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Cremate In The Open

How far should we tolerate particular practices of other religions in our country? Hindus and Sikhs cremate their dead in the open. Present UK laws forbid this since the 1930s, although there can be no health risk. Should we relax to allow this?

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 ---alan8869_of_UK on 7/14/06
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There are more disturbing aspects of Hinduism. Sati, self-immolation, common use of fire as punishment/"purification". Three weeks ago, my son's classmate and his brother were doused in gasoline by their father, and set ablaze. After 3 weeks, NO charges against the father, who admitted he did it. There was another case similar to this in August, involving another Hindu family. I can't help but wonder if the D.A.'s delay in filing charges has to do with "cultural sensitivity".
---kim on 12/9/07

The Parsees leave their dead on high towers for the vultures to devour. That way humans are truly recycled, as food for living creatures.
---InimicusStultitiae on 12/9/07

As long as any practice, whether religious or not, does not harm another, there should be no reason to disallow it.

What creeps me out is that here in the States (almost) everyone is required to be embalmed (whether cremated or not), and if buried, it must be in a vault.

When I die, I want my body to become part of the soil, as it was meant to do. But sadly, it is illegal. The best I can do is be an organ donor, and hope med students can use what's left.
---Nancy on 12/7/07

I am all for open air creamation..absolutely saves valuable realestate..and no ugly looking tombs to have good memories of your loved ones in your heart and minds where no moths etc will contaminate it..tombs etc in time will deteriote and look ugly..
---pammy on 12/7/07


Our corruptible bodies are no longer of any use to us once we die. After that, they get recycled by nature.

Is getting consumed by vultures in a few minutes more gruesome than getting consumed by wormed in a few years? The end result is the same (and it wastes less real estate).
---StrongAxe on 12/7/07

I live in America and when a muslim, buddist, or any others from other countries come into our country, they should live by the laws and stop trying to push themselves on others. Same for the U.K. Did you hear what Australia did. They are getting rid of things that upset their laws and government. Praise God.
---shira on 12/7/07

Last week, I watched a program about sky burial in Tibet. (Two missionaries were there).
On the day of funeral, someone is hired to carry the body to the sky burial spot. The vultures gather there as they see the smoke. The man whistles to the vultures, vultures consume the bodies, without anything left.

I had no idea and it was gruesome.
---Tisha on 5/5/07

Absolutely, I believe we should. The laws should be made to accomodate all productive citizens, and that includes people of various backgrounds and religions.
---Pamela on 5/5/07

it would be a good thing in my opinion to allow them to do such but only in a place segragated for such practices in the open and away from residential areas. I alone would not want 2 visually c my own cremated.This process will save good land and it truly is a hastening of the natural process..we have so many ugly edifices around the place..far too many...pesonally, I prefer 2remember my loved ones in my heart where it wont deteriorate as concrete n would do.
---jana on 5/4/07

If it's not harmful and directly sinful or against the law then there is no good reason to put a stop to something that is very important to them. Personally, I'd rather see them do it the more "normal" way but giving freedom here is the way of peace.
---john on 5/4/07

2. If there are other reason for the laws to be changed fair enough but, whilst the rights of one religion decrease, to allow the rights of others to increase will have only one result, Christians being persecuted at every turn. It is already happening but should we be giving it a helping hand??
---M.P. on 7/16/06

Alan my attitude to this is that we should not change our laws at all just to tolerate particular practices of other religions in our country. There are already so many laws that give more protection to all religions except Christianity whilst the rights of Christians are being eroded all the time.
---M.P. on 7/16/06

MP ... you have not really given your opinion on the question ... How far should we tolerate such practices?
If there is no health hazard, is there any reason why we should not change that law? Will others be offended?
Clearly this UK issue is of no interest to the majority of the bloggers, and why should it be?
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/16/06

Alan I don't think that there is anything else I can add to this, except to say Yes laws can be changed by Parliament AND if the chief Sikh says that this type of cremation is not a requirement of their religion then it seems the family deliberately broke our law AND for no good reason. To me, that is worse than if they did it because it was a requirement of their religion. Were they 'testing the water' and have 'something else up their sleeves'? It's anybody's guess.
---M.P. on 7/16/06

MP ... # 2 having said that, laws are being changed and cancelled all the time. for example we no longer have to pay a dog licence. If there is no good reason for a law, it can be cancelled. As I asked originally, how far should we tolerate other's practices? If they are not harmful, we could change the law to accommodate them. Should we?
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/15/06

MP ... # 1 yes we must obey the law, and in fact the chief Sikh has said that the family should not have made the stand, since open cremation is not a requirement of Sikh burial, and he said the family should have complied with the law.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/15/06

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Alan, I am sorry, I had missed the first sentence of your original question. Regarding the law about open air cremations, I do not know the origins of that law but presume that there was a reason just as there must be a reason why our law says that bodies must be in a 'casket' whereas in many countries they use much less costly body bags, shrouds only or sometimes nothing at all. But we are told to obey the law of the land in which we live whether we like/understand it or not.
---M.P. on 7/15/06

MP ... thank you fore reminding us about the extreme aspects & the fate of that poor girl. But notice that my question did say "How far ..."
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/15/06

MP ... I was thinking more of the sense of the law concerned. I don't know why this one was introduced. But it seems an unnecessary one, and do why have it? Particularly since the effect of it seems to be to deny a certain group the right o follow a tradition.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/15/06

2. Another thing that has come to mind is our law about the killing of animals for food - kosher for Jews, halal for Muslims (similar but not identical). If killing animals without first stunning them is considered cruel and illegal for most of us it should apply to all. It is because allowances have been made in the past that others now feel that they can get changed everything they want and most is at the expense of Christians.
---M.P. on 7/15/06

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Alan, I don't know if you buy a weekend National paper, but in mine there is a story today about a young muslim girl being murdered (absolutely butchered) by her father, brother and cousin because she would not marry the man of her father's choice. They call this an honour killing. This is another example of people wishing to bring their culture and laws to another land. We should never adjust our laws to suit others, they should accept ours as we would have to accept theirs in their country.
---M.P. on 7/15/06

Alan I think you misunderstand me. My point is simply that we should obey the laws of the land in which we live whether we were born here or have come from another land for a better life in someone else's. You mentioned the open air cremation in particular, I responded to that and took it slightly further because of the many demands, made by immigrants, to change our laws to be like theirs were back home. Whether or not it is a health issue is totally immaterial.
---M.P. on 7/15/06

Laws should apply equally to everyone. However, in the U.S. there are laws that are simply not enforced (some laws are petty and outmoded but still on the books, some don't seem to justify the effort enforcement would require). But if there is controvery, perhaps the law should be revised.
---Donna2277 on 7/15/06

Actually, MP, I don't think the Hindus and sikhs are great offenders in trhe matters you refer to.
It just seems an odd law anyway, clearly it's not for health reasons, seeing the huge numbers of deseased livestock that was left to rot before open burning during our Foot and Mouth problem period.
---alan8869_of_UK on 7/14/06

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I live in the USA, here we have an amendment to the constitution that government shall not infringe upon the right to practice ones religion. I'm not sure how they do it in the UK though.
---Ryan on 7/14/06

No Alan we should not relax anything. If we go to live in countries that practice other faiths we have to abide by their laws and we get into huge trouble if we don't. It should be exactly the same here in the U.K. People choose to come here, they were not brought here captive. They came for the benefits we have to offer and like mostly what they seeand what they can get and wish to stay. THEN they work as hard as they can to change the things they do not like.
---M.P. on 7/14/06

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