I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I seem to have developed an addiction for a couple of  “reality” shows on A&E. 

I am a former card-carrying member of the KISS Army.  It’s true.  I have been to several of their concerts, in the mid 80’s; at the last one I attended, I was 8 months pregnant with Jessica and my parents tried to talk me out of going.  Out of young naivete, I didn’t listen to them, but thankfully the evening was uneventful.

Then in the late 90’s, my brother took me to their reunion tour for my birthday.  By this time, I had a different form of love for them.  More of a childhood reminiscence than a die-hard fan.  It was a cool experience, though, because even though I fell in love with the band in the early 70’s, it wasn’t until high school that I was old enough to see them in concert, and by that time they had taken off the makeup. 

Anyway, last week I saw a commercial advertising “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” on A&E.  familyjewels.jpgI always found him to be the most fascinating member of the group, so I thought I’d watch it and just check it out.  Well, I am hooked.  It’s funny, it’s definitely insightful.  You can tell there’s lots of love in the Simmons household, and the fact that his kids treat him like normal kids treat their dads, well, I can’t explain it, I just like it.

Before that comes Miami Ink.  I’ve seen ads for it, but never watched it until Monday night, right before Gene.  Tattoos have always fascinated me, I have one, would like a couple more, but at my age, that’ll probably not happen.  Mama and I each got one many many years ago.  Mine is a holly leaf, hers is a dutch folk art piece she designed herself.  You’ll have to ask her about it sometime.

What I liked about Miami Ink, is the stories that people tell about their tats, and the reason for getting them.  One girl last night got an orchid in memory of her grandfather.  Then there was a guy who had been addicted to Meth for 7 years.  With God’s grace, he was able to kick his habit, so he wanted some body art to remind himself of where he’s been and where he wants to stay.  Part of his tattoo was Isaiah 5.  He does mission work, and he wants other people to see his faith.

A couple of years ago, I had a conversation with my minister (we have a new one now) about tattoos.  He pointed out that Leviticus 19:28 says, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves.  I am the Lord.”  I went home to read Leviticus, and I found a few curiosities, and examples of how we as humans can pick and choose which verses we’d like to follow and which ones we’d like others to live up to. 

My argument is based on various verses in Leviticus 19.  *13 “Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight.” (how many people get paid daily?)    *19 “Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material” *27 “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard” (doesn’t that sound like all men should have longer hair and beards?)

We were at an impasse.  He felt that tattoos are the work of the devil and that those other laws were passe.  At this point, I was still forming my ideas of Christianity, and I needed more clarity.  Why was I evil for marking my skin, but he was still a Godly man even though he was clean shaven and short haired?  I’m pretty sure his suits were cotton/poly blends, too.

I apologize.  I just realized that I seem to have jumped way off subject.  I’m sorry.

My point of this post, I reckon is that I am a closet reality television watcher, after all.  So, don’t pay attention to what I may have said in the past.  I don’t think Gene Simmons is the idol I once did, but the idea of him living a semi-normal life is very intriguing to me.