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July 27th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

Reaction to pastor giving thanks for 'smokin' hot wife'

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

A Baptist preacher giving thanks to God for a "smokin' hot wife" in a prayer that opened a NASCAR race last weekend has generated reams of online commentary, with one religion blogger summing up some Christian reaction: "Shocking, I tell you, that a pastor might have a little fun."

The prayer came from Tennessee Pastor Joe Nelms, who told CNN he was taking a line from the Will Ferrell movie "Talladega Nights." In addition to the way it gave thanks for his spouse, Nelms' prayer was noteworthy for invoking NASCAR sponsors:

Thank you for the Dodges and the Toyotas. Thank you for the Fords. Thank you for Sunoco racing fuels and Goodyear tires.

Nelms told CNN that the prayer wasn't officially sponsored. "There were no endorsement deals," he said. "But I’m not against them."

The pastor ended his prayer by quoting NASCAR Hall of Famer and Tennessean Darrell Waltrip: "In Jesus’ name, boogity, boogity, boogity, amen."

"It means 'Go get after it, boys," Nelms told CNN. "It's Southern for 'Get to it.'"

Reaction to the prayer has been mixed. From the twitterverse:

@ChrisElrod: I don't (get) what the rub is with this ...I thank God for MY smokin' hot wife every day.

@brandonreagor: Pretty sure this is not how you approach the God of the Universe: NASCAR Pastor's Head-Turning Prayer

@MorgannSpicer: Okay, so that was a powerful prayer. Wow. Never heard a man say a thank you for his "smokin' hot wife" LMAO

"We should definitely pray for the safety of our soldiers and public officials,” Nelms told The Christian Post, explaining his prayer. “But nobody seems very interested in it. We wanted to do something to get their attention.”

What do you think? Hilarious/innovative or blasphemous/offensive?

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Prayer • Sports

soundoff (1,644 Responses)
  1. Chaos

    "The world would be a better place if every man thought his wife was smokin hot!"

    The world would be a better place if their wives WERE smokin' hot.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:23 am |
  2. WWRRD

    The world would be a better place if every man thought his wife was smokin hot!

    July 28, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  3. Al

    well sandy ... that explains your fanatic fundamentalism ... scared poopless of god are ya? wow, what a loving god eh? wait ... that sounds like an oxymoron ... never mind ... as long as it makes sense to you i am happy for you ...

    July 28, 2011 at 7:18 am |
    • sigideba

      You are far superior intellectually to everyone here. You seem to have an understanding of the universe that no one else seems to grasp. You don't believe in God and anyone that does is wrong and stupid. You are amazing. I bow to your greatness. /smirk

      July 28, 2011 at 7:27 am |
  4. Mark

    Dear Baby Jesus, Thank you for letting me bang the bosses smoking hot wife all Friday afternoon while on the company dime! That was freaking way cool of you Jesus man. U certainly had my back on dat one! – A big ol giggity giggity to you! – Amen!

    July 28, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  5. trgriz

    prayer is a conversation between God and a person. If he is thankful for his wife there is nothing wrong with saying that. I think too many people get stuck praying the way they are told to pray rather than talking to God. Maybe the venue was a little much, but who cares, people are talking about God on a national media outlet, and not because he got arrested or something so horrible. Because he thanked God for something. How awesome is that.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:17 am |
    • Al

      so trgriz, do you post hot pictures of your wife for millions of people to see? maybe a video or two? thanking god for a hot wife in private is one thing (however senseless), doing so in front of millions of raging red-blooded nascar fans is another ...

      July 28, 2011 at 7:23 am |
    • trgriz

      So you're hung up on the venue not the content. Is that my understanding?

      July 28, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  6. Woman

    You know.... I don't see the big deal about it! I think people need to be less touchy feely and see the fun and the humour in what this guy did.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:16 am |
  7. Mark

    Dear Heavenly Father, Please help me find at least one smoking hot piece of tail for the rest of the afternoon in this toothless hog fest these ignorant hicks call Nascar! – In the lords name we giggity giggity giggity... Amen!

