home
RSS
October 12th, 2013
08:50 PM ET

A journey of faith in five tattoos

Opinion by the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, special to CNN

(CNN) - The first tattoo I got was meant to set me apart from my conservative suburban Christian community, a way to signify “I don't belong to your tribe.”

Little did I realize that if I lived long enough I’d eventually become mainstream.

Tattoos now cover me from shoulder to wrist, but with the ubiquity of body art today, in many of the places I hang out I look more like a soccer mom than an outlaw.

Even the ill-advised and regrettable tattoos are part of my story, and ultimately, that’s what tattoos are: a way to wear stories–– our mistakes, celebrations, relationships, insights and losses–– on the skin.

Today, as an ordained Lutheran pastor, when I stand behind the altar table on Sundays and lift up the bread and wine and tell the story of the night Jesus gathered with his faltering friends for a meal that tasted of freedom, the arms that lift those common and holy things are themselves, common.

But they are covered in images of the holy.

These tattoos, both the Christian and decidedly non-Christian ones, tell the story of how I became who I am today. An unlikely lady preacher who loves Jesus a lot, but also swears a little.

1. The long-stemmed rose

It was 1986 and I was dating an older man when I got my first tattoo.

He was 20. I was in high school and not legally of age to do many of the things he introduced me to.

The biker dude at the tattoo shop didn’t ask my age. We were in and out of the dingy, little converted bungalow in half an hour. My body was forever altered. As was my attitude. The long-stemmed rose inked on my right hip set me apart. Now I. Was. An. Outlaw. The most Outlaw Church of Christ girl out there.

I don’t show a lot of people that very first tattoo. I tipped the scale at 236 pounds when I was pregnant with my first child, so that long-stemmed rose tattoo, which at the time was the self-affirmation of a really tall teenage girl, is now an unidentifiable blobby stretch mark which can easily double as a Rorschach test. So…what do YOU think this is?

2. The Peace Dove

I would get my second tattoo a year or two later after hitchhiking up Highway 101 to San Francisco from Pepperdine University, where I failed out after a single term, having succeeded more in impressing frat boys with my ability to drink like a man than in actually showing up for class.

I got a peace dove tattooed onto my ankle at the famous Lyle Tuttle Tattoo shop. I fancied myself a revolutionary at the time, and was getting arrested at protests–– when I was coherent enough to show up for them. I wanted to change the world but I had a hard enough time remembering to change my socks.

3. The Snake Goddess

When I was a young adult, everything felt like a crisis, as though my skin was letting too much in. Too many emotions and fears and threats and uncertainties.

I needed my skin to protect me, so I had tattooed on my arm an image of the Snake Goddess from a pre-historic Minoan society. She wore a long skirt, and was shirtless, and in each hand she held snakes above her head.

At 21, I needed to be strong and so I did the next best thing: I pretended I was. I claimed the strongest sacred image of a woman I could find, since my fundamentalist Christian upbringing had nothing helpful to offer in this area, and I knew I needed to borrow something from somewhere holy.

4. Saint Mary Magdalen

I got my first Christian tattoo in seminary: an image of Saint Mary Magdalen taken from Saint Alban’s Psalter, a 12th-century illuminated manuscript.

One hand is opened to heaven, while the other makes a pointing gesture as though to say “Shut the hell up, I have something to tell you.”

The other half of this depiction of Mary Magdalen announcing the resurrection did not fit on my arm. It’s a huddled mass of male disciples with befuddled looks on their faces, several of them pointing stupidly at scrolls.

I’d returned to the religion (but not the denomination) I was raised in, after 10 years searching elsewhere. I was struggling with my call to ordained Christian ministry for many reasons, including my own checkered past and a decidedly non-pastoral personality.

I started to study more about Mary Magdalen, again borrowing strength from a sacred female figure.

On my right forearm is the image of this deeply faithful, yet deeply flawed woman, who, like me, had been delivered from so much, and who had dropped everything to follow Jesus. Jesus, who loves like crazy and eats with all the wrong people and touches the unclean, chose Mary to be the first witness to his resurrection.

She was the one he chose to “go and tell”. Maybe to those more pious and good disciples, she seemed a questionable choice for the job. But Jesus is just like that.

