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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. divorced dad

    Perhaps there would be more Catholics if they served these burgers instead of the wafers at communion.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  2. Cohen

    Where is their Mohammad burger or the Jewish Torah pork burger? Muslims or Jews will never standup to it. Always picking up on Christians because they can get away with it. Shame!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • sam stone

      christianity is the overwhelming religion in the country

      if they want publicity, this is the best way

      October 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Observer

      Christians have no balls to fight for their religion. Muslims evidently do.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
      • sam stone

        if we are to take our little friend gopher as an example, they have no balls at all. they feel they deserve hell, but do not want to take it, so they hide behind their scapegoat. then they have the audacity to claim that their god is just. they would be funny, if they weren't so pathetic

        October 4, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • G to the T

      Do you know of any anit-islamic metal bands? Otherwise your comment makes no sense...

      October 4, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  3. Eat beef; bang your head

    So, this was an article about satan.

    Geez, it took awhile to realize that all this was done to appease satan, after all!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  4. Jerry

    That looks like a rather tasty burger. I would defintiely go there to eat one if I was in the Chicago area.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  5. lucifer on the loose

    he has his own band,

    he has his own fans,

    now, he has his own burger too!!!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • satan must love heavy metal music

      "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."

      October 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • Eat beef; bang your head

      This place must be satan's haven for food. Although, with all the head banging doesn't seem like fun for his fans.

      October 3, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  6. Dave

    religion.... ain't nobody got time for that.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  7. tony

    Cardinals and Popes dress up like gay cross dressers. Who is insulting whom?

    October 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  8. Marianne

    Umm... Isn't gluttony one of the 7 deadly sins? How can their be a "Catholic Foodie?" Doesn't a foodie imply that you are eating for the sake of eating and not just for sustenance? Just something to consider...

    October 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  9. Akahn

    Normally I'd say damn now I have to eat there. That was until I looked at their menu prices and realized it's way overpriced and not worth the visit. The idea is still funny though and nothing wrong with having the theme or name...

    October 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Jarrod

      Their burgers are a bit overrated in general, but the sheer size of them and the insane amount of toppings justifies their price. I havent had a burger build there that was not good.

      October 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  10. Mark L

    I am Catholic (lapsed) and have no problem with this. It doesnt even look like the real thing, too fancy. And I cant see it making the burger taste anything but worse. They taste like cardboard

    October 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  11. tony

    Got my new Genuflect baggy knee feedom jeans from WalMart today

    October 3, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  12. CEBundy

    Not even worth reading the article. no BFD,

    October 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
  13. Makes perfect sense to a Christian

    It's in good taste to eat the body and blood of Jesus, but in bad taste to eat his body and blood on a burger.

    And when you find that your waffle has the image of Jesus on it, are you supposed to eat it in the Catholic tradition of eating your god, or not supposed, or what?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  14. perfect beef burger

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp8I_p5AhYE&w=640&h=360]

    October 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  15. Mike

    That looks NASTY! Who would eat that anyway?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  16. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    Slow day for God today? Burgers and wafers and Linsanity – Oh My!

    October 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  17. Clown

    Cow, eat mor chikin.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  18. Tony

    Publicity stunt plain and simple.
    I don't see a problem with it (not religious), but it's not even blessed. Why is it a big deal?

    October 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  19. Drew

    I'm Catholic, and I have zero issue with this. It isn't a sacrilege for me to buy Kosher food, so why should it bother someone to have an unconsecrated, bland, gimmick on a burger? People drink crappy red wine.. well, isn't that "unconsecrated blood"? C'mon people.

    October 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • doplerradar

      I am Catholic as well. The only problem that I have with it is that it is perhaps one of the stupidest idea I heard of in a while.

      October 3, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
      • Angry Lice

        Yes, Catholicism, like all religions, is indeed one of the stupidest ideas.

        October 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
        • doplerradar

          Here is a rule my religion has taught me that everyone should learn especially you. "Treat others the way you want to be treated." Nobody likes a @$$.

          October 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • Deacon Mark

      shame on you.. to say you are Catholic... nobody should use the sacred symbols of any religion as a publicity stunt.. Yes, it is not the Body of Christ but the whole purpose of their new burger is to make $$ on a symbol sacred to Christians. shame

      October 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • breathe deep

        Yes because this is so different from selling a dashboard mary.

        October 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • sam stone

        right, marky-mark....preachers would NEVER do such a thing

        delusional much

        October 4, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Deacon Mark

      well what if start selling tampons or maxi pads with the blessed virgins picture on the packaging and call it Bloody Mary? Is that ok too? Where will people draw the line? and when will Catholics stand up and say enough!!! Jews & Muslims dont take this kind of attacks very well.. but Catholics always try to rationalize and say its really no big deal. WRONG!

      October 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Perhaps catholics give in as you describe because they *know* they cannot defend their beliefs and are afraid of an examination of the crap they believe.

        October 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
        • Observer

          Catholics don't have the balls to fight and die for their religion like Muslims evidently

          October 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
      • sam stone

        i like it! tampons to catholic girls called Bloody Mary

        thanks for the idea, marky mark

        October 4, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  20. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    All I can say is ... Damn Cr@ckers!

    October 3, 2013 at 3:45 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.