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@Lionduck I suppose it depends on how you determine something matters. In the Grand Scheme, of course not. But in our daily lives here, I think it does. Being respectful and attempting to not offend people (when you know it's reasonable that they might be offended) is important, I think. And part of Right Speech. I said the same thing after the shootings at the news office over the Mohammed drawings. Of course nothing justifies the killing of people. But, to purposely inflame people isn't skillful, either. To claim "fun" while using knowingly offensive images and words isn't skillful. It might fly under Free Speech. But Right Speech has higher ideals, I think. Finding the line might not always be easy. It's easy to say "Well, they shouldn't be so attached to things like images of Mohammed" but that is putting our religion on them the same way we don't like when others do to us. We don't get to determine what people should or shouldn't do.
Disclaimer: I am not talking about going overboard with safe spaces and so on. I'm talking about being reasonable and making an effort to be aware of the people you share the world with and being kind to them with your words. Rather than making fun of something they hold dear.
@dhammachick Indeed. I most certainly do not always get it right, especially in areas that aggravate me and bring me back to things that caused me problems even many years ago that clearly still bother me. Which of course is my issue to work on and I do appreciate when people point it out. My goal is improvement without an expectation of perfection, since it's not possible in my lowly human state, lol.
It seems a bit judgmental to make assumptions of people who get mandala tattoos. Many of them are not Buddhists. Many just like the nature of the designs. Nothing wrong with that. I have several tattoos, with plans for more, including a no mud, no lotus tattoo. They are personal, just like any brand of art work or creativity. For me, they are reminders and not billboards. And they are in no way permanent. Your skin sheds cells constantly, the effects of the environment and your bodily changes affect tattoos. None of mine look the same as when I got them, except the one I got 2 weeks ago,
So as usual, my question would be, why do you worry about what others do? Not in asking the question about Buddhism and tattoos, but in questioning why others do things that you don't understand? Most of the time when we ask questions in the manner you did, it suggests that we have a view we believe is right and cannot understand why anyone else doesn't share that view. It is a manner of clinging to our own views to compare others wanting to find solid ground for our view.
@dhammachick I've not taken any Jewish/Torah classes but did spend years in Bible classes. But my opinion never changed. It's all in how skilled your teacher is in explaining the underlying themes versus a literal interpretation. So classes don't always help and can make things worse. Despite several different teachers, the general theme that always was focused on was that women were punished. That was the message people chose to take. My comment about genetics was just a smart-ass kid comment because I was annoyed at my parents for forcing me to attend religious classes in a church I found ridiculous.
As an adult, I can read between the lines and pull nuggets of wisdom out of stories. But when the stories are put forth as literal truth and the symbolism isn't pulled out and explained, it does no good. I quite enjoy many Christian stories now, just like I enjoy the Jataka tales. But my impression was that my church did not have a positive image of women. Nothing about accountability for the choice was ever brought up. Not once.
I enjoy stories. I think they can be a good way to teach a lot of things. Stories stick with us. But when people who teach others take them as literal truths, no good.
When I was a kid, I used to ask my parents "if the immediate relatives of Adam and Eve were all inbreeding, is that the real reason people "fell from grace"? Because we are all the ruined genetic results of that? Is that why people are all so stupid?" I mostly asked to annoy them, but it was an honest wondering. I was probably 12 or so, lol.