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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. D Palmer

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

    Clearly this man has never read the bible.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      A twisted sense of humor.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Does The Babble ever say its central character and alleged supernatural being ever laughs? Or laugh without shortly thereafter killing a few innocents or children?

      October 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      I think he means if there is a REAL god, not the child described in the Bible. To many people, the Bible is just a manmade book, an unreliable collection of stories, a few of which MIGHT – or might not – be inspired by god.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  2. Lamb of dog

    The crusades burger. It's well done.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  3. HotAirAce

    I especially like the runny red liquid (blood?) touch.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Mike

    Ritualistic cannibalism or garnish? Hmmmmm, WWJD?

    October 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  5. Lamb of dog

    I'm investing in wafer companies right away.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  6. Homer

    Mmmmmmm... Sacralicious.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      Nice.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  7. churchstate

    You’ll find that most (ex-Christian) atheists don’t believe for one or more of the following reasons:

    The concept of an immortal being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-powerful being makes no sense to us.

    The concept of an all-knowing being makes no sense to us.

    We tend to have a good working knowledge of the age, size and history of the Universe and the idea that a being would create the entire thing – with 400,000,000,000 galaxies, EACH with 100, 000,000,000 starts and even more planets, then sit back and wait 13,720,000,000 years for human beings to evolve on one planet so he could “love them” and send his son to talk about sheep and goats in Iron Age Palestine makes no sense to us.

    The answers usually proffered for what we see as basic logical flaws in Christianity – “you have been blinded by your lack of faith” “God moves in mysterious ways” “God is outside the Universe” or “our minds are too small to understand the greatness of God” are never satisfying to us. We see a retreat to mysticism as the first refuge of the cornered fool.

    The common argument, “well, what caused the Big Bang?” with the implication that, because we have only theories and no iron clad explanation for the Big Bang yet, [the Christian] god must have caused it – does not make sense to us. “I don’t know” does not equal “god” to us, much less the Judeo-Christian god. We feel the answers to such a question are much more likely to be found in Einstein’s equations, quantum physics, large particle accelerators and radio telescopes than in Genesis Chapters 1 through 20. We’re crazy aren’t we?

    We do not see miracles in things like tornadoes missing a certain trailer in a trailer park, cancer going into remission or Tim Tebow winning a football game.

    We understand that Christianity is one of many, many religions in the World, and we don’t think that we were lucky enough to have been born in the one part of the World that “got it right”.

    We tend to have a basic knowledge of history and know that there is nothing magical or special about the supposed history of the Jews, gospels, letters, apocalyptic story (Revelations) and other materials that found their way into the Bible, in that they are largely indistinguishable from the other mythology and religious writings of the time and region.

    Human beings are terrified of their own deaths and we see the various religious beliefs that try to “wish it away” such as reincarnation, living happily ever after in Heaven with Jesus, having your own Mormon planet etc. as nothing more than childish stories for the more naive, timid minds among us.

    We do not see morality as predicated upon a belief in the supernatural. We accept that one can be moral without believing in the supernatural and that doing so is no guaranty that one will conform to the norms of society that people call “morality”.

    “You can’t prove God doesn’t exist” is not a convincing argument to us, as in inability to disprove something is a far cry from it being true. We cannot prove that the Hindu gods Shiva or Vishnu do not exist either, nor Santa Claus for that matter, but that is hardly a reason to believe in them. It is almost always impossible to prove a negative in this sense.

    When one looks at the various Christian beliefs that were once firmly believed – Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, people living to be 700 or 900 years old, the Red Sea splitting, water turning into wine, talking snakes, a man living in a whale’s belly, people rising from the dead, Jesus driving demons out of people and into pigs – but which are now acknowledged by most thinking people to be mere mythology, it is pretty hard to give a lot of credibility to what’s left.

    It is hard not to consider Christianity as based on circular reasoning. Most Christians believe in God because the Bible says so, then turn around and say they believe the Bible because it is the word of God. To draw an analogy, “I believe Obama is a great man because his biography says so, and the reason I believe his biography is that it is about Obama, who is a great man.”

    In short, the more one comes to understand mother nature, the less reason there is to believe in a god and the more one understands human nature, the more one sees why so many of us still do.

