Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Ale Mary" Dive Bar Uses Monstrance and Chalices for Drunken Revelries

Edit: A definition from Wikipedia is useful here: Blasphemy is irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things.[1] Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy,[2] while others have laws to give recourse to those who are offended by blasphemy. 

[Fell's Point, Baltimore, MD] There was a show called "Cheers" on television years ago.  It was bawdy and vulgar yet there were some borders it was not safe to pass in the early 80s when the show first aired.  It depicted a homey place, reminiscent of an unpretentious neighborhood bar with a hint of old world ambiance and Boston charm.  The heavy wooden furniture and the bar spoke of permanence, elegance,  and  that favorite piety of secular artists, human dignity. It was not always clear who the show's buffoons were, but you knew them when you saw them, and sometimes, it was a comedic mailman who could be the most noble in the simplicity of his fears.  Some other writer said something about irony being lost on a society which had no shame.  That's why we'd like to wield a metaphorical hammer.  Perhaps there are others who can put a better finish on the details of what we will tell.

Satirical painting: priest displeased with Nun?
All we can say is that sometimes evil is really mundane and some of us don't realize that we're not only bufoons needlessly offending  people's religious sensibilities, but far worse than that, we're offending God.  Even the name of the bar, a pun on the Blessed Mother's name seems calculated to be offensive.

Would you like some candy?
 We're not talking about this place, but it's not far from Boston, but it boasts a similar unmistakable charm you'd expect in New England with friendly folks. One of the features of the bar, and there are many, is its unmistakable Catholic ambiance. It's called, Ale Mary's and is located in Fell's point Maryland. One can just smell the faint aroma of the ocean as you think about it. The food is inexpensive, but if you're Catholic you might find it too expensive for the peace of your conscience to see the sacramental elements of your religion appear for the sake of decoration in peculiarly deliberate ways.
Chalices Used for Holy Sacrifice Being Abused by Patrons

It's not surprising, but it's not acceptable either that chalices which are used in Catholic Mass for the consecration of wine which becomes the blood of Christ, are used by patrons to drink (and get drunk from). They're made of precious metals, sometimes jewels, but their use in such a secular setting is strange and unsettling. No less than the inexplicable painting of a priest with a stole, looking aghast or in surprise at a nun who has her back to him. The most disturbing thing in the restaurant is the monstrance which is behind the bar used as decoration. The monstrance is large ornate disk, often resembling the sun, which is surmounted in a long stand with a heavy base. It contains a crystal compartment at the center of the disk where a consecrated communion Host can be placed inside and it allows the priest to elevate the entire object by the stand for the veneration of the Sacrament it contains. Seeing this monstrance here in this bar, covered with mardigras beads and a mustached smiley face where the Host would normally be is a little bit like finding family heirlooms in the hands of people who not only use them for purposes for which they were never intended, but use them in disrespectful ways.
Mustached Smiley Face Seems Particularly Malevolent
We found out about this recently and the individual who sent this to us wrote an e-mail complaining about the display of these religious items and even offered to purchase them. Far from being treated with the respect she deserved, her concerns were met with derision. 

Despite the bar owner claiming that no one cared about this clearly blasphemous display of religious artifacts, he asked her to remove an entry she made under the bar at a public site allowing comment on establishments. As he berated our friend, the proprietor insisted as an argument to justify his sacrilege and disrespect for Catholic sacramentals, that there were even Bishops and priests who thought that his blasphemous inclusion of religious articles was comical and that there was nothing wrong with this display.

Apparently, there's some truth to what he says, because Catholic clergy, including senior, does frequent this place.

We'll be praying a Rosary in reparation for having seen this blasphemy.  Hopefully, the proprietor can be persuaded to part with these items before word of this affects his business either spiritually or financially.

Give them a call:

Corner of Fleet & Washington Sts.
Fell's Point
Baltimore, MD.

Other Sites Linking

Angelqueen, Catholic Forum [Excellent Commentary]


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Anonymous said...

I will be going to Baltimore soon for a small vacation. I obviously will not be patronizing this place. Thank you for the warning. I don't want to be anywhere near that place when our Father in heaven decides to do a little housecleaning.

Sean said...

Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin

"And this is the writing that was inscribed: mina, mina, shekel, half-mina. This is the interpretation of the matter: mina, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; shekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting." Daniel 5:25–28

Tancred said...

From the feast of Balshazsar, also a painting by Rembrandt:

Howard said...

Sean, you beat me to it. That was *exactly* what I was thinking of.

Theresa said...

Not that I agree with the awful misuse of religious articles, but I figured I should give some context to the smiley-faced man with the mustache in the monstrace: He's the mascot for Baltimore's local beer (National Bohemian) and he's affectionately known as "Mr. Boh". He's not really malevolent in any way, though he absolutely doesn't belong in a monstrance.

Tancred said...

Thank you for that information. It's just that something like that has no place in a bar, and the childish inclusion of what looks like a drink coaster is an insult to Christ in the Eucharist.

Tancred said...

It's a lot like putting a smiley face on a tombstone, is the most apt analogy I can think of for it.

Mike Brainerd said...

What I find far more disturbing than the mere existence of this dump is that it is apparently frequented by certain members of he clergy. Need we wonder any longer at the lack of respect for all things liturgical-including Sunday Mass-when such a cavalier attitude exists among the clergy concerning such a patented and calculated offense to the sensibilities of all Catholics.

FranR said...

The only "proof" that Bishop or clergy consider this place "comical" is the word of a proprietor who has already manifestly demonstrated a cavalier attitude towards the precious instruments of faith. This is of the same state of mind as is revealed by those who wear a rosary as a belt or necklace, or adorn themselves with a crucifix. Fortunate for them (in this life anyway) that they choose not to mock the koran and the islamists.

Tancred said...

It would be interesting to know who these clerical defenders of "Ale Mary" are.

Anonymous said...

I challenge you, as Catholics, to go to Ale Marys. Tell the staff they are forgiven by God, eat some food that must be sent straight from heaven, and have some fun. Then go to confession if you still feel guilty. God gave his only son knowing that we are human and will sin. Don't hold back or else your making Jesus's life as a joke. B'lieve hon!!!

Tancred said...

In order to be forgiven, contrition is required.

SJ Stone said...

"Judge not lest you be judged." Not sure if anyone who reads this blog knows that little phrase or not. If you are going to thump the Bible, try living by it. In the meantime, go to Ale Mary's - bring your Bible if you want. They have great food, everyone there is super nice, and you'll have a good time.

Justine said...

I used to go to this bar almost daily when I lived in Baltimore. Seriously, no one that goes there cares that it is decorated with religious artifacts. It is an amazing place in an amazing location with an amazing staff and even more amazing food. If you have a problem with the way it's decorated, then don't go. This is America, so we have the freedom to decorate our bars the way we want. Plus, most of the things that they have there were salvaged from old churches being torn down and the things would have gone in trash anyways. Guess they felt bad about all of it going into a landfill. Don't judge until you go there and experience first hand what an amazing place this is.

Enelrad said...

Excuse me but how dare you call Ale Mary's a dump and who are you anyway to pass judgement on a place you have never been. Did someone die and make you God, I think not. The owners and staff of Ale Mary's are some of the kindest, most honest and "real" people that I know. If you are half as horrible as you seem in writing none of us Ale Mary regulars want to see you or your friends anywhere near the corner of Fleet and Washington.

Lex said...

I'm with Justine on this. Just don't go if you find it offensive - the same way I don't frequent bars covered in the confederate flag.

Those religious artifacts are indeed sacred - when they're in a church during service. If they've been discarded, I call it fair game.

Say your prayers for the proprietors if you feel you must, don't go and leave it at that.

I've haven't been to Ale Mary's yet - I've been meaning to because I know that in addition to owning this establishment they've also dedicated their time and resources to charitable organizations working to make Baltimore a better city and community. This post only reminded me that I need to hurry up and go check it out in person.

Anonymous said...

Amen Justin!!!

garciagogo said...

All of these items that you find offensive in their placement at a bar have nothing to do with your god. They were invented and implemented into your rituals by human beings. They are hunks of wood and metal.

As for the bar owners, they are wonderful people.

Instead of trying to ruin a hardworking American family's business, why don't you move on to a more worthy cause, like helping the needy? Isn't that what Christians are supposed to do?

Anonymous said...

This place sounds sweet. Thanks for the review - I shall check it out!

Anonymous said...

In truth, there are tons of decorations in this bar, many of which have no religious significance. If you don't like the way a place is decorated, don't patronize. Me, I'll go back again and again because of the wonderful food, the fantastic staff, and charming atmosphere. (BTW: You must live a VERY sheltered life if you think Ale Mary's is a dive bar.)

Anonymous said...

What a shame to be so upset at the most superficial piece of such a valuable neighborhood establishment while giving no respect to the true values that it and their owners represent.

I have been fortunate to be a neighbor of Ale Mary’s since their opening 7 years ago. I frequently dine and socialize with family, neighbors and friends under their roof.

I have been witness to their love and dedication to family, commitment to supporting local charities, active involvement with their local community and willingness to assist any of their neighbors in need.

I believe that these are all actions that the Catholic Church views in a favorable light; Actions that mean something to real people.

