Those Scary Tattooed People

For those of you who don’t know me, I have a HUGE issue with people who make ignorant statements. A HUGE issue with it. Combine that with my quick temper (that I’m currently working on) and you have a walking time-bomb. Enter this:

(I don’t own the picture, nor do I claim any rights to it)
I have seen this picture- this quote- on many different social media outlets. A lot of people share it. It is one of those ignorant statements that make me angry. Why? First, the quote itself is an assumption and a judgement on people who attend church and identify as Christians. I’m not saying that churchgoers are not and cannot be judgmental, but they’re no more judgmental than anyone else. People just like to point out when Christians are judgmental because we aren’t “supposed to be.” Usually, these same people are also the ones who misuse the statement “only God can judge me.”
Spawning off of reason one- let’s call this one “1B”- it is also seeming to say that just because someone has tattoos they can’t be nice. Yes, tattoos are often associated with gangs, criminals, etc.. but they only cover the person’s outside. Some of the meanest people I know have NO tattoos. Zero. Not even one. Tattoos don’t give any REAL insight to the wearer’s personality or “inner self.” Some people are constantly reinventing themselves and some of those tattoos might represent who they used to be. They don’t necessarily represent who they are now, at this moment. I have ink. One of my best friends has in ink. Another best friend’s husband is tattoed, as well. We all attend church. Plenty of other people I know are also inked churchgoers.
Secondly, what are those who shared the picture doing to change this stereotype? Are they going to church? Are they going out and helping others because they WANT to? 9,9 times out of 10 the answer to those questions is “no.” What they’re doing is adding to this stereotype. “I don’t go to church because they don’t accept people like me.” People like them? Who exactly are they? Do they think about the times they have avoided talking to someone because they give the impression that they don’t want to be talked to? Probably not. These folks probably don’t go to church because just really don’t really want to and are grasping for the first excuse they can think of.
Although it’s hard to believe in this day and age, a lot of people are sheltered and have never met someone who is covered in tattoos. When we are faced with something we know nothing about, we tend to shy away from it. This wariness doesn’t only apply to Christians. It applies to all humans. Just because we are followers of Christ, it doesn’t mean that we are no longer human. We still make mistakes. We still like to remain in our comfort zones.
If you have a desire to follow Christ, let nothing keep you from gathering with other believers. Take some initiative. Go to church and show those who may not understand your love of body art that it isn’t on the outside, but the inside (as said in reason 1B) that makes a person. And churchgoers- be more accepting of new people. Going to church can really be a scary thing. Everyone wants to be accepted, and as followers, we are called to accept EVERYONE. Even the scary people with tattoos.
(Originally posted on my old blog on October 14, 2015)

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