“U.S. BANS TRAVEL AFTER DEATH”
This statement was a headline on page A7 of the July 22 edition of the Lincoln
Journal Star. It alarmed me!
Did this recently instituted policy mean that people would have to be buried
where they dropped? As I contemplated the implications, I wondered if now there would
be graves along highways because funeral directors could no longer transport the
deceased to the funeral home or from the mortuary to a church, or from the church to
the cemetery. Funeral services would have to be conducted on the right-of- way causing
more accidents and more fatalities in a never-ending cycle.
Or was our government extending its authority to the afterlife and prohibiting the
souls of the departed from traveling to their final rewards- either heaven or hell? How
can a government do that? Wouldn’t that be a classic case of legislative over-reach?
I’m sure that you are beginning to grasp my reason for being concerned.
But wait a minute!
The headline, as is often the case, did not faithfully represent the facts.
The story under the headline revealed that the United States State Department
has restricted travel to North Korea following the death of an American student Otto
Warmbier, who died while in custody of the North Koreans. His death resulted from
injuries which he sustained after his arrest for taking, without permission, a propaganda
poster. The State Department has alleged that Warmbier was mistreated.
So, my alarm was caused by inadequate information. As the Little Prince
remarked, “Words are the source of misunderstanding.”
Bodies may still be transported to their final resting places. The State Department
is not trying to intervene in the final disposition of souls. Things remain as they should
be, more or less.
If you are making plans for your final destination, rest assured that the United
States government will not interfere in what the Supreme Judge may decide should be
the ultimate determination of your soul.
In fact, if you have made arrangements through your Baptism, you may confirm
your reservation by professing your faith in Jesus Christ. This is normally done through
the Rite of Confirmation and validated daily by believing in Jesus as Lord, who forgives
sins and has accomplished our redemption on the cross. Thanks be to God!
Paul asked the question, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
(Romans 8:35) or who will, for that matter, deny us our eternal reward? The answer to
both questions is the same-No one! Not even the State Department.