    So, the next time you proudly proclaim that you know the secrets to life, death, the origins of life on Earth and the origins of the Universe, because your parents or priest taught you some comforting stories from late Bronze Age Palestine as a ten year-old, you might like to consider where your beliefs fit into the bigger picture

    October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Mago0o

      It's called faith. It's easy to walk away because you don't understand or get your head around religion. It's very difficult to know all the scientific facts and still have faith.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
      • churchstate

        Here is my response to you –

        Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only
        10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
        9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
        8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
        7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Al lah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
        6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
        5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
        4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
        3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some id iot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christian
        2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
        1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, catholicism and church history – but still call yourself a Christian

        October 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
        • A_T

          Consider this.....your standing ovation. I'm saving that one, it is beautiful!!

          October 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        • Keith

          Brilliant and true.

          October 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
        • Mago0o

          I read through your 10 points waiting to get hit with some truth but found none. I'm very accepting of all people despite their beliefs, or lack thereof. I'm not here to judge or put down anyone, although I suspect you harbor some anger toward religion, specifically Christianity. Do you realize that by belittling people for believing in a diety, you are acting the exact same as the people you're so against? It's hippocritical. You're just preaching a different belief. I'm not so naive to say that my God is the 1 true God. Man is fallible and organized religion is a man-made organization. In the end, we'll all have the same God regardless. Despite what you think of your non-atheist neighbor, I do in fact acknowledge the Big Bang, evolution and I don't look for loopholes to justify my beliefs. As I said in my original reply, it's called faith. It's a belief in something despite evidence of it or against it.

          October 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
  8. Cristeros for Satan

    But other Christians say Communion is no laughing matter.
    .
    But is is. You guys act like you are eating a part of a zombie. lol

    October 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  9. Lamb of dog

    If only the wafers were made from something tasty like bacon.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      woof!

      October 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Sara

      I like communion wafers. I got a hold of a whole packet of them a few decades ago and ate them like snack food. I wouldn't mind a buger between two giant communion wafers. They're a bit sweet, though, so maybe a desert food?

      October 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Frank

    If only they could serve it with communion wine as well... Religion is ridiculous.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • axxhole

      and Christians keep wondering why there are more and more people moving towards atheism. its hard to convince someone that Christianity is the only true great religion when they spend time being offended by hamburgers.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  11. keith

    People just love to be offended.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • K-switch

      I'm offended by your comment 🙂

      October 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • bob bob

        And I'm offended by your comment.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • K-switch

        Sweet.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
        • palintwit

          Tea Party Patriots are the most offensive.

          October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  12. IslandAtheist

    If that burger helps one person think for himself it's worth it.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  13. sarah

    Who cares, really?! They want attention, and knew this would get everyone's attention.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  14. PaulP

    This is extremely offensive specifically to Catholics and those Episcopalians who believe in the real presence of Christ's body in the flesh and blood of Christ transformed from bread and wine. I pray for this restaurant and am deeply saddened by the insensitivity to religion that continues to prevail in America.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      "the real presence of Christ's body in the flesh and blood of Christ transformed from bread and wine"

      really? seriously? that's what you want to go with? no sane person could make sh1t like this up yet you blindly believe it why ... because your parents told you? because your priest told you?

      mind numbing nonsense.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jake

      I suppose you don't mind the insensitivity to those of us who aren't religious though?

      October 3, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Eric Cartman

      Jesus was made of crac kers?

      October 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Toomanyquestionmarks

        I just spit water out of my nose laughing so hard. Thanks for the humor.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • Dyslexic doG

        LOLOL Brilliant!

        October 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • filo bedo

        And wine!

        October 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • DBalt

      I too pray...that they sell a ton of these burgers. "Jesus, that's a good burger." Get over it, have a sense of humor.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • gabe83

        I live in Chicago born and raised and me and a few of my friends are gonna go eat this burger i promise you i will say a prayer before i do !! come on people get it together they are not trying to offend anyone and all this article is doing is promoting an awesome burger place in Chicago

        October 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Get over it and yourself. Admit that there is absolutely no evidence for the crap you believe.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Jon

      Really?! How is it that so many people are so religious??? I simply don't get it. That little wafer thing is tasteless anyway, ruins the burger...

      October 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Abraham

      Jesus: Worst Transformer Ever.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • John (not McCain)

      If it offends stupid people, I'm all for it.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • lackalaka

      "For us, as Catholics, the Eucharist is the body and blood and soul of divinity itself," For more conservative types, we have the desecrated communion. It's a Catholic priest's dream. Real S3m3.n on a hamburger. Even some blood and f.ec4l matter from the behind of alter boys. "Although the Communion wafer is not a consecrated host, it's still symbolic, and symbols are important." And it's important to put the body of the priest and the fluids of the priest in your mouth every sunday. Hallelujah

      October 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • j9999

        Amen!

