A reader points out that tongue splitting is not so clearly "unbiblical" as I suggested. First of all, the verse to which I linked (Leviticus 21:5) applies specifically to the Kohanim (priests). The other commandment regarding cuttings in the flesh (Leviticus 19:28) prohibits the practice when it is done "for the dead." That rule seems to be narrower than the one against tattoos, although I'm not sure what an authority on Jewish law would say about tongue splitting. In any case, I should not have said the practice is "definitely unbiblical." It's still gross, though (and none of the government's business, I hasten to add).
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