Tattoo regrets

Despite the current economic doldrums, a new business is booming:   the tattoo removal industry.  Emily Wax reports:

She arrives quietly, coming in from the rain after work. She lies down on her stomach atop a sleek, white reclining chair. She lifts her shirt and tugs down her jeans slightly.

It’s enough to unveil a large pink flower tattoo with fat, webby green leaves, which she’s here to have lasered off her lower back. She wants to become a mother someday, and she doesn’t want her children to see this. The process could take up to 10 sessions, she says. She pauses. Then she starts crying.

“I was only 18. It was a homemade tattoo done at a party,” says Lizeth Pleitez, 30, who quickly dries her eyes. Her voice is shaking. “I wasn’t thinking about what it meant, you know? Little did I know it meant something else — like people calling it a ‘tramp stamp.’ I’m a Pentecostal, and the body is a temple. And I felt really ashamed.”

If tattoos are the marks of an era — declarations of love, of loss, of triumph, of youthful exuberance or youthful foolishness — then tattoo removals are about regret, confessions that those landmarks are in the past. They’re about the realization that whatever you believed in with such force that you wanted it eternally branded on your skin is now foreign to you.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 26 and 40 have at least one tattoo. Getting a tattoo, once the province of sailors rather than suburbanites, is so mainstream that tats are inked at the mall and seen on everyone from Middle American mothers to H Street hipsters to Hollywood starlets.

Perhaps not surprisingly, a parallel trend is emerging: tattoo removal, with dozens of businesses and training schools opening across the country. . . .

Tattooing was once considered audacious, powerful and rebellious, precisely because of its permanence.

But for a generation that has come of age during an unprecedented revolution in medical technology, tattoo removal by a super-powered laser seems like a facelift for young people, a chance to start over, erase, rewind. Like deleting a bad photo from a digital camera or defriending a Facebook friend.

“It was such an underserved market,” says Christian Slavin, 54, who has an MBA from Harvard and owns Zapatat in Arlington County, which opened in September. “The difference between the regret rate and the removal rate is huge.”

While older lasers burned off the skin, Slavin’s new model interacts only with the ink and “makes it shake and makes it break,” he says. But it still hurts — it feels like hot rubber bands snapping against your skin, most removers say — and often is more painful than getting a tattoo.“When it’s all said and done, I’m just not that guy anymore,” says Corey Newman, 29, who is getting married in May and wanted to get three tattoos removed: his left arm’s panther, his right shoulder blade’s bull, and two small Chinese characters on his right leg. He is spending $2,500 to take off tattoos that cost $600 to put on. (Which might explain why tattoo removers tend to be better dressed and better paid than tattoo artists.)

via Rethinking the ink: Laser tattoo removal gains popularity – The Washington Post.

OK, so if the demographics of this blog hold true, 40% of you 26-40 year-olds have tattoos.  Who has stories of tattoo regret?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    I’m 38 and I have a tattoo on the back of my right shoulder: a cross with the inscription “Dona nobis pacem”. I do, in fact regret it, mainly because I don’t like the artwork of the cross.

  • http://mark.veenman@gmail.com Mark Veenman

    I’m 38 and I have a tattoo on the back of my right shoulder: a cross with the inscription “Dona nobis pacem”. I do, in fact regret it, mainly because I don’t like the artwork of the cross.

  • Robin

    I don’t have a tattoo but, I teach high school and lots of my students get tattoos. They are only 16 but there parents sign a permission form allowing them to get them! Most of them come in with pictures of their favorite cartoons. I have two girls that recently got one. One has the Mario brothers on her feet and another has tinker bell with the word believe under it on her arm. I can’t imagine them being ok with those things in 10 years but, the question I have is WHY ARE THEIR PARENTS ENCOURAGING THIS??!!!!

