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Controversy is heating up over a bill that would allow outdoor cremations in Missouri.

The bill to redefine “crematory” to allow outdoor cremations was approved by the Missouri Legislature earlier this year. Gov. Mike Parson is considering whether to sign the bill into law.

Our take on this one is decidedly Libertarian: Let people choose their own burial ritual, as long as it doesn’t adversely affect the rest of us.

Sen. Jason Holsman, a Kansas City Democrat, said in a recent Associated Press story he proposed the measure in part because outdoor cremations have been performed “since the dawn of man.”

“This is the way that our ancestors took care of their remains,” Holsman said. “The Native Americans did it in trees. The Vikings did it in boats. Outdoor cremation has been around many cultures forever.”

But the bill, now on the verge of becoming a law, is suddenly rubbing some people the wrong way.

For some, the concern surrounds sanitation issues. For cremation, a constant heat of more than 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit would be needed, for instance.

We agree the practice would need to be done the proper way and in the proper place.

But for others, the concern surrounds their religious beliefs. The practice doesn’t follow that of a proper Christian burial ritual, they argue.

As Christians, we believe in an omnipotent God who will one day reunite our bodies with our souls. Is this going to be more difficult for God to accomplish if our bodies are ashes compared to dust? We don’t think so.

Does the bill infringe upon your right to practice your religion? On the contrary — it helps to afford our constitutional guarantee to freedom of religion.

Most of us won’t choose this burial method, but, for the few that do, how does that harm the rest of us?

Central Missouri Newspapers