Tattoo artists in Erie County are no longer permitted to heat pieces of metal and use them to make third-degree burns in their clients’ skin.The process is called branding, and it’s done at tattoo establishments across the U.S.But not in Erie County, at least for now.
Since I had never heard of tattoo branding until this week, I am not concerned about this government regulation. I am not even concerned about the slippery slope that it might lead to. You know, something like this:
First they came for the tattoo artists, but I didn’t like tattoos, so I stood by and did nothing. Then they came for the smokers, but I didn’t smoke, and smoking is a stinky habit anyhow, so I did nothing. Then they closed the bars, but I didn’t drink too much, so I just shrugged my shoulders. And then they came for my Krispy Kremes, but by then, there was no one left to stand up for my vice.
However, the idea of getting a tattoo branded on cannot go without comment.
DOESN’T EVERYONE KNOW THAT BRANDING HURTS A LOT, AND IT IS WHAT THEY DO TO COWS!!!
BTW, THEY USED TO DO IT TO SLAVES TOO!!!
WHEN YOU GET BRANDED THAT IS A SIGN THAT YOU ARE OWNED!!!
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me suggest something. To quote Bob Dylan:
“You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yeah you are, you’re gonna have to serve somebody… Now it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Symbolically, it seems that there will be a mark on you that shows who are or what you serve. Hence, cows get branded, married couples exchange rings, and in the Book of Revelation, people receive the mark of the Beast on their hand or on their forehead. But God’s people also receive a mark on their forehead, which is baptism. (This is less painful than the mark that baptism replaced, though unfortunately it is nearly as easy to hide.)
Americans like to be individualists, and we like to think of ourselves as belonging to no one. But that illusion can’t last very long if we think about it. Once the illusion breaks down, we try to fill in the self-imposed vacuum with something.
Could some of the more extreme forms of “exterior decorating,” such as tattoo branding, be a result of people failing to recognize who they belong to, and trying to “cover up” their nakedness with all sorts of marks?