Is The Name Of This Ice Cream Shop Hate Speech?

Photo: Getty Images

A religious group is throwing serious heat in attempt to melt a Canadian ice-cream chain because of its “offensive and revolting” name.

Sweet Jesus is a relatively small ice cream chain, mostly in the Toronto region, that was started in 2015 by Andrew Richmond and Amin Todai. However, it wasn’t until recently that conservative Christian groups heard about the “blasphemous” company, and are starting campaigns to shut them down.

Here’s the Citizen Go petition that calls the company “hate speech” and “mockery.” It already has over 8,000 signatures.

Screengrab: Citizen Go

And here’s an article that claims that Sweet Jesus’ marketing is satanic.

So what does Sweet Jesus have to say about this?

Here’s a brief explanation from their website regarding how they got their name:

“Our name 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.”

I would say this ‘outrage’ only helps the Sweet Jesus brand. And if people are upset over this relatively innocent name — I mean, if you do believe in Jesus you would call him ‘sweet,’ right? — why are they not upset over other marketing ploys named after religious figures?

Are they not aware that True Religion is the ‘original Buddha brand?’ That there is a countless beer inventory named after The Messiah: Sweet Baby Jesus, Scary Jesus Rock Star, He’Brew ale.

There’s also Cheesus Crust in Virginia, which doesn’t quite sound like the type of joint you would want to invite grammy to after Easter Sunday service.

And maybe there’s been backlash over these aforementioned brands as well. Possibly Sweet Jesus is the new, easy target?

Josh’s Take

As a Christian who grew up in a very conservative setting, I’m fairly certain there’s a hymn somewhere named “Sweet Jesus.” Is there a difference between singing those two words and exclaiming them after eating a delicious sugary treat?

Sure, some Christians aren’t going to like the fact that a company is profiting off their Lord’s name, especially when the ‘brand’ isn’t ‘Christian.’ But I’m not so sure naming Jesus after ice cream is using his name in vain.

Ancient Hebrews believed one couldn’t even say the name of God without being smited. However Jesus had a sense of humor. And I can imagine him trying ice cream for the first time before cheering, “sweet, Lord, thy is good!”


Josh Helmuth is a sports reporter in St. Louis who loves Jesus and ice cream. Follow him here.