So knock yourself out with anger and disgust over the “misuse” of material things, pray for our poor souls till you are red in the face. I'm going to take my family to Ale Mary’s for some dinner, a beer and toast to hard work, great friends, great family!

Tancred said...

For those of you who are complaining about the justifiable Catholic reaction which seems calculated to inflame this kind of reaction: what if we exhumed a close relative or partially decomposed pet and put it on display in the bar, and broadcast it all over the internet that that was your loved one or pet?

Merely lacking the sensitivity for other people's religious beliefs doesn't excuse you from being liable at some point either in civil or divine law.

I'd like to see the proprietors try to do this with Islamic things.

Tancred said...

If he were honest and kind, he wouldn't attempt to enkindle people's anger by his blasphemous display.

Let's see him do the same with Islamic symbols.

The man is clearly defaming a religious faith, how very UNPC.

Anonymous said...

Well, that would just be gross. Fortunately no one has done that at Ale Mary's.

While you could argue that displaying these items is offensive to some, 7 years of sucessful business for Ale Mary's shows that it must not be a valid majority. The world is full insensitive people and offensive things. Trying to change this is futile.

Why Islam even enters this conversation is puzzling. I imagine its to make the point that "Muslum's wouldn't tolerate this, so why should Catholics". The implied violence as an acceptable response to show your level of offense with the decor in a little "dive" bar in Baltimore shows how off base your religious energy and effort is.

Yormom said...

Aren't all the items de-sanctified? It seems you all need a hobby, Ale Mary's is great.

What a waste of energy. Perhaps you should focus your time on something that actually matters, like the sick and destitute.

Tancred said...

Since when is popularity a measure of right or wrong? It doesn't matter if a business has existed for a hundred years, they would have no right to degrade and defame the rites and objects of the Catholic Church

Mentioning Islam enters into the conversation, because by your logic, you should be able to misuse Islamic objects, books, Korans and so forth in the same way, although I'm certain you wouldn't.

Try using verses of the Koran in your bar for drink napkins and coasters and lets see what happens.

Tancred said...

"Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests. And said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But they appointed him thirty pieces of silver. And from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray him."

Perhaps you should stop wasting your energy trying to justify deliberately insulting other people's beliefs.

You wouldn't have dared to pull a stunt like this twenty years ago.

Tancred said...

You can make all the money you want, but you shouldn't be allowed to insult the beliefs of others.

How about taking a little responsibility for your bad behavior?

Tancred said...

Ok, you don't think it's a big deal, but clearly there are people who do.

Now you get to deal with that.

Anonymous said...

I truly love how when a person has a view that is different from a religious zealot, The zealot often ends the discourse with "STOP INSULTING MY BELIEFS!"

--No one is insulting you.

All items that are featured in Ale Mary's have been desanctified . They were purchased on Ebay, If I remember correctly. Also, if the church itself puts these pieces of property up for sale like and a group of people buy it and turn it into a brew do you explain that? The church itself descantified the space because, well, the Catholic Church is quickly losing members due to a long list of systemic issues. (This is my opinion, it differs from yours, but I'm not trampling on your right to voice your own opinion. Just so you're aware ) The Church is selling properties (along with all the items found inside after they descantify the space) The Church gets the money and gets to apply to things like "catholic relief services" which goes to help someone build another church in a third world country.

...and we heretics get an awesome Brew Pub.

Look, everyone benefits.

However, If you're concerned about these sacred items, call the people selling Church Property and have them donate these items to churches in other places that may need it. Otherwise, If it's up for sale, us nonbelievers will probably get our hands on it and use it for things that make you angry. Take that anger you feel right now and use it to change church practices. complaining about it on the internet will get you nothing but an argument. and that gets you nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Actually, no, I DON'T have to "deal with that". They are not physically hurting anyone with the decorations, just some people's sensibilities. If you don't like it, don't go. It's kind of the same as that I find your quasi-sanctimonious attitude a tad offensive, so I have no plans to ever hang around with you.

Tancred said...

He can take the stuff down and sell it rather than continuing his sacrilege and offending Catholics.

Let him do this with Koran suras and see what happens.

Maybe they should open a bar called Al Burqa and feature pictures of Mohammed and Mohamed shaped shot glasses and see how long the bar lasts?

Have some respect for your community and take that stuff down, sell it to people who'll use it as it was intended to be used.

Erica said...

As a former regular and active Catholic, I find the atmosphere and decor of Ale Mary's to be not only UN-offensive but also a testament to the honor and dignity of the ownership. Instead of allowing the Archdiocese of Baltimore to discard unused religious artifacts, they have restored and displayed them in their bar, which is the antithesis of a dive, by the way. They are kind people and hire good staff. Once while taking out the trash, their cook noticed that someone was breaking into my car. He chased the man and called the police. It takes a special kind of person to do that. The ownership does incredible work for the community and has brought life into an area of town that desperately needs it.

I don't view their use of these objects as irreverent. Destroying them, defacing them, yes... Displaying and using them? No. Do you really believe that the girls in that picture are drinking from those chalices with the intent of offending the Church? You can't say the owners' intent was to deliberately insult someone, when you've never even bothered to speak to them to understand what they're about. How incredibly hypocritical of you.

It sounds like the writer of this article has failed to do their research. How can you judge a place without having been there? How is it fair to pass judgement at all, when that is God's job and His alone? How is it possible that we have children being killed for looking and dressing a certain way and you are wasting your time with this non-issue? Shame on you. "Judge not lest ye be judged." Stop giving good Catholics a bad name with your drivel. I only wish I lived in the area to give them my business tonight as a show of support.

Tancred said...

Yes you do have to deal with it. There's a price to pay when you insult someone's beliefs and do so repeatedly and willfully.

If you insult the Church in the persistent and public manner you're doing, there are going to be some legal, financial and spiritual results there which you're not going to like.

If you can't be trusted to be responsible and show some respect, then you have to be taught in the school of life.

Connie said...

I love the HolyFatman and ALE MARY'S!
Tancred - get not only a life but learn how to articulate a discussion or defense without quoting the bible! Freedom runs through our vains along with humanity! Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself where your hates lies?
Any publicity is good publicity because those that know the owners and this establishment know the "TRUTH"! You, however are in need of supporting and expressing something positive in the world!
"The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Anonymous said...

Why does the moderator of this site seem to hate or be so jealous of the Islamic faith?

Tancred said...

It doesn't matter what a former Catholic happens to think. Of course you don't hold those items with the same reverence as Catholics do.

The point is in how they are used in a careless and irreligious way which would offend someone.

I don't believe that the bar owner is kind. If he were, he wouldn't have been so hostile and self-justifying as he is.

He's in the wrong and deep down he knows it and is prevented from doing the right thing because of his pride.

Anonymous said...

Wow. you REALLY hate Muslims, Don't you? I'm pretty certain that God/Jesus preached Love Thy Neighbor.I'm a little rusty from my catholic School Days, but I'm sure that was the main idea.

Clearly, you don't know ANYTHING about the Muslim Faith. They are much like those Christians who don't believe in Iconic depictions of the Lord. It is very much against their faith. However, again...Thinking back to my Education, I believe Catholics are quite the opposite and celebrate their icons, paintings and depictions of the Lord. When the CHURCH sells the items...ANYONE can get them...even those terrible, awful muslims!!!! *FAINTS*

you should come and see my Burlesque act, which is a comical look at "Stigmata" You can spray Holy water on me. It would be a real Crowd Pleaser, I'm CERTAIN!

Anonymous said...

So what do you think would really happen to a place like you describe? I personally would guess that there would be some sort of physical violence toward the building or it's occupants. And do you think that is the appropriate response? I sure don't. There are bigger wrongs in the world that need your attention, just walk north 8 blocks from there and take a look.

Tancred said...

More importantly, why are the owners of Stale Harry's anti-Catholic bigots?

Tancred said...

You really hate Catholics, don't you?

Tancred said...

If he insulted Muslims in the way he has insulted Catholics, he certainly would be suffering violence at some point.

You and your friends really have a hard time sticking to a point.

Tancred said...

Any further comments that don't address any points will be deleted with extreme prejudice.

The patrons of this bar haven't done much serious thinking on this topic and are in need of some serious self-reflection and penance.

Anonymous said...

Tancred reread what you wrote. If we all ran around worrying about offending others, we would all be mute. I am catholic, I live righ up the street and its wonderful. "judge less not ye be judged" have you ever even been there to see this. As a catholic I am not offended.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Ok as a catholic that lives a few houses down and goes there often, I neeed to point out this is hardly a "dive bar" , its more of.a restaurant. Secondly, I never once ever thought that they intended to offend anyone. It actually made me feel at home because I see things that remind me of my upbringing as a catholic person from baltimore. It literally looks like a hodge podge of baltimore and catholic artifacts. It doesn't feel offensive north is it intended to be offensive.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, stay away from that joint. Be sure to visit the Apex though.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Yeah! The Krispy Cream Bread pudding is the bomb! It's sinfully delicious!

Tancred said...

What you say can be just as easily applied to you. The problem are the anti-Catholic bigots who run this bar.

Anonymous said...