5. The Liturgical Year

As a seminary graduation present to myself, my Snake Goddess was covered by the Advent image of a night sky from which the angel Gabriel announces to Elizabeth and Zechariah that they are going to have a bug-eating desert-dwelling baby boy: John the Baptist.

From this flows images of the church’s entire liturgical year. My arm has turned into a sort of stained-glass window telling the story of Jesus: a nativity for Christmas; Jesus in the desert for Lent; the Marys at either side of Jesus’ crucifixion for Good Friday; the angel and the women at the empty tomb for Easter; and Mary and the apostles with flames on their heads for Pentecost at my wrist.

I didn’t see it as a cover-up of the Snake Goddess as much as a layering of my story. My tattoos create a colorful confession of my journey to the cranky, beautiful faith I hold today.

The enormous image of the Annunciation currently in progress on my back that hides the black scratchy tattoo Jimmy the Junkie gave me in his living room….now that’s a coverup.

But that’s another story for another time.

The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir, "Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint," and the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Faith • Jesus • Opinion

soundoff (809 Responses)
  1. fullmanido

    Tattoos are unsanitary, they fade, and are generally for lower level individuals. Go ahead and flame, get another "tat", it won't make you more man/woman/presentable/successful. Tattoos are a lot like going on a diet and pasting the result on FB, nobody really cares. So get your "ink" done to look cool, hopefully you won't get hep c or Staph in the process, but don't worry, the tattoo artist with the bone in his/her/it's nose is probably completely sanitary. Go ahead losers, line up, ink up, dumb down. flame ahoy....

    October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • David

      "won't make you more man/woman/presentable/successful."

      The fact that there are so many successful people who have tattoos prove you don't know what you are talking about.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Minkowski

      Tattoos are more like wall art. They don't reflect anything about your efficiency or competence as a person, but they're good at displaying the fact that you're not a terrible boring person. Seeing a person with no tattoos is like walking into a house with no furniture or art: It's a sure sign of someone boring, spartan, and unwilling to take risks.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
      • tallulah13

        The problem with that is that you can change out wall art. A tattoo is (for the most part) forever. You'll only regret it if you don't choose wisely. I like tattoos, but you really should think before you ink.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • ms jackson

        Ornate tattoos end up looking like the results of flesh eating bacteria. Some of the most vibrant people out there wouldn't dream of staining their skin with prententions of coolness that will look like a moldy melanoma by the time their flesh turns to paper at around 35. Some of the dullest dullards out there are covered head to toe with faux personality.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • deadlyserious

          Man, I really want to come to your place and start judging you for any artwork on the walls. Better yet, just post your playlist up here, and we'll all have a good time telling you how awful you are.

          October 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • David Hoffman

        A physically fit human body in motion or at rest is a thing of beauty. The movement of skin, muscles, ligaments, and bones can be intoxicating to observe. There is absolutely no need for tattoos. The unadorned person could have traveled the Earth and helped to change society for the better. She could have gone into areas of despair and helped to alleviate suffering. No tattoos needed, yet very adventuresome and not boring at all.

        October 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      To address how misinformed you are, I had to break it down in order of least right arguments to closest-to-almost-having-a-point ones:

      1) You're going to get infected.
      Wrong. You will only put yourself at risk for infection if you go to some amateur's kitchen and let them scratch you with a dirty needle. The same way that you put yourself at risk for HIV transmission if you don't have safe [apparently this word is moderated] practices. This is a straw man argument, and it only applies to tattoos done by unlicensed amateurs or inmates.
      2) No matter what you think, your artist is unsanitary.
      Wrong again. If your artist is licensed, they use sterile equipment. Today, that usually means that all their needles are single-use. At the very least, it means that needles are auto-claved. Both of these sterilization protocols are the same things used for surgical instruments before use in an OR. (It's also worth noting that if they do have a pierced septum, they were probably pierced using equally sterile equipment.)
      3) Tattoos are for "lower" people.
      Tattoos have gone through many phases in many different cultures, but a simple survey of modern-day Americans shows you to be completely wrong. People of all races, income levels and backgrounds have ink. They all have it for different reasons. But by all means, tell the Marine who just got back from Iraq that he's lower than you. I'm sure that will end well.
      4) Your ink will fade.
      Over a long period of time, this may be true, but that's what touch-up sessions are for. And you'll need far fewer touch-ups when you have a good artist the first time around.

      You may find that the best cure for your ignorance is education. But since you seem to have only a desire to troll online message boards, this post is more for the people who would make the mistake of taking your ranting seriously.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • sbgob82

        I think some people would rather be ignorant than admit they're wrong.

        This day and age, I cannot believe anybody as the opinion that all tattoo artists are going to give people Staph (seriously, even look at statistics... how many people have tattoos and have never had infections?!). Also, what's with this "generally for lower level individuals" nonsense...? I'm assuming this individual hasn't been outside in the world for a while...

        October 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Marc

      Loosely veiling your excuse to think you're better then everyone else in a fear tactic that has little to no fact to it.... "Lower level individuals"? Really?
      Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.
      — ABRAHAM LINCOLN.

      October 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Observer

    I know personally that AvdBerg has told lies about me on here and made false claims.

    Peddle your hypocrisy elsewhere.

    October 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Lionly Lamb

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9hS14rltSY&w=640&h=360]

    October 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  4. tallulah13

    This person makes me sad. They don't learn, they don't grow, they don't do anything except take a screen name based on a really stupid slogan from the sixties, then post the same obvious lie over and over again.

    The claim has been debunked hundreds of times by now, yet this person continues to post it. This is faith? No thank you. I'd rather learn and know the truth than stubbornly (desperately?) cling to an obvious lie.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Truth never changes and there are two wonderful Truths there, first atheism as we all know is useless and second God is available.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
      • TrollAlert

        You know when the person steals another persons handle they are simply a troll and not even a Christian.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Truth is never ever trolling and you can't "steal" an alias an alias is already a theft.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  5. bostontola

    "The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church", Magellan

    October 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Wise man.

      Faith based religion correctly predicts nothing. It is a failed hypothesis followed by madmen out of fear of their own mortality that they hide from like children.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • bostontola

        Religion, like philosophy fails to match up with reality. Philosophy at least adheres to logic, it fails in it's premises. Religion fails in it's premises and is illogical in it's deductions and conclusions (doctrine and dogma).

        October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
        • TominVA

          Which religion? Which faith? What premises? Not all are the same. A Jeep and a Camry both have four wheels but only one will take you off road and cross country. I'm not knocking science. I can't – ten hours under the knife for cancer – I'm a huge fan of science. But people, including scientists, flatter themselves that they live their lives logically and scientifically, when in truth, the do just as good a job of making a mess of their lives as anyone else. This is where faith plays a vital role, but not all faiths are the same. Some lead to great acts of kindness and better lives and some do not.

          Faith is real. It's a part of who humans are. If we are products of evolution – and I don't doubt it – then isn't faith? And if that's the case, why not embrace it, especially if it's a faith that spurs us towards better lives, better relationships, and a better world? Perhaps it's reality that needs to match up with religion – but not just any religion.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
        • bostontola

          Tom,
          All religions and philosophies I've studied.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
        • TominVA

          Which ones have you studied?

          October 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
        • ScottCA

          Philosophy meets reality quite well, it is the root of our logic, it correctly matches and predicts a great many things. Rational deduction stems from philosophy and our understanding of the stream of perceptions entering our minds. To understand this stream of perceptions there are only two choices, abandonment of reason for insanity and denial of the world around us, or to try and navigate and understand that world through predictive power and observation.

          Religion however predicts nothing.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • bostontola

          Which religion or philosophy do you think has a sound foundational premise. Which religion do you think is logically sound?

          October 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • bostontola

          Scott,
          I said philosophy uses logic and I agree that it set it on good footing. If you use perfect logic on speculative premises, you still end up with false conclusion (usually). Every philosophy I've seen starts with speculative premises. Science averts that by not worrying about truth, it worries about hypotheses that match test results and predicts new results that can be tested.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • ScottCA

          "Some ethnic groups practice ritual mutilation, e.g. circ- u-mcision, scarification, burning, flagellation, tattooing, or wheeling, as part of a rite of passage. In some cases, the term may apply to treatment of dead bodies, such as soldiers mutilated after they have been killed by an enemy.

