Sweet Jesus ice cream causes controversy over cross branding

CANADA- A Canadian ice cream company expanding into the United States has been slammed by some Christians for its name and marketing imagery.

A Toronto based chain, Sweet Jesus, has expanded into the US with a location in Baltimore and plans to expand to more. The company has plans to open in the Mall of America, Minnesota around the middle of the year, the ice cream chain uses the upside-down cross in their branding  as well as an SS-style “s” in its graphics similar to those of those used by Satanic Metal rock bands.

The imagery has caused controversy, which contain vampire like teeth and blood and has caused an online petition on Change.org which has been signed by more than 1,000 people as of Tuesday (March 27).

Ian O’Sullivan who started the petition said, “This is a mockery of taking the Lord’s name in vain and also highly offensive to Christians,”

He added the imagery creates and promotes an “anti-Christ” and “anti-Christian” referring to satanic rock bands who use the images.

“God forbid the name of the prophet Muhammad was used in this manner or the name of Allah against Muslims,” the statement continued. “So why is it that the name of Jesus Christ can be openly mocked in our so-called fair, equal, and democratic society?”

Another petition on a Canadian website CitizenGO-  http://citizengo.org/en-ca/sc/158645-toronto-based-ice-cream-parlours-serve-blasphemy?tc=tw&tcid=46340144 has earned 10,000 signature as of Tuesday.

The ice cream company has responded to the backlash, in a statement on their website, “was created from the popular phrase that people use as an expression of enjoyment, surprise or disbelief. Our aim is not to offer commentary on anyone’s religion or belief systems. Our own organization is made up of amazing people that represent a wide range of cultural and religious beliefs.”

Founder of Sweet Jesus Andrew Richmond told Toronto Star that the name come from a employee at a taco restaurant that kept saying their soft serve ice cream after having it, “Sweet Jesus”. The popularity of their ice cream started the chain to open in 2015.

Photo Credit- www.thestar.com

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