As a local and patron I would prefer to keep these people as far from Mary's as possible.

Tancred said...

These items are not to be employed in profane uses. If you grew up Catholic, you'd know what blasphemy and sacrilege is.

You've clearly never been properly catechized.

Anonymous said...

Tancred please stay out of Baltimore if you don't like it.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are deleting discussion topics is just making you look ridiculous. I wrote a very truthful statement below as a practicing catholic to try to provide insight about the topic seeing as I am catholic and enjoy the place and dont find it offensive. Yes people are getting upset with you, but its because you've never been there to see it for yourself. I'm telling you that you truely are missing some important facts here. It is a shame.

Tancred said...

What do you man when you say you're a Catholic? Does that mean you know what the precepts of the Church are?

What I think is ridiculous are people who don't have points, don't bother to read what I've already written and are more interested in spouting their own ill-will than stating their case.

I sincerely doubt that you're a Catholic, since you don't understand what blasphemy and sacrilege are.

Anonymous said...

I did. And id be happy to put you in touch with my priest who can attest to my knowledge of catholicism and spirituality. Just because someone feels differently than doesn't make you superior or more catholic.

Anonymous said...

Brunch is a great way to miss mass, go for the drunken tater tot's it'll feed two!

Anonymous said...

Are you planning on burning the place down Tancred?

You sound like a terrorist.

Anonymous said...

I'm catholic and you are acting like an ass Tancred.

Anonymous said...

So you got thrown out of Ale Mary's? LOL you have to be a pretty big fool for that to happen!

Tancred said...

It's not a question of being superior. I've done you the service of describing what a blasphemy is and what a sacrilege is.

They are offenses against God in holy things, places, and people.

Having a priest is no guarantee that he's going to be right. Unfortunately many priests disbelieve in simple Catholic dogmas like the Immaculate Conception....

Tancred said...

You're just proving my point. Evidently, the patrons of this bar aren't disproving my point that it's a dive bar.

Tancred said...

In order to be a Catholic, you have to believe what Catholics believe, you can't be a cafeteria Catholic.

If you're going to make a statement of what you are, you should probably know what those people believe.

If you understood what the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was, you'd be horrified by the way these chalices are being used and the disrespectful way the monstrance is put up on a bar.

Most of the Catholics I know were horrified by this travesty....because they understand what sacrilege and blasphemy are and believe in the Church's teachings with respect to the Body of Christ and the Mass...

It's hard for me not to draw the conclusion that you don't understand what any of those things are.

alison said...

OK, so I've worked at Ale Mary's for about 5 years.

The chef/co-owner is named Mary. It's a bar that serves beer. Hence the name "Ale Mary's." It's a pun, not a slur.

The owners grew up Catholic. Strictly Catholic. Catholic schools. Catholic rituals. Catholic doctrine. This is the culture in which they were raised- today they may not be practicing Catholics by your definition, but this is their reference and personal history. They did not grow up Muslim, so why would they reference Islam? A Muslim themed bar/restaurant would make no sense, not to mention the fact that Islam shuns drinking, and it is a bar. So score one for the Catholics- at least you can have a drink!

You seem to feel that the owners just wanted to make fun of someone's religion, and picked Catholicism because they thought they were least likely to get bombed. In that case, they would have done better mocking Buddhism. No one is "deliberately insulting other people's beliefs," and no one is "broadcasting it all over the internet" (except you). Ale Mary's has a website, yes. That's not really "all over the internet."

Most of the church-themed items in the bar have been gifts from customers. Some are hand crafted and lovely, some are ridiculously tacky. We love them all and we love our customers- Catholics and clergy (YES) included. Believers and non believers. Drinkers and non drinkers. Meat eaters and vegetarians. Families and children we get to watch grow up because their parents feel comfortable bringing them to the restaurant. We do not exclude anyone from our bar/ restaurant, including people the Catholic church excludes and shames.

including people the Catholic church excludes and shames. (i just wanted to say that again) We might be more sensitive to your sensitivity if you were more sensitive to gays, lesbians and women. To name a few.

alison said...

You have a really hard time getting away from this obsession with insulting Muslims.

alison said...

Stunt? What stunt? This is a family business, not a stunt.

Tancred said...

The owner was very hostile to the person who initially phoned with concerns.

If none of you are any longer practicing Catholics, then it helps make my case, because people who practice their religion and take it seriously understand what the Sacraments are. God comes down to earth and suffers Himself to be present in the bread and wine.

It is the most sacred moment a Catholic experiences, seeing God in his presennce and being able to eat (communicate) God's flesh and drink His blood.

When you use those Holy items in a cavalier manner, you go a long way to insulting those beliefs in a way which is sacrilegious.

I guess if you're not a practicing Catholic, it might make sense to try to understand why your behavior would be abhorrent to them.

Unfortunately, you and many of the bar's patrons have been insulting, occasionally menacing, hostile and presumptuous.

All of the other stuff you talk about which is really irrelevant to this problem only points to your anti-Catholic bias.

If I've learned anything here by talking to some of you, it's that you are the kinds of people who misuse Holy things and take delight in ridiculing or disparaging the people who believe in them.

Again, I invite you and the owners of the bar to instroduce Islamic holy things to your bar and insult Muslims the way you insult Catholics.

You just don't have the courage, because you think Catholics are easy targets and won't engage you in a meaningful way.

Hopefully, you reassess how hurtful and even spiteful your treatment of those items are.

Tancred said...

Oh, and please tell us the name of the "clergy" that frequents the bar.

Tancred said...

An Anti-Catholic and bigoted stunt, actually.

Tancred said...

You don't have the freedom to lie or wantonly disparage people and their beliefs with abandon, but thank you for admitting that your contumely behavior does have an inflammatory dimension.

Tancred said...

You don't understand that the Confederate flag and the items being used in the bar are symbolic of the Blessed Sacrament, and the way he's hoarding them and the way he's using them is frankly insulting.

Tancred said...

You're just proving my point.

Anonymous said...

Tancred its really starting to sound like you are the only one who is actually offended. And you are the only one who has not even been there. It appears that you have decided to be hateful towards the place and you aren't going to change your mind. So why even bother? There are plenty of people, myself included that dont find it blasphemous because it simply is not. Without you having actually been there its hard to take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

I actually do understand. Its the body and the blood of christ at the time when we eat the holy euchatr ist. It is more than just a symbol. Its an actual real event. But that happens in a church. Ive never seen anyone doing anything that would remotely offend that while at that restaurant. I go there to have dinner frequently and have never seen anything like you describe. I have seen a few catholic looking decorative items, but nothing done in a disrespectful or blasphemous way. I really think the restaurant is being misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Anonymous said...

From my perspective it would be like someone hearing that you have a crucifix, a statue of mary and your baptismal candle improperly displayed in your home. Then without stepping foot into your house then are then accusing you of blasphemy and disrespect. You too would be defensive. If you havent been there to see it for yourself its hard to truely accused them of what are accusing them of.

Anonymous said...

Again, you have a horrible opinion of a fantastic place and some great people.
Humor was given by the Lord, so enjoy it. Don't use it the prove a point.

Tancred said...

You actually make an interesting point when you say that "it happens in church" because it illustrates the problem.

The chalices and the monstrance are symbols of His presence in the Eucharist and easily bring the Mass to mind when a Catholic sees them, so that when the sacred and profane context are confused and blurred, especially when it takes place in a bar, defames (does injury to, insults) Christ.

If would be as if you came to a relatives wedding in swim trunks. In the same way, those objects have no business being in a dive bar.

The definition of sacrilege, again, is a misuse, a denigration or a defamation of Holy things.

Another example is that placing a beer coaster in the monstrance and draping it with Mardi Gras beads is terribly disgraceful. I'm sorry you can't understand that the intermixing of these things are not acceptable, and I suspect that your understanding of Catholic doctrine is sorely wanting.

Actually, there are two problems with your second comparison because having those blessed objects for use in the home is completely accpeptable from the standpoint of the Church, although I'm not sure what you mean by improperly displaying. If you mean that I would treat these items disrespectfully, as you clearly do at this bar, I would be well within my rights as a Catholic to do what Catholics are supposed to do, and you'd know this if you were Catholic, to perform one of the spiritual works of mercy by instructing the ignorant and telling this person that they are defaming the Lord by displaying their religious articles in a disrespectful, careless or haphazard way.

Fortunately, being as something is in your home, it wouldn't be in a position to affect as many people. The only thing I could do if I rebuked you and you refused to listenn would be to withdraw my friendship.

But your example doesn't work in this case either, because the bar is in a public place and many people are corrupted and influenced by this blasphemy.

I think most of you are aware of the spiritual danger and the gravity of this problem because of your fierce and visceral reactions.

If you don't like being reprimanded by us, don't go to this evil place, go to some other restaurant.

It's my opinion that this infernal display is a terrible insult to Christ.

Tancred said...

I don't agree that a great place can be so full of hate and contempt for God and the Church.

The owner and many of the patrons are pretty mean spirited too.

Those things don't belong in a bar, they belong in a Church and the owner should have accepted the offer to purchase them.

alison said...
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alison said...

