Controversy over burger grows as Catholic Charities deny donation
Kuma’s Corner has a national reputation for gourmet burgers, but its latest offering continues to anger some.
The burger bar on Chicago’s North Side dedicates its menu to heavy metal music. The October burger of the month is named after the Swedish band, Ghost. The burger is topped with a red wine reduction and a communion wafer.
Luke Tobias, Kuma’s Director of Operations, says they are in the business of making good food and they were not trying to be offensive.
“We made this for a band. We don’t have any partiality to any religion or anything against anybody. We literally did it because we like the band,” said Tobias.
Rev. Paul Kalchik, pastor of the nearby Resurrection Catholic Church is asking parishioners to boycott Kuma’s Corner. He says the burger makes a joke of sacred Christian symbols and is inspired by a band that mocks the church and glorifies Satan.
“If we want freedom of religion in this country, we have to respect one another’s religious beliefs. It’s not ok to bash people of other faiths,” said Kalchik.
In response to the controversy, Kuma’s posted this statement on its website that reads in part, “..the Ghost burger will be available at Kuma’s Corner throughout the month of October. … In standing with our policy of supporting charity and Chicago at large, we will be making a $1500 dollar donation to the Catholic Charities of the Chicago Archdiocese as we understand that they share our mentality of serving anyone in need from any walk of life.
Catholic Charities rejected the donation. A spokesperson released a statement saying, “The Eucharist is a central part of the Catholic faith and we strongly urge Kuma’s Corner to discontinue selling a burger that disrespects that faith and the faith of all Christians.”