        October 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • NoSense

      Firstly, it hasn't been consecrated and therefore has not transubstantiated into the actual elements of Christ. Also, if you're so insulted about such violations, shouldn't you being after the company who sold them without regard for what the intent of use was? Sounds like someone's trying to make money off the supposed body of Christ. Perhaps you should be angry at them.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      i am saddened by the offensiveness of religion in america

      October 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  15. Dyslexic doG

    Ezekiel 4:12
    And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  16. Barry

    until it is consecrated, it is nothing more than unleavened bread. Once consecrated, Catholics believe it becomes the body and blood of Christ. Not in a symbolic way but actually becomes the body and blood. So is what this restaurant doing defiling or defaming the holy sacrament?, No. Is it still tacky? Yes.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Mago0o

      Well said

      October 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  17. Hazel

    If the restaurant owner has some ba*** how about some islam sacrilege.. They know he and his family will be killed.. Cowards – these restaurant guys.. Try the same thing with a prop. moh or some islam crap...

    October 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      so will you step up and kill them for Christianity? No? You coward!

      what a ludicrous statement! all religions oppress others in some way or another. Christianity's methods may not be so insane as islam's but they are still there.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      • DBalt

        Right on, Dyslexic doG. Hmmm, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, stepping aside during the Holocaust...death in the name of their "god." Shoot why not throw in pedophile cover ups, Westboro Church, etc.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Colin

      Why does nobody ever say "if they did this to Islam, they would be killed. Doesn't that demonstate how irrational and violent religion can cause people to be."

      October 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • DBalt

        good point colin. there are several billion muslims, and clearly they are all not violent...if they were, obviously there'd be a hell of a lot more terrorism. actually if they were all violent, they wouldn't need to be terrorists as they would have killed everyone. an odd friend of mine, who is a devout catholic, says there are over a million muslim terrorists hiding in the US. I asked him if that was the case, if there were more terrorists here than members of our army...why haven't they overthrown our country? "Uh, they are waiting for the right moment." Oh my.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • gabe83

      You really don't know crap about the owners do you ? the owners are big biker dudes and are tough as nails !! I've seen and met them i doubt they would fear a religious nut job !!

      October 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Sara

      This is like saying someone who pulled a kids from in front of a moving car is a coward because he didn't also sign on to spend a year fighting terrorists in Afghanistan. How stupid can you be? Really, I'd like to know.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      waaah, waaaah, waaaah

      some hissy fit, hazel

      October 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Church of Suicidal

      You find it offensive? Don't order it. Try something else on the menu. I recommend the "Goblin C()ck".

      October 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  18. oneSTARman

    Considering that the Eucharist is an ICON of the Body of Christ The Manifestation of GOD on Earth to Christian Believers.
    And because the Majority of people in the "Western-World" are at least NOMINALLY Christian – I find this to be an UNUSUALLY insensitive OFFERING to the PUBLIC.

    October 3, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      damn this KEYBOARD, my CAPS LOCK key keeps sticking ...

      October 3, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • DBalt

        LOL. niCE.

        October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      If it offends and wakes up the delusionals, it is good!

      October 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Susan StoHelit

      Nope. The consecrated EUcharIST (darn caps lock!) is a holy symbol to many Christians. This is a bit of wheat.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • sam stone

      then don't order it

      problem solved

      October 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  19. Seattle Al

    People do stuff like this because they know that while Christians will be upset, that will be the extent of it.

    If this band and this restaurant want to show how edgy they are, try something that insults Islam. Dress like Muhammad on stage; serve a pork filled Islam burger, I'd like to see them try that and see how it works out.

    October 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      all religions oppress others in some way or another. Christianity's methods may not be so insane as islam's but they are still there.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • Sara

      I would like to see it too. But not just at one restaurant...everywhere. If people across the world all took a stand for free speech at the same time the extremists would realize they can't target everyone. The statements need to be simultaneous, to the point,and not slanderous. Something simple, like bumper stickers that say, "I think Islam, Christianity and Hinduism all present untruths". Or maybe riskier, with comic depictions of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed all sharing a bong and discussing gullible followers. See who jumps out as unable to handle it.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Sister Valium

      I agree with you.

      October 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Brother Maynard

      "People do stuff like this because they know that while Christians will be upset, that will be the extent of it."
      Are you suggesting that xtians should fire bomb the restaurant?

      October 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  20. Apple Bush

    I want to open a restaurant so bad right now. "Atheist Burgers" or something with all these parody burgers.

    October 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      I'll have a Hitchens burger and a scotch please. 🙂

      October 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
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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.