I believe ecsheeh identified as: former Ale Mary's regular, Active Catholic (not reactionary, righteous, prideful Catholic). Ecsheeh apparently no longer lives near Ale Mary's, so is a former regular. Ecsheeh, as an Active Catholic, is always welcome at Ale Mary's.

No one here hates Catholics, as you have accused. But we won't be bullied by anyone who just seeks to be a martyr.

By the way, the principal of a local Catholic high school called to reserve tables tonight for a teacher's going away party. The staff (including religious leaders) of this school are regular customers. Your initial response might be that these are not true Catholics, but consider that they may understand the true spirit of Ale Mary's better than someone who has never been here.

alison said...

"More importantly, why are the owners of Stale Harry's anti-Catholic bigots?"

why is this more important?

Anonymous said...

"...shouldn't be allowed" to insult the beliefs of others? Ever heard of the First Amendment? Sure you just publicly called someone you barely know a bigot. Oh how appropriate the irony found in such zealous slander! Tancred, please, stay out of Baltimore and remain in your bubble. - jgp

Anonymous said...

Go tell the pope.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with the Catholic religion, you are more worried about "religious symbols" than you are about having a relationship with God. We'd appreciate it if you'd stay out of our "dive" bar if you're going to be offended, because frankly I don't give a shit what you think (Note: I'm only a local patron).
One of the ten commandments says "Thou shalt not worship graven images" that means ANY "icons or idols", or even the POPE. And yet your cathedrals are filled with Icons, all these silly "holy symbols", eclipse the true meaning of Christianity. You pray to the "virgin Mary", since when did she join the Trinity, she has NO power to heal you, only the blood of Jesus Christ can do that, or so says the word of God. You pray to the Saints? Again, you are breaking scripture with this act. "No man comes to the father but through me..." - no need to pray to a Saint, go to confession, etc. You can just open your mouth (looks like you know how to do that) and talk to God directly.

Come on, why don't you start worrying about your owned "damned" souls and let me worry about mine.

Finally, stop being so hippocritical and find a real "just cause" to champion in the world, no one cares about this one, except for a few modern day "Pharasees". - End of Quixotic retort

PS - you may want to apologize in writing to the owners for calling their establishment a "dive". Calling their establishment a "dive" could be considered libelous, and in our litiguous society, who knows what could happen. (

Alicia said...

I am a practicing Catholid. I attend mass every week in a parish about 15 minutes from Ale Marys. I like teh place. It has a bit of the vibe of your grandparents house with religious icons as well as pictures of people growing up. Do you think it is blasphemy that someone has a religious icon in their home or those statues in the yards? No it is not. These are de sactified if they were ever sactified and they are lovely and interesting. Ale Marys is a nice bar with the best bread pudding I have ever tasted. Last winter when my great uncle a Jesuit priest from Boston was in town we went to Fells point for dinner and then walked over to Ale Marys because he loves bread pudding. We sat down at a table ordered beer and bread pudding for our desserts. He did comment on the decor but on of his comments was that he has a great picture of when he was training in rome and went biking in the hills of italy and you see him and his friend(now a bisjop) with bikes in the hills of italy with a few bottles of wine. Well his comment on the decor was that if he was in this area he would make a copy of that picture and frame it and give it to Ale Marys. So if a great priest I know thinks the place is charming and has fantastic bread pudding can't you focus on other things. You do not represent what is good in the Catholic Church. The uninformed hate that you are spewing is what is hurting the Catholic Church. Jesus teaches us to love one another and not to judge yet you are slandering a place that you have never been to based on a few pictures. It is not blashphemy unless taken out of context. Stop focusing on this and instead please work towards helping make sure kids get fed, that people get access to education, health care, and other important needs and the true things that Jesus would have focused on.

Tancred said...

There are several demonstrations of hostility to Catholics right here in this thread, everything from people complaining about the Church's doctrines, to you making a passive aggressive comment implying that it's prideful to be offended by the blasphemy that you are approving by your public witness.

We're going to go round and round on this, if you don't understand the significance of those objects and how their use as decorations in your bar are sacrilege, it's not likely you're going to understand it from discussing it here.

One doesn't have to got to this bar to realize that these objects are being used for purposes other than they were intended, i.e., chalices being used as drinking mugs, a holy water font used as a candy dish or a monstrance put up on the bar as a decoration with a beer coaster put where the Host is normally put.

I've tried to illustrate this by describing an analogous misuse in terms of putting suras from the Koran on drink napkins, but you're convinced that this is normal and acceptable.

Finally, your comment that school teachers have approved of this is hardly encouraging, since many Catholic schools no longer teach the Catholic Faith.

Tancred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tancred said...

First off Alicia, thanks for you comment. Secondly, Catholics don't say things like this, maybe the Unitarian social worker does, but taking this bible passage out of context, only helps make my point that the Catholics who don't see anything wrong with this are poorly catechised and probably not even Catholic at all. You write:

"Jesus teaches us to love one another and not to judge yet you are slandering a place that you have never been to based on a few pictures."

So you can judge me wrong for me and accuse me of slander for pointing out that these items are being misused in a disrespectful way, but I can't point out that it's being done?

Do you see the obvious contradiction between judging me hateful and that citation? Your misinterpretation of Scripture can't work both ways. That also holds true for your comment about what you believe is important to Jesus. Clearly, the Catholic Church is important to Jesus, because He founded it, and the Eucharist which he instituted here is being defamed. Why not focus on the importance of THAT?

What's the name of your priest? He's surely causing scandal by endorsing this bar.

I keep on repeating myself, but it's important that people understand what the objections are in case they're confused about why Catholics would object to objects used in rituals surrounding the core of their beliefs:

Using chalices as bar glasses and covering a monstrance with Mardigras beads while putting a smiley face beer coaster in the case isn't the same as having religious iconography in your home.

Using things for other purposes than which they were intended, especially in the thoughtless and insensitive way they are here, is terrible.

Also, if you had a holy water font in your home, you'd have holy water in it, not candy.

Anonymous said...

Ale Mary's has been around for the better part of a decade and this is the first time that anyone has taken offense at their decorations. Unless it exists in some sort of Catholic-free bubble then they've had lots of Catholic patrons in those times yet no one decided to throw a fit about it until now. So much for your belief that the owner is on some mission to be disrespectful or insulting to Catholics. The fact that they aren't bending over for the most easily offended 1% doesn't make them anti-Catholic or bigoted. Fortunately though we live in a free society where people are free never to spend a minute of their time or a dollar of their income in any establishment they disapprove of.

Re: the odd comments about Islam, if the owner were opening a chain of blasphemy themed bars then yeah, it would seem unfair if they didn't poke fun at Muslims as well. Good thing that insulting people wasn't on the owner's agenda.

Tancred said...

The Catholic Church is going to be around long after this bar is gone.

The three or four Catholic commenters on this thread are so poorly catechized that they don't understand what the significance of the objects are. Part of the problem, perhaps one of the biggest problems of this is that you have a Bishop and some priests who come here and can't be bothered or don't understand that there's a problem with this.

No, the owner's agenda is insulting Catholics, because he thinks he can get away with it.

I was trying to use Mohammedism as an example to describe what blasphemy was to people who clearly don't understand what it is.

I think most of the bar's patrons understanding of blasphemy is: that which offends stupid religious people that I despise anyway, so who cares? Give me a beer!

Anonymous said...

"he certainly would be suffering violence"
And do you see this as appropriate? Your other comments seem to indicate that you do. I'd argue that is a terrible response, more about human pride than any religious teaching.

Anonymous said...

Ale Mary's is located within a few blocks of a Catholic church and a Jesuit high school, and while the neighborhood it's in isn't nearly as Catholic as it used to be it still has plenty of churchgoers. Clearly there are many Catholics including members of the clergy who are aware of the bar and its decorations yet they aren't offended. If it was as offensive and disrespectful as you believe it is then don't you think that Archdiocese of Baltimore would've taken note as well? Archbishop O'Brien was no liberal. You're making a mountain of a molehill and probably also generating more business for Ale Mary's since any publicity is good publicity.

I don't get the point of your first comment either. You're talking about a family business vs. a two-millennium old institution, of course the church will be around longer.

Anonymous said...

From Tancred's About Me-

We are Royalists, Catholic and militant

A person who supports the principle of monarchy or a particular monarchy.
Giving support to the monarchy.
noun. cavalier - monarchist
adjective. royalistic

'Bout sums it up. I teach about the ills of making assumptions and how they set you on a path of determination to prove oneself right. Here's how it goes-
Assumption- Ale Mary as a name must be poking fun at the Catholic faith
Perspective- Ale Mary's must be an establishment that purposefully taunts the Catholic faith
Action- Dig up as much "evidence" as you can to prove your beliefs
Evidence- the display of "religious artifacts" in an "unholy" manner proves that Ale Mary's is purposefully trying to offend the Catholic faith

Here's the rub. An assumption is something only an individual can hold. The assumption cannot be forced upon someone else's own beliefs or assumptions. The moment you make an assumption, you immediately must prove it to be true so you are willing to force things into being evidence of your assumption if that is what it takes to prove your belief. You can steadfastly hold onto an assumption and torment yourself against your own beliefs, or you can try to look at something from a different perspective. There is NEVER only one perspective to every story. A few other perspectives were offered to you but you refuse to try to look at this from a different light. That puts the ownership of your narrow assumption and all of its torment squarely on you.

