Sunset Finances Agrees with Louisiana’s Lower Courts – Monks Should Be Able to Sell Caskets

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In a Shreveport Times article dated July 18th and titled “Funeral directors appeal casket ruling for monks”, it’s reported that the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to rule in the matter of Benedictine monks selling caskets from their monastery. Sunset Finances sides with the lower courts and agrees that state licensed funeral directors shouldn’t have the sole privilege to sell caskets.

A Shreveport Times article, written by Janet McConnaughey on 7/18/2013, reports that the Louisiana board of funeral directors will be appealing to the Supreme Court regarding the lower court’s rulings allowing Benedictine monks to sell caskets from their monastery. Right now, there is no regulation in place in Louisiana allowing only licensed funeral directors to sell caskets. The request to the Supreme Court uses the reasoning that “economic protectionism” is legitimate.

The casket industry began thousands of years ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Originally constructed of wood, cloth and paper, caskets or sarcophagi were generally the privilege of the privileged. Most people were buried using only a shroud or some fabric.

Casket costs can range from several hundred dollars for simple “green” caskets to several thousand dollars, depending on the material from which it’s crafted. Modern times and the cost of funeral items, such as caskets, have allowed for the invention of funeral insurance.

The casket industry really took off in the United States in the late 19th century. It evolved from furniture makers doing double duty as undertakers. Then, the Civil War ushered in the era of mass production. In 1918, Batesville Casket Company started making the first metal caskets and eventually developed a process to mass produce metal caskets more effectively than wooden caskets. Today, caskets are made of a range of materials, including wood, steel, copper, and bronze. The casket industry is now a billion dollar industry.

Sunset Finances sides with the “little guy,” the Benedictine monks, looking to manufacture and sell caskets from their monastery outside of New Orleans, and provides a brief history of the casket.

About Sunset Finances:
SunsetFinances.com memorializes the lives and feats of loved ones who have died.

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