  • Robin

    I don’t have a tattoo but, I teach high school and lots of my students get tattoos. They are only 16 but there parents sign a permission form allowing them to get them! Most of them come in with pictures of their favorite cartoons. I have two girls that recently got one. One has the Mario brothers on her feet and another has tinker bell with the word believe under it on her arm. I can’t imagine them being ok with those things in 10 years but, the question I have is WHY ARE THEIR PARENTS ENCOURAGING THIS??!!!!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I always figured that the piercing rage was far less of a commitment because when you tire of being “edgy” and “cool” you can just pull out the stud or ring and divorce yourself from your previous uh, inclination. Anyway, it is weird the love of tattoos in a disposable culture. Disposing of a tatoo ain’t easy.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I always figured that the piercing rage was far less of a commitment because when you tire of being “edgy” and “cool” you can just pull out the stud or ring and divorce yourself from your previous uh, inclination. Anyway, it is weird the love of tattoos in a disposable culture. Disposing of a tatoo ain’t easy.

  • WebMonk

    I haven’t gotten a tattoo only because of costs. I’ve got a Shotokan Tiger I’d love to have put on and have wanted to have done for a decade now, but it’s a pretty complicate form and the price is way more than I want to spend on a luxury item.

    My cousin has a lot of body art, and it’s pretty impressive. I’m not interested in getting that much coverage, but it’s really phenomenal to see on her.

    I got a bit of a giggle out of the article’s example girl’s declaration that her body is a temple, and so shouldn’t have a tattoo. If she let an amateur slap on a tattoo on the spur of the moment at a party, I suspect there was a lot of alcohol also “polluting her temple”. :-D

  • WebMonk

    I haven’t gotten a tattoo only because of costs. I’ve got a Shotokan Tiger I’d love to have put on and have wanted to have done for a decade now, but it’s a pretty complicate form and the price is way more than I want to spend on a luxury item.

    My cousin has a lot of body art, and it’s pretty impressive. I’m not interested in getting that much coverage, but it’s really phenomenal to see on her.

    I got a bit of a giggle out of the article’s example girl’s declaration that her body is a temple, and so shouldn’t have a tattoo. If she let an amateur slap on a tattoo on the spur of the moment at a party, I suspect there was a lot of alcohol also “polluting her temple”. :-D

  • WebMonk

    sg – you just nailed (at least one of the reasons) why the tattoo is popular. It is counter-cultural.

    At least it was until it became easy(-ish) to remove. It’s still difficult enough and painful enough to remove that it’s still not in the “disposable” category, at least in general practice, so it will retain the counter-cultural aspects that it has.

    Give it another 20 years, and I suspect that computerized tattoo application and remove will make them cheap enough to add and remove that they’ll lose their counter-cultural cachet completely.

    There will still be plenty of other reasons to get them, but the bold-statement-of-permanence-in-a-disposable-culture part of a tattoo will be gone.

  • WebMonk

    sg – you just nailed (at least one of the reasons) why the tattoo is popular. It is counter-cultural.

    At least it was until it became easy(-ish) to remove. It’s still difficult enough and painful enough to remove that it’s still not in the “disposable” category, at least in general practice, so it will retain the counter-cultural aspects that it has.

    Give it another 20 years, and I suspect that computerized tattoo application and remove will make them cheap enough to add and remove that they’ll lose their counter-cultural cachet completely.

    There will still be plenty of other reasons to get them, but the bold-statement-of-permanence-in-a-disposable-culture part of a tattoo will be gone.

  • Tom Hering

    The counter-culture appeal of tattoos is their uglification of the human body. It’s the anti-beauty thing (beauty is oppressive).

  • Tom Hering

    The counter-culture appeal of tattoos is their uglification of the human body. It’s the anti-beauty thing (beauty is oppressive).

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I have a cross over the graves of Adam and Eve. Only regret, I am not Orthodox anymore and it takes too long to explain to fellow Lutherans…

  • http://www.whenisayrunrun.blogspot.com Andrew

    I have a cross over the graves of Adam and Eve. Only regret, I am not Orthodox anymore and it takes too long to explain to fellow Lutherans…

  • Joe

    I have a tattoo and I regret very much getting it. When people see it, I generally respond to their reactions by saying, “some mistakes are permanent.” I would love to have my tattoo removed. I have investigated it but the combination of my fear of new technology (let someone else try it first) and my cheapness have kept me from doing so.

