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punkmomto2 Profile
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Re: Cross Tattoo Interpretation


hhmmm guess I might get rocks thrown at me but before you think everything gothic is in all bad.

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Yes I'm a Christian and I am also looking at a cross tattoo to be my next one.
Jan/1/2007, 3:58 pm Link to this post Send Email to punkmomto2   Send PM to punkmomto2
 
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Re: Cross Tattoo Interpretation


Yes, there are Christian Goths - I'm a member of a Christian Goth group on MySpace. The discussions get kind of silly at times, but there's some good info floating around there. Also, "goth" has much broader meaning than just wearing black clothes and jewelry bought at your local Hot Topic. "American Gothic" might even include the immortal Man In Black Johnny Cash.

"Man In Black"

by Johnny Cash

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believen' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believen' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Last edited by urania235, Jan/2/2007, 1:27 am
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Re: Cross Tattoo Interpretation


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(2-part post to deal with length limitations for posts in this forum)

Christian Goths – A Journey through Death, Blood and Darkness

The Goth culture is a subculture i.e. a culture within a culture and came off the back of the Punk movement in the late 70s and early 80s. Who and what started it are often discussed and contested but the general consensus is:

1. The term 'Goth' was used by Ian Astbury who described Andi Sex Gang as a 'gothic pixie'.

2. Siouxsie Sioux (of the Banshees) used 'Gothic' to describe the new direction for her band.

3. Probably the earliest usage, as applied to music though was by Anthony H. Wilson (Joy Division manager) who was overcome by a rare moment of lucidity on a 1979 BBC TV program when he described Joy Division as Gothic compared with the pop mainstream.

(A Goth Primer – from now on AGP)

Whatever the real reason, the label stuck. The movement was moving away from the sheer brutal anarchy of the Punk movement and Goths were originally called ‘Positive Punks’ or ‘Posi-punks’.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition as:

"Goth n. (goth) a a style of rock music derived from punk, often with apocalyptic or mystical lyrics. b a member of a subculture favouring black clothing, white and black make-up, metal jewellery, and goth music."
AGP states:

“Ask any Goth through and you'll get a different definition. In fact you’ll get just about as many definitions as Goths that you ask.”

I agree – it is one of the most difficult questions to answer – it’s a bit like defining what love is!

AGP says of the term Goth:

“How 'Goth' and 'Gothic' came to be used to describe the [sub-culture] though is a little less clear. What is certain is that NME and Sounds used it, and there seem to be two suggestions as to where they got it from.
The first is that they took it directly from Siousxie Sioux and they themselves then used it to describe what we know as Goths today. [Although Siousxie hated being associated with the community and remained very much Punk, to the point of shaving her hair off when people copied her Bride of Frankenstein look!]

The second (and more probable) is that they took it from Abbo, singer of UK Decay, who said to a journalist: "We're into the whole Gothic thing", which naturally got printed.”

The Goth sub-culture, or community as we prefer, is an all embracing one where anybody who is alternative is welcome (again, define ‘alternative’!) and usually people aren’t judged (please remember, the creatures who make up the community are humans! They aren’t infallible immortals…well, not yet!) AGP states “Goth is not about religion, but uses the imagery of religion. Many Goths wear crosses or ankhs, and there are many religious references in Goth songs, but it is not a religious movement… Religious jewellery is often worn, particularly crucifixes and ankhs. These are strong symbols with powerful subconscious effects. Sometimes they are worn as a satirical statement, sometimes not. For some it is just fashion.”

About personal faith, AGP says, “Goths, like individuals, share differing views on the existence (or lack thereof) of the supernatural. Some Goths are atheists and some are new age spiritualists, Wiccans and members of other alternative religious groups. There are Christian Goths.”

I particularly like the fact that we (Christian Goths) get a special sentence all to ourselves! Whether that makes us extra freaky, a rarity or simply just unbelievable, I don’t know. Either way, there’s light in the darkness.

A lot of people have stereotypes of Goths – we all have a predilection for death, blood, Vampyre, are depressed/suicidal, have piercings/tattoos in very painful places, are Satanists, love Marilyn Manson, are into Sado-masochism, like lace, leather and velvet, wear lots of pale make-up, are effete and flamboyant and want to be noticed.

