-- Last Updated: Apr-16-12 2:11 AM EST --
...for this to turn into a religious discussion, but:
"The context of the passage is explicitly defiling oneself for the dead. In this case the Kohanim are forbidden from various mourning practices. Not only are they forbidden from coming in contact with the dead bodies of their deceased friends (vv.1ff.) but they are also forbidden from defiling themselves by making bald spots on their heads, by shaving their beards, and by cutting their skin. We see here that three of the prohibitions found in Lev 19 and Dt 14 are repeated in Lev 21. In all three passages both the implicit and explicit contexts are that of mourning practices. Every ancient person knew that one cut one's skin or shaved one's head as an act of mourning and it was these acts of mourning that are being prohibited in Lev 19."
Quoted fron The Karaite Korner.
This verse, like any in the Bible, is easily taken out of context. You need to look at what all of Leviticus 19 is about, before you draw conclusions about individual verses.
That said, I certainly respect every persons individual religious beliefs. I expect the same of mine.
For whatever it's worth, I'm a seminary school dropout, and have worked the last several years for a Christian organization. I have decided not to pursue a calling to minister, at this time. Who knows what the future may bring.