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Michigan church opens tattoo parlor inside it’s doors

Michigan church opens tattoo parlor inside it’s doors

You have to admit, it’s a novel concept: worship your God, get some ink on the way out:

Just down the hall from the Rev. Steve Bentley’s office and around the corner from the galvanized watering trough used for baptisms, tattoo artists Ryan Brown and Drew Blaisdell are plying their trade by appointment or from noon until 8 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

“I was running my own studio. I was just working. There wasn’t much purpose in it,” said Brown, 32, a recovering alcoholic who said the atmosphere inside the church building has helped to keep him focused and on the right path.

“I was struggling with whether I could keep my studio” and stay sober, he said. “I prayed a lot and decided the best thing was to close it and come to the church. I figured I could have a lot more positive impact” here.

Bentley said he’s doing everything he can, tatto parlor included, to open The Bridge to people who have never felt comfortable at a traditional house of worship.

The church owns 30,000 square feet inside Carman Plaza shopping center, located just northeast of Corunna Road and I-75.

“The tattoo is a really prominent art form in our culture today,” said Bentley, who has two tattoos himself, one of which was done in church. “I don’t think it should be owned by a culture of drug abuse and pornography.”

Bentley said he has heard whispers of criticism from outside the church about the mixing of tattooing with a place of worship, but the pastor said he considers it a “morally neutral” practice — no different than pierced ears.

“We are about doing church in a different way and being relevant to people,” he said. “You can get a tattoo in a clean environment. You can do it while still sticking to your moral code.”

(thumbnail via the linked article above)

 

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