Catholics vs. Kuma’s | WBEZ
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Jim DeRogatis

Catholics vs. Kuma’s

The brouhaha over an allegedly sacrilegious sandwich at Kuma’s heavy-metal gourmet burger bars is the sort of fuss in which nobody involved looks good.

A brief recap: Kuma’s has introduced a burger topped with a red wine reduction and an (unsanctified) communion wafer to honor the Swedish band Ghost B.C. This has prompted Catholic priests and parishioners to take offense in tones unmatched since the controversy over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, as the tattooed, devil’s-music-loving folks at Kuma’s may well have guessed they would.

(Greg Kot and I talked about Ghost B.C. on Sound Opinions when we did our Swedish world tour, by the way. When DJ and public radio host Stefan Wermelin, our guide to that northern land, mentioned that the group’s lead singer wears a “pope hat” onstage, his accent made me think he said “poop hat.” Personally, I found that much more unsettling, but to each his own offense.)

Kuma’s sent a $1,500 donation to Catholic Charities. The organization rejected the money, purchased dispensations apparently having gone out of style in the church. As things stand, Kuma’s says it remains committed to its cracker-topped burger come hell or high water. And everybody involved is getting a lot of publicity while children continue to die on the South and West sides.

At troubled times such as these, we should all of us ask ourselves: What would Jesus do?

Despite my history of 12 years of Catholic schooling and a dutiful stint as an altar boy, I would not presume to know. But if I had to hazard a guess, I think He’d stick to a pescatarian diet and join in the protest against Barilla pasta.

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