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My mom always mentions tattoos when she discusses Christianity. I can hear her now, “It doesn’t matter if you have a tattoo of a bible scripture, a cross or Jesus himself: if it states in the bible that your body is God’s temple, why would you think that it is okay to get a tattoo?” I’ve heard the arguments of people who say that it is not clearer stated in the bible. My views were always that there were other things to worry about other than what someone else does to their body and I’ve always liked nice tattoos.

The only time that I really wanted a tattoo was when I was 17 and the taste of adulthood was within my grasps. I remember wanting a sleeve down my right arm. At the time it would’ve been hearts, stars, and a bunch of other meaningless stuff. Looking back, I laugh because I know that I would have regretted it shortly after. First, because none of it had any significant purpose in my life besides aesthetics and second because I knew I wanted to go somewhere in life and tattoos would hinder me.

Today, I understand how my mother feels because I’ve heard the explanation from Christians -or at least those who claim to be Christians. Some feel like they are displaying their love for God by getting something permanent on their bodies. (Uh, God didn’t ask you to mark up your body to prove your love for him though, all you have to do is obey him and not get a tattoo at all).

Whether God disapproves of tattoo/body desecration because he knew diseases like aids would come along, because he knew that most of us would live to regret them, or simply because they take away from the beautiful bodies that he created. I understand why my mother has a harder time with Christians having religious-related tattoos more than any other kind.