"... against caring for a human, a child. I mean yea, it's everything that's important to me as an artist in this field," said the tattoo artist about the woman who was arrested for letting her 3 children get tattoos.
The children were all under 13, and the tattoos were not done at a commercial tattoo parlor — is that still the term? tattoo parlor? — but by her brother. The children's father called the cops. He's the mother's ex-husband, and he's fighting for custody of the children.
What were the tattoos of? How big were they? What part of the body was tattooed? Do these questions matter to you? Does religion matter? The tattoos, on the ankle, were: 1. a cross, 2. an infinity symbol with a cross, and 3. a heart with an arrow.
Can children get tattoos? Here, there's a specific statute: "tattoos prohibited for certain persons," a Class A misdemeanor. So the answer is clearly no, unless you want to make an argument for a religious exemption.
Here's a Wikipedia article "Religious perspectives on tattooing."
Christian Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina started tattooing, especially of children, for perceived protection against forced conversion to Islam during the Ottoman occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.... This form of tattooing continued long past its original motivation. Tattooing was performed during springtime or during special religious celebrations such as the Feast of St. Joseph, and consisted mostly of Christian crosses on hands, fingers, forearms, and below the neck and on the chest. In India many Christians tattoos Cross Sign under thumb area. Orthodox Coptic Christians who live in Egypt commonly tattoo themselves with the symbols of Coptic crosses on their right wrists, the history of this custom is similar to that of the Christian Croat tatto[o]s....I have no idea if this woman — her name is Ashley Weir — had any religious notions about what she was doing. Only 2 of the 3 tattoos had a cross. So let me pose a hypothetical. What if 3 children received cross tattoos that the Christian mother believed were needed as protection from forced conversion to Islam?
Here's an illustrated article about old women in Bosnia and Herzegovina who have tattoos they received when they were young. They did not go to commercial tattoo parlors to get these tattoos. They tattooed each other.
At the height of the cult, mothers took to tattooing their children at home, usually before they were ten years old. The tattooing process involves using a crude needle and a special solution made of charcoal, grime, honey, and milk extracted from the bosom of a lactating woman who has already had a male child....Special power was ascribed to this milk.
Although the cult outlasted the Ottoman oppressors, communist authorities made tattooed women targets of hate campaigns. Threatened and treated like criminals, they would often lose their jobs due to their religious allegiances. Eventually women stopped tattooing their children out of fear and the practice was more or less extinct by the 1950s.What would you do with an American mother who belonged to a cult like this and followed the traditional practice? What would you do with an American mother, a Christian, who heard about this practice and adopted it as part of a custody battle with her ex-husband, a Muslim?
... "There was a paraffin lamp," [one woman remembered], "milk was taken from the woman who feeds a male child and it was mixed with the soot from the lamp. Then she took the needle, dipped it, and tattooed a cross on my hands until the blood ran. My hand was numb so I didn't feel anything. She wrapped it and I held it like that for one day without washing."
(Again, I don't know the details of the case reported in the news today. I'm just pursuing the ideas using hypotheticals.)
NOTE: This post was corrected to show that the second tattoo, the one with the infinity symbol, also had a cross.