          The traditional Chinese practices of língchí and foot binding are forms of mutilation that have captured the imagination of Westerners, as well as the now tourist centered "long-neck" people, a sub-group of the Karen known as the Padaung where women wear brass rings around their neck. The act of tattooing is also considered a form of self-mutilation according to some cultural traditions, such as within Christianity and Islam. A joint statement released by the United Nations and numerous other international bodies opposes female genital cutting (female circ- u-mcision) as a form of mutilation. Whether or not male circ -u-mcision amounts to mutilation is a subject of active academic debate.

          Castration is also a form of mutilation."

          Tattooing is but mutilation. If someone is considering getting one, they should speak with a therapist about their urge to mutilate their own body.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • ScottCA

          Tattooing is but mutilation. If someone is considering getting one, they should speak with a therapist about their urge to mutilate their own body.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          ScottCa
          Why are you so upset about someone that is NOT you getting a tattoo? Yes, technically it is a form of mutilation ( a very mild form). So is any form of piercing, cutting or dying your hair, getting laser or electroloysis to make hair stop growing, or to go further, trimming you toenails, or even taking a medication ( since it changes you from the inside)

          Next time you go and eat something that is not healthy for you, ask yourself why you are mutilating yourself, before you ask why another would do it to themselves.

          Personnally, I think ALL tattoos are ugly, so I will never get one.

          October 13, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
  6. Really?

    "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things"

    That's why the data, has shown that atheists have happier and healthier lives than conservative Christians. Your post is built on a lie!

    October 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Atheists have brutally tortured and murdered more innocent people in the last 100 years than were killed in all previous centuries. Leave it to a so called atheist to call mass murder healthy.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • bostontola

        "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Steven Weinberg

        October 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Pete

        Leave to someone who doesn't know the difference between atheism and totalitarian. It was about totalitarian. They sought total authority, which means getting rid of religions which would compete with that authority. The pursuit of atheism was not the cause for the bloodshed; it was the pursuit of control over a people. Duh!

        October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • jharry

        Not even close when you total up slaughter. Religion is far more destructive.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • bostonola

        leave it to a so called atheist to endorse mass murder as a simple misdeed.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • Observer

        Do the math behind mass murder we find atheism. The nonbeliever unrestrained by Truth has murdered billions including many victims wherein the so called atheist has lied as to religious affiliation.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
      • David

        "leave it to a so called atheist to endorse mass murder as a simple misdeed."

        Leave it to a troll to demonstrate poor reading comprehension.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • David

        "Do the math behind mass murder we find atheism. The nonbeliever unrestrained by Truth has murdered billions"

        Religions have killed billions too, so your pathetic argument is moot.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Observer

        (Gen. 7:21) “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and ALL HUMAN BEINGS”

        God killed ALL HUMAN BEINGS according to the Bible.

        No atheist ever came REMOTELY close.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • bostontola

        People who copy another's handle are cowards. Being an itellectual coward is about the worst thing you can be on a blog. Not only that, the person above is incompetent. Loser.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Observer

        Leave it to believers to call the mass murder of ALL HUMAN BEINGS healthy.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Observer

        Clarification: Atheists have mass murdered not believers, remember it is the Bible that says thou shalt not kill. Believers revere life so called atheists murder by the billions. Abortion( the murder of children) is the product of atheism.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Observer

      You are crediting a lying atheism as religion Dave research your comment you'll find a filthy atheist in the wood pile. The billions killed were all by so called atheists many hiding behind religion. Atheists are not restricted by the Truth , atheists ignore Truth.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
      • Observer

        Believers ignore truth. They just pick and choose what they like from the Bible and IGNORE the rest. That's why so many of them are pure HYPOCRITES.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Observer

        And if there is one thing I know it is hypocrisy as I've been a major hypocrite all my life.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  7. ephemeroptera1

    Religion is not healthy for the world!

