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Regulatory robbery picks the pockets of monks


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Washington Examiner:

Regulatory robbery picks the pockets of monks
By: TIMOTHY P. CARNEY
Examiner Columnist
08/13/10 4:10 PM EDT

Louisiana is cracking down on a new scourge — Catholic monks selling caskets:

Before they were able to sell even a single casket, the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors told them that their sale of caskets violated state law, which says that you cannot sell “funeral merchandise” unless you’re a licensed funeral director. Were the monks to sell their caskets, they would risk both fines and imprisonment.

In order to sell caskets legally, the monks would have to apprentice at a licensed funeral home for a year, take a funeral industry test, and convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment,” installing equipment for embalming.

“We are not a wealthy monastery, and we want to sell our plain wooden caskets to pay for food, health care, and the education of our monks, said Abbot Justin Brown.”

The Institute for Justice has taken up the monks’ cause.

Once again, it’s Big Government protecting incumbent business from competition.
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Georgia had the same law until a few years ago. It wasn't until you were able to buy caskets on line much cheaper did public outcry become loud enough to cause it to be overturned.

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As long as the monks are only selling the caskets, not embalming or directing the overall funeral, this reeks of funeral homes not being able to cash in on a 5k casket. And they're really shooting themselves in the foot over this because southern Louisiana is mostly Catholic, and the pols in Baton Rouge from down here will never vote against their own constituents who I have little doubt will side with the monks.

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