Call to readers: Why do you dislike tattoos?

My recent Irrational Arguments Against Tattoos post was intended to discuss some of the most commonly used, although admittedly weak, arguments against tattoos.

I received the following comment in response to that post:

This blog is clearly confirmation bias where the author is attacking the lowest common denimator’s opinion against tattoos rather than real issues people have with tattoos, their culture, and the conformity of anti-conformity. If you want people to care about what you write, you shouldn’t pick on the weak arguments.

I will be the first to admit that this blog is biased in favor of tattoos. But if these 10 arguments are the weak ones, where are the strong arguments?

How do you honestly feel about people with tattoos?
What is it about tattoo culture that bothers you?
Do you still think that tattoos are a form of anti-conformity?
Is the Bible, specifically Leviticus 19:28, the cause for your dislike of tattoos?

I want to hear from anyone who dislikes tattoos. Pass this link along to anyone who you think can provide a valid, strong argument against tattoos.

Either leave a comment on this post, or visit my contact page to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you and will respond to any issue that is brought up.


Quoting Leviticus at the most inappropriate time

Over the last few days I have noticed someone named Elijah Greenleaf has left this comment, or some variation of it, in response to almost every single tattoo article I read.

Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:28. Tattoos are on the people who didn’t get the word of the Lord!

I have come to expect someone to quote Leviticus every time tattoos are mentioned, so this isn’t really a shock to me. But the latest article he responded to was a very touching story of a family who lost a 6 year old child to cancer and all got tribute tattoos. You can read that story here.

The first and only comment so far is from Elijah, spouting his coveted Leviticus quote, condemning tattoos. I cannot think of a less appropriate time to shove scripture down someone throat. I find this complete lack of compassion to be absolutely disgusting. A family is mourning the death of a child and you think the appropriate response is to condemn them for getting tattooed, all in the name of the Lord?

Would you show up to a funeral and harass everyone wearing a suit made from 2 kinds of fabric?

“‘Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. -Leviticus 19:19

There is a time and a place for everything. Throwing the bible in the faces of a family in mourning is NOT the time. Show some respect, because you are making yourself and your religion look bad.

What happened to this passage:

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. -Leviticus 19:18

Oh, I must have forgotten about the fine print where it says that says this rule doesn’t apply if your neighbor happens to be gay, has tattoos or believes in another god. How foolish of me.


10 Irrational Arguments Against Tattoos and my Responses to Them

Note to readers: If you have anything else to add to this list, please contact me. I want to hear your reasons for disliking tattoos since these are apparently just weak arguments from “the lowest common denominator” of people with negative opinions of tattoos.

I see a lot of arguments, questions or statements used against tattoos that really don’t make any sense at all. I am going to highlight 10 that I hear over and over again and explain why they are irrational.

  1. Would you put a bumper sticker on a Ferrari?
  2. Another variation is “Why put a bumper sticker on a Bentley?”

    My reaction to this question used to be something along the lines of, “It’s my Ferrari, and I’ll put a bumper sticker on it if I want to.” But, the more I think about the analogy, the less sense it actually makes.

    The Ferrari is obviously supposed to represent the human body. Every person on the planet has a body, and skin with space for tattoos. A Ferrari is an exotic sports car that a very, very small percentage of people on this earth can actually afford. How can the two even be compared? I am not a car, I am a living, breathing, thinking being.

    If a bumper sticker on a Ferrari is bad, how about a tattooed Ferrari?

    Or a Ferrari tattoo?

  3. What will happen when you get older?
  4. People use this argument from 2 general angles. First, they attack the way tattoos will age as your skin ages and wrinkles.

    My skin will sag and wrinkle in the same way regardless of whether I have tattoos or not. Fine details in a tattoo may become obscured and colors may fade, but tattoos do not run like wet paint and can always be touched up if necessary.

    With advances in ink, the days of black tattoos turning into unidentifiable green blobs are long gone and modern tattoos generally age very well if taken care of properly.

    The other thing I often hear is, “You are going to be embarrassed by your tattoos when you are old and in a nursing home.”

    Considering the fact that close to 40% of people in my age group have tattoos, if I do end up in a nursing home when I’m older, I expect to be in good company, surrounded by others with tattoos. We can sit around sharing stories about our ink and reminiscing about our youth. Some may even continue getting tattooed, no matter how old they are.

  5. People with tattoos are all just sheep, following the herd.
  6. [Read more…]


A fun little debate about tattoos and the bible

An article about a tattoo parlor ban being lifted in Plant City, Florida leads to a lengthy discussion of tattoos and the bible. This is another fine example of cherry picking bible verses to help fuel an anti-tattoo argument. The end result was one of the most ridiculous tattoo debates that I have ever taken part in.

I’m not sure if I have ever experienced someone helping me prove my own point in their argument against me, but it happened here. I responded to the Lev 19:28 quote in the way I usually do by bringing up some of the other obscure laws, like cutting your hair and trimming your beard, and reinforcing the idea that they are all to be taken in the context of pagan rituals. He copies and pastes a tirade found on another website which explains exactly the point I was trying to make.

One of the silliest and childish arguments to justify the Christian tattoo is the: “Hey man, do you get a haircut or trim your beard? God condemned getting a haircut or trimming your beard in the verse before forbidding the tattoo. Dude, the tattoo is the same as getting a haircut.”
Believe it or not . . . this is a widely used argument.
Leviticus 19:26-28 is a clear condemnation of pagan, witchcraft and heathen practices. Look at the context. Verse 26 is plainly referring to “enchantment [spells or witchcraft] nor observe times [astrology]. . . Verse 28 is the pagan, demonic practice of bloodletting [cuttings in your flesh] and tattooing. Why would the Lord stick in the middle a verse that “condemns simply getting a haircut”? Of course, He wouldn’t. . . And He didn’t.

So, he clearly has an understanding that the laws of leviticus are speaking about pagan rituals. Yet he expects me to believe that the one mention of a tattoo “…has no reference to idolatrous usages, but was intended to inculcate upon the Israelietes a proper reverence for God’s creation.” The is the epitome of cherry picking from the bible. You can’t refute an entire passage, claiming that it is being taken out of context, then take a fraction of one sentence from that passage and claim that it applies universally, and the context is irrelevant. This has to be one of the most absurd arguments I have ever heard.

But, perhaps the most shocking and disturbing part of it all was his response to this question:

Do you also believe that we should gather as a community and stone to death anyone who curses the name of god? Let’s not forget that if a man cheats on his wife, or vise versa, both the man and the woman must die.

His response:

Answer: Yes I do … If you knew that your sin would be made public and that the public would stone you for it would you do it ? Do you see how this would be a deterrence to our Society today?? That’s why God established it then….

So, tattoos are forbidden, but public stoning is a great idea as a deterrent to crime. I guess we should just start using the death penalty for petty crimes. That will teach those criminals a real lesson.

He goes on and on for a while, spouting enough random scripture from the bible to “”save” the entire world”. Yes, he actually said that. He also continued to insist that tattoos are a pagan ritual and “If you practice a PAgan ritual I;E Tattooing it makes you a pagan … ” I conveniently reminded him that if he was married and wore a wedding ring, that he himself had participated in a pagan ritual, but at that point he had already thrown in the towel and gave up trying to argue with me and moved onto some of the other tattoo supporters that started to chime in.