If you have been reading me for a while, you know that I have tattoos. You know the stories behind all four of them , as I have talked about them in several places on my blog over the past few years. Well, last night, I was once again privileged to be tattooed by master tattoo artist, and seriously cool guy, Paul Roe, proprietor of British Ink Custom Tattoos, right here in Washington, DC.
As you know, most of my tattoo work is of a religious nature... what I like to call faith statements... and this new (5th) piece is no different. This one is on the inside of my right forearm. Have a look:
Totally Lutheran. Totally badass!
I love this... it is a total faith statement and a total historical hat tip to someone that I truly admire. If you aren't familiar with this emblem, it is probably because you are neither a Lutheran or a student of the history of the Christian faith. In any event, I'll explain it to you: You know who Martin Luther was, don't you? he was that splendid German Augustinian Monk/Priest/Doctor of The Church who was responsible for starting The Reformation. The emblem on my arm was Luther's personal seal, and has become the symbol of Lutherans worldwide.
The text above the seal "Here I Stand" is a quote from Luther, from when he was made to appear before the German "Diet", and Charles the 5th, the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther had been branded as a heretic by some, and was brought before the Diet, The Emperor, and the representative of the Pope in order to be questioned and forced to recant his teachings.
Naturally, Martin Luther, being the total badass that he was, refused to recant and ended his appearance before the Emperor saying "Since acting against conscience is neither safe nor right, I cannot, and will not recant! Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me, Amen!"
Now... I don't have to give you a lesson on medieval european history to tell you that only a true tough guy could stand up to the Pope AND the Emperor. I mean, people like that tend to end up being burned at the stake.
If I can be anywhere near as hard core in my faith as Luther, I'll be doing it right.
Anyway, here are a couple of other images of Luther's seal, to show you the evolution of my new tattoo:
Once again, kudos to Paul Roe. I'm telling you, he is a fine artist and an engaging conversationalist, even while tattooing. We talked about everything from guns to old testament scripture, to family and classic cars in the 90 minutes it took him to do this piece. Paul and all of the artists at British Ink are top notch and shouldn't be missed if you or someone you care about wants good, high-quality, custom tattoo work (no, I'm not getting a discount on future work for writing this... it's just the truth).
You can visit Paul's shop here!