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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. Bootyfunk

    i've seen a lot of great tattoo work and some that are absolutely amazing. it's not bad that she has tattoos, the bad part is her choice in tattoos just reinforces her christian cult membership.

    October 13, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
  2. ploj

    Honestly, I do not consider myself to be the greatest of all time. But what is my opinion against thousands of others?

    October 13, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  3. ploj

    Dodo, get lost.

    October 13, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • ploj

      Good golly. Where would the world be if not for the restraining influence of the holy spirit? Leave these animals, the atheists, to their own devices and you've got lord of the flies in ten seconds

      October 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • sam stone

        yet, you still aren't sucking on your sidearm....

        October 14, 2013 at 8:39 am |
      • berryrat

        Burning witches, banning books, and condemning others who a different. You have your share of problems as well.

        October 14, 2013 at 11:38 am |
  4. Ungodly Discipline

    My entire body is tattooed. 100%. It tells the entire story of the Bible. And no I am not shy, my penis is inked too and I do exhibitions in the nude for free by appointment.

    October 13, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      What would a man have inked on his penis, I'm curious. From the bible, you say?

      October 13, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Tower of Babel

        October 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Excellent

          October 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm |
        • Arlene Francis

          Hmm. I'm supposing the next thing you'll tell us is that when someone sees this thing, they immediately start speaking in tongues.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          They are speechless.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          do you still have your foreskin and does it function as a portcullis for the "tower"?

          October 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          No foreskin but my head is excellent for reaching unto heaven.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
        • J. Cheever Loophole

          Nobody has mentioned the song "Lydia, Oh Lydia. Lydia the Tattooed Lady"?

          Groucho's version of it is great!

          October 13, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Athy, you should go with a mural of the Last Supper I think.

        October 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
        • Apple Fresh

          Naturally.

          October 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Arlene Francis

      Including the parting of the Red Sea?

      October 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Yes, I twerk to enhance the experience.

        October 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
        • Arlene Francis

          Well don't twerk too hard or you'll be letting your people go too soon.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
        • Ungodly Discipline

          Let my people go!

          October 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i was thinking about having fairy tales tattooed on me too...

      October 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
      • Ungodly Discipline

        Always a good idea Booty.

        October 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • berryrat

      You should have gone with the Scooby Doo theme.

      October 14, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  5. berryrat

    The only difference between a religion and a cult is the number of followers.

    October 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  6. Chris

    Not sure why this woman thinks she needed a tattoo to set her self apart from anyone or any group. A person should be able to do that on their and not need to "brand" themselves to do so. I actually use my own mental memories to remember the good and bad times of my life – I dont need to tattoo my life on my body to remind myself – or am I that self-absorbed I think everyone I meet is interested in every facet of my past either. Most people with excessive tattoos are always trying to claim that their body art is their way of expressing themselves. Reality is, that excessive tattoos just makes them "that person with excessive tattoos" – the real person you are becomes hidden behind all your body art that really has no meaning or care to the people you are showing it off to. Tattoos may look cool when you are young and immature – unfortunately when you are no longer young, you wind up just looking dirty.

    October 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "Tattoos may look cool when you are young and immature – unfortunately when you are no longer young, you wind up just looking dirty."
      +++ luckily not everyone agrees with your bigoted view of tattoos. ask yourself why it bothers you soooo much. if that's how someone wants to express themselves, why do you feel the need to come down on them? you don't like how they look? they probably don't like how you look either.

      October 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  7. David D.

    I can tell the whole story of my life without turning my body into a human doodlepad.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      that definitely makes you better than her. grats.

      October 13, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • P.J.McK.

      After completing over 20 years of active service in the U.S.Navy, I have no tattoos.
      No DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR on one arm nor USN NEVER AGAIN on the other.
      Actually my interpretion of the message found in Leviticus 19:28 (even though I could argue from both sides) is simple: Do not get tattooed.

      October 13, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
      • thefightingmonk

        A sailor without tattoos is no big deal, squid.

        October 14, 2013 at 9:19 am |
  8. Ron

    "I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man.." ...I Timothy 2:12 The woman is a false teacher as she is not willing to submit to the clear instruction of the Word of God. A common occurance in this age of "falling away", and age of "strong delusion". I wish her the best in her spiritual journey, but not in this capacity.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Ron,

      The person with the highest IQ in the world is a woman who could run circles intellectually around you or me.

