I once read in a Catholic magazine (not sure which one) that seemed to indicate certain tattoos were OK. Am I right about this? Is there a teaching on the subject by the Church?


Tattoos are fine, though must be tasteful and modest. Everything in moderation, right?:wink:

My protestant friends think they are sinful and we are instructed to not allow anyone to mark our bodies. Does anyone know where this is found in the scripture and perhaps any qualifications.


That was an old Hebrew law.

[FONT=Tahoma][FONT=Tahoma]The Old Testament law commanded the Israelites, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28).

We are no longer under the old laws as Christ made everything new. If that is the case, perhaps we should not eat pork and if an animal is to fall into your well and die, you get to keep the meat.

My 8 yr old son asked me if it was a sin to cover his entire body with tattoos (excessive in everything :smiley: ). I told him one or two wasn’t a sin, but excess was. I think he went away happy.

Personally, I don’t like them at all. Not just the big garish Tommy Lee tattoos, but any tattoo. I never judge people though - my soon to be nephew has several, and although I think they are hideous, I love him to death.

I can’t figure why anyone would want to mutilate their body that way.

Because we all have the ability to make our own choices. Your choices are not necessarily mine and that is what makes us individuals.

That said, I personally do not like tattoos, but respect the personal choice of others to have them if they want.

It’s just that I work on a college campus and the things I have seen!!! Tattoos on the face, multiple piercings and even ear and lip plugs. Let’s face it, we are not going to be young and firm forever and those nice, bright, firm and perky tats are going to wrinkle and fade. And one of these days some of the kids I’ve seen are going to wake up and say “my God I have an inch long slit in my lower lip and my earlobes are down to my shoulders”!!:eek:

I wouldn’t get one and I tried to talk a young freind out getting one, but he got one any ways. Check out this link –

Tatoos are fine. Personally I think having alot of tatoos is not attractive -but that’s just me. Getting a tatoo is not on the examination of conscience list for confession so I assume it’s ok(unless ofcourse if it was immoral in nature).

Unfortunately tattoos aren’t the only way we “mutilate” our bodies. Pesonally, I am considering a small rose.

A thought. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit! Especially as Catholics, our temples of worship are highly decorated, so why not our bodies that house the Holy Spirit? I am not saying you have to have one or some, but it seems reasonable that they are not bad.

Chesterton wrote that a necklace was not given to a woman b/c her neck is ugly, but to add beauty to something already beautiful. I would say the same as regards to tatoos given they are tasteful.

Am I biased? Probably, I have two. A chi-rho on my right arm and an “Ad Jesum per Mariam” symbol on my shoulder.

Are they trendy? Of course, you could argue they have always been. Tattoos are one of the oldest forms of art. Sanctify the trendy!

People say don’t desecrate your body as it is a temple of the Holy Spirit, therefore, don’t get a tattoo.
Well, lets say you’re overweight, is it thus a sin to lose that weight? That is the body God gave you, are you not then desecrating it by going on a diet or working out?
What about when you put on makeup? Of course there can be immodest makeup, but there can be modest, beautiful works of art that are tattoos. Some will say, but tattoos are permanent. But what about some of those who wear makeup 24.7? Are they in a state of sin by desecrating their bodies in the same manner a tattoo would? Don’t think so.

Remembered one thing. I heard of one rock star who tattooed Jesus Christ on his hands to stop him from masturbating?
Now, he could be desecrating his temple to the holy spirit.
But, do we not remember the words of Christ?

“If your left hand causes you to sin, cut it off, for it is better to lose your hand then to burn in the fires of hell”

So if a tattoo is something religious, or tasteful, whats the harm? Surely its less desecration then cutting off your hand, no?

Thats one I want

The Native Americans tattooed themselves, mostly in a horrific, almost unimaginable way, back in the early days of our country. My ancestors on my fathers side are Cherokee and I know they had tattoos. The tattoos usually meant something then. Today the meanings may have changed, but the significance remains to the individual. Whether your body tells a story about a part of your life or gives glory to God, these are both good.

I have seen a common thread through the posts on this topic of moderation. Moderation isn’t only good, but necessary in all things we do, from food and drink to “body art” and everything in between. Even too much work, being a workaholic, is a mortal sin and this we wish to avoid. When we overdo things we usually don’t leave enough room in those situations for our God.

If you are contemplating getting a tattoo, remember to try to tell something about yourself in that work of art.

hey what up! I have 21 tats and look back and enjoy everyone of them. They are an extension of who I am. Look at Jesus he did some outragous things that the Jews thought were sinful! I am sure that this is the least of the things he will look at on judgement day.
as with anything as long as it dont control you!

I’ve got tattoos and will no doubt get more. Nothing wrong with it.

It would probably be more productive to ask whether tatoos tend to reflect a Catholic mentality, or whether they tend to reflect the mentality of the world. The question, phrased that way, seems easier to answer.

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