The Baltimore Sun is reporting that the bar is owned by Tom and Mary Rivers who claim they were raised Catholic and say they mean no offense to Catholics. Even though the name of their bar is a play on the "Hail Mary," they decorate with photos of nuns, post their draft list on a hymn board, serve items such as Father Luies Grilled Wings, and feature a "chalice" club where patrons can have their beer served in a chalice, they claim it's all in fun.
Even more disturbing is the fact that the religious items used on the premises were donated by their own customers.
“It‘s all in fun and it’s not like we’re out picking these things up. Our customers are bringing these things to us,” Tom Rivers told The Blaze. "It’s great publicity. I wish I would have thought of this myself.”
He claims that his wife and sister in law are named Mary, and that they were all brought up in Catholic homes. "(I)t just seemed to fit,” he said. “It was cool.”
Not everyone agrees that mocking a religion is "cool." A group known as "500,000 Against Ale Mary's" has started a Facebook campaign meant to encourage people to protest the bar and the blasphemy it's promoting.
"This group has been formed to protest, and make known, the deeply offensive and blasphemous use of sacred objects used in the Catholic Church in Her most profound rituals and liturgies by the bar Ale Mary," organizers say on their Facebook page.
"In this establishment Chalices that contained the precious blood of Christ are being used as common drinking cups, and a Monstrance that is to be used to display the Sacred body of Christ for adoration is being used as a . . . decoration sitting on a bar where patrons while their time over drinks. A holy water font is also used as a simple candy dish."
The group recently staged a protest outside the bar, but not even that was enough to dissuade the Rivers from continuing to use the Church as a prop for their business.
Referring to the protestors as "nut balls," Tom Rivers says he can't believe anyone could have a problem with what he's doing. In the seven years since he's been open, he claims to have had only one complaint from a person who believed his decor was in bad taste.
"And that person still comes in here," he boasted to the Sun.
The Rivers say they have no plans to alter their decor.
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