Tancred said...

Considering that Ale Mary's has received a lot of phone calls, I'm hardly the only one who's shocked by this irreligious behavior.

Tancred said...

I think it's appropriate to point out that the same exact level of disrespect and misuse of what people regard as sacred would involve a violent reaction.

What's the Catholic response been?

Tancred said...

Because their bigotry underlies their outrageous behavior.

Tancred said...

First of all, Ale Mary's has only been around for 6 years, not a decade.

And Second, it might surprise you that many Catholic priests and Bishops fall far short of the ideal in many respects.

Once again, I'm put in a position where I have to explain the importance of these symbolic items which are meant for Holy uses.

If you're telling me that I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, you're just telling me that you don't understand why these items and the things they represent are vital to a faithful Catholic.

Interesting, a Jesuit High School, you say? The Jesuit order has been less than Catholic for almost fifty years.

Anonymous said...

You don't give a shit what we think and yet here you are! It's funny that we can't judge the public blasphemy of this bar, but you can make sweeping judgements of our person "relationships" with God.
If you read the Bible AT ALL, you would know that Abraham worshipped angels, David worshipped Saul, etc. And that Sacred Vessels were dear to Jews and profane use was punished by God(read Daniel). But your terrible theology is another issue altogether. The bar is a dive and you now know it is a blasphemous dive. You are eating and drinking to your own damnation there.
Btw, some consider "dive" to be a badge of honor. That along with an anon blog and the freedom to write reviews- fat chance bringing a case for libel. But if you want to bring, my name is Eve and I wrote the review on Urbanspoon. Come at me with legal guns blazing.

Tancred said...

You people keep ignoring the point of this and want to drag in irrelevant details and make your own false assertions about my person, the Catholic Church, the nature of sacrilege and blasphemy and a host of other things. I think we learn a lot more about you than anything else. You just hate or resent the Catholic Faith, that's all. It's really simple, and we can narrow it down:

... it's important that people understand what the objections are in case they're confused about why Catholics would object to objects used in rituals surrounding the core of their beliefs:

Using chalices as bar glasses and covering a monstrance with Mardigras beads while putting a smiley face beer coaster in the case isn't the same as having religious iconography in your home.

Using things for other purposes than which they were intended, especially in the thoughtless and insensitive way they are here, is terrible.

Both an Ale Mary's Fan & a Catholic Seminarian (with a sense of humor) said...

I can see why you might take offense at a place such as Ale Mary's. Having never been there, having never met the owners, the staff, the patrons, or the neighbors, you might believe they are hateful, ignorant people.

But that's just the problem. You have never been there, and your beliefs are unfounded. I have been there, and I know the people, and I know they are not hateful or ignorant. Yes, there is a monstrance behind the bar. That monstrance, as many have pointed out, was sold on E-bay by a Roman Catholic Church that made the decision to desanctify it and put it out for anyone to purchase. The same goes for any other formerly sanctified items. When the RCC desanctified those items and put them out on the internet for the highest bidder, they did so knowing it might be used in any number of ways, including as decoration that some might find offensive. Perhaps your anger is misplaced.

Attacking people personally on the basis of their beliefs or non-beliefs, particularly taking it upon yourself to judge whether a person is Catholic or not, is certainly not what Jesus taught, nor is it what He wants.

Finally, our God has a sense of humor (ever seen a duck billed platypus?). Our God is not as uptight as some would like to believe. If you find the theme or character of Ale Mary's offensive, simply deny them your patronage, much in the same way that, moving forward, I will deny your blog my patronage.

And now I have a craving for some loaded tots and a sloppy joe wrap. Ale Mary's for dinner it is. I'll probably have a Resurrection Ale as well.

Anonymous said...

And I'm saying that any reaction of that type is wrong, and goes against the central principles of all religions. It is one based on human emotions rather than religious doctrine.

To answer your question, the Catholic response has been mixed - some go to Ale Mary's and enjoy the place, others talk almost wistfully about violent responses.

Tancred said...

What I know of the owner is that he's obsessed with buying up consecrated chalices and Catholic religious items from the internet and using them as decorations in his bar.

When he was contacted in a very respectful way by a nice person, he was menacing and rude. [He was everything you'd expect of a person who hates Catholicism]

As far as my judgment about their rudeness and bigotry, there are plenty of examples of that on this thread while I've undergone some pains to attempt to explain the Catholic Faith, the importance of sacred objects and why it would be blasphemous to Catholics that they are used.

It's understandable that you would want to justify yourself on such shaky ground, but it doesn't mean that you're right.

It's amazing how people like you seem to know so much about God while condemning others, with more well-founded opinions, who are challenging your behavior.

Anonymous said...

Tell me, are you or are you not approaching this from a single steadfast assumption? Yes or no. If no, then share with us what other perspective you are willing to view this from.

Tancred said...

The Catholic response has been unanimous anger.

No Catholic would be indifferent about this.

One of the problems in this thread has been to take a people whose understanding of Catholicism is limited to about two or three Masses per year, what they read in the media, and the platitudes they utter, like, "Jesus doesn't judge" or "How do you know what God thinks" etc...

At that point, I'm not dealing with coherent human beings, but people, even those who claim to be Catholic, who've been programmed with a jumble of half-baked modern philosophy.

Tancred said...

I'm making a point which you, and the rest of the various people here are steadfastly ignoring.

If someone commits a crime, there's one perspective, that the man's guilty.

The bar owners and the patrons who are supporting them are guilty of the crime of blasphemy.

I've defined what blasphemy is, I've shown the disrespect reserved for these items, using chalices for the Mass as common mugs for gulping beer, is almost indescribably evil.

If you can't see that, then you go your way and I'll go my way. If you can live with yourself after that, and I guess you will, that's all there is.

My purpose is to attempt to awaken in you, anyone, anyone reading this forum, a sense for the sacred and the fact that God speaks to us through these symbols, in the Mass, the rituals and the doctrines of the Church.

Anonymous said...

Good point about where the anger may be better placed. Why not redress this with the people that put the monstrance up for sale. They put it up there knowing full well that they could not restrict how it would be used. If it was a Catholic organization then there's your real blasphemy. How can the buyer be blasphemous if he or she does not share the belief?

And duck-billed platypus...too funny!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, you can rip Bible verse out of context as well as the next heathen. How about this one:
1 Corinthians 6:3
Know you not that we shall judge angels? how much more things of this world?

Tancred said...

The first amendment can be exercised by me too.

And I think this bar should go out of business for its crime against God.

Nowadays, since people have a reduced sense of what is holy, it's going to be an uphill struggle, but once I've exercised my first amendment rights by pointing out the evil of this bar, and how the patrons are hardened in their disrespect for Catholicism, I can rest assured that I've done my due diligence.

Have you done yours?

Tancred said...

I care that you understand what's going to happen if this goes on.

Most importantly, apart from being insensitive to things that are vital to others, you insult God and put your immortal soul in danger of eternal torment.

That's the worst part of it. If I can't even appeal to your sense of human respect, it's unlikely that I'm goining to be able to appeal to your concern for eternity, but I have to try.

Anonymous said...

This is rich. They have the "freedom" to blasphem God, but we don't have freedom of the press or to protest? The double standard never ceases to amaze me.

Anonymous said...

your purpose to awaken me is saying you need me to go your way, thus you are ignoring my choice to go my own way. I am more awakened to myself that I care to be sometimes. You are turning a blind eye to yourself and your hatred for those who are free enough to see varying perspectives. There's a whole lotta grey in this matter.

I am not ignoring the fact that you have made one assumption that you are choosing to steadfastly hold onto when it is fact that there is NEVER one perspective to a story. You don't get to project your assumptions on others to try to change their minds or pass judgment on them because you don't agree with them.

Anonymous said...

"awesome" pub in exchange for eternity in hell. GREAT DEAL. Enjoy that. You are here trying to convince yourself that you are not doing wrong. Deep down you know better. God is not mocked. We all know this. You are only putting hot coals on your own head. And the more pride diplayed only makes the humiliation in hell all the worse.

Anonymous said...

If you truly believe that Ale Mary's is being offensive and anti-Catholic perhaps you should let the Archdiocese of Baltimore know. I'd imagine a polite request from an organization that represents half a million Catholics would have more sway than an angry blogger. What I suspect though is that the Archdiocese will disagree with your take on this bar and they won't care.

Tancred said...

That's ridiculous. The idea that only the Catholic Church can commit blasphemy is absurd. Clearly many organizations besides the Catholic Church have committed acts of blasphemy, like the Mexican Government after the First World War, the Spanish Republican Government in the thirties and the Soviet Government. The events surrounding these organizations, and the murder of literally millions of Catholics and Orthodox Christians (7 Million in Ukraine alone), actually offers a situation roughly analogous to our own

Tancred said...

You are participating in blasphemy. It's not an assumption, but an establish fact.

Tancred said...

The Archdiocese has been contacted as well as Bill Donahue of the Catholic League.

I'm not fond of engaging in litigation to solve problems like this, but at this point, I think it's important that people understand how vital it is to defend the Catholic Faith when it's wantonly attacked.

