Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tattoos and Booze

I don’t have any tattoos, and I never even thought about getting one for more than a few minutes. Then again, all the alcohol I have ever drank in my life would barely fill a kitchen sink. I sometimes wonder if the two are related…

Even though I don’t drink, I am very permissive of drinking. I would never sever my ties with someone because they drank, nor would I probably recommend they stop (with some troubled exceptions, which might warrant a verbal jab now and then). The same goes for tattoos. And while we’re at it, we can throw in piercings: I have none, but I’m indifferent to other people doing so.

Out of curiosity, I googled “anti-tattoo campaign.” To my mock surprise, the first few relevant hits were religious. Oddly, PETA also got some highly ranked hits, though they were in favor of tattoos [“Ink, Not Mink;” almost clever].

Why is it that the only people who seem interested in whether other people get tattoos or piercings are religious?

This sort of gets to the heart of why religion rubs the faithless the wrong way. There aren’t atheist group out there telling people what they can do to their body. There’s Christian (and for that matter Jewish) groups organized to discourage tattoos, piercings, alcohol, Harry Potter, masturbation… the list goes on for days.

Atheists pretty much only organize in opposition to one thing, and they do it so rarely that it’s news when it happens. So imagine our frustration when we see religious people are out creating roadblocks for people trying to live their lives differently.

Look, I could pull some argument out of my ass about how tattoos spread Hepatitis. I could parade out the horror stories of regrettable, misspelled tattoos of ex-wives’ names on your forehead. I could even quote mine dozens of intelligent people speaking negatively of tattoos.

None of this really means a damn thing.

The test of legislation is this: if non-consenting people are not physically affected by an action or its consequences, then that action ought to be legal. Emotion, regret, and moral outrage are not factors.

I am a heterosexual, monogamous, married, non-tattooed, unpierced, non-drinking, white man. I lack one thing that keeps me from being a Republican, and it’s not being a jackass (I most certainly am one). It’s a love for freedom, liberty, and [way more than those two heaping piles of horse shit] a person’s right to live their own life.

If you ever feel motivated to tell other people who are not hurting anyone how they ought to be, I suggest you try some good ole fashioned not givin’ a shit.

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