October 28, 2020

VIDEO: Tatted to Show Faith and Spirituality

Matt Mason is a Christian, a sophomore marketing major at Webster and, yes, he has a tattoo. The tattoo

Mason's tattoo of a cross. He got the tattoo at the beginning of the 2011 fall semester.

represents his faith and will forever be etched on the inside of his right arm.

The tattoo is of a cross. At the top of the cross it says ‘Mercy’ and on the bottom is a reference to his favorite scripture, Psalms 51:1-10 in the bible.
“I try to keep my faith as much in the center of my life as I can,” Mason said.

Mason attends church at Journey in Tower Grove, where many members have tattoos. He said that even a tattoo artist attends his church.

If religious people question his tattoos, Mason says, “It’s a personal decision on my belief. I don’t think its wrong. I don’t see any issue with it, especially because of what it is. It’s not like I’m defacing my body with a leprechaun.”

There are many websites that debate whether or not it’s acceptable for Christians to have tattoos. About.com tries to help answer those question with some bible verses. The book of Leviticus says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos.” But, the book of Romans says, “…everything that does not come from faith is sin.”

Mason went through some personal issues, that he preferred not to share, when he decided to get a tattoo.

Mason’s friend Shelby Wade, an art major at Webster designed his tattoo. His father, who wasn’t too thrilled about the tattoo at first, paid for half of his tattoo for his 19th birthday present.

Hindu and Egyptian Tats of a Webster Alum

Bill Duvendack is a 1997 grad of Webster, equipment room manager in the media center, and astrologer. He also minored in religion at Webster and is an ordained spiritualist minister. His friends call him a renaissance man.

Duvendack doesn’t refer to himself as religious, but spiritual. Being a spiritualist minister he encompasses all faiths. Hinduism and Egyptian work are part of his spiritual path and both his tattoos represent it.

Both of Duvendack’s tattoos are on his forearms and he designed both. The one on the inside of his left arm is a Sanskrit mantra that says, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” which translates to, “May the jewel and lotus protect me.” It is the most chanted mantra during meditation in the world and comes from Hinduism. He got the tattoo in 2005.

His other tattoo is a little more complicated — it was done in 2001 and covers his entire right forearm.

Duvandack's Egyptian tattoo. The picture represents the process known as psychostasia, or the weighing of the soul. The picture comes from an ancient Egyptian story that says when you die your heart is weighed against a feather of truth. If the heart is the equal weight of the feather it means you have learned all the lessons that there are to learn so you don’t get reincarnated and you merge with the godhead.

Duvendack said both faiths he practices are very accepting of his tattoos. He knows many religions believe the body is a temple, so they say to treat it like a temple.

“I’m kind of more in the mind set of, ‘I’ll design my temple the way I want to,’” Duvandeck said.

Hinduism is extremely liberal with tattoos. According to Hinduism Today, Hindus use tattoos as help throughout their lives and as a ticket to the “world beyond death.” Hindu tattoos are not just popular in the religion but among many others. Like Duvandack’s tattoo “Om” is the most popular symbol people tattoo on themselves.

Duvandeck decided to get these tattoos because many people in college and high school told him he wore his heart on his sleeve.

“If I’m going to put anything on my sleeve I might as well put my spirituality there,” Duvandeck said.

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