Friday, August 27, 2010

Defending Monks, Institute for Justice Goes Six Feet Under

Mark Meranta of the Institute for Justice (IJ) has forwarded the video below.  In Louisiana it is illegal to sell funeral merchandise, including caskets, without a license. Louisiana is one of the few states that is almost as corrupt and badly regulated as my own New York.  

According to Meranta and the IJ website, IJ has teamed up with the monks of Louisiana's Saint Joseph Abbey to get Louisiana’s casket licensing law overturned.  Meranta writes:

"To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to abandon their calling for one full year to apprentice at a licensed funeral home, learn unnecessary skills and take a funeral industry test.  They would also have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” by, among other things, installing equipment for embalming human remains.

"The monks face crippling fines and up to 180 days in jail.  This is classic economic protectionism, and this case has a great chance of making it to the Supreme Court."

St. Joseph's is a Benedictine monastery.  St. Joseph is the patron saint of work as well as carpentry and real estate as he taught carpentry to Jesus.  Thus, the monks' production of wooden caskets fits the traditions of the monastery's namesake.  As well, they do right by St. Thomas, the most important church writer on natural law, indirectly the inspiration of John Locke and Jefferson's American Declaration of Independence.

Let us applaud the St. Joseph's monks in this courageous and worthwhile struggle. 

No comments: