Sweet Jesus: Demonic Hot Fudge, or a Bad Joke?
Jesus is More Important Than Ice Cream
The Canadian ice cream chain “Sweet Jesus” was seeking to sneak across the border when some folks caught sight of their name. “Are they really calling themselves that?” they asked.
Yes, sir. They sure are. The name-spotters complained, but the company says it’s not going to change it for anybody. Sure, its blasphemous. But it’s all in good fun, they say. Plus, why should this poor ice cream company be picked on? There’s lots of blasphemy about these days. And doesn’t the thought of gooey caramel sauce make you smile?
Maybe we should forget the name. Most of us can’t be stone throwers here anyway, not when phrases like that have slipped past our own incisors. Mea maxima culpa.
Fine. So forget what they call themselves. It’s the ads that should creep you out.
New & Improved Satanism!
They often feature an upside down cross for the “t” in Sweet, and sometimes a devilish lighting bolt for the first “s” in the name of our Lord. A cup on one ad featured just these two tokens alone inside a blooming black rose, complete with thorns.
Another cup features them on the back of shaking hands. Bowls come emblazoned with the inverted cross, bolt, pyramids, and all-seeing eyes. The signs — sigils? — are on a coffin, too, with a hand slithering out.
It’s only a coincidence, perhaps, that these are the symbols used in Satanic worship.
Can’t be, though, can it? Has to be a joke. They’re probably doing this in a spirit of secular “fun.” Who takes this stuff seriously? Even if it does have the same feeling about it as when members of the Satanic Temple claim not to believe in a literal Satan. Yet they go around in greasy hair and spooky names and play with spells.
Aren’t These Kids a Little Young?
Maybe we’re reading too much into this. But what’s with the little girl wearing an antler crown and licking her thumb in a suggestive manner? Is that blood on her palm? Nah. Just looks that way. Strange tattoos on her arm.
And why is another little girl looking vaguely like a vampire freshly back from the hunt? She has bunny ears and a large ring, partly hidden. Then there’s another little girl holding an antler-handled magnifying glass, enlarging just one — all-seeing? — eye.
Has to be a rational explanation that doesn’t involve demons and devils. This is 2018. Why, nobody believes in Powers and Principalities and unseen forces. That’s almost like believing in God!
So skip all that and turn to some good old-fashioned smut. Several of the ads are more than suggestive, and involve certain acts that need not be named (or linked to). These advertisements require no advanced training to tease out their meaning. The Satanism might not have been in earnest, but these images are.
Nobody is Forcing You to Buy
Maybe we’re too sophisticated to swallow what the company is selling. But others are perturbed.
Some have started petitions. One says, “Tell the ‘Sweet Jesus’ chain that you will boycott its ice cream until it changes its name and apologizes to Christians for mocking Jesus’ name.”
Faithful Christians follow the Second Commandment about not taking the name of God in vain. This means that God’s name should be used respectfully, as in prayer or in blessing. Anything else is misusing his name. Christians believe that Jesus is God and his name is holy. St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians put it this way: “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”
The organizers also noticed what we did: “There are also Satanic symbols interspersed throughout their ads, such as upside-down crosses, lightning bolts, skulls, roaring wildcats, and images that suggest vampires and blood.”
As of this writing, the number of signers is nearing 6,000. Another petition is closing 12,000.
The influential Catholic League is urging Christians to close their purses. “Americans should send the purveyors of this demonic message a Christian message of their own: boycott Sweet Jesus,” said League President Bill Donohue.
The co-founder of the company Andrew Richmond responded to one of the criticisms.
We are conscious of the fact that, to some, our name can be off-putting. That fact is something we struggle with because we sincerely do not wish to give offence or show disrespect in any way toward anyone’s personal beliefs. Neither is it our intention to be exploitative or flagrantly provocative.
Mr. Richmond, we do not believe you.