    I know we can debate whether or not it is a good, right and salutary practice for a Christian to get body art – and there is probably a discussion of types of art that are better than others. But for me at the end of the day, I believe that decorated a temple of the Holy Spirit, a temple that was bought at a price, in such a way as to call attention to me, myself and I. I am uncomfortable with having done this. To me it seems akin to walking in to my Church and drawing a picture of myself on the wall.

    I know some will say I am over reacting, but that is the regret I feel. I suspect others do as well.

    WebMonk – don’t laugh at the women in the article. We all make mistakes and if removing the marker of that mistake gives her comfort, isn’t that a good thing?

  • Joe

    I have a tattoo and I regret very much getting it. When people see it, I generally respond to their reactions by saying, “some mistakes are permanent.” I would love to have my tattoo removed. I have investigated it but the combination of my fear of new technology (let someone else try it first) and my cheapness have kept me from doing so.

    I know we can debate whether or not it is a good, right and salutary practice for a Christian to get body art – and there is probably a discussion of types of art that are better than others. But for me at the end of the day, I believe that decorated a temple of the Holy Spirit, a temple that was bought at a price, in such a way as to call attention to me, myself and I. I am uncomfortable with having done this. To me it seems akin to walking in to my Church and drawing a picture of myself on the wall.

    I know some will say I am over reacting, but that is the regret I feel. I suspect others do as well.

    WebMonk – don’t laugh at the women in the article. We all make mistakes and if removing the marker of that mistake gives her comfort, isn’t that a good thing?

  • Orianna Laun

    I had seriously considered getting a tattoo until I helped a friend clean her brand new tattoo (it was on the middle of her back and she couldn’t reach it). Wimp that I am, I thought it looked painful and I fainted. I considered that an indication that I should not get my own.
    I am reminded of the story the college professor once told about some things that people carry with them through life. The son said to his dad, “I love Julie and want to marry her, but I have something to get off my chest.”
    “What’s that, son?” the father asked.
    The son lifted up his shirt to reveal a heart tattooed on his chest with the word “Shelly” in it.
    By the way, if there are some of you wishing to get a tattoo to have tattoo regret later, I know of a shop nearby that advertises “$300/all you can take.” :)

  • Orianna Laun

    I had seriously considered getting a tattoo until I helped a friend clean her brand new tattoo (it was on the middle of her back and she couldn’t reach it). Wimp that I am, I thought it looked painful and I fainted. I considered that an indication that I should not get my own.
    I am reminded of the story the college professor once told about some things that people carry with them through life. The son said to his dad, “I love Julie and want to marry her, but I have something to get off my chest.”
    “What’s that, son?” the father asked.
    The son lifted up his shirt to reveal a heart tattooed on his chest with the word “Shelly” in it.
    By the way, if there are some of you wishing to get a tattoo to have tattoo regret later, I know of a shop nearby that advertises “$300/all you can take.” :)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Don’t have one, don’t want one. If I want art, I’ll get a picture of it and hang it up in my house a la Van Gogh or the guy who did the painting The Nostalgia of the Infinite

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Don’t have one, don’t want one. If I want art, I’ll get a picture of it and hang it up in my house a la Van Gogh or the guy who did the painting The Nostalgia of the Infinite

  • Pete

    My tattoo lecture for my kids was always very brief: tattoos (ditto motorcycles and smoking) are a “pass/fail” intelligence test.

  • Pete

    My tattoo lecture for my kids was always very brief: tattoos (ditto motorcycles and smoking) are a “pass/fail” intelligence test.

  • Carl Vehse

    Pete (@11), don’t forget the extra holes in body parts (except perhaps for female earlobes) for jewelry and attaching other objects is also part of the “pass/fail” intelligence test.

  • Carl Vehse

    Pete (@11), don’t forget the extra holes in body parts (except perhaps for female earlobes) for jewelry and attaching other objects is also part of the “pass/fail” intelligence test.