      Thanks for pointing out another example of how foolish the Bible is.

      October 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
      • Ron

        Observer, and?

        October 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
        • Observer

          The male chauvinistic Bible says not to let women teach men, but obvously the smartest person in the word, a woman, who could tell most men plenty.

          More ignorance from the Bible.

          October 13, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
      • Ron

        Observer, its not about IQ. The Bible teaches us that it was the woman who was deceived, and not the man, thereore she shall not teach or exercise authority over a man. This is part of the curse. Men toil at work. Woman suffer pain in child birth, and this is also part of the judgement passed out at the fall of mankind.

        October 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron

          "Observer, its not about IQ. The Bible teaches us that it was the woman who was deceived, and not the man, thereore she shall not teach or exercise authority over a man."

          Obviously it's not about IQ. Otherwise you wouldn't be so ignorant as to claim that ALL women are just like Eve. If so, Eve was obviously smarter than Adam.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • Doris

          " This is part of the curse. "

          Where are the vampires? This is boring. Hopefully you can round them up by Halloween.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
        • Alias

          Ron,
          You do know that this is the place in te bible where god changed his mind, right?
          First he blamed all unborn people with a sin we did not commit, then he did the whole kill his son thing to forgive us.
          Wouldn't it have saved a lot of thouble to have not slapped us all with that sin in the first place?
          i mean, shouldn't your all knowing god have seen this coming when the talking serpent entered the garden?

          October 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
        • Ron

          Alias, God is indeed all knowing. Some have trouble understanding the difference between knowing and causing. Certainly He knew what would happen, and certainly He knows what will come about, that in no way suggests that He causes the events.

          October 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
      • Murphy

        God loves everyone equally and when it comes to spreading the word of God its not gender biased like humans are we can put aside are hate or lack of understanding aside God is love and when you understand this one little truth then life seems a little bit better going out and saying things that push people away from God only hurt you in the long run let the people come to God on there own terms. Spouting out bible verses out of context is not how Christians should act.

        Be mindful that your relationship with Jesus is your own and no one else's we must love our enemies as well as our neighbors there is no room for hatred when it comes to God. We are all imperfect people no one is better then the next person we all have are own problems .

        October 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
        • AE

          Thanks, well put.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
        • Vic

          God bless you!

          October 13, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
        • sam stone

          what makes you think that you have any authority to speak for god?

          October 14, 2013 at 8:15 am |
        • Ron

          Murph, sounds nice, but its not biblical. "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I hated." Malachi 1:21/Romans 9:13.

          October 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Roger that

      If you have a wife, she must be one lucky lady.

      October 13, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
      • Ron

        Roger, my wife is a woman of God. And I thank God for her. Thank you for asking.

        October 13, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I wonder if your wife feels as lucky as you do. Personally, I'd rather be dead than married to a man so deluded as yourself.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
        • Ron

          Tallulah, thank you mam for your kind words. And remember, be careful what you wish for.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron,

          It's good for you that you were able to find a wife who has nothing that she can teach you.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
        • Ron

          Observer, let me help you out as Biblical Interpretation is not your strength. She is not to teach or excercise authority over a man in the setting of the Church. That is in a spiritual setting. Of course women have so very very much to offer all of us. But this is one area in which God has excluded them. I hope this helps.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron,

          "Of course women have so very very much to offer all of us. But this is one area in which God has excluded them."

          Of course, not even the smartest person in the world, a woman, could understand religion like the dumbest male.

          Makes sense, but that's to you.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Gee, Ron. I'm not making wishes. I live in reality. I leave the pretend stuff to christians.

          October 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
        • tallulah13

          And you know what? I'm being honest with you. I really would rather be dead than married to a man like you, or at least the man you present yourself to be.

          October 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          Has Ron explained, from his religion of male domination, why women are the weaker vessel?

          October 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
        • Ron

          Tallulah, sounds like you are protesting just a bit too much.

          October 16, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron,

          Are you claiming that you know more about religion than the person with the highest IQ likely does?

