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Forum Home > Ask Father > Tattoos and body piercing?

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 3


February 25, 2010 at 10:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 3

     Here’s a question that I had to do some research on.  Since there are 2 questions here, I’ll try to give an answer to both.  First, the Bible does give direct mention to tattoos in everyone’s favorite book:  Leviticus.  In a section where Moses is recounting the 10 Commandments and exhorting the people to:  “Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy,” (Lev 19:2) we are told “Do not lacerate your bodies for thedead, and do not tattoo yourselves. I am the LORD.” (Lev 19:28)  Also, in 1 Kings chapter 18, the false prophets are shown slashing themselves until blood flowed as part of their demonic worship.

            So, yes, the Bible does say something about tattooing and piercing (or at least cutting– lacerating) our bodies.  So what about for us Catholics now?  Certainly, because of our dignity as children of God, we are to “Be holy” as God is Holy – so we should treat our bodies with great respect and dignity.  St. Paul reminds of this when he says in 1 Corinthians chapter 6, Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price.Therefore, glorify God in your body.

            So, if youwould place a tattoo on the Body of Jesus, then you might tattoo your own body.  If you would pierce the Body of Jesus (actually, we do that when we sin – adding nails to His Cross and thorns to His Crown) then piercing your body would be OK.  Now this is not in any way meant to be a condemnation of anyone who has gotten a tattoo or has had their ears (or othermembers) pierced – it’s merely an invitation to take another look and ask, “Why am I doing this?  Is it for the glory of God, or is it to make an impression for myself? Am I not satisfied with the way God made me?”

            Thanksfor another great question, and if you have more questions or a different way of looking at this, please sign on to our website and post a response under the“Ask Father” section in the “Forum” area. And keep those questions coming! May God bless you this Lent and always!


February 25, 2010 at 10:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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