Spiritual Warfare Forum: tatoos and clowns

tatoos and clowns QUESTION from Ken Dilks on September 28, 2002 I have a friend who feels that the origin or background of clowns -like those on a street corner or in a circus- have an occult origin and are hardly Christian. As a result, she will not include clown performances in youth programs, CYO visits to Nursing Homes, and parish picnics that she is generally part of organizing. I don't miss them at all, but people who remember having them in past parish events do? What do you think of clowns?
What about the rise of tatoos, today? I used to have a hard time accepting the old guy who got drunk one night while he was in the Navy and woke up with a Tatoo on his arm that said, Sally. But today tattoos are everywhere, and the images they portray on the human body brings me to question what the particular human thinks about his/her own body. In some cases, I am almost convinced they are demonic. What do you think?
ANSWER by Mr. Joe Meineke on October 1, 2002 Dear Ken,
In a cursory search on the subject of the origins of clowns, I was unable to find anything that would suggest any type of occult roots - not that it truly matters. Today’s clowns are not in the business of telling the future, reading palms and sitting down with kids at a party to give Tarot readings. I would have to say that if (and I doubt this claim very seriously) clowns do have dubious origins, then their predecessors have cleaned up their act and are nothing more than harmless amusement for children at birthday parties, carnivals and one particular large fast food chain.
We need to be careful about becoming superstitious about things such as this. Rather than say that something is bad *only* because of its origins, we should look at what it is currently and then make a determination. For example - the custom of married couples exchanging a wedding ring actually has its roots in paganism. The Church took this pagan practice, sanctified it by attaching TRUE meaning to the exchange, and made it a part of the Christian tradition. One other example would be to say that because at one time Coke-a-Cola actually had cocaine in it that now it is still wrong for people to drink it. I could go on with other examples, but I am sure you see the point.
As for tattoos, this is primarily an issue of vanity and not so much of an issue of tattoos being sinful in and of themselves (unless the tattoo is vulgar or blasphemous, or it promotes/glorifies sin or the demonic). Vanity is an issue that many in our society ignore – in fact even glorify - but it is a sin that leads to other sins and therefore can be very dangerous. Another aspect to this (although somewhat off topic) is that tattoos are often things that many people eventually regret getting. There are untold millions spent every year in cosmetic surgeries to remove things that seemed like a good idea at the time.
God bless you,
Joe Meineke Assistant to Bro. Ignatius
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