Who do the dead ‘belong’ to?


Only in Malaysia: religious authorities having no qualms about gatecrashing your wedding or your funeral. Self-appointed guardians of our souls, they seem to believe that it’s God’s job to look after the poor, the elderly and the infirm while their job is to make sure that people don’t get married or buried without their say-so.

Erna Mahyuni, MMO

Now let me step into dicey theological territory. Do the religious authorities have more claim over a dead body than, say, the deceased’s family? Will God really send you to hell if your body isn’t interred the “correct” or “theologically preferred” manner?

Funerals are not for the dead. They are for the living. They are for those who want to mourn those who have passed on; to grieve, to remember and to bid farewell to loved ones.

What do I believe? That no religious body has the right to snatch a corpse or dispose of it, not unless the deceased had specifically left behind instructions to be buried in a certain manner.

No religious authority should have precedence over a family’s wishes. But that is the problem with our religious authorities — the searing, zealous belief that they are doing God’s work, that what they are doing is God-sanctioned.

The truth is, you will never know.

You won’t really know if God exists until you die. You can’t really justify 100 per cent that you are doing the right thing by God without His/Her official sanction.

Read more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/erna-mahyuni/article/who-do-the-dead-belong-to