  • Dust

    Well, at least a tattoo can theoretically be removed….not so for the more hard core body art, am not sure what they call them, but one is effectively branding the skin with very hot metal things, just like you would do to cattle, and then the scare left behind is some kind of art piece….the other is cutting the skin with a very sharp instrument, probably like a razor or surgical scalpel, and then the scars left behind after the skin heals, is your body art. But it doesn’t stop there, have heard there are actually other ways to apply body art that sort of make these techniques look tame. Can anyone say slippery slope :)

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Well, at least a tattoo can theoretically be removed….not so for the more hard core body art, am not sure what they call them, but one is effectively branding the skin with very hot metal things, just like you would do to cattle, and then the scare left behind is some kind of art piece….the other is cutting the skin with a very sharp instrument, probably like a razor or surgical scalpel, and then the scars left behind after the skin heals, is your body art. But it doesn’t stop there, have heard there are actually other ways to apply body art that sort of make these techniques look tame. Can anyone say slippery slope :)

    Cheers!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    We see just about all the varieties of body “art” around these parts. Just so much to authentically rebel against here. I prefer simply living Lutheran here as my particular demonstration against this sick and twisted culture, also against what all passes for “Christian” around here. I’ve also been seeing more than a few elderly with “guages” lately. There’s a piercing that isn’t very reversable! I can’t help but laugh a little.

    But perhaps our solemn prayer for all, included all our body-mod friends, should be that our Lord’s Word would pierce all our rebellious hearts, so that they might be made pure from the inside out, by the cleansing ink of the blood of the Lamb.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    We see just about all the varieties of body “art” around these parts. Just so much to authentically rebel against here. I prefer simply living Lutheran here as my particular demonstration against this sick and twisted culture, also against what all passes for “Christian” around here. I’ve also been seeing more than a few elderly with “guages” lately. There’s a piercing that isn’t very reversable! I can’t help but laugh a little.

    But perhaps our solemn prayer for all, included all our body-mod friends, should be that our Lord’s Word would pierce all our rebellious hearts, so that they might be made pure from the inside out, by the cleansing ink of the blood of the Lamb.

  • Patrick Kyle

    My dad was in the Navy and had the requisite tattoos. They have not aged well, and I have seen this happen to others also. In my work I see on a regular basis older women whose tattoos are showing signs of age. It contributes to a not so pretty nor classy ‘fading glory.’

    I have a pastor friend who was tatted extensively before he was a Christian, having complete ‘sleeves’ on his arms. He now wears long sleeve shirts constantly to cover them up. This is a good thing, especially when he serves the Lord’s Supper as it prevents parishoners from being mortified by the naked lady covering the length of one of his forearms.

    For awhile in the early 90′s I was intrigued by the Borneo Tribal tattoos, and some Japanese Kanji, but not knowing what they meant in the original language and culture (they might say ‘Stupid white guy trying to be cool) I did not get them.

    As I approach 50 I am un-pierced and un- tatted. The only jewelry I wear is a simple wedding band and I do not regret my choice.

  • Patrick Kyle

    My dad was in the Navy and had the requisite tattoos. They have not aged well, and I have seen this happen to others also. In my work I see on a regular basis older women whose tattoos are showing signs of age. It contributes to a not so pretty nor classy ‘fading glory.’

    I have a pastor friend who was tatted extensively before he was a Christian, having complete ‘sleeves’ on his arms. He now wears long sleeve shirts constantly to cover them up. This is a good thing, especially when he serves the Lord’s Supper as it prevents parishoners from being mortified by the naked lady covering the length of one of his forearms.

    For awhile in the early 90′s I was intrigued by the Borneo Tribal tattoos, and some Japanese Kanji, but not knowing what they meant in the original language and culture (they might say ‘Stupid white guy trying to be cool) I did not get them.

    As I approach 50 I am un-pierced and un- tatted. The only jewelry I wear is a simple wedding band and I do not regret my choice.

