes, what kind of artist to look for, price, pain, anything. I'd be happy to talk about it. Because I don't regret any of them that I've gotten and am very proud to "wear" them.

Also, I'm going to add a question box in a tab at the top of the page, where you can ask questions or whatever. It should just involve putting in your name or whatever and typing the question and clicking submit. So feel free to use that too. Hope you've all had a wonderful Memorial Day.


  1. I just want to say that this made me laugh out loud. I have 4 tattoos also, and face the same things.
    Thanks for the common sense and making me smile, definitely needed it.

  2. people in our culture like to pick and choose parts of the Bible that they want to follow (and force other people to follow). If the tattoo issue in Leviticus is brought up, shouldn't they have to follow all those rules there about eating meat and stuff like that? The story of the Christian faith is that the Jews had to do all this stuff in the Old Testament to account for all the wrong stuff that they've done in their lives but Jesus' death was used as a replacement for all the rules that the Jews had to follow in the past. We have freedom to eat whatever we want now and get a tattoo if you want to. There's some new testament verse anti-tattoo people quote (can't remember what it is off the top of my head) - something about how your body is a temple - but as someone said, a tattoo just makes it a beautiful temple haha

    1. I've never heard that one before, that's awesome! *immediately heads to Twitter...*

      I'm going to use that in the future, that tattoos just make my 'temple' more beautiful. Well spoken!


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