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Friday, May 11, 2012

Holy Crap: Burnside Spikes Kali Ma

I did not see this coming:

Angelo has a bit more, but I still have a hard time not checking the date to make sure it's not April 1:

Upset Hindus have urged Portland (Oregon) based Burnside Brewing Company not to release its “Kali-Ma” beer proposed for May 15, calling it inappropriate. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that Goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and she was meant to be worshiped in temples and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed.
I wrote about this a couple days ago--largely because I spent seven years studying Indian religion in college and grad school--but I'm shocked that Burnside's pulling the beer.  If Zed is the only complainant, I would be a bit cautious here--he seems to be a serious self-promoter and self-appointed protector of Hinduism.  It's always good to be sensitive to inadvertent offense--but I'm not sure Burnside has given anyone offense.  Look more like they gave a random guy an opportunity to generate phony outrage to me.  I encourage Burnside to contact some of these groups first before they make a decision based on the howls of one guy.


  1. kind of reminds me of this:

  2. I think it could have become more of an issue with Hindu fundamentalists if Burnside went ahead with the beer name and label. I have a friend that paints animals in Hindu garb that has been under attack. A few death threats have even been emailed. I don’t think the paintings are offensive at all...they’re actually very pleasing and weren’t done intentionally to mock the religion. Being in the public eye, I think Burnside made the correct choice.

  3. Jeff, I give you full credit for getting the name changed.

    Just kidding, and I am not afraid of sacrilege, but I applaud them taking the high road.

  4. The next step: get them to change their horrible logo.

  5. First, I agree with Shawn.

    Second, if you are going to believe in fairy tales, at least get some thicker skin.