This article left me feeling sad for people. It's about changes in Minnesota funeral law. The first line left me scratching my head. Is it beneath the dignity of a dead man to ride in the back of a pickup truck? Really? this is what we're worried about? The dead man, well, he's dead, and really has no dignity.
The State Health Guy in charge of mortuary science, David Beneke, says the changes were made to, "prevent someone from disposing of a dead body in an unacceptable manner, such as a funeral pyre." He then adds, "If there was a group that was doing this continuously for 25 years, we would allow it." Which means that there can be no new funeral traditions ever again. And besides, what's wrong with a funeral pyre? It was good enough for the folks in the old country.
I'm not a big conspiracy guy, but there is no logical reason to restrict how a body can be disposed of except that the people who get paid to dispose of the bodies want to keep getting paid. There are illogical reasons, like, oh, this:
Benke said the law still would allow a body to be transported in a van or an SUV. But the state wants to prohibit bodies transported in pickup trucks or trailers, even if they are covered.
"We don't think that's respectful to the deceased," he said.
It's not the Health Department's job to tell me what is respectful to my dead family member. If it is unhealthy for a corpse to be placed in the back of an open truck, make the case. Leave respect for the dead to people who know the dead.Considering that morticians can get a religious waver for some rules, I'm guessing the rules have little to do with public health. Although it wouldn't be the first time that religious beliefs were used to fight against public health.
Finally, this story makes me feel better about macing squirrels on my back porch.
Your Bring Out Your Dead leader.