          October 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
        • Ron

          Oberserver, I am merely bringing the attention back to the instruction manual. If one says that they serve the Lord, shouldn't they then do what He says? Is this a tough concept to grasp?

          October 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron

          "If one says that they serve the Lord, shouldn't they then do what He says? Is this a tough concept to grasp?"

          It seems to be a tough concept for Christians to grasp. Many of them don't support slavery like the Bible does. Many of them don't beat defenseless children with rods to discripline them. Millions of them are HYPOCRITES who divorce and remarry. But don't give up hope. Many Christians do still ignore the Golden Rule and fellow adulterers and pick on gays instead.

          October 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
        • Ron

          Observer, try to stay on subject shall we? Your post has some truths as well as some distortions. I don't want to get into this again as we have already repeatedly. Your starting to sound like Bob, the one trick pony. Christians should stick to the Bible yes. Many don't, agreed.

          October 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron

          "Observer, try to stay on subject shall we? Your post has some truths as well as some distortions. I don't want to get into this again as we have already repeatedly. Your starting to sound like Bob, the one trick pony."

          So discussing MASSIVE HYPOCRISY and disgusting commands in the Bible should be ignored as a "one trick pony" even when completely true?

          October 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • thefightingmonk

      Paul wasn't Jesus.

      October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am |
      • Ron

        monk, tell us something we don't know, "Paul wasn't Jesus"...really? 1)Pauls wrote in The Holy Spirit, these are God's Words concerning this subject. 2)What were the names again of the women disciples that Jesus picked? Can you help me out here?

        October 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • G to the T

      You know it's generally agreed amongst scholars that that line from Timothy was a later forgery right? Your excluding half the population of the world just because one person didn't like how "uppity" the women folk were getting...

      October 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
      • Ron

        G, I woulnd't be suprised if it were "generally agree among scholars". That would be modern day scholars right? Those who are part of the falling away. Those who wish to sell books and preach sermons that don't touch on things that might offend men and women. No suprise there. But there are many such prohibitions in the New Testament concerning the teaching of women. By the way, how many of Jesus disciples were women? Is the Son of God not pc? Say it ain't so. lol

        October 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
        • Observer

          Ron,

          "By the way, how many of Jesus disciples were women?"

          None. Jesus obviously preferred the company of men.

          October 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  9. kmdguy

    Here's an idea: how about people's tattoos, hair color, choice of fashion and preference for sushi over pizza is their own personal preference, and we should find other things to do with our time, such as looking into the mirror and working on our own shortcomings.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Indeed

      I've been saying that about people's religions or lack there of for years.

      October 13, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
  10. Vic

    Just Observations:

    The title of the article has been changed.

    Also, I'm wondering, the filmstrip at the top of the webpage used to change about every month or so but not anymore.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Juan

      Can you imagine getting hired with this many tattoos? Well, at least she found a non secular job.

      Geez, even CNN news anchors don't have any visible tattoos.

      October 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
      • Brian

        That is the power of God. God's grace can reach to set the vilest sinner free!

        October 13, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
        • Juan

          How do you know she has been set free?

          October 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
        • Brian

          I don't know, I don't judge a book by its cover. We'll never know what is in a person's heart. Only God knows the truth about a person, all I know is this: God's grace can reach out to the hopelessly lost.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        • Francis

          @Brian, You don't need to judge a book by its cover. Have you read what she wrote?

          She says she swears and that is not a sign of someone that has been saved. You just don't continue to live a lifestyle that is not reflective of your faith. There are certain things that are deemed inappropriate even by worldly standards. Swearing is one of them. A person who calls themselves pastor has to be careful about the words that come out of their mouth, and are held to a much higher standard.

          October 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
        • Vic

          We are saved by the Grace of God through Faith ALONE in Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Savior, and apart from the works of the Law!

          https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/12/from-alcoholic-to-pastrix-a-story-of-faith-in-five-tattoos/comment-page-4/#comment-2635719

          October 13, 2013 at 10:04 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          My sins aren't extraordinarily vile. Is your God looking for something more challenging?

          October 13, 2013 at 10:07 pm |
        • Vic

          If you commit the sins of the entire world and you truly believe, He wipes them all clean; that's what the Lord Jesus Christ died for, He paid the price "In Full."

          October 13, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          The awesome power to forgive I do get more-or-less. But what does believing have to do with it?