    October 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  8. Observer

    (Gen. 7:21) “And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and ALL HUMAN BEINGS”

    Tough luck, kids,

    Tough luck to other living things, too. God never said what your "sin" was. Millions and millions of animals slaughtered.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Oooops my bad I've tried to push the lie again ... how many are fooled by me this time?

      October 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Observer

        100% TRUTH about what the Bible says. It was an EXACT quote.

        Only LYING here is done by you claiming you are someone else.

        Reported.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Observer

        Well not quite a direct quote but then if it was in Hebrew who would understand it. This way I can continue to disregard Truth and appear as smart as I want to be.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
      • Observer

        "Observer",

        Read a Bible someday so you'll have a clue what that verse says.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • devin

      Once again, you conveniently leave out Gen 6:5, you know, that little blurb about "the thoughts of all men being evil continually"

      October 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  9. Richard Cranium

    It accomplishes just as much as thinking about doing something.
    It is only when you actually do something that anything changes.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      A good man prays
      A great man acts on prayer

      October 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Ahhh. The name thief is back....good to know I've got your attention.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • ScottCA

        And an intelligent man just skips the prayer part completely, and just acts upon what is logical.

        Prayer has absolutely no measurable effect in the world, besides a placebo effect. You can generate the same effect by simply giving someone a fake sugar pill and telling them its a magic medicine that will heal all their problems.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        An alias can't be stolen.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        That is false. If you aren't intentionally taking someone else's name to post false posts, you might have a point, but since your intent is nefarious, you are a name stealing troll.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        An alias isn't a name.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
  10. Jesus

    Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

    An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

    The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!!

    October 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • nope

      @phony jesus
      nope

      October 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • JKM

      I pray for the right doctor to take my kid to see: so far 100% successful! Prayer does not in and of itself have any efficacy in the world–but listening to the answer and ACTING on has always worked for me. You cannot assume that people who sit and pray but then don't do anything are representative of the great majority of faith filled people. I do know pray works–when I go to work after praying. No one can prove God does or does not exist–but talking directly to him has convinced me personally. I have 2 masters degrees and see everything the world represents as "facts" as being the most likely story that most people are likely to believe–sounds like religion to me. I just don't have to wait for the sub-sub-sub atomic particles to show up to turn me on my head. Remember how it used to be a fact that radiation was safe? Or smoking was good for your health–it made you thin! Or that carbon dating could not be faked or manipulated–it was 100% perfect. Please don't pretend that because you believe some philosophy that other people believe en masse that it makes you any different from my christian group. We accept something as being real, and we feel we are better for it. How is your "non-religious" belief in "facts" any different?

      In the end, if I am wrong and this life is all there is–at least I will never have to admit you were right. If we find another plane of existence you are the only one that will have to worry... Good luck with that.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  11. ScottCA

    Indeed it does, it changes an otherwise rational adult, into an immature delusional maniac, speaking with invisible friends whom do not exist.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • nope

      @scoutca
      nope

      October 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
      • Yup

        @nope
        yup

        October 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
  12. ephemeroptera1

    If you are going to get a tattoo, at least get a high quality artist. Most of the tattoos are of poor quality. Fat lines, poor curves, cartoon looking figures. You get what you pay for.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Not a Fan

      I agree. I have seen very few that are not garish caricatures.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No kidding. There's some pretty dodgy work there, and it's only going to look worse as she ages.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Eddie

    Could we maybe chill out with the hate and judgment here? Especially the Christians. Whenever I tell someone that I'm a Christian, I'm tired of having to explain why so many of us are so nasty and mean all the time. That doesn't reflect Christ or his love. Some of us are persecuted for our beliefs, but most of us these days are disliked for being judgy, hypocritical jerks. Please stop it.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Morality is arrived at through logic, not through fictional delusional stories about genocidal, infanticide, murderous, hateful deities.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
      • common sense

        Without God there is no logic.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
        • ScottCA

          Rational deduction requires no god, it requires only predictive power.

          Faith based religion fails to correctly predict anything. It is a failed hypothesis. It is a failed hypothesis.

          October 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • Mr. Spock

          That statement is illogical.

          October 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • common sense

          Without God the is no you therefore there is no logic from you.

