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By John Horvat II. Crisis Magazine, January 21, 2019

From time immemorial, people have buried the dead. Sometimes, they even risked their lives to carry out this most basic duty. In times of persecution, for example, Christians put themselves in great danger to recover the bodies of martyrs so that they might receive the holy rites of Christian burial.

The Old Testament recounts the story of the elder Tobias, who, while exiled to Nineveh, observed the Hebrew Law by burying the dead against the wishes of King Sennacherib.

Even ancient peoples like the Greeks felt compelled to pay a final reverence to the deceased. Thus, Sophocles in the play “Antigone” relates the story of a sister who defies the orders of the Greek tyrant Creon, not to bury her brother, whom he had defeated in battle. She proclaims the right to bury her brother came from “unwritten and unchanging laws. They are not just for today or yesterday but exist forever, and no one knows where they first appeared.”….Continue reading at