This entry is part 13 of 23 in the series Via Negativa

It is funny how a single verse in the bible can become so important to some people, important enough not to read or understand the context.

 You shall not eat anything with its blood. You shall not practice augury or witchcraft. 27 You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28 You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord. (Lev 19.26-28) 

Right, first of all the verse before deals with not cutting the hair on your temples, so if you want to ban tattoos first you need to give up the idea on those neatly trimmed sideburns. However I believe that is besides the point. The context talks about funeral customs where one custom was to cut yourself, to mark and scar your body if someone close to you died. The command is, don’t! Do not hurt yourself on the outside because you are hurting on the inside it is not in line with god’s initial aim.

If a sacrament is an outward sign of an inward grace, then scarring or marking your body because of pain is the opposite, it’s the outward sign of an inward hurt or curse.

That does not make tattoos evil, and it does not make tattooed people evil. Tattoos are pieces of art worn on the body. They are expressions of creativity and beauty, all divine qualities. A tattoo made with purpose to display a piece of who we truly are outside our skin therefore can be a sacrament: an outward sign of an inward grace!

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