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

[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(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. Ronnie

    Even though Im Catholic.........and to keep the peace for GODS sake........could there be another way to do this burger with the results wanted? You know darn good and well it will offend people using their ritual in religion. Geez folks think before you do ok! =)

    October 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Sacred cows make the best hamburger!

      October 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  2. elle

    It's only sacrilege if you believe in jesus...if you happen to recall, not EVERYONE does.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • zeplinair

      It's sacrilegious in reality only if the communion wafers go through ritual transubstantiation during mass, and what priest would.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

        And only then if you are Catholic. Some "Christians" don't even consider Catholics as "Christian".

        October 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
        • Anna

          Which is funny, since they are all off-shoots of Catholicism...

          October 7, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  3. zeplinair

    'Communion wafers' are no more holy than anything else until they go through the ritual transubstantiation during mass – so unless they did that (and what priest would), it only looks sacrilegious to the religiously reactionary, but also religiously uninformed.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  4. Kelsey

    Everyone getting offended over this needs to calm down. It's a BURGER. You know, FOOD. People get offended over anything anymore.. Lighten up! Jesus Christ (pun intended)

    October 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  5. tc

    Yes! It is very offensive to Catholics! A headbanger buger joint? If this place can make it any business can. I would say I would never eat there if in Chicago but I never would have anyway.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • zeplinair

      'Communion wafers' are no more holy than anything else until they go through the ritual transubstantiation during mass – so unless they did that (and what priest would), it only looks sacrilegious to the religiously reactionary, but also religiously uninformed.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  6. Robert n

    That burger looks gay? Wonder what the pope thinks about it?

    October 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
  7. CommonSensed

    ""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.""


    October 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Kerri

      Thank you I am Catholic too and I am highly offended.

      October 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • zeplinair

        The sacrilege is in symbol only. The wafers themselves are no more holy than anything else until they go through ritual transubstantiation, and what priest would do that.

        October 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  8. InNomineNemo

    Wouldn't a Jesus burger just be an empty bun?

    October 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Seems to me the catholics upset about this are the empty buns.

      October 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
      • Ria

        The "empty buns" are the ones who created this so-called "communion burger". They'll discover one day that it's not a good thing to mock what is sacred And those that condone it will come to regret it as well. God knows they're doing it out of ignorance, and His mercy is on them. They should be relieved that we have a merciful God. Unlike the god of Islam. He would have his followers burn down, bomb, and destroy those who would dare to offend him in such a way.

        October 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
        • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

          So "they will regret it"

          But should be "happy the christian god is merciful"....which is it?

          October 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • sam stone

        contact the vatican. they are experts at putting the meat in the little buns

        October 5, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • J

      Thats awesome!

      October 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  9. Joe

    I'd like to see them try blasphemy on Muslims. We Christians are a tolerant bunch.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • CommonSensed

      Since when? Since the inquisition? The witch hunts? McCarthyism?

      October 4, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Ria

        They weren't true Christians. Check your facts before placing blame where it doesn't belong. Those were religious zealots who, just like deranged Muslims, thought they were doing God's service. And just because they did it in the name of Christianity, doesn't meant they were real Christians.

        October 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          There's a mouthful of verbal diarrhea Ria. The old no true Scotsman fallacy out in all its glory. It's like saying "Yeah, my Chicago Bulls have never lost a game in all of history!" and when someone points out the thousands of games they lost through the years they say "Yeah, but those weren't real Bull's, if they lost a game, they weren't real Chicago Bulls players!" and thus to a Christian, Christianity can do no wrong...unless it's not true Christianity which you just won't know until after you've had your land taken away and your children r a p e d.

          October 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
        • sam stone

          sorry for confusing "jealous zealots" with modern chistians

          don't christians claim that their god is a jealous god?

          October 5, 2013 at 10:06 am |
        • heehee

          look up the "no true scotsman" fallacy.

          October 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Ria

      They're too cowardly to blaspheme Islam Joe, that's why they single out Christians because they know we won't retaliate. We'll continue to walk in love and let God take care of it. We need to pray for sickos like this because "they know not what they do."

      October 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
      • J

        Good job casting judgement and name calling, you model believer you...hahaha... why is everyone stressing about this anyway? How does the quote go? "Worry not about the plank in your neighbors eye, rather worry about the splinter in your own." Those of religious groups are so quick to attack others on their beliefs in an attempt to validate their own. If you truly believe, then just worry about yourself and not what others are doing and things will work out for you in the end. So what if they make a silly burger, If what you believe is true, you get paradise. That's a lot better than a hamburger with a less provocative name isn't it? Yes, it is.

        October 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
      • Blessed are the Cheesemakers


        "Mohommed was a pedophile"

        Feel better now?

        October 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • Mikko

      Fathwa envy!

      October 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  10. Wes

    Jeffrey, You know what is crass and offensive? Priests and the like molesting little boys. How about you focus on that instead of an item on a restaurant's menu.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  11. Magnimus


    October 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  12. a nameless fan


    October 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  13. KooKKy

    Sounds like a desperate attempt to sell more burgers.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  14. children of Israel

    Isaiah 17:7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. *Psalm 74:20 Have respect unto the covenant: *Exodus 2:25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • lol??

      Thank God for the new covenant.

      Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

      It happened at the cross. The old was broken by spiritual adultery and ended in divorce.

      October 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • lol??

        Mat 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

        October 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  15. MrHighMighty

    I walk strong with and in Christ, and I never followed the whole Communion deal. One problem with ceremony and rituals is that they tend to take a life and importance all their own, paradoxically detracting from the actual truths and triumphs of God's grace of salvation through faith in Christ, by limiting the observance of His greatest act of love to certain times, and elevating acts of man. Look at the pointless and unresolvable debate on this blog about this burger and what is the right Communion format. All the discord (and silliness) is inevitable when trying to honor or adhere to a ritual devised by man.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • lol??

      Just like water baptism. There is only one baptism. Can't have anything to do with water. They should try fire!

      October 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
  16. children of Israel

    (Matthew 8:12) Technology is the matrix, Satan loves science, and doing math to build his kingdom above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:14) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Blessed is he who readeth and write.

    October 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      You need to stop using every piece of technology right NOW if you dont like science that much.

      October 4, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
  17. children of Israel

    The perfect analogy, Hebrew Israelites are like Bruce lee kicking Esau ass. And the Israeli's are the Bruce Li's who hate Jacob sons and daughters. (Romans 9:13)

    October 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • lol??

      Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

      Esau despised his birthright. Dispensationalists and rapturists despise their own born again birthright and try to push it on the Jews(not Jews). They don't want it. How silly. The Chosen concept must be mysteriously hard to grasp.

      October 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  18. children of Israel

    Ask the Pope, then ask any Rabbi, even ask those synagogue Jewish people. Can a Israeli be a Hebrew Israelite? (Romans 11:1)

    October 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • lol??

      Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

      The fake physical Jews can here the gospel anytime they choose, just like anybody else.

      October 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • lol??

        hear hear!!

        October 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • lol??

      not a Jew=fake Jew

      Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circ*umcision, which is outward in the flesh:

      October 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Jericho

      How cute. The troll is answering himself. Droll.

      October 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
  19. Reality # 2

    Might as well dress up those tasteless, flesh and blood, theologically inane communion wafers still served 24/7 !!!

    October 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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.