An Easter promotional poster for a Seattle burger restaurant featuring Jesus smoking a joint and clasping a sandwich has gone viral, ABC station KOMO-TV
The restaurant, Lunchbox Laboratory, riffed off Easter Sunday’s falling on April 20 this year. As most residents of the city are aware, since they live in one of the first two states to legalize cannabis, 4/20 is a pop culture reference to marijuana consumption.
The Lunchbox has been using a 2-for-1 promotion for the past two years to advertise its "Burger of the Gods" signature dish.
This year, it added the reefer and a bubble slogan over Jesus’s head — "When I Get Back, All I Want Is the Burger of the Gods."
Asked if the ad is offensive, Lunchbox owner John Schmidt said: "I’m not your moral guide in life, I’m selling burgers. It’s not an anti-Christian message, it’s a very peaceful message; Jesus enjoying a sandwich and a blunt."
He said the ad, which was emailed to 15,000 customers, cost a couple hundred dollars to create and has generated tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising through pickup on social media.
In a posting on Conservative Firing Line,
a critic of the ad said, "It’s hard to pick out the single most offensive thing about [the] ad.
"Here’s a recommendation for Schmidt’s next advertising campaign. Perhaps he should go ahead and create an ad for a 'Burger of the Prophets,' featuring an image of Muhammad. That should assure him a large turnout."
Schmidt remained unapologetic. "If Jesus was holding a goblet of wine, you wouldn’t be interviewing me right now, but you put a joint in his hand, a very peaceful drug, it's blasphemy," he told KOMO.
He said the promotion will be used again next year, except the joint will be removed because Easter falls on April 5, 2015.
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