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

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(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. ChiAG

    The best is how much MORE popular Kumas is going to be. Can't wait to go this weekend and see how many more people line up and wait 2 hours for a burger. This particular one looks delicious and the band it pays homage to is great as well.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
  2. lerxt

    mmmmm.... sacrilicious!

    Anyway, why is this an offence? Unless they are taking Eucharist from some church after it's been transubstantiated, which would make it the Body of Christ, it's just a piece of rice cake with a cross on it. It's not a big deal.

    Catholics and all Christians for that matter need a thicker skin!

    October 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  3. Randy H.

    This is my body . . . my delicious beefy body with two types of cheese and fixins. Please enjoy your ritualistic cannibalism at your neighborhood bar and grill.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Rebbe Bupkis

      This made me laugh hard. Thank you.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
  4. jb

    So the people who eat Jesus every Sunday are upset about this?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  5. uh..

    Why? Don't you pray before you eat? It's on FOOD you eat to survive.. what better way to remind of god than on food?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  6. Scott V

    Symbols can and are closely related to idols, and idols are plainly stated as a big No No! God probably likes it when idols and rituals get made fun of.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

      I wonder if Jesus has been executed by hanging instead of by crucifixion (which was the common method back then). Would Xtians wear nooses around their necks?

      October 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Deacon Mark

      Scott, do some studying before you speak and idolatry.....

      October 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  7. Best beef burger in Chicago

    sullivan's steakhouse!!!

    October 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  8. Snow

    how does it matter? if you don't like it, put it on the side and eat your burger..

    its not like they put the wafer on underwear or something... I can understand people getting upset if something like that is done. But on a tasty buger? HOW does it matter?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Live4Him

      I wonder if this restuarant would come out with a burger mocking Mohammad?

      October 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • A_T

        I would be the first to purchase it....hopefully it is heavily laden in pork, various types of bacon.....and an explosive pepper sauce. (Hell, i'll help develop it)....

        October 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

        It’s only over sensitive people like you that would view it as mocking…considering the entire point was to HONOR a band. But to answer your ridiculous question… they are a Metal bar… they likely would make any kind of burger they wanted regardless of any whiney religious types out there. Is your faith so weak you are threatened by this?

        October 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
      • G to the T

        Do you know any anti-islamic metal bands?

        October 4, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  9. pmmarion

    Personally I like the Romanian Orthodox Church's communion bread. When I was a kid in South Saint Paul, my grandma would take me to her church services and at the end the priest would put out a bowl of the bread and you would go a take a piece. Very good bread, sweet. Of course I would always take 2 or 3 pieces.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  10. JL

    "If there is a God, I'm sure he has a sense of humor."
    Well there is, and He does. But how is this funny? This is just tasteless, mockery of God and a holy sacrament.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • jb

      how do you know God is a he? Have you seen his penis?

      October 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • 99mystic99

      There is? Are you sure? Maybe SHE thinks this is funny? I sure do, and I'm betting that if there is such a thing as a god it's got a lot better sense of humor than most of its followers.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Third Eagle of the apocalypse.

      If you know for a fact that god is real then stop holding out and produce your evidence. It could really solve a lot of problems. Then again…if he was real he could just come down here and prove it himself. Are you really so arrogant to believe that YOU would have the same sense of humor as an all powerful, all knowing and eternal god? LOL…

      October 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      how do you know it is a mockery of god?

      do you purport to know the nature and thoughts of god?

      October 3, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  11. Ah!

    The cannibal, vampire cult getting all upset. good. Maybe they should think the whole eucharist is gross in the modern age.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Death

    How about a Pork burger with a Crescent Moon on top?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • ORChuck

      That is sort of the point here. While some Christians may take some offense and speak out, I doubt that there'll be any riots or death threats.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  13. LOL

    Wonder if you can get a virgin mary muffin on the side.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • just starting trouble

      A Mother Mary Muffin Top!

      October 3, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
  14. danielbednar

    Sacrilegious - very poor taste indeed. Shame on this restaurant.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  15. Vin

    Just another sales gimmick. Hosts are almost tasteless, as other religion breads, wafers are.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  16. Ric


    October 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Lamb of dog

      What indoctrination of ridiculous beliefs?

      October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Rebbe Bupkis

      I don't know. Looks pretty tasty to me.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  17. 80/20 beef to make that juicy burger


    October 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • Jim

      That looks appetizing, hungry already!

      October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
  18. toadstool

    I wonder what the reaction would be if they made a Mohammed Burger with a little replica Koran in the middle.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Clarence LeBlanc

      both delusional but the Christians credit they don't generally kill over these things because when puch comes to shove they don't really believe...thank god...HA

      October 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • ORChuck

      As a Christian myself, I actually welcome this tomfoolery for just this reason. While some Christians may take offense and may speak up, I doubt that there'll be any riots or any death threats.This actually paints us very well in contrast to certain other peaceful religions.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • G to the T

      Know of any anti-islamic metal bands? Otherwise, I'm not sure what your point is...

      October 4, 2013 at 11:36 am |
  19. Lamb of dog

    Jesus should taste good.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  20. Dave-O

    If you find yourself complaining about the ingredients in a burger that you would never order, in a restaurant that you would never go to, in a city that you've never been to...then there's probably a good chance that you can't handle lining in a free country.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • toadstool

      We're just having a bit of fun here. no big deal. If you find yourself complaning about people complaining about the ingredients.......

      October 3, 2013 at 3:12 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.