Evolution News took a break from their rants against @swamidass and I to post an article about “recomposing,” a new trend in body disposal in the vein of “green burials” and so forth. I don’t really care about this issue one way or the other, but there is something in this article that stuck out to me as a good example of what bothers many of us about the conservative religious approach to politics…
The author of this post is not just lamenting this practice that he finds undignified, he’s lamenting the legality of it. It’s not enough for him to speak against this practice and try to convince his fellow human that it’s not a good way to think about life, death, and the human body. The author seems to want to keep the practice illegal so that others can’t do it even if they want to.
What gives him that authority??? I understand that he has religious objections, but, and let me say this slowly, RELIGION. IS. AN. OPT-IN. SYSTEM. Those who follow a particular religion can freely apply the rules and guidelines on themselves and their fellow adherents, but expecting others to accept those guidelines thrust upon them is the height of arrogance. Other people find human dignity in the continuity of human beings with nature and we look forward to the full and complete return of our earthly vessel to the same earth from whence it came. Some of us also don’t want our last act on earth to be an expensive carbon footprint.
I plan on burial at sea for myself, but I’m also watching these green burials considering them as alternatives, too. But don’t worry, I wouldn’t even dream of making traditional coffin-grave burials illegal just because I take a different view.