          October 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
        • ScottCA

          I assure you my existence is in no manner evidence for any deities existence.
          It is excellent evidence of the natural process of evolution and DNA.

          But there is no evidence to support any deity had any role in my existence, nor that of the universe, which shows absolutely no signs of being designed, but instead has features that are quite the opposite to design.

          October 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
      • Eddie

        So, by what logic do you have the right to call her a lunatic? Do you live your life perfectly?

        October 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
        • Fallacy Spotting 101

          Post by 'Eddie' is a form of ad hominem fallacy.

          http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

          October 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Morality is arrived at through logic, not through fictional delusional stories about genocidal, infanticidal, murderous, hateful deities.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I generally don't have a problem with people of faith (as long as they aren't trying to legislate their beliefs or harm others with them) but this blog is a place where we can speak freely, and I suspect it's quite cathartic for a lot of people, atheist and christian alike.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  14. Emily Litella

    What's all this I hear about people putting down tattoos? They are a wonderful way to celebrate military traditions, and a great time to show your pride in your traditions. The last tattoo I went too even had an airshow. What's so wrong about that. This woman should be allowed to attend any tattoo she wants to.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • ScottCA

      It is her body and she is bares the right to mutilate it as she sees fit, but make no mistake it is mutilation.

      It shows a terrible dissatisfaction with herself that she has chosen to mutilate herself in this manner. She would have done well to have sought therapy, before mutilating her body in this horrific manner.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Emily Litella

        But what does that have to do with her going to a Tattoo. All of the ceremony and music, marching bands...they are a lot of fun and a great way to share traditions. Why should you to not attend any Tattoo she wants to?

        October 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • ephemeroptera1

        I see people mutilating their bodies everyday coming in and out of McDonald's and similar restaurants. At least tattoos do not cause diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and a variety of other health problems (assuming they are done at a reputable, regulated business).

        October 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
        • ScottCA

          Getting fat although not entirely healthy does not qualify for mutilation. The body naturally gains weight, no mutilation is required to gain weight.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
      • Jonas

        Mutilation? If you want to call it that fine, but people have been expressing themselves this way since the beginning of time. It does not show a great dissatisfaction of one self at all moron. Get a grip on your morals. It is expression through art. It tells a story. Your close mindedness must be like a slab a granite.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
        • ScottCA

          people have been mutilating themselves for a long time, and psychologist and anthropologists understand the reason for it.

          It is most commonly in these societies a means of gaining entry to a group through sacrificial mutilation that others will be hesitating or unwilling to commit. It is a dramatic sign of commitment to a social group.

          In todays society though it is often far more personal and an overt act of self-mutilation, due to ones own dissatisfaction with their own appearance or lack of sense of self worth.

          Military tattoos are the traditional kind as a sign of commitment to a group for solidarity, through the very act of self mutilation to display it.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        • Look Up

          ScottCA,

          Look up "military tattoo".

          ------------------------------

          Emily Littella,

          Hilarious, but it looks like you have gone over their heads...

          October 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
      • Emily Litella

        I have been to many Tattoos and I have never once seen any mutilation. They are a wonderful tradition, and a lot of fun to see all of the groups show off their stuff.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • Look Up

          Yeah, "The plane! The plane!"

          October 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • ScottCA

          It is by definition mutilation of the body.

          "Some ethnic groups practice ritual mutilation, e.g. circ-u-mcision, scarification, burning, flagellation, tattooing, or wheeling, as part of a rite of passage. In some cases, the term may apply to treatment of dead bodies, such as soldiers mutilated after they have been killed by an enemy."

          Notice the inclusion of tattooing. Psychologists and Anthropologists have been aware for quite some time of this form of mutilation.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
        • ScottCA

          It is by definition mutilation of the body.

          "Some ethnic groups practice ritual mutilation, e.g. circ -u -mcision, scarification, burning, flag-ella-tion, tattooing, or wheeling, as part of a rite of passage. In some cases, the term may apply to treatment of dead bodies, such as soldiers mutilated after they have been killed by an enemy."

          Notice the inclusion of tattooing. Psychologists and Anthropologists have been aware for quite some time of this form of mutilation.

