Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

BOSTON (RNS) Most faith leaders agree everyone deserves a dignified burial, no matter what crimes they've committed, as a matter of Christian principle. But a mix of factors is leading them to keep low profiles on the debate over how to handle the remains of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

9 Comments

    • What a mercenary to look at death. It seems to make a farce of all traditions in handling the dead. Better if we just cremated and anonymously scattered the ashes of all who die.

      • Garson Abuita

        Then you’d be making a farce out of Judaism and Islam, both of which strongly frown upon, if not forbid, cremation. Judaism finds scattering of the ashes repulsive.

  1. It makes no difference as long as it is respectful and according to the wishes of his closest relatives. He performed actions that were as evil as anyone could do. Dead, we cannot bring them back. Injured, we are trying to repair them. But the dead are dead, gone, and we should never behave in evil ways with the remains of anyone, not even with people like Tsarnaev. When we stoop to that level, we are like them. Let us rejoice in our sadness for the innocents Tsarnaev took from us, and in our work to help those harmed in any way. Dead is dead. Tsarnaev is gone.

  2. In Andersonville National Cemetery at the site of the Civil War Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia there are a set of six or seven graves set apart from the other 23,000 graves of those Union soldiers who died in during their imprisonment. These graves contain the remains of other Union soldiers who became predators on their fellow prisoners, stealing and murdering. Despite the fact that they did such horrible things to their fellow countrymen and subsequently were executed for their crimes, they still received burial. I can understand why very few want Tsarnaev buried on American soil, but why not return his body to his parents and their home for burial. From what I understand, the cost of doing this would be much less than the cost of providing protection for the funeral home that is holding his body and he would still receive burial.

    • Chris Shoemaker

      The “Andersonville Raiders” you’ve mentioned have a 40-foot in diameter circle plotted around them in which no one else can ever be buried. Ever. Also the Raiders can never have flags placed on their graves. Burial with perpetual dishonor.

  3. Chris Shoemaker

    Regarding Laderman’s comments, the condemned were sometime buried at (not in) crossroads to prevent their possibly vengeful spirit from returning to town. The crossroads idea was born of fear and superstition, not malice toward the dead. The malice was not allowing them a churchyard burial–a form of post-mortem excommunication.

  4. A. Well meaning folks can’t go and bury whomever they feel sorry for. There are laws governing such things.
    B. Any thinking Christian would know that a Muslim jihadist would not want them to bury him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.