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Is the 'Communion burger' in poor taste?
The "Ghost" burger at Kuma's Corner in Chicago features a "Communion wafer garnish."
October 3rd, 2013
12:50 PM ET

Is the 'Communion burger' in poor taste?

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor

(CNN) Mmm - sacralicious?

A Chicago restaurant is pushing the boundaries of bad taste with its October Burger of the Month.

Kuma's Corner, a heavy-metal themed joint with an "Eat beef; bang your head" ethos, says its new burger is an homage to Ghost, a Swedish band that performs satanic songs in Catholic clerical garb.

"The Ghost" burger features a "Communion wafer garnish," a white, unleavened disc bearing the imprint of a cross and a crown.

Ghost's new album comes complete with grape juice and a mock Communion wafer. Not coincidentally, the Communion burger at Kuma's comes with a red wine reduction.

For those unfamiliar with the Christian sacrament, Holy Communion commemorates Jesus' Last Supper. The bread represents his body, Jesus says in the Bible, and the wine his blood. In many Christian traditions, a priest or minister will consecrate the wafers and wine before sharing them with the congregation.

Luke Tobias, director of operations for Kuma's, said the restaurant's Communion wafers are not consecrated, and thus, not really holy. "It's more or less a cracker with a cross on it," he said. The restaurant bought the wafers online from an e-Bay-type website.

They're not trying to make a big religious statement, Tobias said, just trying to have fun honoring a band they like.

"If there is a God, I'm sure he has a sense of humor."

Some of God's peoples seem to get the joke, according to Kuma's.  A Presbyterian minister who ate the burger yesterday posted a message on Facebook saying that "sacrilege never tasted so good," Tobias said.

But other Christians have a beef with Kuma's burger.

Tobias said Kuma's phones have been ringing off the hook, with some saying that putting a Communion host on a burger is like waving the American flag over a fire.

Jeffrey Young, who runs a podcast and blog called "Catholic Foodie," called the Ghost burger "crass and offensive."

"For us, as Catholics, the Eucharist is the body and blood and soul of divinity itself," said Young. "Although the Communion wafer is not a consecrated host, it's still symbolic, and symbols are important."

There's one thing that Tobias and Young agree on, however: Communion wafers are not particularly tasty.

"From a culinary standpoint," Young said, "it's kind of worthless."

- CNN Belief Blog Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith • Food

soundoff (683 Responses)
  1. Well

    You know with this, I think the Catholics are going to have the last laugh. Who ever orders this is getting a lump of dead cow topped with cooking sherry, Swiss cheese and what looks like the tail end of a medium sized sardine.

    October 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Jim

    This is stupid.
    Do people not understand what a wafer stand for.
    It is the body of Christ.
    It is to only be done in memory of Jesus.
    Sad and sick.

    October 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Prove your dead jew zombie was a god and you might have a point. Otherwise a wafer is a wafer and you believe crap.

      October 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
      • captain america

        You mention sad and sick and this vile canadian pos appears.

        October 6, 2013 at 6:44 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Give it a rest. We get that you hate Canadian's and once again we are left reminding you that CNN is an International News Site. We're going to continue to comment regardless of how many times you make small minded comments that only prove how horrible of a person you are.

          October 6, 2013 at 6:50 am |
      • inæmatvs

        \m/

        October 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • heehee

      There are those who know that you believe it, but do not believe it themselves.

      Not so hard to understand now, is it? Broaden your world; imagine other views.

      October 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      Then don't order one, Jim.

      Problem solved

      October 6, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  3. haime52

    This is a time warp and I have, somehow, landed back in high school.

    October 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  4. Marty

    Are you serious? Religious types of the right and left wing proponents will hate this as it displays something that actually doesn't exist. Religion is a crock. I wish I lived close r to this restaurant so I could eat it at a church whilst I wore my "Hello, my name is Satan" t shirt. Have a good old cry, religious types, and I can call the wahmbulance for you. No one takes things as a joke anymore but I want a Muhammed Pork burger with a side of Krishna fries over a bed of Buddha beans.

    October 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  5. Porter

    Not offended by it but I will probably take it out because I never liked the taste of Communion wafers. I just want my damn burger! happythankyoumoreplease!

    October 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
  6. Hmmm

    Well I'm not Catholic but I can see how it's rude.
    BTW, burgers make Krishna cry.

    October 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  7. joe

    Interesting. You can't call something "gay" or "retarded" anymore, but you can insult the Catholic religion with no problem. I'd love to see a Muhammad Pork Burger, cowards.

    October 5, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • sam stone

      awwwww, joey, having a little hissy fit?

      October 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • sam stone

      and, you can call people gay or retarded if you wish

      October 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  8. Andacar

    This is bait. It's a cheap ploy from a restaurant trying to generate buzz by inventing a fake controversy. Hopefully lots of people will be outraged and will protest. Then of course a lot of others will go in and buy one just because of the protests. Cha ching!

    Don't take the bait.

