Used with permission by Terry Watkins
Within the last decade the tattoo has virtually conquered the cultural world.
The taboo tattoo was until recently, the menacing fashion of heavy-metal rockers, bikers, criminals and the social outcast. But today the tattoo glamorously appears everywhere and anywhere. Itís the latest fashion craze. The tattoo has found a canvas on celebrities such as Britney Spears, Julia Roberts, Jessica Simpson, Bruce Willis, Geraldo Rivera, Halle Berry, the Dixie Chicks and thousands of others.
The sports world has also received the "baptism of tattoos". A 1997 AP Poll discovered over 35% of all NBA players sported at least one tattoo, including such mega stars as Michael Jordon, and Shaquille O' Neal. Sports reporters claim similar tattoo percentages are decorating the professional football, baseball and hockey world. Holding their own, the tattoo adorns the "conservative" golf world on such notables as Lee Trevino and Tiger Woods.
The National Geographic News stated that 15% of all Americans are tattooed. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT) estimates over 39 million Americans have a tattoo. Details Magazine published a poll that stated 22% of 18-25 year olds have at least one tattoo. Itís also estimated 60% of the tattooed are women.
And many more are waiting in line. . .
Even the toy world has itís very own Tattoodles doll. And itís rumored sweet little Barbie has recently been seen flaunting a "cool" tattoo. Not to be outdone by the tattooing zealous adults, the younger generation has joined the tattoo party. A Texas Tech University School of Nursing study consisting of over 2,100 adolescents from eight states reveal that 1 in 10 adolescents were tattooed and over half were planning on getting tattooed. Another study estimated 25% of all 15 to 25-year-olds are tattooed. By the way, the average age of getting tattooed is 16 years old. While some receive their first tattoo as young as eight-years-old.
According to US News and World Report, (November 3, 1997) tattooing is the country's sixth-fastest-growing retail business. And growing at the amazing rate of more than one new tattoo studio every day.
And get this. . . Lycos, who ranks the Top 50 search words every week, found "tattoos" was the fourth most searched word for the year 2001! For the week of October 15, 2002 (when this was written) "tattoos" was number six. And among the highly-prized Lycos 50 Elite, which is the 50 most popular topics in the history of the Lycos Ė "tattoos" comes in at a solid number seven. (search results at http://50.lycos.com). [Note: Jesus or Christ did not even make the Lycos Top 100, "the Bible" ranked number 18.]
In other words. . . the world has gone "tattoo crazy".
Even among many Christians the once-forbidden tattoo is welcomed with open arms (and legs, and necks, and backs, et al). Not surprising the major perpetrator of the Christian tattoo is the Christian rock music community. And fast following their Christian rock idols, thousands of Christian young people are getting "marked for Jesus" with the tattoo. Among the fastest growing trend in the tattoo industry is the Christian tattoo shops.
Weíve received scores of emails from concerned Christian parents, young people, youth pastors, and pastors requesting information on the tattoo. Many parents have written pleading for help with their teenagers and tattoos.
This article is an examination of tattoos in the light of the Word of God and history.
The article is divided into the following sections:
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