Rant week, continued

A natural development of Batflu worship, will be Public Health laws requiring that everyone be cremated. At first, these will apply only to people who are already dead. The “trendline,” as ever, actually preceded the Batflu; just as the corruption of American election laws did. But the corrupt, like the honest, need morale to feed their spirits, and inspire them into an emotional lather. The Batflu acts as a “force multiplier.”

This is a huge and, as it were, bottomless topic, in which I claim to be no theological expert. To my limited view, it can be condensed to a few thousand years of full-bodied Jud├Žo-Christian burial customs, versus a few decades of the Hindoo and Far Eastern ones we have imported. In the West, historically, when Christianity arrives, old practices of “hydriotaphia” and so forth lapse. (See Thomas Browne.) I am surely simplifying, of course. In my narrow reading, I haven’t encountered exceptions.

Among the truly ancient — our ancestors long before Genesis was written — burial customs remain secure. When an archaeologist finds evidence of “inhumation,” he knows he is looking at a human site. It is the first sign; and verily, the proof, that he is not dealing with dead monkeys. Humans, from our beginnings, buried our dead. Who, I like to wonder, told them to do this?

I do not think the theological arguments can be clinched. The Eastern churches still forbid tampering with graves; they take the inhumation part for granted. Christ wasn’t cremated, &c. Catholics and Protestants still buried their dead, until quite recently. It could be said that Catacombs were early Christian innovations for the crowding problem. Let the economists opine.

Pagan Roman public health laws turned out to be convenient. They forbad interments within city walls. By driving their deceased out along the Appian Way, Christians could get away with marking the graves of martyrs. Christ Himself was not only crucified, but entombed just out of town.

A friend wrote with a question I am answering, to the limit of my ability. He has a spritely mother, who is in her ninetieth year. Although she still climbs fifteen flights of stairs to her apartment (to shame her son, he suspects) she finds herself thinking about death more often than she did at nineteen.

My own parents, not being Christian, couldn’t see the point of any argument for Christian burial when they made their funeral plans. I tried it on anyway, but they smiled me off. (This can be slightly better than laughing.) They made arrangements, and left instructions, to be cremated. I “washed my hands.” Then we buried the urns in the family plot; waiting till Spring in obedience to the bureaucrats.

That God can resurrect from ashes, I take as likely. But that is for God. In the Christian view, humans also have some responsibilities. Parsees and Tibetans fed the corpses to vultures; at least in the good old days. I once admired the traces of the Zoroastrian funeral pillars outside Herat. At least they were pre-Islamic.

My own mother once facetiously suggested that, when defunct, she should be put out in a garbage bag. She was being, shall we say, heroically atheist. I pointed out that her survivors could be fined, for doing that even with a defunct raccoon. It goes deeper than smug public healthies realize.

Marines risk lives to recover bodies. The authorities are still defaulting to some Christian assumptions, even though their trend is satanic.

But Batflu worship will demand a thorough scouring, starting with Trump but ending with Christ.