    July 28, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Ben

      now imagine he had made similar comments and replace Nascar with basketball and the group with African Americans. Same thing except he doesn't get the same over educated laughs when he stops writing his fake novel in the cushy chair at Starbucks

      July 28, 2011 at 7:18 am |
  8. jen

    I thought it was hilarious.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:14 am |
  9. Brian

    I like to picture Jesus as a figure skater. He wears like a white outfit, and He does interpretive ice dances of my life's journey

    July 28, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  10. Mark

    Dear Jesus, please deliver my fat wife to a stairmaster so she can be smoking hot like da piece of tail my pastor has for himself.... A big ol Giggity Giggity Giggity Shout out to you MY MAN! – AMEN

    July 28, 2011 at 7:10 am |
  11. Michael

    IMy daddy always said, if your not first, your last." I lived everday by those words, every day, until i realized they made no sense at all – i mean, i figured out you could be second, third, fourth – or even fifth.

    I like my Jesus to party, in a blue tuxedo t-shirt, 3 lb. 4 oz. little baby jesus with lil angel wings and he's singin on stage with Skynyrd, "Freebird," and i'm in the front row, and man, i'm just losin it...

    July 28, 2011 at 7:09 am |
  12. EllaK

    she is smoking hot to him and its most important

    July 28, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  13. Ricky Bobby

    Dear Lord baby Jesus, we thank you so much for this bountiful harvest of Dominos, KFC, and the always delicious Taco Bell. I just want to take time to say thank you for my family. My two sons, Walker, and Texas Ranger, or TR as we call him. And of course my red hot smokin' wife Carley, who is a stone cold fox.

    July 28, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  14. Mark

    Dear God, thank you for victoria secrets, viagra, and my barely legal smoking hot baby sitter who can suck an orange through a garden hose... in Jesuses name we pray... Amen.

    PS... if you have some time left over you can do a little something for the poor and less fortunate... but dont go out of your way or anything

    July 28, 2011 at 7:05 am |
  15. Gary

    He has seen too much Talledega Nights

    July 28, 2011 at 7:00 am |
  16. Al

    smoking hot wife? wow joe ... have you seen an optometrist lately?

    July 28, 2011 at 6:59 am |
    • Gary

      I've been married 32 years and though she's not 21 anymore, my wife is still smoking hot in my eyes.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:03 am |
    • Mark

      Dear God, Please restore the highsight of this ignorant hick pastor... Praise Jesus... Giggity Giggity... Hummana Hummana... a whomp bam boom! Amen!

      July 28, 2011 at 7:06 am |
    • Mark

      Dear Baby Jesus, Why did you make me spell Eyesight wrong... that wasnt too cool. No giggity giggity for you this time! – Amen!

      July 28, 2011 at 7:07 am |
    • Veritas

      @Mark. You're too funny, I am laughing my eyes out 🙂

      July 28, 2011 at 7:25 am |
    • Really

      Cool story brah

      July 28, 2011 at 7:48 am |
  17. Dee

    I think it was great....all men should think of their wives and girlfriends as smokin' hot. I think God was smiling....

    July 28, 2011 at 6:57 am |
    • Canuckview

      Well, said, Dee, we pray when we need help, but we don't offer prayers of thanks often enough.
      And I'm sure that HE enjoyed seeing the race as well...

      July 28, 2011 at 7:06 am |
  18. Gary

    God designed our bodies for our spouses. The Song of Solomon in the bible is pretty hot itself. God would approve of him complementing his wife.

    July 28, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  19. Mark

    Let us all pray, Dear Jesus, thank you eternally for the smoking hot lap dance and that extra free song, Redneck Woman, in which I almost busted a nut... faithfully yours, giggity giggity... AMEN!

    July 28, 2011 at 6:54 am |
  20. BarbP

    Hilarious – I loved it.

    July 28, 2011 at 6:54 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.