  • http://www.deliverdetroit.com James

    I am 32 now. I still love my tats. Last one I got was probably 24-25ish of a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

    I kept all my ink above the elbow so as to keep it concealed when necessary.

    I’d get more if it weren’t so expensive and unjustifiable!

    I do have a barbed wire that partially wraps around my bicep. It was poorly done, but still stands out pretty well. If I regret any of them, thats the one.

  • http://www.deliverdetroit.com James

    I am 32 now. I still love my tats. Last one I got was probably 24-25ish of a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

    I kept all my ink above the elbow so as to keep it concealed when necessary.

    I’d get more if it weren’t so expensive and unjustifiable!

    I do have a barbed wire that partially wraps around my bicep. It was poorly done, but still stands out pretty well. If I regret any of them, thats the one.

  • Dust

    Am not sure if anyone said this already, but heard that when folks get older, and in particular, quite older, the skin begins to change and give up that tight, smooth look in exchange for another texture and elasticity altogether, and in such cases the tats take on another look as well, one that is not as becoming as the first, if they were ever good looking in the first place, ha! So that may also explain why folks want to get rid of them before their “canvas” begins to go wobbly?

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Am not sure if anyone said this already, but heard that when folks get older, and in particular, quite older, the skin begins to change and give up that tight, smooth look in exchange for another texture and elasticity altogether, and in such cases the tats take on another look as well, one that is not as becoming as the first, if they were ever good looking in the first place, ha! So that may also explain why folks want to get rid of them before their “canvas” begins to go wobbly?

    Cheers!

  • Jaye

    I have two tattoos, both inked long before I came to know the Lord, and both are intricately interwoven into that lifestyle – both symbols of it and symbolic of it. When I got them I was so prideful and arrogant, so focused on me and on the moment. My body was the canvas for my own pride. I still have them now, and I probably always will, not because they’re the best executed artwork ever, or because they remind me of something near and dear. But because they remind me that sometimes there are things we do that we can’t take back – that sometimes it pays to think twice before you look to put so permanent a mark in so obvious a place. That even though God may give the grace of a second chance, He may in His mercy allow the justice of consequence to sin. My tattoos are a hard lesson about an even harder life that God reached down into and rescued me from. I know that it’s not that way for everyone, but at the same time, it makes me sad to see so many younger people, especially younger Christians, who are so casual about what they do with what God has given them. Sometimes it seems as though they almost intentionally want to make themselves seem more tainted and worldly than they really are. That’s really painful for me, because I know too much about the taint of the world and have been pulled back through the veil by Christ. Stay on this side, children. Stay on this side.

  • Jaye

    I have two tattoos, both inked long before I came to know the Lord, and both are intricately interwoven into that lifestyle – both symbols of it and symbolic of it. When I got them I was so prideful and arrogant, so focused on me and on the moment. My body was the canvas for my own pride. I still have them now, and I probably always will, not because they’re the best executed artwork ever, or because they remind me of something near and dear. But because they remind me that sometimes there are things we do that we can’t take back – that sometimes it pays to think twice before you look to put so permanent a mark in so obvious a place. That even though God may give the grace of a second chance, He may in His mercy allow the justice of consequence to sin. My tattoos are a hard lesson about an even harder life that God reached down into and rescued me from. I know that it’s not that way for everyone, but at the same time, it makes me sad to see so many younger people, especially younger Christians, who are so casual about what they do with what God has given them. Sometimes it seems as though they almost intentionally want to make themselves seem more tainted and worldly than they really are. That’s really painful for me, because I know too much about the taint of the world and have been pulled back through the veil by Christ. Stay on this side, children. Stay on this side.

  • Mary

    Leviticus 19:28 (NKJV) – “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord”

  • Mary

    Leviticus 19:28 (NKJV) – “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the Lord”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hey Mary (@19), ever eat shrimp? Ever worn poly-cotton blends? Just wondering.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Hey Mary (@19), ever eat shrimp? Ever worn poly-cotton blends? Just wondering.

