Source: Relevant Magazine – Matthew Lee Anderson
To Tattoo or Not to Tattoo?
The Pew Research Center reported in 2010 that nearly 40 percent of Millennials sport at least one tattoo, more than double the number of our parents’ generation. While most of those tattoos are covered up by clothing, that doesn’t mean we’re ashamed of them. If anything, us twenty- and thirtysomethings are proud of our body art but cognizant that not everyone will get it. As sociologist Mary Kosut writes in the academic Journal of Pop Culture, people with tattoos today “are not exotic or deviant others—they are everyday people with aesthetic sensibility.” Now, when friends show off their new ink, many of us inquire what prompted it and then move along.
Yet many younger Christians’ relationship to tattoos is still more complicated than most people’s. Those who grew up in the Christian subculture have memories and battle scars of heated and contentious debates with parents and youth pastors over Levitical laws. My first confrontation over tattoos occurred when I was convinced that my neighbor’s newly minted Tweety ankle tattoo was the first step on the short road to perdition.
Read: Christianity – K-I-S!
Parents and pastors may still have their objections, but most younger Christians don’t seem to be very concerned. Discussions about tattoos have often been limited to a single question: “Should I or should I not?” While that’s an important line of inquiry, it’s not the only one. And answering it requires first thinking through what tattoos mean and why they’ve become such a prominent form of self-expression at this point in our history. Why not poetry or pixels instead?
The Christian faith is in a God whose concern for human bodies is such that He became one in order to accomplish salvation. The most basic intuition of American culture is that our “rights” allow us to treat our bodies how we want, but the Gospel sets forth a startling alternative: “You are not your own, but you have been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
So what does that mean when it comes to permanently altering a body?
Read More: What the Bible says?