Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Out with Leviticus. In with Pastor Fadness.

November 29th, 2008 by

Not long ago I wrote a post on conservative religions’ changing views towards tattooing. I did a fair bit of reading on the subject and found myself on various sites and forums – mostly Jewish and Christian – where folks used religion as a basis of prejudice, quoting good ol’ Leviticus 19:28: “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord” in their condemnation of people like you and me.

I’m not religious and no amount of biblical quoting will ever have me believe that I’m a heathen that will be told to piss off at the gates of heaven thanks to my tattoos. But religious rule does shape the attitudes and opinions of believers and affects general societal understanding, open-mindedness and tolerance, which in turn affects me so it made me feel more smiley than queasy when I read this article in the Columbia Missourian (I know, how do I find these things, right?), which touches on the rise of Christian tattoo shops across the U.S. such as Vivid Ink Custom Art & Tattoo in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Piqued, I did some more online snooping and discovered this lengthy, interesting article on the very same subject as well as something referred to as the “alternative Christian movement,” which involves Christian youth expressing their devout faith through tattoo art and whatnot. “…kids are so full on faith on the inside they just want to find somewhere to place it,” Jayme Whitaker, president of the Christian Tattoo Association, said. “Almost like a declaration of their independence in Christ.”

“It’s like an outward symbol of an inward truth,” Santa Cruz youth pastor Chuckk Gerwig was quoted as saying.

Apparently Cornerstone Music Festival – the hardcore Christian youth equivalent to Woodstock – is chock full of faithful youth covered neck to toe in Jesus ink, having been given the thumbs up by their progressive pastors/fathers/ministers/whatevers.

“It’s normative now. It’s culturally acceptable,” Pastor Greg Fadness of Twin Fall’s Lighthouse Christian Fellowship said in a sermon (his two daughters both have tattoos). “In those [grey] areas, we have to figure out: Is it OK for me to do or not?” It seems that the answer is a resounding YES.

AMEN to that.

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