Friday, February 02, 2007

Dave Wainscott got a tattoo!

A pin just dropped.

Note to my parents :

No, this is not a picture of me.

It is a photo of another Dave Wainscott's back. Not only does he have a great name, but he is a believer as well.

A couple quotes on the tattoo trend before I paste in an old column of mine on the controversial(?) topic of Christians and tattoos.

First, the theologian George Carlin:
"New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to "Beef with Broccoli". The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high".
-George Carlin, quoted here by Sarcastic Lutheran (an important blog, subtitled: "The cranky spirituality of a postmodern gal")

I officiated at a wedding for a wonderful couple. They asked me to be careful mentioning to one of the grandmothers who would be at the rehearsal dinner exactly how the couple had met.
And please, would I not mention it is the wedding sermon. They were concerned the truth would be too much for her:

the couple had met online.

I found it curious that at the dinner, I found myself seated directly next to the relative in question. So I carefully navigated the conversation with this delightful older woman. I sure didn't want to give her a heart attack by blurting out the secret! But when the couple asked Grandma if she wanted to stand up and say a few words in honor of the couple, she began: "I just love these two young peeople; and isn't it wonderful how they met?"..

I heard a pin and a few jaws drop.
The room was quieter than my parent's living room when they first saw this post's headline on their computer.

"...They met online. Isn't that so wonderful!"

She had known all along, and was good with it.

But I still wonder:
Does she know about the bride's tattoo?(:

So here below are the questions I got circa 1997 on my "Ask Dave" web column....from the bride mentioned above:
Dear Dave:
So what I am wondering is why this one verse is taken as still holding true today, and then the rest of the verses aren't. Also, the devotional writer said that tattoos and body piercing were a form of personal mutilation. I personally disagree because I have a tattoo and a body piercing, and I would not say that I did either as a form of mutilation. What do you think? Have we just forgotten these verses cause we want to secularize God, or have these old testament laws changed, minus the 10 commandments of course. I'd like to know your take on:
1.Why do you think people get tattoos/body piercing?
2.Do you think that it's a form of mutilation?
3.Do you think that God looks down on this...why?
4.If yes to #3, what should people do who have already done this?
5. Do you think it's a generational thing...especially body piercing?

1997 was a long time ago. So last millenium. The whole world and church has changed since then (anyone remember pay phones?). Tattoos have become much more mainstream. And I am not sure how my answer would differ today, but here's how I answered then.

Here's an answer I really respect from Skibster, (a great wedding photographer, by the way) a deeper theologian than myself.

Here's a discussion on our forum centered around "Does God Hate Your Tattoos?," including comments by our self-confessed "very tattooed" (even in Koine Greek) guitar player.

Steve Beard at Thunderstruck has a whole list of "tattoo and church" links about halfway down this page.

More to say on tattoos as branding later.

Finally, some of my favorite "tattoo" lyrics (do you have others?):
"You say I'm written on your soul; then write me on your Me on you"
-The 77s, "Tattoo"
"I never wanted this tattoo...I never paid for this tattoo" -Chagall Guevara
"I Need Somebody" ...lyrics by the genius St. Steve Taylor (any song that includes the lines: "Hey look! It smokes, it drinks,it philosophizes!...if you reapply, you'll need a written excuse from" has gotta be churchworthy!)


  1. Hey Dave
    In 45 years, we will have millions of old ladies with tattoos and RAP Music will be the elevator music in shopping malls!
    Think About it!?!

  2. yep, amazing times..

    i'm not countin on the rap, though..maybe Beatles muzak'll still be in (:


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!