Tancred said...

I don't have to convince myself of anything. It is you who are trying to convince yourself that you're in the right.

Anonymous said...

Your definition of Catholic is very different than the Vatican's. They seem quite happy to include the people you speak of so disparagingly - - I doubt all 1.2 billion adhere to the exact same principles you do. I bet a lot of them only go to a few masses a year. And I'd bet a lot of those 1.2 billion Catholics (by the Vatican's definition) would be extremely indifferent about this. You know, like the ones who have better things to worry about.

Anonymous said...

You seem to know more about me than I do so you must be very enlightened. I asked you a simple, direct question about your thought pattern on the matter and you keep responding about what that reveals about me.

Tell me more about myself.

Anonymous said...

Litigation would be pointless since the First Amendment gives people the right to say that they want, and that includes engaging in blasphemy.

I am curious what your response will be if it turns out that the Archdiocese of Baltimore does not care? As people (correctly) like to point out the Catholic Church is not a democracy. That's normally something that's said to liberals who disagree with the church's stance on birth control, married priests, etc, but IMO it's something that the overly scrupulous sometimes need to be told as well.

Re: Bill Donahue, if he starts protesting Ale Mary's I can GUARANTEE you it will bring them more business, not less.

Anonymous said...

yet another assumption. Never said only the Catholic Church can commit blasphemy. Just suggested which might be more blasphemous (you know, more than one perspective...consider both sides....something you are not blessed with)

1. The religious organization, that has taken an oath, selling its symbols, knowing full well it might be used in a manner that they can't control? OR

2. Someone who buys the item for its artistic value?

Seriously, if the religious organization that sold it believed it to be so sacred then how could they put it on ebay? I mean come on! Ebay is just a place people go to get rid of stuff that is no longer needed. Hmmm, did the seller no longer see a need for symbols?

Anonymous said...

Alecia,some great alternative perspectives you have offered up. Unfortunately, Tancred is digging a fox hole so deep while others in his battalion are moving on as "the commander" would have expected.

(Meanwhile...down in the foxhole) Sgt. Tancred is found by reinforcements as he beats himself up because he realized he is his own worst enemy.

Evolve man! There is no monarchy to fight for anymore. It's OK to admit you are sorry for your hateful, stubborn beliefs. I can accept you for who you are but not when you try to force your beliefs on others. Your beliefs about religious symbols is not wrong, it's the fact that you tell others they are wrong because they don't agree with you.

By the way, you can't tell people there is only one way to interpret a writing. Now you want to introduce censorship? Soon you are going to need a ladder to get out of that foxhole....if you ever decide to come out.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't there be some sanctified way to archive symbols that are no longer needed if they are truly that sacred?

Anonymous said...

I have been there. I have conversed with the owner and staff. The place is still sinful and the owner still a bigot. Shame on you, wolf in sheep's clothing. The road to hell is paved with the skulls of the wayward clergy.

Tancred said...

>>By the way, you can't tell people there is only one way to interpret a writing. Now you want to introduce censorship? Soon you are going to need a ladder to get out of that foxhole....if you ever decide to come out.<<

Sure you can, entire books are written on it touching on subjects far ranging from Literary criticism to Jurisprudence.

Tancred said...

Ever heard of hate crimes? I think what you mean is that success using that avenue would be pointless because there is no equality before the law, and that the Catholic Church doesn't enjoy the same protection as to certain minorities.

Yes, at the present, hatred of the Catholic Church is popular, but it wasn't always the case in the US in all places, but certainly will get worse.

And you actually raise a valid point, considering the decadent nature of the Catholic Church in Baltimore, especially in light of the comments raised by alleged local Catholics here on this thread, it's very likely that the Archdiocese will do nothing about this.

That wouldn't change the fact that this is blasphemy and an insult to Christ and that bar patrons, and the owner, have acted disgracefully.

Tancred said...

No, I've only maintained that the way these objects are being treated, to say nothing of the behavior of the bar's patrons as exhibited in this thread, is insulting, disgraceful and defamatory to things which have been holy to Catholics for two thousand years. You on the other hand, want to talk about everything else except this to justify your bad behavior.

Dive bar has been around for six years, and it's unlikely it will go on long after that.

It's like Johnny Cash says, "You can go along for a long time..."

Anonymous said...

I'd suggest brushing up on what the definition of a hate crime is. The United States is not like Europe and you cannot be charged for "hate speech." You have to actually threaten or harm somebody in order to break a law in this country. Speech that is disrespectful, blasphemous or outright hateful is protected by the First Amendment. Unless Ale Mary's is directly inciting violence you have absolutely no legal recourse against them, just like they have no right to stop you from saying whatever you want about them.

Your comment about the Archdiocese of Baltimore made me raise my eyebrows. Cardinal Keeler may have had some fairly lefty views but Archbishop O'Brien was no liberal and there's no sign that the incoming Archbishop Lori. I get that there are individual priests who have off-kilter views but if you start holding yourself out as a better judge of what's blasphemous than the local archdiocese perhaps YOU need to look in the mirror and ponder who's going against the church.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I love Johnny! The only thing I remember from my toddler years is watching his variety show back in the 70's. Cash is King!

Tancred said...

Try and have a valid point. I don't intend on clogging this site up any more with your hackneyed comments and regurgitated platitudes, thanks.

Tancred said...

I suggest you brush up on what the definition of hate crime is. Here, let me help you:

>>A hate crime is usually defined by state law as one that involves threats, harassment, or physical harm and is motivated by prejudice against someone's race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability. Laws vary by state and if hate crimes are provided for by statute, the defintions of hate crimes and penalties imposed vary. States that have hate crime statutes provide harsher penalites for such offenses.<<

I'm not aware of what the state laws are in Ohio, but I'm sure that will be taken into account. As far as hateful speech, I think there is quite a bit of that on this thread, even by a poster whom I presume is one of the bar owners, "Fatyholy" or however he put it.

So, no, you're mistaken, the law isn't restricted to physical violence, although you and the others who patronize this bar do violence to holy things.

As far as your knowledge about Cardinal O'Brien, I think you're a little off there as well. Cardinal O'Brien is what is known as a neo-conservative prelate. As military Archdiocese Bishop, he ignored Liturgical abuses when he was in charge, but then, he didn't close down the Jesuit school near your blasphemous bar of choice, either.

Considering some of the wrong opinions emanating like a stench from some of the "Catholic" patrons of this bar, I'd say that Cardinal O'Brien, with all due respect, did little other than keep things as ++Keeler left them.

We also know a little bit about his successor. His successor, Bishop Lori, is a much more unabashed traditionalist and generally unafraid of confrontations, even with the presidency.

You are also sadly misinformed when it comes to the ability of Archdiocesan officials or leaders to define what blasphemy is. I've spoken to Diocesan officials and even priests who couldn't tell me the Ten Commandments if it saved their lives, and looked at me like dull ducks when I explained the precepts of the Church, so, I'm a little more skeptical about the Diocese to determine whether or not this is blasphemous.

I suppose if they're as self-confident and breezy as yourself, they'll wonder why they are being asked to deal with this, but it's been my long and sometimes painful experience, that such priests and Bishops have no business being entrusted God's sheep.

"If the priest is holy, the people will be good. If the priest is good, the people will be decent. If the priest is decent, the people will be lost"

Tancred said...

@AnonymousMar 29, 2012 08:02, my comment was directed at the other anonymous commenter who was insisting that a charge of blasphemy can only be applicable in Catholic contexts.

You wrote:
[1. The religious organization, that has taken an oath, selling its symbols, knowing full well it might be used in a manner that they can't control? OR]

There are no oaths [do you mean canons?] touching on the selling of religious articles like this and certainly no one selling has every reason to assume that they will be used for the purpose they were intended.

A monstrance should be used in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, not sitting on a bar where it is defamed.

[2. Someone who buys the item for its artistic value?]

Are you trying to present the case of a person purchasing a Monstrance for its artistic value alone on the same level with the clearly anti-Catholic patron of a bar who displays the object in a disprespectful way to provide a kitchy and "Growing up Catholic" ambiance for drunken revelries or whatever else takes place there?

[Seriously, if the religious organization that sold it believed it to be so sacred then how could they put it on ebay? ]

You're assuming that Catholic officials sold these items in good faith.

Over the last fifty years, many Catholic items were sold off sacrilegiously, that is also in violation of canon law, completely with the understanding that they would be used for profane purposes.

[I mean come on! Ebay is just a place people go to get rid of stuff that is no longer needed. Hmmm, did the seller no longer see a need for symbols?]

You raise an important point. Many Catholic Churches are being closed down because of the decline in the Faith and the people who were sworn to defend that patrimony have sold their birthright for a few pieces of silver.

It's very tragic and sad.

Surely, you realize that the truth isn't decided upon by a majority vote?


Tancred said...

The definition of what a Catholic is is the same in the Church as the way I understand it. Catholics believe in certain dogmas and at least attempt in principle to live according to certain precepts.

Many Catholics who go by the name, don't actually believe in the Church's rules. Many Catholics practice artificial birth control or engage in practices which are contrary to Catholic teaching.