          October 13, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
        • Vic

          Well, all what God wants from man (human) is to believe in Him. That is what's called Faith. Through Faith, you fully accept and receive the Gift of Salvation.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
        • Tom, Tom, the Other One

          But I don't need to believe in the people who might save me. Emergency aid workers, doctors and surgeons – they wouldn't require such a thing. Is it something your God is unable to do? Unconditional salvation.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • Vic

          If someone presents you with a gift, you can only receive it if you accept it.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
        • Doris

          I guess I don't really see the gift being presented. Maybe sometimes some people act like they are trying to convince me, but I'm not keen on second-hand gifts, I guess.

          October 13, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
        • Vic

          I wish you well!

          October 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          vic: interesting that you desire eternity with a being from whom you have to be saved

          sort of like a spiritual stockholm syndrome

          do you also flog yourself?

          October 14, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  11. nuckie

    I wanted to be edgy and different....to set myself apart from everybody else in the "crowd".

    So I did something really rebellious.....

    I did not get a tattoo.

    I feel sorry for people who think their stupid tattoos make them more "interesting" somehow. They don't.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  12. bostontola

    "We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected." Dalai Lama

    Much of religion is not testable so there would be no issue. But where there is conflict between millennia old dogma and modern science, it should be easy.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      As science, mathematics and philosophy advance, the "unknown" will become an ever smaller place for religion to hide.

      October 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  13. El Pibe

    Dont have nothing against tattooed people, but every time i see one i think: Murder, Mentally disorder, Hoooker, Drug Dealer, Person of no principals, Demonic Possessed...

    October 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • RC

      El Pibe, don't have othing against you getting your GED and practicing your spelling and grammar skills. And for your biblical quotes, did you know there were some 600+ Jewish laws handed down before Christ gave us the new covenant. Jewish laws which were never given to the Gentiles. The scripture you quote refers to cuttings and tattoos honoring the dead and/or false gods. Why don't you try "Judge not, lest ye be not judged".

      October 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
      • El Pibe

        RC – Though Christ cancelled the mosaic law, we can learn much about what God hates and what not from the way he dealt with them.
        There were times when the Egyptians tattooed the names or symbols of their deities on their breast or arms. By complying with Jehovah’s law not to disfigure their bodies, the Israelites would have stood out as different from other nations. (De 14:1, 2) The prohibition would also have impressed upon them a proper respect for the human body as God’s creation, to be used in honoring him.—Ps 100:3; 139:13-16; Ro 12:1.

        October 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          Why would Jesus cancel laws about things god hates? Does he no longer hate them?

          The biggest scam ever was convincing pagans they didn't need to be Jews to follow the teachings of Jesus.

          October 15, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • tallulah13

      So basically, you judge people by their appearance, not by their behavior. How very enlightened of you.

      October 13, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
      • El Pibe

        tallulah – I try not to judge by the appearance, but, tattooed people give a bad impression as soon as i see them.

        October 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
        • G to the T

          Translation – "I try not to... but I do anyways".

          Good luck with that!

          October 15, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • Not a Fan

        tallulah13,

        In reality, putting garish cartoons permanently and ostentatiously onto one's skin IS a "behavior". Of course it's not the only aspect to use to get to know another person, but it's something to put in the mix. I wouldn't go so far negative as El Pibe by any stretch, however.

        October 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
  14. jesus

    That is one rough broad, I wonder how many std she has.

    October 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • nuckie

      Yes. You should just like Jesus Christ. It must suck to be you.....

      October 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  15. El Pibe

    Gods view on tattoos:

    The Israelites were forbidden to engage in this practice, one that was common among some other ancient peoples. (Le 19:28) For example, there were times when the Egyptians tattooed the names or symbols of their deities on their breast or arms. By complying with Jehovah’s law not to disfigure their bodies, the Israelites would have stood out as different from other nations. (De 14:1, 2) The prohibition would also have impressed upon them a proper respect for the human body as God’s creation, to be used in honoring him.—Ps 100:3; 139:13-16; Ro 12:1.

    Lev 19:28 – "“‘And YOU must not make cuts in YOUR flesh for a deceased soul, and YOU must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves. I am Jehovah.

