Christians have a big problem with Sweet Jesus.
No, not Jesus Christ, but a Toronto-based soft-serve ice cream chain named “Sweet Jesus,” which features an “S” is Jesus similar to the “satanic ‘S’ ” used by Hitler’s SS, The New York Post reported. An inverted cross is also used in a company logo.
And while Sweet Jesus claims they’re not out to mock Christians or make a statement on religion, they don’t hesitate to make fun of a rosary or use religion as a marketing ploy.
One ad uses a JonBenet Ramsey look-a-like to peddle their product, with ice cream running down from pointed teeth — Ramsey being the child beauty queen who was killed in her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado.
As an adult, I'm unsurprised by the endless round of puerile shock tactics used by businesses like Sweet Jesus Ice Cream *cue eye roll* to try to sell me things. But I saw this image and immediately knew it was supposed to be JonBenet Ramsay. And I thought, no. Not my dollars. pic.twitter.com/NpDhPk58sz
— Mrs.PeroTheDewyRed (@An_Seabhac) March 23, 2018
Another ad uses the name of the Lord in vain as it mocks the Ten Commandments.
This is an ad for the "Sweet Jesus" ice cream chain. Notice the upside down crucifix, along with everything else.
Can you imagine a company casually spitting all over Islam as a marketing strategy? pic.twitter.com/HGxb9p2IFk
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 29, 2018
The company has 19 locations in Canada, but as it expands in the U.S., protests and online petitions are growing — there’s a Sweet Jesus outlet in Baltimore and another planned for Minnesota’s Mall of America.
A CitizenGo petition has collected over 11,600 signatures as it calls for the company to “issue a public apology for misusing the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” It is also asking for them to “change the name and branding of your franchise.”
“Choosing the name of our Lord for a brand of soft-serve ice cream is totally offensive and revolting,” the petition states.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue is taking it a step further, calling for a boycott.
“I would obviously encourage a boycott of the company,” Donohue said, according to The Post. “Anyone who is misappropriating a [Christian] symbol, or deliberately using satanic symbols to market a product to unsuspecting consumers, is demonic.”
And he’s convinced of the company’s motive.
“The whole purpose of this is to stick it to Christians — and this being Holy Week in particular, it is all the more egregious,” Donohue said.
As for the uproar, Sweet Jesus co-founder Andrew Richmond said in a statement that the company “will not make a change” in its brand.
“Sweet Jesus is an honest reflection of our experiences and that of our customers, and how they react when they try our product,” Richmond said, according to The Post. “In our experience, the majority of people understand that we’re not trying to make a statement about religion.”
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