Tattoos - Are the godless more likely to enhance what nature started?

I'm curious what other people think. Are the nonreligious more likely to tattoo?

For me, the timing for getting some more ink was about the same time as I started asserting godlessness more clearly, but I don't think that the 2 were causally related.

I carry the bee that Ferdinand the Bull sat on, leading to his misadventure in the bullring; and some additional ink. The Bee had special meaning, plus it fit on my calf better than Ferdinand himself would.


There probably won't be any more for me. I'm curious about the stories that others have to tell about their ink, and if godlessness has anything to do with it.

Searching A|N, I did not find a discussion on this topic.

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okay, ex punker from 25 years ago who doesn't understand tattoos. awesome.

"many patients who have no job, money and on "disability" or welfare can afford some really beautiful tattoo body art"

yeah, because they're brand new tattoos and they're splitting their income between drugs and tattoos, HA! Have you looked at the tattoos? they'd be murky as shit, old, decrepid, AND even if they weren't, perhaps they had more money at one stage in their life than another, and maybe that point in their life happens to be now?... come on, I'd like to think by joining this site I'd be able to hear opinions from people who live outside their own box.

I'd add tattoos to your list of many other things it sounds you don't get.
There are some people that follow trends and get say tribal tattoos that were popular in the early 90s, and there are some people that get tattoos because they always want to be reminded of something. You stated, “people who choose to tattoo and pierce still have a sheep like mentality by following trends that might be cool now” (very Christian of you). Doing something because everyone else is doing it is being a sheep, even if you were NOT getting a tattoo because of the stigmata of it; but doing something TO YOURSELF for your own personal reasons shows autonomy.
I've never understood the appeal of tattoos. I'm not against them, I just don't have any personal desire to get one. It is the same with piercings, jewelry, etc. To paraphrase what George Carlin said about flags, I consider tattoos to be a symbol and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.

I don't think there is any connection to religion, though.
Not surprising, there are a couple of camps on this topic. I remember my grandfather's tattoos - he was in the Philippine-American war in the early 1900s. Both arms had several visible tattoos. I remember him as being quite wise and funny. He was in no way mentally ill, or a fringe-thinker, he was just an amazing, cool guy with some history and some tattoos.

I know a number of people with body art. Most are fairly nonconformist in most ways, but I wouldn't suggest that a tattoo indicates mental illness, criminality, or unsavory profession - that would mean a third of the "gen Next" generation is mentally ill. As opposed to boomers who are not? Here is a Pew research study report stating the following 2 conclusions (among many more):

"About half of Gen Nexters say they have either gotten a tattoo, dyed their hair an untraditional color, or had a body piercing in a place other than their ear lobe. The most popular are tattoos, which decorate the bodies of more than a third of these young adults.

One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. And just 4% of Gen Nexters say people in their generation view becoming more spiritual as their most important goal in life. "

Here is some more data, although from a source with possible bias.
My first exposure to tattoos was as a nursing student in the 1970s at a VA hospital. The tattoos had become mostly green blobs on the guys' dried out skin. I always have that image when I see a young person showing off her latest mark. I change hair styles and clothing styles pretty regularly; I couldn't imagine having to live with the same mark on my skin for the next 40 years.

Tattoos used to be a sign of rebellion. Now they are sign of conformity. They seem to have little to do with religiosity and more to do with current fashion.

I predict the biggest health-related growth areas in the next 20 years will be hearing aids and tattoo removal services.
My tattoos are neither a sign of rebellion or conformity. Not everyone gets tattoos for those reasons. Nor is it a show of mental disease. I had reasons for doing it at the time. I do however realize they will look atrocious when I am an old hag. Oh well.
dear Brent Thompson, loud music and tattoo removal services have already been booming, thanks to people (who look) your age. that's not a personal attack, but you can't say they haven't been around for ages. of course it will keep going. not because of tattoos in general, but because people make bad decisions, period. I also predict the average age of people in charge of the world will drop 20 years, but hey, how am I qualified to say that?

And Leslee, I don't know if you know it, but every person reading this is going to look like utter crap when they're older anyway. that's not a reason to get tattoos, it's just a reason to rethink the reasons why one might abstain from something that's apparently a 'sign of conformity' anyway. when i've got big arsed blood blister skin abnormalities popping up all over my body when I'm old, I'll be thinking 'man, I'm glad i got this expensive wanky conformist tattoo back years ago that provides me with a distinct memory in time for that part of my life, otherwise i'd look like a right coagulated piece of old person right now, just like I do any way.'
I can honestly say I don't give a shit what something might look like on me in 20 years, or if my bad decisions will come back to haunt me (they always do)... those are basically irrelevant things for me to spend my time thinking about. Primarily because I'll spend my time thinking about that shit if and WHEN I get that old. But as for now... the present moment is more of a concern to me.

Like your comments Scott.
Agreed completely! I might have to get in on the ground floor on one of those 20 year business opps. Of course as a prior punker, and music addict, I may need the hearing aid soon myself.
My first 4 tattoos were from when I was religious. They all depict stories about St. Kevin. One even says in Irish "solathraionn dia" which means "providence" and literally translates as "god provides". It wasn't seen as very "unsavory" in my Eastern Orthodox church because we had lots of people from Mid-east cultures that have religious tattoos.

Fortunately, I only need to add the letters "ni" to the beginning of my words to change it to "god *does not* provide. :)

And I was getting inked decades ago...long before the current trend.
I work in an environment dominated by Christians, in Christland central. All of the women I work with are Christians with ink. Everyone of them.

Also many of the customers have tatoos. There are several that have tattooed the neck, wrist, and ankle.
Ruth,

I think that you are right that scarification and tattooing are related. Both involve cutting the skin, although tattoos don't usually leave a scar, just the pigment showing. Pain is part of the process as well. Doing it yourself, I imagine, means that you are the one who controls the pain. Having a tattooist do it, means that they control it.

When I was in school, the African-American fraternities would scarify their fraternity emblems onto the chest or shoulder. Some had very prominant scars.

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