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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. Bonnie

    Another "Christian" abnormality featured by CNN...

    July 27, 2011 at 9:37 pm |
    • SmartPotato

      You only do it to yourselves... it's hilarious.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  2. Daniel

    Dear Lord even though it is not true please let my wife reward me for this very public compliment. It has been 4 years since last I even had a sniff.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • reward

      you have Dared to be a Daniel I say, your reward is in the Den....

      July 27, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • DinosaurDave

      Bless you, Daniel and do recall that liquor is quicker..

      July 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
  3. Fly Guy in SJ

    I'm with ChrisElrod – I have a smokin' hot wife (and I'll bet cash money she's hotter than the good preacher's wife 🙂 and she's also a really decent and intelligent person, a restaurant-quality cook, and a wonderful wife. I'm grateful to God for all of her qualities, and yes that ,includes her great body, waist-length black hair, good legs, beautiful face, and the fact that she still weighs 105 after having 3 kids in 6 years. C'mon, what guy *wouldn't* be grateful for having a beautiful wife (unless you're gay, in which case you might be grateful for having a handsome husband), right?

    July 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
    • wait

      ...when did this become an ad for wives???

      July 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  4. Susan

    We are supposed to be thankful for everything we have. If he feels that way about his wife and felt moved by the spirit to vocalize his appreciation of her, MORE POWER TO HIM!!! 🙂

    July 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • SmartPotato

      And by "spirit" you mean that dangly thing between his legs...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  5. Frenchy

    I liked his prayer. But he forgot to add "blessed are the cheese-makers".

    July 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • cos

      ..he forgot to consult you.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  6. Fred

    Smoking hot? No

    July 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • man

      man your are chillin cold....

      July 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm |
    • Fly Guy in SJ

      Don't know if you're married or not Fred, but having looked at the photos, I can see that his wife was probably very pretty when she was young and thin, and if you love you wife, those are the eyes you will *always* see her with.

      Sure, my wife is honestly great looking and she turns heads everywhere she goes, but she's in her early forties now and I've known her since she was in her twenties. She doesn't look quite like she did then (but still extremely attractive; you could go for weeks without seeing a woman her age who looks better), but to me she always looks like she did on the day we met. I'm sure Pastor Nelms sees his wife through those eyes, too.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  7. jaintn

    Hey, if that guy managed to get himself a smokin' hot wife, more power to him. Besides, he was making a joke and the only people who have a problem with it should be standing in line at the emergency room to get the stick removed from their uptight butts.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Phil Murph

      The only way she's smokin hot is if she was skewered and roasted in a large bbq pit

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/07/25/nascar-baptist-invocation.html

      July 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  8. CEC

    Religion's become a secular parody of itself. Nobody can take it seriously anymore.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • SmartPotato

      People took it seriously?

      July 27, 2011 at 9:44 pm |
  9. Elder L

    God is NOT that deep! The same people that are offended by this prayer are the ones that are still trying to follow every letter of the OT law. Jesus came to set us FREE! Get a sense of humor folks!

    July 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  10. rewkew

    Uh what's wrong with this? Non issue really get over it! You talk to God your way, I talk to him my way and he talks his way. At least he's talking to him.

    Go Mr Preacher wish I was in your congregation.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  11. Bobby

    what do you get when you put man-bo obs on the Pillsbury Dough Boy?

    July 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • You

      We get You..bobby..cheers!

      July 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  12. DinosaurDave

    If i looked like this i would express my thankfulness to the Great Spirit for hooking me up, too- even if my squeeze now is a cow. Nevertheless, thanking the Creator for multinational corporations is only appropriate if their stock is performing well in your 401(k).bogity,bogity.bogity is drunkspeak for "i don't have anything intelligent to contribute, but i wanna talk"

    July 27, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • what

      wait a sec are u Ryan reynolds by any chance???

      July 27, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • DinosaurDave

      hi What- thanks, but I'd be too busy blistering Alanis to comment on retard articles if i really were...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • DinosaurDave

      or Scarlett..

      July 27, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • DinosaurDave

      Really, if i looked like Ryan, i'd get more in an hour than the rest of us will get in 1,000 years...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
  13. T BONE

    Who the hell cares. Just get it over with and start the damn race.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • sure

      sure, I was waiting for the cue from you...

      July 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
  14. American Rebel

    So wait? Did he light his wife on fire or what? Because that's the only way she's gonna be smoking hot...

    July 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Daddy2010

      Don't hate a man for loving his wife.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
  15. Brasil1958

    "He wants to get all people that don't go to church thinking"...we're thinking:-)

    July 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  16. Glassman

    Goofy story. They said the dude was quoting from Ricky Bobby (Talladega Nights) and he was at a Nascar event. Non-item. Move along.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  17. Brian

    This is the link to the grace scene in Talladega Nights.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuAUI_0knfk&w=640&h=360]

    July 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  18. Miss Quote

    It would have been funnier if he had thought of it himself. Quoting movies is something lame frat boys do.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  19. wwsd

    I just saw a pic of his wife. She looks like home made sin. Of course that might make her smoking hot at NASCAR

    July 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • balto paul

      Best comment of the night, for sure.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  20. RSC

    He's letting eveyone know he's straight, all man, real straight and a real man. He likes women, nothing but women...........big deal.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
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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.