By Joey Hart, For The Miami Student
Oxford Police Department issued a press release last Thursday saying they will place undercover operatives in Oxford area churches on Easter to catch students drinking Eucharistic wine underage.
The holiday, colloquially known as “Red Wine Day” among Miami students, usually sees an increase in churchgoers, thus prompting the operation by OPD.
Chief Richard Bentley said this move is mostly a precautionary measure against excessive underage abuse of alcohol.
“We really just want to prevent kids from doing the wrong thing and hope that they know we are out,” he said. “If you’re not 21 and you want to take a sip from the blood of Christ, be prepared to take a gulp from the sweet cup of justice.”
Bentley explained that this operation is part of a larger effort by OPD to curb underage drinking in public institutions. He added 11 students have been arrested this semester for taking communion underage.
“Consubstantiation has its consequences,” Bentley said.
Father Thomas Abner, pastor at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, explained that, although he wants students to be safer, he believes there may be negative effects that come with the additional police presence.
“My main concern is that we will see a decrease in church attendance because of this,” Abner said. “Let he who is without a fake cast the first arrest warrant.”
Junior Maggie Hills, a regular church attendee, agreed with Abner and said although she understands the law, she wants to practice her religion in peace.
“Certainly there are places worth pursuing in terms of underage drinking for the [police],” she said. “I’m not sure that a place of worship is one of them.”
Hills noted that she has been taking communion for years in her church at home and doesn’t know why such an act would be considered illegal.
Bentley, though, said that everything being done by the department is within the scope of its power.
“All we are trying to do is enforce the rules on the books and keep the community safe,” he said. “This Easter, please don’t let the Power of Christ compel me to take your ass to jail.”
The preceding piece is a work of satire.