A Toronto-based ice cream company, Sweet Jesus, has some Christians up in arms over its name. There is a call for boycotting the company, which has locations in Canada and recently opened stores in Baltimore and the Mall of America.
A conservative advocacy group, CitizenGO, is calling the ice cream company “offensive and revolting,” while also accusing Sweet Jesus of hate speech toward Christians.
CitizenGO is circulating a petition that calls for a public apology:
Choosing the name of our Lord for a brand of soft-serve ice cream is totally offensive and revolting. Even if this were some innocent faux-pas, it would still be unacceptable! However, this is anything but a mere mistake. Both in their promotional materials and menu selection, it is plain to see that Richmond and Todai have every intention of mocking Christ and Christianity. If anything could qualify as “hate speech”, this is it!
It wasn't just the name that drew criticism. The company is also under fire for its advertising:
Sweet Jesus: The Disturbing Marketing of a Trendy Ice Cream Franchise— 4God†andCountry (@ForHisGlory52) January 31, 2018
The marketing surrounding Sweet Jesus is based on satanic symbolism combined with children in creepy and questionable situations. https://t.co/5zz6grfLxz pic.twitter.com/A2DX18WMyC
Someone claimed a young girl in one ad was meant to represent JonBenét Ramsey, who was murdered in 1996:
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
So much to digest here...
Sweet Jesus ice cream chain is being boycotted in USA b/c the chains name is seen as blasphemous — at the very same time as Stormy Daniels is on 60 Minutes talking about having sex with & spanking Donald Trump?— Arlene Dickinson (@ArleneDickinson) March 26, 2018
Good God America. Seek help. (Pardon the blasphemy.)
Talk about mowing the lawn while the house is on fire!— Suzanne Conner (@suzanneconner) March 26, 2018
Some folks were upset that Americans were boycotting a Canadian company:
Why are you making this about the USA when the boycott was started by a woman in Toronto? This is a Canadian-based ice cream company and has nothing to do with the US political situation…— BradmanTV🤦🏻♂️ (@BradmanTV) March 26, 2018
Some people couldn't get past the questionable JonBenét connection:
What is the parallel between JonBenet and this promo photo? Just because it’s a young girl with blonde hair and lipstick on? Why would a Toronto-based ice cream shop use an American murder story to promote their product?— FUN🍊MOM (@BriannaSings216) March 26, 2018
It's actually hilarious that she made that connection purely for shock value while attempting to call out the company for portraying shocking images. Religion really is a cancer.— Wade (@PizzaSaves) March 26, 2018
I agree. Jonbenet didn’t even cross my mind when I saw the ad. And I can’t imagine why Sweet Jesus would think Jonbenet would sell ice cream.— Elaine (@rosalita2740) March 26, 2018
But she “knew” it was supposed to be JonBenet Ramsay, guys. She knew and therefore it is a fact.— Khadeeja A (@halfcuppachai) March 26, 2018
And there were plenty of Trump parallels:
Christians are boycotting an ice cream company called Sweet Jesus. Can they boycott their fellow churchgoers who voted for Trump and claim he's a blessing, too?— Carlos (@blazingxmexican) March 27, 2018
On Sept, 17 2015 when trump was asked about Muslims he said “when can we get rid of them” and was still elected by the American people, but an ice cream brand named sweet Jesus is getting boycotted for hate speech by Christians...first amendment my ass get the fuck outta here😭😂 https://t.co/kwtty4tZ08— gwop (@gavin86oneill) March 27, 2018
There is something wrong in the world when Christians in the US rally to boycott Sweet Jesus Ice Cream shops because of the name.... yet they praise Trump who gets high fives for being an adulterer..white supremacist who can do no wrong. #Trump #StormyDaniels #KarenMcDougal— Carol (@FrozenSicleGirl) March 26, 2018
One thing everyone could agree on: Sweet Jesus is getting some sweet, sweet publicity!
For a brand that seemed so deliberately crafted to provoke evangelicals into reacting, I’m actually surprised it took this long for some sanctimonious, Christian busybodies to react. Sweet Jesus should thank them for all the free publicity. 😂 https://t.co/AcyZHOmTxT— Wayne Leung (@wayleu) March 26, 2018
Oh, no! This will be terrible publicity for their 19 locations in Canada.— Muslim Trump (@MuslimTrumpSad) March 26, 2018
I hope people don't know that they are in the United States here:
7035 ELM ROAD
Sweet Jesus Ice Cream: Don't rush to their stores & buy their blasphemously yummy ice cream. https://t.co/086E3tnATT
This media coverage won't hurt the store. Just increase sales and I love it. When things like this hit mainstream media the businesses grow. There is no such thing as bad publicity. Keep crying about the name. While I enjoy my delicious ice cream... SWEET JESUS— Michael Fernetti (@Fernetti_) March 26, 2018