This doesn't mean that the Vatican and I don't share the same definition, nor does it mean that some people, even Bishops, who disagree with what the Church teaches are gpoiong to be censured.

Many Bishops priests and politicians, like Nancy Pelosi for example, continue to be a scandal because they publicly dissent from the Catholic Church's teachings.

There are an increasingly large number of people these days who are challenging this, however, as more and more Bishops are calling for Catholic politicians to be censured and refused Holy Communion.

Anonymous said...


Protections on free speech are nearly absolute in this country. If Fred Phelps can get away with spewing hate at funerals (and his hate is directed across the spectrum from gays to Catholics to members of the military so don't go claiming he's protected because of political correctness) then there's absolutely no legal recourse against a bar which has decorations that a few people find offensive.

Your dismissal of vast swaths of the Catholic Church hierarchy is starting to come off as borderline schismatic. At a certain point being Catholic means you can't just blow off the opinion of every bishop you disagree with. Like I said, the church isn't a democracy and that doesn't just apply to liberals.

As for hateful speech YOU are the one spewing more of that than anyone else. Everyone who's disagreed with you is insulted and denigrated even as you complain of anti-Catholic intolerance, and you dismiss even church-going Catholics as "Unitarian social-workers." Another irony is that you're probably helping a business which you despise by giving them free publicity.

Anonymous said...

I've eaten there and I'll call it a dump. The Old Bay flavored cream cheese AM's calls "crab dip," is a real ripoff.

Anonymous said...
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Tancred said...

Sigh yourself, the protections of free speech are far from absolute and you can be fired as Don Imus or Micheal Savage was or suffer all sorts of annoying litigation for the most trivial reasons.

If you recall, defamation is a legitimate source of litigation and this certainly falls under that category.

Employers may also be cited for tolerating or expressing hate speech under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"Your dismissal of vast swaths of the Catholic Church hierarchy is starting to come off as borderline schismatic. "

Your ability to misrepresent what I'm saying is breathtaking. I've no where dismissed anyone. If anything the Episcopacy in many parts of the world dismiss themselves by their persistent refusal to obey their superiors and their fomenting of heretical and schismatic ideas themselves. Your concerns about appearances of schismatic behavior on my part show a borderline level of credulity on yours.

"As for hateful speech YOU are the one spewing more of that than anyone else. Everyone who's disagreed with you is insulted and denigrated even as you complain of anti-Catholic intolerance, and you dismiss even church-going Catholics as "Unitarian social-workers.""

If it's hateful to challenge people on their intellectual dishonesty where in once case a half-baked theologian took bible quotes out of context, or making slurs against the Catholic Church and in your case, being lukewarm and breezily indifferent to the truths of the Catholic Faith, then you have a pretty warped idea of hate.

As for this helping their business or not, we'll see about that.

I haven't been to this dive bar, but based on the hatred and contempt I've experienced by your co-religionists, I'd say that I'm fighting an uphill battle, but this really underscores the terrible level of catechesis on the part of Catholics.

Truly tragic.

Tancred said...

Considering your personal insult, and the people endorsing your school, as well as the fact that you're more interested in defending social justice issues than you are about defending the honor of Christ, I'd have to guess that there's some truth about the heterodoxy at that school and that it deserves to be closed.

Maybe you should engage people in a less hate-filled and disrespectful tone?

Anonymous said...

Issac Asimov's words answer this ignorant comment about a "double standard" better than my own words ever could...

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Issac Asimov

Tancred said...

Yes, Liberals are the only people I've ever known of who not only think that their blind devotion to erroneous ideas is the truth, but that they're noble in the service of these mistaken notion.

Asimov was a supreme example of a such a retrograde bourgeois mentality.

Anonymous said...
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Tancred said...

You sound like you could be the owner of the bar. More anti-Catholic hate from the peanut gallery, patrons and supporters of anti-Catholic dive bar:

"The world will not only be a better place because there won't be ignorant people harassing honest hard working entrepreneurs who provide jobs and drive the economy(you know, real world things) because you don't like how they decorate their place but also because of all the "sin" that your religious bring into the world. The murder in the name of god, the raping of little boys [presumably he means the rare incidence of when Catholic homosexual priests molest boys] in the name of god, the taking money from the poor [considering how much the Church does for the poor, I'm not sure how this fits in] who believe they have to buy their way into heaven [I've never met anyone like this, have you?] so you never have to work a day in your life [More slander, most Catholic priests and religious are extremely hard working people, more than like the typical bar owner in Baltimore, I think, who seems to enjoy ridiculing the deeply held beliefs of Catholics] and can instead sit around and read what you damn well know is false to them on Sunday in the name of god."

Anonymous said...

I'd be very curious to see if you can cite a single example of anyone incurring any kind of legal penalty for something akin to what Ale Mary's has done. Show an actual court judgement, not some weird interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.

Tancred said...

Let's build some case law.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Tancred said...

It's [you ' re] not "your" btw.

Anonymous said...

The anti-Catholics are showing up in droves. Driven by jealousy and hatred they relish any attention they get. Dont give it too them.

Tancred said...

Meowcat puts it succinctly and beautifully:

"Its sad that people have no respect anymore. Religious symbolism is important as representations of those things adored in the name of God. The Grail / Chalice that is used during mass to administer the consecrated Blood of Christ should not be used for getting drunk (which in itself is wrong). The monstrace is also used to hold the Host and not for decorations a 3 year old would make.

That bar and its owners are disgusting. "

Did I point out that you don't have to be religious to show some respect to people?

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with you I could at least respect the effort if you tried. If not, well then I guess this is just another example of people making grandiose claims on the internet that they have no intention of following through on.

Anonymous said...
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Amanda said...

To those who shone the light on this place, thank you. The Holy Spirit will do the rest. It was a spiritual work of mercy and because of the owners obstinance,(he dragged his employees and patrons into the situation), they too now have the light of truth.(see the Holy Spirit working?) Making money off of mocking God or His commandments is the oldest trick in the book, just look around. One will now have to have SEVERAL drinks at this establishment to silence that twinge of consciousness, but maybe that was the goal after all (cha-ching). Regardless, not a very good place to unwind...

Anonymous said...

...actually...using religion as a way of telling everyone else they are wrong is the oldest trick in the book, but whatever floats your boat.

Tancred said...

Actually, taking a condescending and sarcastic tone might make you feel good, but it doesn't necessarily help make any points.

Anonymous said...

And what about censorship? Or are we not allowed to discuss that? What always amazes me about some people who claim to be religious is that for no more religious than I am, I know forgiveness and tolerance. Not surprisingly, I don't see very much of that from the people who claim to know God. It's always about how wrong everyone else is and letting them know what you think instead of just letting people be.

I am not anti-Catholic, anti-God, anti-religion, but I think the tone of this blog (and many responses) shows much less tolerance and forgiveness than the average atheist.

You say no one has the right to stifle your beliefs, but you would stifle others' beliefs.

Tancred said...

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Bill Donahue held a press conference at your bar and gave you some free advertising.

I'm not an attorney but if you hadn't noticed, I hate litigation like this. Hate crimes legislation is very bad law. It's also as crude as it is pusillanimous.

I think rude and depraved individuals like the individuals who own this bar should be dealt with on the QT by large, persuasive and brutish men.

Tancred said...

Sheesh, thanks for being one of two anti-Church people in this blog commenting who hasn't been a complete jerk. The other guy is the possibly nominal Catholic who likes the bar I've been arguing about "hate crimes" litigation above. He's probably a mild-mannered nice guy. Anyway.

To start with, I personally don't believe in free speech. i don't think any of its most serious exponents do either. Many people want to ban speech they consider from their point of view to be offensive. Being a person who thinks there's basicallly one significant pov, I don't think it's out of line for a government to say, punish a punk rock band which blasphemes the National Cathedral of Moscow which happened a few days ago, btw.

In any case, just because you have the freedom to say what you want, doesn't mean you should say whatever you want. And if you're going to be offensive, don't just offend the Catholic Church, offend Mulsims as well, please, I dare you!

Free speech also doesn't entitle you to drag someone's close personal familial objects and persons out and make a spectacle of them, ridiculing them as has been clearly done on this thread.

You know, it's crap food, but Bucca actually does a good job of Catholic kitch without being offensive. All of the Catholic and Italian elements of the bar are handled in a spirit of fun and joviality.

This bar and its patrons are just like their art. I think I've been successful in not only portraying the blasphemy in the bar, but in portraying the ill-will of based on the reactions by many of the bar's patrons.


Nobody has been willing to admit or even entertain the point I've made all along that if this were a casual dining place with a kitchy theme that ridiculed Islam, you'd probably be closed down by the city for a health department infraction.

The Muslims would probably close you down if the city didn't.

Why should you be able to ridicule Catholicism, and not Mohamed ism?

I don't think Muslem things should be ridiculed either, come to think of it.

Anonymous said...

Large, persuasive and brutish men? You're advocating violence?

alison said...
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passiderae said...

Heartbreaking. There is nothing more sacred than the moment in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass when our God literally comes down to us, when heaven and earth meet, for the good of our souls and our salvation.

