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. Some dude.

    It's a hamburger.
    And the promotion will be over in a month.
    Nobody's making you eat it.

    Is this thing on?

    October 4, 2013 at 2:29 am |
  2. jennyroca

    It would be nice to show respect to Christians... would they do the same to other religions....?

    October 4, 2013 at 1:50 am |
    • tofubamboo

      gee, Jenny. How many Christians do you see bombing buildings, killing innocent children, rampaging through shopping malls, etc. Oh, really. Not one? Well, at least you read the news....

      October 4, 2013 at 8:27 am |
      • Honey Badger Don't Care

        Acutally I could bring up quite a few articles of where xtians have bombed abortion clinics and short abortion doctors. Timothy Mcvey was a xtian and so was HitIer.

        October 4, 2013 at 8:39 am |
  3. Reality # 2

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah/Argentine white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    October 3, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • mostly


      October 3, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • a reasonable atheist

      Hey, BY was from Vermont and later emigrated to Utah. I moved to Utah 6 years ago, but I am still seen as a non-Utahan by the locals. By their own measure, Brigham Young was not a Utahan. 😉

      October 4, 2013 at 7:34 am |
      • Reality # 2

        Post Brigham Young to the current old Utah white leaders of the Mormons:

        "In the Latter Day Saint (Mormon) movement, the President of the Church is generally considered to be the highest office of the church. It was the office held by Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the movement, and the office assumed by many of Smith's claimed successors, such as Brigham Young, Joseph Smith III, Sidney Rigdon, and James Strang. Several other ti-tles have been as-sociated with this office, including First Elder of the church, Presiding High Priest, President of the High Priesthood, Trustee-in-Trust for the church, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, Translator, and Ruler (in Israel). The movement's founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., the first president of the church, was known by all of these ti-tles in his lifetime (although not necessarily with consistency).

        October 4, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  4. Blessed are the Cheesemakers

    Sacred cows make the best hamburger.

    October 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
  5. Another Voice

    While the humor is fairly juvenile and disrespectful, I have to wonder why anyone would try to use a communion wafer to improve the taste of a meal. Catholics partake of them after consecration for the religious beliefs, not for the flavor.

    October 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Sara

      I love communion wafers. Got a box once and they were like cookies to me, but then I don't like things too sweet. Ohhh! They sell them on Amazon.

      October 3, 2013 at 9:07 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Have you tried any of the used wafers or bread?

        October 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • Sara

          Hmmm...used food is...ummm...processed... Not sure what you mean?

          October 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
      • HotAirAce

        Amazon offers "new" and "used" communion wafers and bread. Strange but true!

        October 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
        • Sara


          October 4, 2013 at 10:30 am |
      • ed

        They can be quite tasty. Just squirt a bit of Pam on them and put them in the broiler until they start to sizzle and cry just a bit. Then sprinkle lightly with some Old Bay or sea salt. Yum.

        October 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
        • Sara

          Almost like a mini papadum.

          October 4, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  6. Mopery

    So there's nothing wrong about eating a communion wafer, as long as no one has cast a magic spell on it first?

    October 3, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
    • doobzz

      That pretty much sums it up, although they call it "consecration".

      October 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  7. JJ

    " The bread represents his body, Jesus says in the Bible, and the wine his blood". I find this more disgusting than anything any restaurant can throw at me.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
    • mostly

      never drink blood girlfriend. bad 4 ur complexion

      October 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
  8. Jim Cook

    It's just a wafer until blessed get over it.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And after, unless of course someone can show that it is in fact changed by chanting some mumbo-jumbo.

      October 3, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • So why can't they use chocolate chip cookies, if the blessing is the important part?

      So why can't they use chocolate chip cookies, if the blessing is the important part?

      October 3, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
      • Sara

        I think the idea is to go for the religious component, not for a free cookie.

        October 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • breathe deep

        That is a fantastic question. And one that deserves an answer.

        October 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        I was told as a Catholic child that the wafer represents the unlevened bread of passover....who knows if that is correct though, I was given plenty of made up answers. It is one of many reasons I now longer believe.

        October 3, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
        • a reasonable atheist


          I was told the same as a child being raised in the RC tradition.

          October 4, 2013 at 8:20 am |
  9. Bob Sanyef

    What? People taking advantage of the zealously gullible? I'm sure Jesus' flesh tastes delicious with maltreated cows!

    October 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  10. Ted Testerson

    Your god, your religion and all you believe is ridiculous. Now shut up and eat the dang burger.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  11. rinsac

    It's no worse than all those who see Jesus on their toast or peeling paint on the wall. Lighten up people!!!!

    October 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
  12. Observer

    I have noticed that a lot of folks here comment on the general reluctance of people to poke fun or criticize Islam whereas Christianity is an easy target. Well Muslim are like rabid dogs and Christians are like fluffy poodles. Perhaps people would think twice about ripping Christianity if its followers had the balls to defend their faith with blood. Otherwise quit your whining, it's unbecoming and paints your faith as weak.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  13. Mick

    Though the origins of the Eucharist are somewhat murky, it almost certainly has Hellenistic and/or Pagan mystery cult roots, which in turn were probably based on a similar Egyptian custom. It most assuredly didn't originate with Jesus at the last supper. Some Christians think they invented everything!

    October 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • deacon mark

      Friend, hit the books and do some research nothing murky about the Eucharist.. traced all the way back to 1st century Jerusalem, see the Didache and the writings of Justyn 1st century martyr.... so before you open your mouth get educated first

      October 4, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  14. Barack Al-Masri

    At least it's not a Mohammed Burger, otherwise there will be riots and suicide bombers on the loose

    October 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
  15. cat

    I don't get the fuss some people are making. Mainly because if I recall my years of religious study correctly the wafer is not truly the host until it is bless. Until then it just bread of juice. And not sanctified

    October 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  16. Texas Bob

    The words in the bible are :"This IS my body."

    October 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  17. Frank

    Does Jesus come with fries?

    October 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  18. Mick

    Oh come on, Catholics. You try to feed us a story about a god-man who was born of a virgin and could heal the sick and walk on water, then you get upset when someone pokes fun at it? Face it, respect for religion is in the midst of its rightfully deserved death throes.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  19. Sort of like food

    This article reminded me that we are almost to Halloween. And you know what that means, kids ...

    Pumpkin carving!


    The cool thing with the Charles Manson pattern is that it's very versatile. If you make the "X" at the top so you can rotate it a bit to where it's a cross – walla! You've got a Jesus pumpkin!

    October 3, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • lol??

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Let em get their candy melted. Yeah, that's it. Have a candy melt, kid..................... Devil's Night Detroit!! Burn baby burn!! Ashes ashes we all fall down. Too smoky, kid?? Call the EPA!!


      October 4, 2013 at 11:05 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.