We, as Christians are deeply offended by the name of a new Ice Cream chain of stores calling themselves Sweet Jesus.
I cannot say that I am entirely enthusiastic about Sweet Jesus’ branding. While, I am a big fan of ice cream (honestly Sweet Jesus doesn’t make the best soft serve out there), I could do without the inverted crosses etc. For all intents and purposes, I identify as a Christian – non denominational and highly liberal but Christian nonetheless.
I have only bought soft serve from this company two times. It was a “meh” level experience – good but not amazing, you know? And to myself, I have considered perhaps not purchasing their products, which would be a decision based on my personal spirituality as well as product quality. There are tons of ice cream joints in the world.
Cass Elle forwarded to me the trending headlines from this debacle, encouraging me to comment as a Christian, and as an ice cream lover. As the popular Toronto chain moves south, our neighbours seem to have taken deep offence and have taken it upon themselves to defend against the company’s anti-Christian brand strategy. The change.com petition has nearly 3000 signatures demanding that the name be changed.
For a brief moment I questioned whether I should be disqualified as a Christian, because I for one was never overly offended by the name…and I am not planning on signing the petition. The moment was fleeting.
Overwhelming global poverty, female genital mutilation, the lack of clean drinking water, masses of people without access to medical care – these are a few things that we should truly be offended by. The list of global atrocities is too exhaustive to post. And yet, we are hung up on an ice cream store? If this is truly the most important issue on our docket, we live sheltered, privileged lives.
Christians have a bad reputation these days – and sadly, we deserve it. We have been focused on taking down what we believe are sins against God using a baton of umbrage. Christians complain, petition, picket, judge, hate – we have become professionals at the expression of outrage.
Yes, there are things we should truly be outraged by – and perhaps in a more perfect world, taking a stand against an anti-Christian name makes sense. However, we don’t – and we live in a time where we need to be prioritizing our battles and fighting with an antidote of love, rather than adding to the litany of hate.
I see too many phrases that start with the words “God hates…” I would personally not like to jump on the “God hates” bandwagon and focus on a more proactive one: God loves. Are we so caught up in our so called “righteous anger” have we forgotten how to love like Christ? Our collective voices of rage are so universally loud that we are drowning out the soul of love that is the heartbeat of Christ himself.
So back to Sweet Jesus. Once again we have made headlines, not because of our furious love for our fellow humans, but because once again, we disapprove. We could have just bypassed that store in the mall – and if someone asked why, told them in a calm and collected manner that we cannot personally condone the branding. Why do we have to make this another splashy petition? It only cheapens our global voice as a community who is supposed to uphold the golden rule and Godly love. Yet, I digress. I could go on and on but it honestly saddens me. In a world of fire, whirlwinds, earthquakes we should be representing the still, small voice of calm and kindness. But here we are, adding our own loud voices into an already loud mix.
And for real…the ice cream isn’t that good. For really superb soft serve I would personally recommend Little Damage in downtown L.A.