And now the vessels that cradled the Body and Blood of God Himself, that are created and set apart for only this exalted function, are put to thoughtless, indifferent, and uncaring use.

Anonymous said...

Tancred, lighten up. Don't take thyself too damned seriously.

Anonymous said...

If you rip a bible in half on thursday nights you get free drinks!

Anonymous said...

Well, my last reply to this was deleted, so let's try again, this time more delicately? Are you seriously advocating violence against another human in the name of your religion? If that is the case, how are you different than a jihadist?

Tancred said...

Indeed, why don't you (or those you are advocating for) try this stunt with Islam and find out how that is received in the media, but more importantly, how it is received by local Muslims who are surely a growing minority in Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

Tancred is the only guy that has balls here. The rest of you just follow wherever your sinful pleasures take you. All I have to say to you cafeteria catholics is leave your fantasy, your living a lie. And to you stubborn athiests who oppose the church, well, your like foolish children always starting trouble. Again, God bless you Tancred for rebuking such foolishness.

Anonymous said...

I agree that at this point in time, parts of the media would probably be more sympathetic to Muslims (I doubt Fox News would be). I also fully support anyone's right to protest or boycott a business they don't agree with or that they find offensive for any reason. I'm just trying to make the point that physical violence is completely wrong in this situation. It would be wrong no matter which religion was offended. In my mind, this whole thing is being blown out of proportion due to rhetoric. I'm a regular at Ale Mary's, and I never had any idea what those items were. Now that I know, I feel sympathetic to your position. I think if the above blog post was less inflammatory and intense, you probably wouldn't get the defensive reaction you are getting. The owners, staff, and patrons are all decent people who aren't out to hurt anyone. If they sold the chalices and monstrance, would that make everyone happy? If not, what tangible changes do you actually want?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous complaints on the internet show that he "has balls?"

Tancred said...

Are you suggesting that you beat your wife, Anonymous Mar 30, 2012 11:05 AM?

Tancred said...

I think being a Catholic in this environment takes a lot more courage than floating downstream with the decomposing matter.

Anonymous said...

Is that a joke? I don't have a wife, and I don't approve of violence in any situation other than self defense. I asked a serious question, what tangible changes do you actually want? Your lack of a response to that simple question would lead one to believe that you are simply trolling.

Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you but you aren't a member of some persecuted minority. We have freedom of religion in this country. Nobody is attacking you and nobody is stopping you from practicing your religion. A few people will mock/criticize your beliefs and you are completely free to ignore them. The vast majority of Americans don't particularly care what your religious views are. Being Catholic in Iran or North Korea requires courage. In the United States it does not.

Tancred said...

When you make comments like this, you should at least make sure that your statements are true.

You sound a little obsessed and poorly informed and the refutation of most of what you say is actually contained in your remarks. I also doubt you've ever had to listen to the kind of inane hostility against what you believe from people all around in the media and in simple public conversations. This thread is a good example of that.

It's also not true that the the "overwhelming" majority of American's don't care about Catholicism. (And you're one of them that cares.) The great majority do care. Just look at all the priest jokes and insults people feel free to casually throw out there.

You don't think those jokes sting?

If you don't, feel free to send me an e-mail and we can talk about it in private somewhere if it's mutually convenient.

Tancred said...

You've dishonestly attempted to adumbrate my statements by another statement which can not possibly be inferred from what I've actually said. It's a fallacy called the "loaded question".

So, how long have you been beating your boyfriend?

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to be direct and adult here. You seem to be tap dancing around the question of whether or not violence is an appropriate response, and many of your other posts seem to hint that you are fine with it ("brutish men"). I was asking for a clear response on this point as well as what specific steps you and anyone else here would like Ale Mary's to take to not be so offensive. I am being sincere in those questions. I am not trying to put words in your mouth, if you re-read what I wrote, I was asking you a question. You asked me a comparatively ridiculous one in return, and I answered you honestly. I understand you feel embattled here, but I'm just trying to open up a constructive dialog.

Tancred said...

And I'm being direct with you. Advocating violence in this medium is against the TOS and may even be a crime.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

My question is, why hasn't the Archbishop taken some action? And for that matter, where is the Cardinal, Bishops and local priests? This is an outright attack on Christ Himself, His Body and Blood. My goodness, no one would dare to defame images like mohammed or symbols like the star of David. Where are the defenders of Christ?

Tancred said...

They have a new Archbishop who is more traditional than the last one and I think there's every reason to believe he'll be more proactive on this disgusting display.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The point of the bar is to make money. Why offend possible clientele? Just change the name and remove the chalices and other Catholic stuff. That simple.

Anonymous said...

Your a idiot if you think they are going todo either of those things. Iv been in there 2 nights this week and it was busy. Seems that the owner could care less about what you guys think. Your bunch wakos that think you have the right to force your beliefs on other people!!

Tancred said...

It's "you're" an idiot. And of course the owner doesn't care about people's sensibilities, he's a crass and lowborn cur.

Anonymous said...

Archbishops email:
If you call yourself a true Catholic, stand up for Christ!

Tancred said...

I wonder if their insurance company knows about the inflammatory nature of the theme of their bar.

It's definitely a hazard.

By the way, your next bar should be called, The Dachau Den. You could tile the floors with Jewish gravestones, a cabinet with Torah Scrolls in them, and a mezuzah on the bathroom doors. Also, it would be really cool to fashion furniture from real death camp survivor's bones.

Also, as a spin on the chalice things, you could use gold from the fillings of the camp victims and make drinking cups out of that!

Anonymous said...

Anon: Because the decorations are offending a small fraction of one percent of the population. Most Catholics don't care or are amused by the bar's theme.

Anonymous said...

Lol... Your freaking nuts. And apparently you weren't listing when the other posters said the customers brought in most of the things that you have such a proplem with . By the way the was a priest wearing a collar in on Friday for lunch ... Lol and I'm positive that there insurance could care less along with the other 99.9 percent of people in this country!!

Tancred said...

How do you know how many people disapprove of this kind of thing, but what you're doing is exactly the same thing as would be the case if you were ridiculing the things that were sacred to other religions.

Let's find out what's sacred to you, and see how you like seeing it treated like this. Sounds like a plan.

Tancred said...

In the first place, how do you know? There are actually Nazi themed restaurants in Southeast Asia which are extremely popular.

Do you think it's o.k. just because only a small number of Thais or Filipinos are Jewish that these restaurants should exist?

It's also irrelevant whether or not a priest approves of it either, because as we've pointed out elsewhere in the thread, many priests fall far short of the ideal when it comes to teaching the Catholic Faith.

Anonymous said...

If large numbers of people were offended by the bar then they would have gotten plenty of complaints prior to yours.

There are some people who are offended by the consumption of alcohol. Maybe we should shut down all bars in order to spare their feelings?

Tancred said...

There are a couple of problems with that:

You're assuming that the correctness of something is determined by how many people object to it. Are we to assume that human sacrifice and infanticide were acceptable because most people practiced them?

Sure, but you're assuming that there's no objectively demonstrable moral code. Didn't your father, assuming you know who he is, ask you that question about bridges?

Objections to the use of alcohol are absurd of course, but it's not analogous to what you and your patrons are doing because it's not directly or intentionally offensive.

If you don't think this is offensive to Catholic sensibilities, I suggest you browse around this thread and look around the internet, and even your own bar's website, to see the disrespectful demeanor of many of your patrons and those who are amused by this.

People who drink alchohol have no intention of defaming tea teetotalers, but you and your patrons clearly want to defame Catholicism, and when you can't understand the objections raised against what you're doing, like most stupid and vulgar people, you react with hostility.

With one or two exceptions, most of the people, mostly who are presumably patrons, employees and owners of the bar, have been rude, insulting and bigoted.

I was surprised until yesterday that no one brought up the rare instance of homosexual priests abusing minors, but that happened too.

I'm sure you would have been following the crowd in Nazi Germany too c. 1940.

Anonymous said...
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Tancred said...

This isn't your dive bar where you can insult people who are either too cowardly to confront you or aren't there to confront you.

If you have a substantial objection to the things I say, or they aren't true, go ahead and challenge me, but insults without any substantial objections are pretty much typical of the type of person that goes to this bar, no?

You're basically engaging in the kind of behavior that I'm mainly criticizing you for right now.

Anonymous said...

You're comparing bar decorations with human sacrifice, infanticide and the Holocaust. Just take a step back and think about that for a minute.

Anonymous said...
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Tancred said...

There's also a Facebook Page critical of the Dive Bar, "all are welcome".

Tancred said...

They're all moral categories. The argument you're using is that moral categories are only relevant in so far as people believe they are so, but at what point does a moral category cease to be relevant? When only a hundred people believe it, two hundred believe it?

You're also running into the problem that just because you think these items are not worthy of respect, and that it's permissible to insult Catholics, that there isn't a problem with it.

I'm here to tell you that there is a problem with it, and you're just going to have to deal with that conundrum the best you can.

Tancred said...

Muslims constitute perhaps about 3% of the population in the US last time I checked and Jews a bit more. Observant Jews are an even smaller minority.

What if I created a bar which insulted them as flagrantly as you insult Catholics, and it's pretty obvious you are doing that, btw.

Anonymous said...
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