CHICAGO — A restaurant is Chicago is at the center of controversy surrounding its burger special for the month of October, which features a communion-themed hamburger as a “tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities” of a Swedish heavy metal band.
Kuma’s Corner in Chicago’s north side regularly names its monthly specials after heavy metal bands. This month, the restaurant created a burger as a tribute to a Swedish band named Ghost, or most recently, Ghost B.C., meaning “before Christ.”
The heavy metal band, which dresses in long black robes mimicking religious garb, is not hesitant to explain that its music and mannerisms are Satanic in nature.
“The sort of Satanism, or Devil-worship, that we want to portray in the confines of Ghost, is a very biblical version of goat worship,” it told the outlet Pitchfork in an interview last year. “We’re playing with the idea of divinity, and we’re using the diabolical symbolisms to set a mindset…”
This month, in being selected for the tribute at Kuma’s Corner, the October Ghost burger features a beef patty topped with braised goat shoulder, aged white cheddar and ghost chili aioli. The burger is then garnished with a red wine reduction, symbolizing the communion drink that represents the blood of Christ, and a communion wafer that represents the broken body of Christ.
The restaurant announced the unveiling of the burger on Tuesday.
“Okay mortals, it’s the first of the month and we are proud to announce the following: In the spirit of our undying reverence for the lord and all things holy, we give you the Ghost which we think is a fitting tribute to the supreme blasphemous activities carried out by the band itself,” it wrote.
Luke Tobias, director of operations, told reporters that the burger was all in jest and is not meant to be religiously offensive.
“Hopefully people will have a good time with it — that’s certainly what we’re trying to do,” he stated. “If there is a God, I’m sure he has a sense of humor.”
However, others have taken to the restaurant’s Facebook page to show disapproval, stating that it makes a mockery of Christ.
“I guess I’m kind of speechless. In all of my imagination it never occurred to me that anyone would do something like using a communion host to garnish a hamburger,” one patron wrote. “I would like to ask you to show some class no matter how many of your patrons think this is funny or amusing, or how much money you are making off of this practice and stop serving communion hosts on your hamburgers.”
“Insulting any other ‘religious group’ would’ve likely brought on the ACLU and a lawsuit,” another wrote. “Very poor taste on your part here.”
As the matter soon made national headlines, the restaurant posted a follow-up status on Facebook again explaining its position.
“Kuma’s Corner is aware that in some cases, people have unfortunately found reason to find offense at our recent special menu addition the Ghost,” it wrote. “[W]e appreciate the kind words of support from the vast majority of people who understand that we, in no way, created this as a commentary on religion or as an attack on anyone’s personal beliefs. In the past we have done a number of burgers dealing with this same exact topic to very little fanfare. Never in the spirit of offending anyone, and always in mindset of praising a band for the work that they do.”
The restaurant then advised that it made a donation to its local Catholic charity to further demonstrate that it does not oppose religion, but noted that it will not “stand down” from offering the burger as its monthly special.
While Ghost particularly seeks to emulate Catholicism in its garb and monikers, communion is central to Christianity as churches across the nation regularly partake of wafers–or crackers, bread or other similar element–and juice in reflecting upon the sacrifice of Christ.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes,” 1 Corinthians 11:26 states.
Photo: Facebook/Kuma’s Corner