God, Guns, and . . . Whatever

Paul Harvey

A friend sent this photo of a tattoo, which he wants to use as a cover for his book. And, it's just pretty dang awesome, so I'm sharing it.

Updated: see the comments section for more explanation behind the image.

Comments

Brad Hart said…
I'm not sure that the Palin team would approve of this image. Unfortunately it lacks a dead moose carcass, a pile of burning books, and a hockey mom (aka pitbull) with lipstick! =)
Kelly Baker said…
Ahh, religious tattoos, how I love thee. On a more serious note, what is your friend's book on?
deg said…
John Hayes! The man, the legend. I was there when he went to get it. Looks better every day.

His dissertation is about Johnny Cash and the religious cultures of the southern poor. The tattoo references the Cash tune "The Wanderer" and, of course, "Ring of Fire."

A UGA alumnus doing us proud in so many ways.
Paul Harvey said…
Kelly: Yes, as Deg just pointed out, this is the soon-to-be-more-famous John Hayes, whose diss. "Hard, Hard Religion" (or maybe he changed that title, I can't remember) is one of the best damn things I've read in a long time (as good as your diss. on Klan culture, and that's truly a compliment), and a bit of it is there in article form in last year's Journal of Southern Religion issue. The tattoo is his diss. in artistic form.
Matt Sutton said…
Wow! Does this mean I need to get a Sister Aimee tattoo on my ass? Should Blum get a DuBois tattoo?
Randall said…
Awesome tat, John!

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or ..." tattoos of guns and religion.
Manlius said…
Mr. Harvey, is this post meant in a "New Yorker cover of Barack and Michelle" sort of way (iow, as a reflection of a particularly held perception of Sarah Palin) or is this your actual perception of her?

The New Yorker's point was obvious. Yours isn't (to me, anyway), so that's why I'm asking.
Paul Harvey said…
Manlius: It's a tattoo. Smile, it's a beautiful fall day, turn the computer off and go outside and enjoy it.
Manlius said…
Relax, Paul. I've got a sense of humor,too. I just wonder what made you think of Sarah Palin when you saw this tattoo. I just don't see the connection, humorous or otherwise, between it and her. That's why I asked the question.
Kelly Baker said…
I am a bit jealous that his dissertation works so well in tattoo form. My diss. would not quite be appropriate :)
John said…
Um...wow. Who knows where things can end up in cyperspace.

My tattoo is (aside from a hallmark of an early midlife crisis) an emblem of the religious sensibility I wrote about, one forged in the hard confines of rural southern poverty--a poverty that threatened to, and sometimes did, destroy people in violence--but which called people, through judgment directed at oneself, to live instead in humility and neighborliness. The tone of that sensibility, and the social class it came from, are quite different from today's very public evangelicalism. In the tat there's God and guns, but it's a gun pointed at you, and a ring of fire you might fall into, where, in Flannery O'Connor's phrase, "the mercy of the Lord burns." Burns, burns, burns...