By Evan Boudreau
The Catholic Register
While getting a tattoo may not be considered the holiest practice, it shouldn't always be perceived as devilish.
"Religious tattoos are a sign of faith," said Jason Gennaro, of www.religioustattoos.net. "Those who tattoo themselves with Christian symbols of faith are displaying a belief that many try to subjugate and hide."
A father of five, devoted husband, and faithful Catholic, Gennaro has 18 tattoos, 14 of which link directly to his faith. The other four need a little explanation to expose the religious relevance which Gennaro insists exists.
"My tattoo choices are the result of prayer," said Gennaro. "I will be struck by something I read in a book or see in a church. I take those items to prayer and let my conversations with God guide me."
He admits that tattooing is not for everyone, but it does provide an opportunity for those interested to "become a billboard for Christ."
As always, there are at least two sides to the story regarding God's position on tattoos. Gennaro occasionally receives criticism from strict Scripture followers who claim tattoos are prohibited, citing a passage from the Old Testament.
"You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh on account of the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord," reads Lv 19:28.
On his website, Gennaro addresses this criticism by noting Leviticus is discussing God's prohibitions against adopting pagan practices. He writes pagans frequently marked their bodies with symbols of idols after a death with the intention of securing a favourable afterlife.
"Usually these people operate with less charity than a Christian should," Gennaro said about those who judge him on his body art.