  • Dust

    Mary…good comment in 19, thanks! Of course, we are not bound by those silly little laws back in the OT, yippee! But it is interesting that they did go out of their way to single out those things, tats and cuts and all. Am not an expert on OT, but was that just to avoid connections with the surrounding pagan religions and people? In any case, am glad Mary shared it :)

    Cheers!

  • Dust

    Mary…good comment in 19, thanks! Of course, we are not bound by those silly little laws back in the OT, yippee! But it is interesting that they did go out of their way to single out those things, tats and cuts and all. Am not an expert on OT, but was that just to avoid connections with the surrounding pagan religions and people? In any case, am glad Mary shared it :)

    Cheers!

  • CJJScout

    @ Mary, last time I check Jesus was alive so what does that mean for my two tattoos of Him?

    33, with 3 youngans and another on the way. I don’t regret mine at all, need to get them touched up and will probably add at least one more.

    I think Francis Schaeffer’s essay “Art and The Bible” could be applied to this topic.

  • CJJScout

    @ Mary, last time I check Jesus was alive so what does that mean for my two tattoos of Him?

    33, with 3 youngans and another on the way. I don’t regret mine at all, need to get them touched up and will probably add at least one more.

    I think Francis Schaeffer’s essay “Art and The Bible” could be applied to this topic.

  • http://worthyofthegospel.wordpress.com Adam Miller

    Hey, I found this from Challies.

    I have two tattoos and I don’t regret either of them. I also didn’t put them on my body as a fashion accessory. I toiled years over the design and thought behind my tattoos. I am mostly proud of my second tattoo because it is something I want to be reminded of the rest of my life. It’s a tree with bare roots. It covers my left shoulder and bicep. Hidden in the roots are symbols of different men who have influenced my faith. I want to keep adding to it as well.

    I agree that most tattoos are stupid and will lead to regret. Anyone who walks into a tattoo parlor and looks at the wall and says, “I think I want that.” should feel regret.

  • http://worthyofthegospel.wordpress.com Adam Miller

    Hey, I found this from Challies.

    I have two tattoos and I don’t regret either of them. I also didn’t put them on my body as a fashion accessory. I toiled years over the design and thought behind my tattoos. I am mostly proud of my second tattoo because it is something I want to be reminded of the rest of my life. It’s a tree with bare roots. It covers my left shoulder and bicep. Hidden in the roots are symbols of different men who have influenced my faith. I want to keep adding to it as well.

    I agree that most tattoos are stupid and will lead to regret. Anyone who walks into a tattoo parlor and looks at the wall and says, “I think I want that.” should feel regret.

  • http://reformingstudent.blogspot.com scott mckenzie

    tODD (@20) – just what I was thinking.
    hahaha

  • http://reformingstudent.blogspot.com scott mckenzie

    tODD (@20) – just what I was thinking.
    hahaha

  • http://www.innocencerestored.wordpress.com Nate

    Just for the record, Leviticus 19:28 is referencing tattoo markings for the dead. While the ceremonial/moral law debate is a good and important one, this verse doesn’t fall into that discussion apart from getting a tattoo in remembrance of a deceased loved one.

    I don’t have any tattoos and don’t plan to get any, as I can’t think of anything I permanently want on me and I’m not a big fan of pain. But we need to do our research into the text and be careful not to forbid what the Scriptures do not.

  • http://www.innocencerestored.wordpress.com Nate

    Just for the record, Leviticus 19:28 is referencing tattoo markings for the dead. While the ceremonial/moral law debate is a good and important one, this verse doesn’t fall into that discussion apart from getting a tattoo in remembrance of a deceased loved one.

    I don’t have any tattoos and don’t plan to get any, as I can’t think of anything I permanently want on me and I’m not a big fan of pain. But we need to do our research into the text and be careful not to forbid what the Scriptures do not.

  • steve

    Message to people considering getting a tattoo: people will judge you. People will always judge you. Don’t cry about it or get offended or blame them for being closed-minded (as closed-minded as you are for judging them). You may get turned down for jobs. You may get told to wear long-sleeves at work. You may get hit on by all the wrong types of guys. If you can’t deal with it, don’t do it. Society isn’t going to change for you.

