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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 Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Faith • Food

soundoff (683 Responses)
  1. The cat

    I can haz offensive?

    October 8, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  2. lilsparkee

    This is SO not sacrilegious. I used to help my grandma make communion wafers for the church, back before they purchased everything premade. We used to take home the leftover, imperfect wafers and top them with chocolate meringue and serve them for coffee at church. Lighten up ! If Catholic grandma allowed it, so can you !

    October 8, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • alohalady14

      You said...."it is SOOO NOT SACRILIGIOUS" (because it is not consecrated).......I need to show you the response that I gave to "Reason" just today 10/14..........

      "No offense, but just how unintelligent can you be ??? It's the meaning behind it...........do you never look at the meaning behind things, or are you one of those that has that "ANYHING GOES" type of thinking ?

      This burger joint is paying "tribute" to a group that MOCKS/INSULTS God and HIS Church. Can you really really say that there is nothing wrong in that ? Would you not care if someone were to insult your father, or mother, sister or brother, or even your grandparents etc.? If you wouldn't then you definitely have problems, and there's nothing else anyone can say to you !"

      October 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
  3. Yummy

    If they wanted this to look any more appetizing they could always top it with ink and a shiny nickel in mockery of capitalism.

    October 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  4. Jim

    If it is not an anointed wafer than it is not sacrilegious. You can buy wafers in any religious supply store. Now if they are breaking into a church and stealing the anointed wafers...thats different.

    October 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Fr. Willaim Lugger

    This bothers me more than I can express in words. In the opening you say...the host represents..the body of Christ...for Catholic that is FALSE. We beieve that AFTER the prayers of Consecration are said...IT IS, BECOMES....The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Unde the form of bread and wine. Yes this restaurant is using a piece of bread...it is also a slap in the face of all who believe. I wonder what would happen if they used a page of the Koran, The Bible, ....hmmmmm?

    October 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • sam stone

      Then don't order one, fadduh

      Just keep yer hands off the alterboys

      October 8, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
      • Question

        sam stone, how come you are blaming this stranger for some totally different person's bad behavior just because they share the same line of work?

        October 8, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        • sam stone

          how did i blame him for anything?

          October 8, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
        • Question

          The last line of your post. If one person working for a specific employer is guilty of a felony it does not mean that the other employees of the same organization are also guilty of the same crime. I'm sure you are aware of what you wrote. It's right there on the screen.

          October 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
        • sam stone

          where did i say he had done anything?

          October 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • sam stone

          perhaps i am just being godly

          adam and eve disobeyed the big guy, so the rest of us are guilty

          how is this different?

          October 8, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Alice McCloskey

      You are so right, Father!!! They would never get away with mocking the Koran.

      October 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
      • JWT

        The koran and bible both make great firestarter.

        October 9, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Elizabeth A.

      Very good Fr.! They would not dare make a Muslim/Islamic burger. That shows the cowardice. They know Christians are peaceful and we don't believe in retaliating attacks on our religion, with violence. And that is how they feel they can get away with it. If this restaurant would even dare to make a burger about Muhammmed or "Allah", they will get a surprise visit with some Radical Extremists, ready to dig their graves.

      October 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  6. Helorik

    I just got paid $6784 working off my laptop this month. Since I started freelancing over this site, with a little effort I easily make $55 – $85 per/h. I started several months ago, and now my monthly income is around $9k. Here’s my source going1.C0M

    October 7, 2013 at 2:24 am |
  7. 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 |
  8. 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 |
  9. haime52

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

    October 5, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  10. 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 |
  11. 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 |
  12. 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 |
  13. 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 |
  14. 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 |
  15. 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 |
  16. 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 |
  17. 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 |
  18. 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 |
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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.