By Scott Blazek: Guest Columnist
In response to Grant McGee’s June 1 column on tattoos:
It may not be politically correct to cite the following in this amorally diverse culture, but here are 12 reasons not to get a tattoo.
12. The procedure for getting a tattoo is painful. It involves needles jabbing you.
11. Tattoos can fade, so often they have to be “re-inked.”
10. Seems like statistics suggest that a sure way to jinx a relationship is have the name of your romantic interest tattooed on your person.
9. What will tattoos look like when you’re old and wrinkled? Ugh!
8. They are permanent. We change our taste in clothes, people, interests, but a tattoo is for life. If you like permanent art, invest in art you can hang on your wall and sell later or pass on to your kids. I’ve never heard of tattoos increasing in value.
7. If you decide to try to remove a tattoo, it’s very expensive, painful and often leaves scarring.
6. Your tattoo will make it much easier to identify you in a criminal lineup.
5. For many, tattoos seem addictive. They can’t be satisfied with one little item, but go on and on.
4. They are expensive. Why is it that many people with tattoos who smoke and drink alcohol (to excess) can afford these items in their budget, but are hard up for cash when it comes to basic essentials? Do tattoos advertise a stereotypical “class” of folk who don’t budget or prioritize their funds very well? Sorry, but stereotypes don’t usually come from a vacuum.
3. A tattoo puts off potential employers. Many jobs require uniforms. Tattoos compete with this concept. With obvious tattoos, you’re obviously disqualifying yourself from high-end jobs.
2. Health concerns regarding this semi-surgical procedure without guaranteed surgical or regulated precautions. People have been known to get hepatitis and other diseases from tattooing. If you go to donate blood, the interviewer always asks if you’ve been recently tattooed.
And the No. 1 reason for not getting a tattoo:
1. The Bible says you shouldn’t — Leviticus 19:28
“You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.”
The law of God given to Moses was on three levels :
1) The moral code — for all people of all time — practical rights and wrongs for the general well being of mankind;
2) The ceremonial or priestly code, which was for the Jewish people’s identity to set them apart from their idolatrous neighbors; and
3) the civil code, which “governed” the nation as a civilized culture.
If tattooing is “truly” wrong and not just a matter of personal opinion (if any absolutes still exist), then this action must go contrary to the Judeo-Christian set of moral standards set down in the Ten Commandments.
The commandment, “You shall not kill!” has been defined as to refrain from hurting or harming anyone including self.
The Bible also states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We live in a culture of moral relativism where for the most part each person decides for themself what’s right or wrong. It is unpopular to suggest that someone’s actions may be wrong. We might hurt their feelings or sound “judgmental” or dent their self esteem.
When someone gets a tattoo and shows it off, we’re tempted for a moment to tell them what we really think. Then you hear yourself say simply, “That’s nice!” or worse yet, “That’s cool” and thereby only encourage this objectionable practice.
Oh yeah! The No. 1 reason for getting a tattoo — “It’s cool!” How shallow, how juvenile, how potentially destructive!
And for those who’ve gotten tattoos: As hard as it may be to do, it’s OK to admit that you made a mistake, stop, and encourage others not to do the same.
Scott Blazek is pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Contact him at 763-4526.