  • steve

    Message to people considering getting a tattoo: people will judge you. People will always judge you. Don’t cry about it or get offended or blame them for being closed-minded (as closed-minded as you are for judging them). You may get turned down for jobs. You may get told to wear long-sleeves at work. You may get hit on by all the wrong types of guys. If you can’t deal with it, don’t do it. Society isn’t going to change for you.

  • Terry

    To get a tat or not? If we’re throwing out Lev 19, let’s at least be discerning Christians with a bit of discretion. We don’t live in Africa where Peter Hammond does his outreach, but over there, if someone gets a tattoo they are tossed out of the church. Why? Because getting a tattoo is so intricately connected with rampant witchcraft and animism that to get one is to make one more connected with that spiritual realm than the Lord. Asking the unsaved what they think of tats will result in “cool!” Then go ask the most Godly saint you know over the age of 60 and let me know the response.

  • Terry

    To get a tat or not? If we’re throwing out Lev 19, let’s at least be discerning Christians with a bit of discretion. We don’t live in Africa where Peter Hammond does his outreach, but over there, if someone gets a tattoo they are tossed out of the church. Why? Because getting a tattoo is so intricately connected with rampant witchcraft and animism that to get one is to make one more connected with that spiritual realm than the Lord. Asking the unsaved what they think of tats will result in “cool!” Then go ask the most Godly saint you know over the age of 60 and let me know the response.

  • David

    Nate,
    Another thing about the Leviticus passage is that the following verses talk about not cutting the corners of one’s beard… something most Western men violate. It is cultural and not prescriptive in nature.

    Tattoos are a valuable way of remembering the work of God in my life. And, contrary to what others say I think it is a way of beautifying the body, not destroying it. Our cultural lenses need to be shattered. We justify our cultural viewpoint (aka, no tattoos) with biblical references that are out of context. Judgement will exist when one gets a tattoo, but for me, the value of having a lasting reminder of God’s continued work is invaluable.

  • David

    Nate,
    Another thing about the Leviticus passage is that the following verses talk about not cutting the corners of one’s beard… something most Western men violate. It is cultural and not prescriptive in nature.

    Tattoos are a valuable way of remembering the work of God in my life. And, contrary to what others say I think it is a way of beautifying the body, not destroying it. Our cultural lenses need to be shattered. We justify our cultural viewpoint (aka, no tattoos) with biblical references that are out of context. Judgement will exist when one gets a tattoo, but for me, the value of having a lasting reminder of God’s continued work is invaluable.

  • Tom Hering

    There’s no need to to turn to Bible verses to justify our cultural judgment of tatoos as ugly and low life. Just look at the long history of Western aesthetics. There’s little doubt that the (relatively) recent popularity of tatoos is, for some, a rejection of their own culture – and a statement that primitives are superior to us. Or that, for most people, it’s nothing more than an imitation of movie and music stars, who started getting tatoos in imitation of low life types – to show their public how cool they are. It’s a “counter culture” of media, marketing, and conformity-in-denial.

  • Tom Hering

    There’s no need to to turn to Bible verses to justify our cultural judgment of tatoos as ugly and low life. Just look at the long history of Western aesthetics. There’s little doubt that the (relatively) recent popularity of tatoos is, for some, a rejection of their own culture – and a statement that primitives are superior to us. Or that, for most people, it’s nothing more than an imitation of movie and music stars, who started getting tatoos in imitation of low life types – to show their public how cool they are. It’s a “counter culture” of media, marketing, and conformity-in-denial.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Terry @ 27 – Peter Hammond is something of a charlatan. He had friendly ties with Bantustan leaders such as Brigadier Oupa Gqozo, which was later convicted for diamond trafficking, as well as with “Christian” rightwing politcs in general, gun-rights and all kinds of stuff. He is also one of those weird anti Halloween, anti-this, anti-that kind of fellows, who finds a satanist / gay / moslem / communist under every bush. I’ve heard him speak in person, btw. Loves Americans and their $$, though. Take a bag of salt with next time….

