Maryland was named after the wife of King Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria. Although the reference to the Virgin Mary probably didn't hurt any.

The idea of a refuge for Catholics wasn't such a farfetched idea at the time, since Charles I was busy inflicting the Counter-Reformation on England. Fifteen years after the founding of Maryland, Charles was executed and a Protestant dictatorship was established.

In 1992 Maryland residents were surprised to discover that not only did they have an official state religion, but that religion was the Afro-Cuban import known colloquially as "Santeria". This fact was discovered by a nine-year-old boy while doing research for a Civics class paper; his startled teacher pursued the matter on his own and discovered that the boy's outlandish assertion was indeed a matter of public record.

When the story broke in the local newspapers, Marylanders learned that this addition to the state's roster of official persons, places, and things took place in 1987, where it was introduced as a rider appended to legislation regarding a planned highway project. The author of the rider, Democratic state senator Charles Highweather, admitted when contacted about the matter that he had for years led a double life as a Santerian priest or babalocha who went by the name of "Papa Guegue" and performed services for paying clients that included hexing their enemies and foretelling the future by examining patterns in spilled chicken blood.

Shortly thereafter an amendment was rushed through by the mortified legislature eliminating the category of "official state religion" altogether.

Lies. All lies.

The State of Maryland is divided into twenty-four counties, and Baltimore City:



*Anne Arundel County contains the city of Annapolis, which is the capital of Maryland.

** Baltimore City is unique in Maryland because it is not part of any county; do not confuse it with Baltimore County, which borders it but does not contain it. Baltimorians from the City often refer to Baltimore County as "The County".

*** Washington County has nothing to do with Washington, DC, except that both are named after the first President of the United States, George Washington. Geographically, Washington County, Maryland is nowhere near Washington, DC, although Washington, DC borders the State of Maryland. Washington, DC, which borders both Maryland and Virginia, is not part of any state, although it is built on land which used to belong to Maryland.

The state of Maryland was given as a charter to the Calverts of England to Catholics as a refuge from persecution from the Anglican Church of England. Leonard Calvert landed at Saint Clement’s Island on March 25, 1634, and then founded St. Mary’s City, named after the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Maryland territory was named Terra Mariae, or Mary Land. As the Calverts believed in religious toleration for all Christians, the territory was open to all Christians, which led to the Maryland Toleration Act of 1649. To English Protestants, Maryland’s Catholic founders could say they named their colony after the Queen Henrietta Maria, but it has been a Catholic tradition among themselves that Maryland was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sources:

Bennett WJ. America - The Last Best Hope, 2 Volumes. Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 2006 (l) and 2007 (ll), volume l, page 43.

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