    October 5, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  9. Peter Wexler

    I am not Catholic. In fact my species, the Jew, killed Jesus, or so they say. Nonetheless, I am offended.

    October 5, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  10. children of Israel

    (Ezekiel 33:17) Fourscore and seven years ago they said all men are created equal? *Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cutoff, and we fly away. *2nd Corinthians 7:10 but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (*1st John 2:16*)

    October 4, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  11. Reggie

    Both Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe in the True Presence, that is to say, the divine presence of Jesus in the consecrated host.

    Presumably these are not consecrated and thus technically not sacrilegious. Nonetheless this is a socially inappropriate use of communion wafers. Interpreted in context, it is essentially anti-Catholic, provocative, and likely very offensive to many.

    As a Catholic myself with a fondness for hamburgers, I would NEVER eat a burger garnished in this way. I could likely not bring myself to do it. Instead, I forgive and pray for all who for tragic lack of spiritual knowledge would participate in this childish marketing scheme. Further, may those who consume even these unconsecrated hosts, taken completely out of context, be somehow blessed through their contact with this religious symbol, in the infinite mercy of our loving lord. May He somehow use this to come into the hearts of more people.

    October 4, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Reggie

      It's just a ritual... doesn't do anything as far as having some kind of magical/Spiritual powers.

      However, if it somehow brings you peace, love, joy, etc... then keep on keeping on, but don't be delusional.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      October 6, 2013 at 5:14 am |
  12. frederick johnsen

    When the Christian faith is belittled we are told that "if God exists He has a sense of humor" therefore lighten up. Okay, then, to the owner of the burger joint, who seems to have such a sense of humor: your mom sucks ..... in the back alley – for free, while being the meat in a meat spit three-way. Ha ha. Just joking.

    October 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • OnewhoKnows

      Oh blah blah blah..how many of you didn't see a problem with the lone ranger mover this summer with depp mocking native american religion with a dead bird on his head? Just like you told us.."get over it... i see nothing wrong with it... lighten up!" how's it feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

      October 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • J

      Man, if this burger offends you this much you should check out the band the burger is named after, you might get an ulcer. http://youtu.be/BUeWyuv-a-0

      October 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • sam stone

      fair enough, freddie.

      October 5, 2013 at 10:01 am |
  13. Ronnie

    Even though Im Catholic.........and to keep the peace for GODS sake........could there be another way to do this burger with the results wanted? You know darn good and well it will offend people using their ritual in religion. Geez folks think before you do ok! =)

    October 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sacred cows make the best hamburger!

      October 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  14. elle

    It's only sacrilege if you believe in jesus...if you happen to recall, not EVERYONE does.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • zeplinair

      It's sacrilegious in reality only if the communion wafers go through ritual transubstantiation during mass, and what priest would.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        And only then if you are Catholic. Some "Christians" don't even consider Catholics as "Christian".

        October 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Anna

          Which is funny, since they are all off-shoots of Catholicism...

          October 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  15. zeplinair

    'Communion wafers' are no more holy than anything else until they go through the ritual transubstantiation during mass – so unless they did that (and what priest would), it only looks sacrilegious to the religiously reactionary, but also religiously uninformed.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  16. Kelsey

    Everyone getting offended over this needs to calm down. It's a BURGER. You know, FOOD. People get offended over anything anymore.. Lighten up! Jesus Christ (pun intended)

    October 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  17. tc

    Yes! It is very offensive to Catholics! A headbanger buger joint? If this place can make it any business can. I would say I would never eat there if in Chicago but I never would have anyway.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • zeplinair

      'Communion wafers' are no more holy than anything else until they go through the ritual transubstantiation during mass – so unless they did that (and what priest would), it only looks sacrilegious to the religiously reactionary, but also religiously uninformed.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  18. Robert n

    That burger looks gay? Wonder what the pope thinks about it?

    October 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  19. CommonSensed

    ""For us, as Catholics, the Eucharist is the body and blood and soul of divinity itself," said Young. "Although the Communion wafer is not a consecrated host, it's still symbolic, and symbols are important.""

    Idolator!

    October 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Kerri

      Thank you I am Catholic too and I am highly offended.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • zeplinair

        The sacrilege is in symbol only. The wafers themselves are no more holy than anything else until they go through ritual transubstantiation, and what priest would do that.

        October 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  20. InNomineNemo

    Wouldn't a Jesus burger just be an empty bun?

    October 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Seems to me the catholics upset about this are the empty buns.

      October 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Ria

        The "empty buns" are the ones who created this so-called "communion burger". They'll discover one day that it's not a good thing to mock what is sacred And those that condone it will come to regret it as well. God knows they're doing it out of ignorance, and His mercy is on them. They should be relieved that we have a merciful God. Unlike the god of Islam. He would have his followers burn down, bomb, and destroy those who would dare to offend him in such a way.

        October 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So "they will regret it"

          But should be "happy the christian god is merciful"....which is it?

          October 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • sam stone

        contact the vatican. they are experts at putting the meat in the little buns

        October 5, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • J

      Thats awesome!

      October 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.