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Terry @ 27 – Peter Hammond is something of a charlatan. He had friendly ties with Bantustan leaders such as Brigadier Oupa Gqozo, which was later convicted for diamond trafficking, as well as with “Christian” rightwing politcs in general, gun-rights and all kinds of stuff. He is also one of those weird anti Halloween, anti-this, anti-that kind of fellows, who finds a satanist / gay / moslem / communist under every bush. I’ve heard him speak in person, btw. Loves Americans and their $$, though. Take a bag of salt with next time….

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tattoos are about as counter-cultural these days as are women’s pants. Which is to say, not much at all. It’s not the 1960s anymore, folks.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tattoos are about as counter-cultural these days as are women’s pants. Which is to say, not much at all. It’s not the 1960s anymore, folks.

  • Pingback: Tattoo regrets « Entrusted with the Gospel

  • Pingback: Tattoo regrets « Entrusted with the Gospel

  • http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/12/other-2012-christian-voters-guide.html Rick

    I agree with Todd – “Tattoos are about as counter-cultural these days as are women’s pants. Which is to say, not much at all. It’s not the 1960s anymore, folks.”

    We have our civil-rights being stripped away and the Constitution being shredded and we are talking about tattoos?

    Fellow believers, please wake up and smell the coffee – not necessarily in that order.

    The ‘Other’ 2012 Christian US Voters Guide

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/12/other-2012-christian-voters-guide.html

  • http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/12/other-2012-christian-voters-guide.html Rick

    I agree with Todd – “Tattoos are about as counter-cultural these days as are women’s pants. Which is to say, not much at all. It’s not the 1960s anymore, folks.”

    We have our civil-rights being stripped away and the Constitution being shredded and we are talking about tattoos?

    Fellow believers, please wake up and smell the coffee – not necessarily in that order.

    The ‘Other’ 2012 Christian US Voters Guide

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/12/other-2012-christian-voters-guide.html

  • Pingback: Removing the past | La Vie Simple

  • Pingback: Removing the past | La Vie Simple

  • Paige

    Many people get tattoos and experience regret because the tattoo loses meaning or stretches and doesn’t look the same. There are ways of dealing with this regret, but everything on the Internet should not be trusted. I have many friends who have tried rubbing salt on their tattoos along with other harmful methods. It is sad to see people living with this much regret. If someone is this desperate they should seek a safe method for removal and think more carefully about what they get put on their skin in the future. Laser tattoo removal is the safest and most commonly used method. Some think this sounds harmful or painful, but it is not that bad. What they do not realize is that the laser does not get rid of the tattoo. Instead, it breaks apart the pigmented molecules in the skin so the white blood cells can get rid of them. The pain is bearable and tattoos can be completely removed without leaving scars. The number of treatments depends on the amount of ink in the skin so some may take longer to get rid of than others.
    This website does removals if you would like more information http://www.newlookhouston.com.

  • Paige

    Many people get tattoos and experience regret because the tattoo loses meaning or stretches and doesn’t look the same. There are ways of dealing with this regret, but everything on the Internet should not be trusted. I have many friends who have tried rubbing salt on their tattoos along with other harmful methods. It is sad to see people living with this much regret. If someone is this desperate they should seek a safe method for removal and think more carefully about what they get put on their skin in the future. Laser tattoo removal is the safest and most commonly used method. Some think this sounds harmful or painful, but it is not that bad. What they do not realize is that the laser does not get rid of the tattoo. Instead, it breaks apart the pigmented molecules in the skin so the white blood cells can get rid of them. The pain is bearable and tattoos can be completely removed without leaving scars. The number of treatments depends on the amount of ink in the skin so some may take longer to get rid of than others.
    This website does removals if you would like more information http://www.newlookhouston.com.

  • http://www.tattoomodern.com/ dorothy finch

    If you inked your self make sure that you think it twice. Well, if you have regrets about your tattoo then consult to your nearest tattoo removal shop


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