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NASCAR Tombstone Not Allowed in Cemetery

John Moore, Getty Images

I was reading a story from Indianapolis, Indiana where a widow is wanting to place a NASCAR tombstone among other things on her husband’s grave site but the Cemetery is saying she can’t do it.

Jason Carr died in a 2009 car crash and his wife Shannon spent nearly $10,000 on a custom headstone in the shape of a couch featuring the NASCAR logo, the logo of the Indianapolis Colts and a deer and a dog. However, the couple’s church said it didn’t meet the specifications of its cemetery and therefore wouldn’t be allowed as his grave marker.

Shannon Carr is now suing saying she never got any paperwork in advance of her ordering the tombstone from the Roman Catholic Church which owns the cemetery. The Rev. Jonathan Meyer, priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church, says he notified the monument maker that the headstone didn’t meet the cemetery’s standards and couldn’t be placed in the church’s century-old graveyard. But Carr says in her lawsuit says that she never received any regulations for the plot until more than a year after she tried to have the headstone installed in 2010.

Meyer says that the church knew about the plans for the headstone six weeks before Carr purchased it and that she was informed of the decision not to allow it in the cemetery and was encouraged to not purchase it. However, he did say that the regulations weren’t formally official until after Carr purchased the headstone.

The archdiocese of Indianapolis says that issue is out of the court’s jurisdiction as it doesn’t fall within the bounds of the first amendment.  So who is going to win this argument?  Carr or the Church?


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