Death – well it’s all around us! The Elizabethans used to carry skulls around, or symbols of them to remind themselves that they were mortal! I buy into this ideology because as humans we are all to precious about how wonderful we are and forget the bigger picture – we can’t conquer death – Jesus already did that!

Blood/Vampyre – Blood…well, it’s the vital life force of us all. It has many associations with the magic or ‘essence’ of life, hence the Vampyre cults, but most Goths actually only follow the romantic imagery of the Vampyre, rather than the few cult-ish communities who actually follow the rituals of blood letting and drinking. These communities are very small, very few and are viewed by the Goth community as largely nuts. A lot of the horror imagery used by Goths comes from the 18th-19th C literary movement, with its penchant for the supernatural, the esoteric, the ghastly and the exploration of science vs. God and the human soul – think Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Castle of Otranto and the works of Edgar Allan Poe. For Xian Goths the imagery of blood and its essential part in the Bible is perfect. Not only does it satisfy the sense of the Gothic, but is also a very useful device to draw in secular Goths. Vampyre are also known as the Undead – they are reanimated but not alive. There are legends coming from Cain who is said to be the father of all Vampyre [c.f. Gen 4:10-16], but more importantly, the whole idea of immortality through the drinking of blood is very similar to the Eucharist, as a Xian Goth I do often draw a parallel through this image.

(continued next post)

Last edited by urania235, Jan/2/2007, 1:26 am
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Re: Cross Tattoo Interpretation


Christian Goths
(Continued from previous)

Depressed/suicidal – Again, because death imagery is often used, suicide comes up quite a bit, more often as a poetic device and definitely not a cult dictat! Goths are often quite reserved or shy, or just want to exclude themselves from what they view as ‘the norm’ or the establishment. This can make them seem standoffish, but they are just the same as any culture – there’ll be a broad spectrum. There is a view by some Goths (I’m one of them, sorry!) that if you don’t feel comfortable coming to talk to me because of what I’m wearing, maybe I don’t want to speak to you! This sounds harsh, but is a direct challenge to society’s shallowness and something Jesus very much kicked against.

As for depression and suicidal tendencies, well these are things we can all get; Goths aren’t the only ones privy to them!

Piercings/tattoos – I think that we don’t really need to go there! Most people have these nowadays and it’s probably more unusual not to. As for the more obscure piercings like flesh tunnels and body piercing, this is again a cross culture thing from Indian/African tribal to bikers, clubbers and the average Jo.

Satanism – Goth is not evil, the same as black isn’t, but the community does accept all faiths (there are even Muslim Goths). There is a conflict of definition in terms of faith between secular Goths and Xian Goths in that Wicca and so-called ‘White’ magick, is accepted by the former group only. As a Christian I view all Craft, magick and ‘Gifting’ as not of God, so by default Satanic, but the difference is the intent. The community does share the same views of magick as mainstream society, but was more accepting and open about exploring it from early on. This is one of the big defining differences between secular and Xian Goths and does cause the odd disagreement and verbal face-off from time-to-time.

Marilyn Manson – We don’t really like him! The problem is that the media has latched onto him as the antithesis of Gothdom, but many view him as just another Shock Rock Showman like Ozzy or Alice Cooper. The Goth community is, by and large, tolerant of others (apart from the establishment – it does get very confusing, I know) so MM with his blatant hatred of the Church is at once disagreeable because of the aggressive expression, but also applauded by some for unearthing the hypocrisy of the system. What is not liked about him though is that he is mainstream and therefore not really part of the sub-culture community. The confusion has come from a lot of younger Goths taking on board the media dictat that to be Goth you have to like MM, plus their misunderstanding of the original philosophy of the community (peaceable acceptance – post Punk, yeah?!), which in turn has filtered into the community. What you now get is part of the community defined by not being part of the establishment and not being mainstream, and part of the community being defined by mainstream consensus. There are even, what I term, Chav Goths, who are so label minded that they are defined by what the bigger social machine tells them to be defined by. But that’s another argument for another day. Basically, Metal Heads (or Rivet Heads) are more into MM, but they dress very much like Cyber Goths and those into Doom (which is more Goth, but Metal) and thus the average mortal will just stare and not know what they’re staring at. Basically I can understand why Goths have such bad press – they can’t really be defined in a society that starts to rip its own face apart if it cannot label, box, or pigeon-hole something, so the plethora of confusing definitions, plus similarities to other groups and styles means that there is a bleeding at the edges and only those in the know, know!

