[L]iberalism tells man that he creates himself out of his own free choices, without reference to any forces outside or above himself. But a culture that simultaneously deifies the self and denies the transcendent makes the self meaningless, because all the things that would give actual content to the self have been taken away. Since the available ways of “creating oneself,” of expressing one’s uniqueness, are now so terribly limited, people soon turn to anti-natural and horrifying methods of self-expression.
Thus in a culture that systematically denies nature, tradition, and God, the most efficaceous way of expressing your individuality is to mutilate your body.Personally, I find tattoos in general to be ugly and offensive. On men, they suggest an affinity for thuggery. On women, well I don't think they're called "tramp stamps" for no good reason. For both sexes, there's the whole "prole drift" thing, in which the upper classes adopt the habits of the underclasses in an effort to be cool or edgy or rebellious or hip. Or something, anything, to be "tolerant" (that mischievous virtue of modernity) and--for the upper and middle classes--avoid appearing unbearably bourgeois. Ultimately, tattoos represent a backslide toward our pagan, savage past that is should be unbecoming of civilized persons, let alone Christians.
Speaking of Christianity, here's what Leviticus 19:28 has to say on the subject:
"'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.Moreover, there's 2 Corinthians 6:17, which exhorts Christians to reject worldly practices and draw a clear line between themselves and the pagans in their midst.
And yes, I am aware that Christians are released from the law as a matter of salvation. Yet there are plenty of other laws which, while not required for salvation, are clearly meant to prosper us, and I count the prohibition on tattooing among these sorts of laws. For instance, tattooing places the recipient at risk for infection, it correlates with suicidal, aggressive, hostile, and/or delinquent behavior, can be psychologically addictive, and is associated with peer substance abuse, sexual activity, and school problems and disordered eating behavior and gateway drug use in adolescents.
This isn't me judging, as in passing judgement on the salvation of others, this is me pointing out that one's non-compliance with God's laws may bring harm to themselves or to their acquaintances. I judge it better for Christians to reflect His light into the world, rather than get caught up in stylish worldly fetishes like defacing the Temple, all to fit in.
Unfortunately for those like me who find tattoos unsightly and (the following link to a poor misguided anus-tattooing woman probably NSFW) a harbinger of civilizational decline, more than one-third of the under-40 set has a tattoo, with more women having ink than men. Thus while tattooing is quite popular at present, and a great many Believers have themselves been inked, I think it portends badly for our culture as a whole.