Making Their Mark

Tattooing and body piercing have always been spiritual rites of passage. Now our culture is discovering their power.

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But Daniel "Hoss" Ostrowski thinks tattoos can draw people to faith. Ostrowski heads the Christian Tattoo Association, a group of more than 150 Christians involved in the tattoo world. The association is primarily social but there is also an important evangelical outreach element. Ostrowski has the name Jesus tattooed on his right elbow, with blood dripping from the letters. Many people ask him about the design, which is an opening for evangelizing. "Tattooing is a unique way to express your faith" he explains, "it shows on the outside what you got on the inside-if it is real."

"Americans are starved for culture," suggests Mikel, "We have so many influences that it is hard to figure out what your culture is. So you have to figure it out for yourself. But everyone is looking for that eternal sense of being. What I try to teach people is that what you choose to do with your body, while it may look cool, it has meaning. It is important to remember that: what we do has meaning".

**Tattooing is an invasive procedure that can result in serious skin and blood infection. Where procedures involving penetration of the skin are not performed correctly, they can be means of transmitting organisms that cause diseases like AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. It is advisable that pregnant women and persons with possible allergies to ink or dyes consult with their physician prior to getting a tattoo. In New York State, it is against the law to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years. Parental consent for tattooing persons under the age of 18 is not allowable.

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