Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 3/12/13

We've all heard stories about deceased sports fans being buried in their favorite team jersey or with a valued piece of sports memorabilia but one Indiana church is telling a woman her late husband can't proclaim his sports allegiances —or the place he watched them from — above the ground in the hereafter. Shannon Carr commissioned a black granite headstone to mark the grave of her husband Jason Carr and show his love of sports and the outdoors. The $9,000 headstone is shaped like a couch and features images of a deer, a dog and color logos of NASCAR and the Indianapolis Colts. Now Carr is suing the St. Joseph Catholic Church for refusing to install it. The Rev, Jonathan Meyer, a priest at the church, said the headstone didn't meet the cemetery's standards because of its secular nature and couldn't be placed in the church's century-old graveyard. "We provided the family funeral rites, prepared a funeral meal and offered family members individual counseling after the services," Meyer said. "We were with them the entire way until this matter came up." Carr claims in her lawsuit that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis Properties Inc., which owns the cemetery, never produced any regulations for the plot until a year after she tried to have the headstone installed in 2010. The issue has divided the church community. "They told her not to move forward with the purchasing of the monument, but she went ahead anyway," Meyer said. "We have consistently communicated the same message prior to the purchase and after the purchase. We did not think a granite couch was an appropriate monument in our historic cemetery." Now maybe if Carr had been an Angels fan...

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