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Oklahoma is the last state of the union to prohibit tattoos. But not for long. Both houses of the Oklahoma legislature have passed a bill to legalize & regulate tattooing.
The development sparked a two-part series on tattoos & piercings in Oklahoma's Tahlequah Daily Press. What is particularly revealing about these articles is their emphasis on the legitimacy of tattoos from a Christian perspective. Part I, on tattoos, contains this lengthy apologia:
Chris Craig, “CC” as he’s known to his friends, has several tattoos, all speak to his spirituality.
“People get the wrong impression about people who have tattoos,” said Craig. “Mine are very religious. People might know more about Christianity if they actually read their Bibles.”
According to Craig, the popular Bible passage relating to not injuring oneself relates more to pagan ritual.
“The Bible says you’re not supposed to ‘let blood for the dead,’” said Craig. “Which means you’re not supposed to participate in ritualistic destruction of your body to raise the dead, things like that.”
Craig is a friend of the Smiths, and Karen is quick to talk about his devotion to God.
“If you’ll notice, he has flames tattooed up and down both arms,” said Karen. “He was in a really bad motorcycle accident and died three or four times before they completely revived him. His tattoos are a reflection of God saving his life. One says ‘Only God can judge me.’”
According to Karen, Craig lived one way before the accident, and lives a completely different way now.
“Chris is in church every Wednesday and Sunday,” she said. “He’s also a member of the Christian Motorcycle Association.”
Safari has a number of customers who are preachers part-time, according to Karen.
“People need to lose the idea that tattoos are bad or wrong,” she said.