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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. Richard Rhodes III

    More like SacriLICIOUS~ mmm

    October 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  2. Robert

    All the people calling for Islam burgers...

    Jihad Envy much?

    October 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
  3. Jp

    looks good, can I get mine with a side of whiner tears? for an upcharge can I get it "priest style" with a mini hotdog on the side?

    October 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • breathe deep

      Only on the backside.

      October 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  4. The satanic burger

    Is the burger sacrilegious? –Actually, it's satanic!

    October 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • Eat beef; bang your head!

      Listen to the "ghost" 😉

      October 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  5. ThisIsMyName

    I don't like metal very much, but I had a room mate who was all about it. The reason you probably wouldn't see Muslim themed burgers at the restaurant is because, at least through my exposure via my old room mate, the bands don't really sing about the Koran. When they sang about religion, it was purely Judeo-Christian and Satanism. Any metal heads please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  6. NorCalMojo

    Picking on the Catholics is old and tired. If they had any guts, they'd name it the Jihad burger and add bacon.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • tallulah13

      But then it wouldn't tie into the band that the burger place is promoting, which is the entire point of the communion burger. Did you even read the article?

      October 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
      • Live4Him

        So, why don't the band sing about the Koran then? Afraid of the Muslims?

        October 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
        • tallulah13

          Perhaps you should ask the band. Why don't you start your own band and sing about the koran and maybe they'll make a special burger for you. Until then, pay attention to context.

          October 3, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
        • Observer

          Why don't you fight for your religion with the obsession of a Muslim?

          October 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
      • NorCalMojo

        Sounds like it would be really hip and edgy.. 50 years ago.

        In 2013, Christian bashers are just jumping on a safe bandwagon. Boring stuff.

        October 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Nicole

      Nope, still funny. Ditto for picking on any Christian. Picking on Islam is a bit obnoxious, given that Muslims only make up 0.8% of the US population.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  7. carl669

    in the words of Homer: "mmmm...sacrilicious."

    October 3, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
  8. Bravo

    Who cares? The virgin mary and Jesus have been on everything from toast to chicken filets, if anything, it is about time burgers got in on the action.

    October 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Mr. Flibble

      HAHA Yeah, Virgin...... That's her story and she's sticking with it.

      October 3, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
  9. Win

    I don't want to eat it.

    October 3, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Old timer

      I think I remember seeing something like that years ago but that white disc was a tattoo and it had hair on top.

      October 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
      • lil' whipper snapper

        Apparently, they didn't have English back in your day because you're not making sense.

        October 3, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  10. Reality # 2

    And the Last Supper (“Take and eat; this is my body/ first communion......)? It was not an historic event. See http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/016_Supper_and_Eucharist

    An excerpt:

    "At the same time, Luedemann concludes that the portrayal of Jesus celebrating such a ritual on the night before his death is not historical. He is clear that there is "no generic relationship" between any actual final meal and the Lord's Supper understood in cultic terms. He also denies the Passover character of the supper as a Markan creation. Like Meier (below), Luedemann does accept the saying (Mark 14:25) about drinking wine in the kingdom of God as authentic. He concludes: (this saying) "hardly came into being in the early community, for in it Jesus does not exercise any special function for believers at the festal meal in heaven which is imminent. Only Jesus' expectation of a the future kingdom of God stands at the centre, not Jesus as saviour, judge or intercessor."

    October 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Win

      It actually is a historical fact.

      October 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • lil' whipper snapper

        Oh, well, if you put it that way....

        October 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Please provide verifiable references for your otherwise unfounded claim.

        October 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  11. Reality # 2

    Might as well dress up those tasteless, flesh and blood, theologically inane communion wafers still served every Sunday!!!

    October 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  12. robweedrealworldbirthday

    Would a Koran burger be tolerated? HELL NO!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • sam

      What would that even be like? Maybe it's better not to imagine...

      October 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • G to the T

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

      October 4, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  13. Todd

    Finally an article on satan!

    October 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Todd

      and satan worshippers cheer him on!

      October 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Bourdain

        This blog post says they even play satanic songs. Satan worshippers must be very occupied, writing lyrics, composing music , cooking and banging their heads.

        October 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  14. K

    This has definiely crossed the line although I would think that the people who go to eat there would find this amusing and it wouldn't phase them.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I find it amusing. It doesn't phase me. And yet I probably wouldn't go to the place or eat the burger even if I lived close enough to do so.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Craig Doherty

    I'm not Catholic and I have a great sense of humor but I think this is just a crass publicity ploy. They knew they'd get some free advertising out of it but I think that no matter how ridiculous you think their religion or religious traditions are, it's just unnecessarily disrespectful. If you're an atheist and you want to make a point, then state that. If you're not, and just want to pay homage to a band, there are better ways to do that without being offensive. Basically the same thing could be said for the band since they are doing the same thing in just trying to provoke a reaction and publicity with their shtick.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • dm lane

      It seems all is fair in advertising now days...after all you can't advertise something that isn't true....right....

      October 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  16. Nesus

    I was raised catholic. Our religion teacher, who happened to be a priest, made made a point of teaching us that until the host is consecrated it is completely meaningless. He stressed this point by taking an unconsecrated host, throwing it on the floor and grinding it into the carpet with his foot. Which was hilarious and unnecessary, in my opinion. That looks like tasty burger.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  17. Anja

    Try make a hamburger with any Islamic or Judaism symbol if you are so brave.

    October 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Pulled pork with lentels?

      October 3, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
      • ME II

        What are lentils symbols of?

        October 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
        • Betty

          little tiny lemmings

          October 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
        • sam stone

          lent

          October 4, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Pootie Tang

      I was thinking the exact same thing. These peeps wouldn't have the guts.

      October 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Haggis burger to insult the true Scotsmen?

        October 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • doobzz

      Muslims don't practice ritual cannibalism like the Catholics do.

      I see a lot of Christian and Jewish symbols in the bakery department. What's the difference?

      October 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        Baked goods are sacred. Grilled are not.

        October 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          Hmm, my love of pie wants to agree, but my love of ribs doesn't.

          October 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
        • lil' whipper snapper

          mmmmm.... pie

          October 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • deacon mark

        actually you are dead wrong ! Cannibalism = eating the dead.. We eat the body and blood of our Lord who is a living God.. and rose from the dead... so no cannibalism here u fool

        October 4, 2013 at 1:58 am |
        • redzoa

          From Merriam-Webster:

          Cannibalism:
          1: the usually ritualistic eating of human flesh by a human being
          2: the eating of the flesh of an animal by another animal of the same kind

          Doesn't require death . . .

          October 4, 2013 at 2:05 am |
        • sam stone

          still being a subservient little punk, are ya marky mark?

          October 4, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • doobzz

          Actually, you are wrong. Cannibalism can and does include the eating of live victims. There are different types of cannibalism.

          Oh, and people don't come back from the dead.

          November 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This burger was created to specifically promote a band that dresses in catholic regalia. Therefore a burger evoking another religion would be stupid. Did you not read the article?

      October 3, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • G to the T

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

      October 4, 2013 at 11:40 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.