BDSM – Some of you have heard me mention this term before. It’s a clever little thing: The BD is for Bondage, the DS is for Dominatrix/Submissive and the SM is for Sado-masochism. Basically it’s all about submission and pain. Some Goths are into this, some aren’t. I bet you’d find a similar %age people into BDSM in The City and politics as in the Goth community; it’s just that Goths don’t necessarily hide it! BDSM is also very big in the mainstream club scene, so is not exclusive to Goth. What it does do is enact or express the pain that people feel, the mental anguish being transferred to a physical metaphor that harnesses the raw emotion and acts as a conduit to refine it, to make it more manageable. The other essential thing is that what can be dangerous as raw human emotion is taken to an artistic level where safety is paramount. Whatever your view of such practices is, there are elements of BDSM all around us, and the cheeky playfulness of a whip and handcuffs is just the same – but Goths do things a bit more lavishly! The main aim is to turn negative pain or feelings of being trapped or having too much power and being out of control into something that’s manageable. For Xians, this is dealt with through the crucifixion of Jesus – an execution of pain, submission, blood, sacrifice, domination and humiliation. Spot the parallels!

Clothing/make-up – there are many styles and many definitions. Lace, leather, PVC, metal, chains, velvet, reds, black, grey, greens, blues, purples, UV colours, spikes, studs, plastic tubes, armour, chrome, rust and decay, shades in the dark, Industrial, Victorian, Faerie, Cyber, extreme, dandy, affected, for effect, grim, weird, outlandish, scary, gory, glib, pale make up, cute, iconography, iconic, blood, disturbing, contact lenses, prosthetics, frills, elegance, oppressive, beauty, sexy, shocking, funny…all can describe Goth style.

There are labels to define, but does it really matter? The scale spans from Goths who look like Victorians, to Pre-Raphaelites, Mediaeval, Matrix and Cyber, Spaghetti Western, clubbers, hippies, Punks, Rockers, and any fusion of styles, the key lies in the dark heart, the sense of humour (albeit ironic or satirical) and/or the need to be OTT.

One teacher, who is a Goth, said that you can spot a Goth kid even in a standard uniform – it’s something about the demeanor that tells them apart.

So, now I’ve not defined Goth for you, how does the Xian community fit into this? Well, for me, we’re a bit like the unfortunate commuter who hasn’t heard the ‘mind the gap’ bit. We don’t fit into society so we’re Goths and both the GC and Mainstream society can deal with this. However, we also don’t quite fit into the Goth community, as we are often part of the perceived establishment i.e. The Church and although Xians are accepted because religion isn’t an issue, the fact that there’s some form of social control involved, starts to get a secular or Pagan Goth’s hackles rising. A Goth who’s willingly part of the establishment is in, therefore, Paradox 1. The other side also sees this, as society sees Goths as Satanists or if not, definitely not Xians – Paradox 2. Paradox 3 comes from you lot; as Xians can’t possibly be Goths because they’re Satanists, hate religion, yada, yada, yada…and who doesn’t judge?!

So how can Goths be Xians and Xians be Goths? Some might even ask how can anyone be a Goth? Birth defect, desperate desire to be noticed, unwillingness to conform…calling?

Could somebody please read Psalm 139?

Notice the imagery - the hiding in the darkness, the anxious thoughts, the sense of not fitting in, the sense of submission.

Most importantly note:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

If I am made perfectly in God’s eyes, does that not also mean my personality? Is that not also who I am and how I express myself? How can I be wrong then, if my heart in God is right?


Last edited by urania235, Jan/2/2007, 1:30 am
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harley72 Profile
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Re: Cross Tattoo Interpretation


so not to rain on your parade or like talk down on you but i think its important that you know that tattoos are considered a sin. so i get and love the idea of a cross tattoo to glorify god but you've got to think of the implication there. your sinning to glorify god so its kinda like counter productive almost. i currently have a tattoo and am looking into getting a cross tattoo but am having a hard time going through with it knowing that it is a sin. like i said not nay saying or anything just sharing a thought. and i like the first one the most. its hard to find a nice looking cross that doesn't look gothic or like a five year old drew it. good luck with your decision and God bless you!
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