    October 13, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Vic

      Yeah but that was under the Old Testament Law (Mosaic Law.) As Christians, we are not under the Mosaic Law anymore.

      October 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
      • El Pibe

        Vic – You are right, though the way God viewed tattoos is the same how he views it now, " he doesn't change". Tattoos have a connection with demonism and false gods, and they are not health at all for your skin...

        October 13, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
        • G to the T

          Can't have it both ways. Either God wants you to obey Leviticus or he don't. If he don't, then he does indeed change.

          October 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
        • Vic

          God does not change but Time Dispensations change by God!

          We are in the Dispensation Of Grace and NOT the Dispensation Of The Law.

          October 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          Vic – that's some nice theological bait and switch but it doesn't really remedy the problem. The fact is that what ended up being the "orthodox" church was not what most of the earliest christians believed. But as they say, history is written by the victor. The only good reason you have for believing that is Paul, a man who never met Jesus and taught a religion that would have been very alien to Jesus in many respects.

          October 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • thefightingmonk

      Interesting. I hope you don't mix the fibers of your garments, or shave your beard, or trim your sidelocks, I hope that you are ok with polygamy. I hope that yo are ok with airing children on your dead brother's wife or wives. Why is it people get hung up on biblical references to tattoos, when you ignore the rest of the law (that doesn't pertain to Christians)

      October 14, 2013 at 9:13 am |
  16. ploj

    Hate? Lol!

    U r going to hell, forever, and we try to warn u, when no one else could care less

    October 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • Sai

      Feel good saying that? You are a poor Christian. Patrice what you preach and judge not.

      October 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  17. Vic

    In reference to the Reverend's 4th tattoo, Mary Magdalene, some Christians regard her as the first priest since the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to her first after and chose her to be the bearer of the news of His Resurrection.

    Earlier Comment Post:
    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/10/12/from-alcoholic-to-pastrix-a-story-of-faith-in-five-tattoos/comment-page-4/#comment-2635719

    October 13, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • El Pibe

      The First Priest came in a time where the true Christianity was dead, and a counterfeit form of Christianity was rising, bringing with it murderer, and false beliefs never taught by Christ!

      October 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  18. Alice

    This is awesome and I think women can find freedom in many things, including tattoos, reminds me of this woman who waited till her 40's to get her first tattoo, defying taboos... http://www.womenyoushouldknow.net/my-first-tattoo-43-year-old-good-girl-goes-rebel/

    October 13, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  19. AGNOSTICISM IS KNOWLEDGE

    Agnostic IS NOT atheist...not even close. Edify yourself before you continue to look like a fool to anyone with higher than a tenth grade education.

    October 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  20. Richard

    The lower classes need something to proclaim as "their art" since they haven't the intellect to appreciate real art.

    October 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • AGNOSTICISM IS KNOWLEDGE

      hmm well said. harsh, but eloquent 😀

      October 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        poor people lack intellect? you think that's eloquent? lol. i suppose you think you fall into the "higher class" group, right?
        the poverty level you are born into has nothing to do with intelligence. that you think it does shows more about your ignorance than people that live below the poverty line.

        October 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
        • KanneMe

          Nowhere in that comment does the writer either state or imply that people are in the "lower classes", as he refers to them, as a result of their birth. Ahem *politely looks away while whispering* "your ignorance is showing."

          October 13, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Agnosticism is actually indecision.

        October 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
        • berryrat

          Only a fool decides to know something he doesn't know.

          October 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Only someone who is indecisive considers an outlandish claim that has no supporting evidence and thinks, "hmm. Maybe. I don't know..."

          Should indisputable evidence that a god exists somehow surface, then I would believe. But since there isn't a single shred of evidence to support the existence of any of the thousands of gods humanity has believed in, then I'm going to go out on a limb and say that there are no gods. For the record, I don't believe in Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster or the existence of Hogwarts, either.

          October 13, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
      • berryrat

        Agnosticism literally means 'without knowledge'. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this point of view, but the actual meaning should be understood.

        October 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Arrogant presumption.

      October 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Beth Cousland

      And people who prop up themselves only by putting down othets?

      October 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      funny, i was thinking it was the rich and pompous that don't understand art. they get what's in a museum and nothing else.

      October 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
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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.