Friday, May 13, 2005

The Moral Consequences of Cremation

I sure hope that I don't offend anyone with this post. I was going to start studying the book of Psalms, but a couple of things have come up to delay that and I have other things on my mind to blog about at the moment.

So, my parents visited for a few days this week and as we were finishing dinner one night, my mom said "So, how do you feel about cremation?"

I think that I responded with something like I was fine with it as long as the person was dead and why did she ask.

She said that she has been aware of more and more cremations lately because of the outrageous costs of funerals and various expenses and she was curious how we felt about it. I figured that if the deceased had a preference, that should be honored and if not, the family members should come to a decision together.

Then she said
"But what about the moral consequences of cremation?"

I stared and blinked and felt like she had just asked me what the moral consequences of an orange were. I didn't know that there were any...

She responded with: Oh, there is a lot controversy in the Christian community about cremation. You know about how "the dead in Christ will arise" and "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit" and how they didn't really practice cremation in Bible times and how burial was so important.

I think that I blinked again.

I was going to try and figure out a little further what the problem was, but right then my Dad got inspired and added his 2 cents.

"If we are trying to save money, why don't we skip the cremation too and just bury me with my grill! In fact, visitation could be a BBQ and I could be on a spit and if people didn't like the idea of an open casket, they would just have to time it right when they walked by and they would only see the back of me. And then when everyone had passed by, you could just crank that baby up to 700 degrees and it would be over in seconds..."

In theory this is pretty grotesque and I hesitate to even record it here, but my Dad humored myself so much with this picture that he was crying real tears and having a true belly laugh. Although my dad chuckles fairly regularly, a true belly laugh is pretty rare, so I couldn't help but smile.

Being the dutiful daughter, I looked up cremation in our Bible software today just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. You know how I hate to be out of the Christian loop. I actually did find one article that mentioned that the Bible implied that burial rituals were very important today and cremation was not encouraged, but other than that, all other references were pretty basic. It was mentioned or alluded to in the Bible several times, but it mostly was in reference to criminals or "bad" people being burned after dying.

I personally don't see a problem with any of this. I mean your body is just an earthly thing, right. Once you die, your spirit is what lives on in heaven, right? So, are there any moral consequences to cremation? (and should my parents be committed somewhere??)


Erica said...

Things to be happy about today:
Jen's blog - you make me laugh! I am so happy that you are blogging now! And don't worry... I won't expect you to make me laugh every day. :)
(and yes, I did steal the first line from my roomie...)


Erica said...

I wouldn't mind at all. I would be honored to have you add me! :) Can I add yours to mine?