March 31 2020
Can we go to heaven with tattoos?
When you search Google Trends for the search term “tattoos” the number one search that comes up is “can we go to heaven with tattoos?”.
Google Trends, for those who do not know, is a website where you can find search data based on the location, search terms, and number of searches for those terms on Google. And, as I stated above, when you type in the search term “tattoos'' the number one search that comes up is “can we go to heaven with tattoos?”.
This was very surprising to me. I live in southern California. Here, tattoos are the norm, and finding someone with zero tattoos is like finding a four leaf clover. When I take a stroll in Huntington Beach (my backyard) to enjoy the sun and the water I see many people. Not only are the majority of these people tattooed, but the majority are highly tattooed, with the average beachgoer in my area having anywhere from 15% to 50% of their visible body covered in tattoos. And, some outliers have upwards of 90% plus body coverage.
I have wondered many things about tattoos. Why do people get certain things, why have face tattoos become so popular, does it hurt to get tattooed more or less in some places, etc. But one thing I have never asked is, “Can we go to heaven with tattoos?”.
Maybe it’s because of where and how I was raised. I’m a Californian, religion isn’t big here, tattoos are. I can count on one hand who many times I have been to church, I can also count on one hand how many people I know who do not have tattoos (very few).
That statement may make you think that California is full of tattooed hellions running a muck. However, that could not be further from the truth. We are tattooed, yes, but the vast majority of us are not hellions.
As matter of fact these tattooed degenerates are some of the nicest caring people in the world. These people are working together to clean up the beach, working together to build homeless shelters, volunteering at the local school, and more. These are people form a real community, and a sort of extended family.
In short, these are good people. Tattoos and all. People that in my opinion, I will be seeing in heaven.
As stated before I am no expert on religion or heaven. So, this opinion is based on my beliefs and my limited knowledge from pop culture, my religious friends, and some reading about religion.
It seems to us that going to heaven is something that needs to be earned or can be lost based on your actions in life.
Do good things, go to heaven.
Do bad things, don’t go to heaven.
There is also the part about Jesus dying for all of our sins making the whole argument void, but let’s focus on the idea I think we can all agree on.
Good equals heaven.
Bad equals no heaven (or worse).
Now that we have established what good and bad gets you, let’s break down what necessitates a good deed and a bad deed.
The dictionary defines “good” as something “to be desired or approved of ”. Meaning the action that you take helps yourself ,or others, or both, more than it harms.
The dictionary defines “bad” as the opposite “not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome” Meaning the action that you take harms yourself, or others, or both, more than it helps.
Now that we have established what the heaven requirements (more good than bad deeds) and we have defined what good and bad mean, we can move on and test our findings on a couple scenarios and see if they stand up.
You get bored one day and decide for fun you want to start a forest fire. This results in destruction of nature, peoples homes, and kills some people and animals. It cost a lot of people's time and energy to help stop and salvage what is left after the blaze.
Was the act of starting this fire good or bad?
I think most would agree it falls.into the bad category. The entire situation is basically the definition of bad "not such as to be hoped for or desired; unpleasant or unwelcome"
You again get bored one day. Today you decide that you are going to go teach some kids at the local park about how to enjoy nature and about fire prevention. In turn later that weekend when one of the kids you taught goes camping with their family they notice their sibling doing something that could start a fire and then they prevent them from doing it. This saves nature, the destruction of peoples homes, and the lives of many people and animals.
I would say this deed falls into the good category. The entire situation this time is basically the definition of good “ to be desired or approved of ” .
Now let’s look at a person getting a tattoo ...
Say I decided to go to a tattoo shop and get a tattoo. I am getting the tattoo as a treat for myself because it’s my birthday , and I worked hard all year. The tattoo I have decided to go with, is a cherry blossom tree and the name “Mema”. This tattoo is to memorialize my dead Grandmother and the impact she had on my life and the lives of others.
A way to memorialize a great person. A gift for myself for my birthday. The tattoo will inspire some other people to ask about it. In turn, my story about her and why I got the tattoo may inspire them. Also, I was able to test my fortitude by having to endure the pain of getting the tattoo.
In this case this particular tattoo seems to not be bad at all. However, maybe if the tattoo is just something silly or something with very little meaning it could land closer to somewhere in the middle, not good or bad, but the tattoo definitely would not lean toward bad.
As you can see when we try to classify a tattoo as “bad” it is quite difficult. Not to say you can’t get a tattoo for a bad reason. However, if you were, it would be pretty obvious to you and the people seeing the tattoo that it was bad (think swastika tattoo on your forehead). And, if that were the case I don’t think you would be in a moral dilemma at all. I’m sure your tattoo isn’t going to be the deciding factor of whether you get into heaven or not.
Maybe you are bound by some code or mystic law that forbids tattooing. In that case, then yes, if you are going against your own morals, then getting tattooed can be considered “bad”. However, I am sure all the other good you do in life will easily tip the scales in the direction of going to heaven. And if it does not, maybe you have a lot more to worry about then tattoos getting you into heaven or not.
Am I right or wrong? I guess we will never know. The choice is up to. The ability to choose, to make a decision on our own is what makes us human. The ability to reason, and come to conclusion on your own is what separates us from the animals.
What will you do? I have made my choice, it’s time you make yours.