          October 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
        • Look Up

          It would be fun if Tattoo got a Tattoo at a Tattoo!

          October 13, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • ScottCA

      It is her body and she bares the right to mutilate it as she sees fit, but make no mistake it is mutilation.

      It shows a terrible dissatisfaction with herself that she has chosen to mutilate herself in this manner. She would have done well to have sought therapy, before mutilating her body in this horrific manner.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I don't think they're getting it, Emily. Secondary, obscure definitions are lost on a lot of people anymore. As are the names and skits of old SNL characters.

      October 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
      • Emily Litella

        Nevermind....

        October 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Yeah Emily...good for a laugh though

        ScottCA is clearly not reading before postinig....hook, line and sinker

        October 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  15. Reality # 2

    A tattooed Lutheran cleric ? What sayest thou RB?

    October 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  16. ScottCA

    Not surprised to see one type of lunacy lead to another. A delusional religious maniac mutilating her body.

    Faith based religious people are all dangerously out of touch with sanity.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  17. Jon

    What is the point in any faith? They are ALL myth and based on the same thing – astronomy. I prefer to worship the spaghetti monster. Sure it's silly. But at least we Spaghetti Monster followers aren't foolish enough to actually believe it...unlike the people who follow the "mainstream" religions and are coo coo for "god". Now, eat your spaghetti and praise the spaghetti god you sinners.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      You have no place in this blog.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
      • Jon

        You have no place on this earth.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
      • Robert

        Neither do you.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Of course he has a place on this blog, Rainer. We have the right to free speech. You can spew your religious nonsense, we can respond however we please. Your faith is not universal and it does not make you special. It just makes you believe you are special.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
      • David

        " It just makes you believe you are special."

        That speaks volumes about Rainer's over inflated ego.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Why does he have no place on this blog rainman? Because his beliefs are less valid than yours?

        October 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • devin

      I imagine on some level that silly rant makes you feel better about yourself.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Just as your snippy little comment here makes you feel better about yourself.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
      • devin

        "Snippy" I like that.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
  18. tallulah13

    Yes, Rainer. We know you think you know more about god than god himself. Do you ever have a problem getting your massive ego through the door?

    October 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      I only want to share the Christian faith according to the New Testament. Furthermore I agree with Luther, Bonhoffer, Augustine, John of Damascus, etc.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
      • tallulah13

        And I would like to share with you that there is no evidence at all that your god exists. There is no evidence at all that any god exists. Your beliefs are nothing more than a fiction that pleases you. You have nothing to offer people who dwell in the real world.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Pete

        "Superfluous."

        Exactly your god is not needed! Glad we agree.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
      • devin

        tallulah

        For the past 6 million years there has been no evidence that the Higgs boson particle has existed either. What exactly is your point?

        October 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Dev? The Higgs boson particle does not demand that you worship it. Millions of people haven't been killed in it's name.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • devin

      How perceptive of you to have the ability to decipher he is being egotistical. You must be clairvoyant. Agree or disagree, the man simply stated his beliefs.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • tallulah13

        You must be new here, devin. Rainer frequently posts his opinion as if he is the only authority on god. I am only stating what I have witnessed, time and again.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
      • devin

        Nope, not new, just not as habitual as some others. My guess is, what you perceive to be ego is actually conviction, two entirely different animals.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
      • tallulah13

        When someone ignores facts (historical and scientific) and keeps preaching the same erroneous comments as if he is the only one who knows the answers (especially when those "answers" are based on belief in something for which there is no evidence) then, yeah. I'll happily call it ego.

        October 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
  19. Ink'd

    I can see by the comments, ignorance is running a muck, especially among the judging christian nut's.

    October 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Jon

      Ignorance is always running a muck when it comes to religious people.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Faith based religion is an act of ignorance.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
  20. Richard Cranium

    Yes we get it rainman...anyone who does not think the same about christianity is wrong and you are right. No true Scotsman always at the ready, right rainman?

    October 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      I only want to share a truth which helped me personally. It is not about right and wrong.

      October 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • Robert

        Obviously it didn't help you, that's the point.

        October 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Since you have no proof, truth is the wrong word. You mean belief. Why do you always get that wrong?

      October 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.