Ball’s Failed Order Typical of Maryland Democrats
Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve already heard about the order issued this week by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball relating to the free practice of religion in Howard County. Or, should I say, the unfree practice of religion for some denominations.
No food or beverages of any kind should be consumed on the site where religious services are being held, either before, during, or after religious services, including food or beverage that would typically be consumed as part of a religious service.
Beginning at 7am on May 29th, religious institutions may resume services assuming the following guidelines are met. The guidelines refer to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, interfaith centers, and any other space where faith gatherings are held.https://t.co/XE0soDdV3l pic.twitter.com/NieG0MavCv
— Calvin Ball (@HoCoGovExec) May 26, 2020
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Ball’s order clearly picked winners and losers among religions, particularly religions that involve the consumption of food and drink during a religious service.
Now as a Catholic, I can only really speak of the Catholic experience. I know that other denominations also involve food or drink during their services.
During the Mass, the Priest consecrates the bread and the wine into the Body and Bread of Jesus Christ. And during the consecration, which is literally the holiest part of the Mass, the Priest consumes them.
If the Priest doesn’t consume the Body and the Blood of Christ, it’s not a Mass. Calvin Ball has literally outlawed the practice of the Catholic faith in Howard County.
Ball has the misfortune of the performing this heinous and unconstitutional ban in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, where Archbishop William Lori serves. Archbishop Lori also happens to be the US Council of Catholic Bishops point man on religious freedom issues. And Archbishop Lori is having none of it.
During the last several weeks, Catholic Churches in Maryland have continued to have Mass, almost every day, livestreamed on their Facebook pages, YouTube, etc. In every Mass, the Priest has consumed the Body and the Blood as required to hold the Mass. There has been no distribution of communion, even if there were other individuals inside the Church. Ball has banned that.
The issue here is not even the public distribution of communion, though I recently was able to attend Mass and receive the Eucharist out of state and appropriately socially distanced. Catholics at least are under no requirement to consume the Eucharist at every Mass; we are compelled to consume the Eucharist only once a year. There are many Catholics around the world in developing nations who only get to Mass and receive the Eucharist a few times a year due to a shortage of priests and the distance between parishes.
But the issue was banning the Priest, who is the only person to physically handle the Eucharist, from consuming it. That’s a real, serious, and discriminatory problem.
The order was so controversial that Ball backtracked two days later, but as CNA’s Christine Rousselle reports Ball’s spokesman passed off the change in the order not to religious liberty concerns but because they were “revisiting” Governor Larry Hogan’s Wednesday order allowing restaurants to open for outdoor seating.
But there is a broader political theme to Calvin Ball’s attempted ban. Ball’s ban is typical of how Maryland Democrats have treated people of faith over the years. They pretend they know the faith better than its adherents. They treat the tenets of your faith and mine as if it should be subservient to intersectionality and the progressive political agenda. Look no further than how Democrats treat those who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds and those who want to force the religious to “bake the cake”; Ball’s intolerant and discriminatory ban on the Catholic Mass and other religious services is the same vein.
Calvin Ball’s anti-religion order was unconstitutional and a gross violation of the Freedom of Religion. While it’s heartening to see the order withdrawn, it’s sad that it was merely typical of the modern Democratic agenda.