Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What does the Catholic Church teach about Tatoos?

QuestionTatoos have kind of been getting really popular at my school, and I don't know what to think. I know that somewhere in Leviticus it clearly states not to mark yourself with ink or engrave the dead in your skin, which makes sense from a Catholic mindset but not a Protestant one, due to their not seeing the connection between physical and spiritual. I also don't know for sure whether or not that passage was literal or just a metaphor for not forgetting that God made all, and takes all away, and that he should be our focus and not necessarily loved ones who've passed away. The biggest arguement I hear is, "Well if it's meaningful and I want to remember my grandma then why can't I?" Especially when most of these people are Protestants who don't get that connection between physical and spiritual. I don't want to be like the person in the one scripture who was supposed to alert the city of any invading armies and failed to do so, so the city was overthrown, but at the same time everyone should be free to do and act as they so choose right? What should I do when these kinds of conversations come up?

AnswerI'm pretty sure that Catholic don't take a stand either way on tatoos. Some funny moral things come from a group of protestants called 'puritans', who thought tatoos, playing cards, dancing, any alcohol whatsoever... that all these things were wrong. It's not founded in the Bible, and Jesus himself drank alcohol (obviously), King David danced (2 Sam 6:14), and some people even think St Paul haed a tatoo, because he said "Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus" (Gal 6:17). I seriously doubt that Paul had a tatoo, but there you go. Tatoos are not bad- alot of protestants think things are bad, but don't really know why. (Ever see the Simpsons where Homer and Bart go to Catholic Heaven? Gives you an idea!)

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