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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. Beth

    Hahaha, that's hilarious. Good for him!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  2. Motoman

    I guess ministers are exempt from the low I.Q. types that follow NASCAR.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  3. Trip Nixon

    Dan Gilgoff,

    You ask, "What do you think? Hilarious/innovative or blasphemous/offensive?"

    I imagine what we think is really... um, unimportant for if God was offended by it, I'm sure we would have let us know about it.

    Sincerely,

    Damned if I do, Damned if I don't.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  4. Preachit

    So...I guess he gets his two seconds of fame now too!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
  5. seriously????

    People – get over yourselves. This is NASCAR!!! This is the ONLY time and place for this type of prayer. The pastor was speaking to his audience. It was a race crowd and half these people were wasted and some were half-naked. If he can actually make them listen to the pre-race prayer... and enjoy it, more power to him. The word of God is the same. Where do some of you people live? If you want to speak to the masses, not the stuffy people you sit next to each Sunday, you need to catch their attention. Those that occupy the pew next to you each week already know the message. Those that don't need to see that if doesn't have to come with a stick that makes one appear to be a scarecrow. There are many ways to reach those that need to hear the message.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • macj121

      'The pastor was speaking to his audience ...'

      You speak to audience when delivering a message; your 'audiencr' in prayer is God.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  6. Tony

    Get a life guys! God has a sense of humour...smoking hot wife...bet the wife loved it!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  7. ThankGod

    I have thanked God after great s3x with my husband!! Who do you think came up with that idea, God did!!! Thanks Lord for making procreation so fun!!

    July 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
  8. ThankGod

    Where is my comment?

    July 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  9. Jose San Antonio

    I don't know why this is such a big deal. I thank God for everything including my hot smoking wife. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  10. Jill

    Funny – I like it. Makes me believe no all pastors are crazy

    July 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  11. Daniel

    Neither Hilarious/innovative nor blasphemous/offensive. You can tell that he is eating the fried chicken however.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  12. Bonnie

    CNN is stupid to feature this kind of thing. Americans used to be more honorable than this dacades before. The unending stupid entertainment must have gotten both their brains and good will... If Germans did not sell themselves to the utter evil, they far better qualify to dominate the planet than these stupid Americans.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • china

      and you must be typin from chinaaaaaa....

      July 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Dev

      I couldn't agree more-I'm half American and half Canadian, travel to Germany often, have many German friends, and you're right on. Americans are degrading themselves to beast status in a hurry; if you don't believe me, just go to Walmart around midnight and take a look around....

      July 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Bonnie... Dev,
      THANK YOU for speaking as it is!
      And YES, it's true, Americans are degrading themselves to the level of beasts, even lower!

      But to have a pastor, who is supposed to be a man of God, leading people of God, to stoop to such beggarly level , just so he would get his disgusting face on the screen, it's ut-ter abomination in God's eyes, and sickens the spirits of those of us who KNOW Him.

      For a long time I knew I could not go to a church, but this beggarly character defined it for me very well " WHY"!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  13. radsr2002

    I enjoyed his prayer. We need a few more light hearted preachers.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Jose Antonio

      Amen to that.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Oh, you can find them dime- a- dozen nowdays... You find the Olsteens, Duplantes', Jakes, and all the TBN type of pea-co-cks to entertain you till you drop – into that place of the damned called Hell.

      That's what they do, entertain them on the way there!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
  14. RJ

    Praze Jezues Haliluya

    July 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • you are

      wait a sec..u were that kid where your parent car had the bumper sticker..."my kid is the smartest adult amongst all 1st graders"

      July 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  15. REV_Indy

    Loved it! When Pastor Nelms thanked God for his "smoking hot wife", I imagine that God was up there winking at him saying "you're welcome!"

    July 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      Dear "Rev" , you must not know the NATURE and CHARACTER of God!

      July 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  16. Kent Bowen

    I'm glad this man loves his wife, but "smokin' hot," uh, I don't think so. I'm going to be kind and leave it at that.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • thanks

      ...your kindness is much appreciated

      July 27, 2011 at 9:56 pm |
    • amigay

      I agree...based on what this gy looks like, one can only imagine. Then again, I'd rather not imagine.

      July 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  17. PRISM 1234

    Yep... He's got his moment of glory, a spot on the national news media...

    The world cheers and applauds the cool dude with "hot" wife who drags the Name of Jesus to the level of unholy and common ...

    But this is what Jesus said:

    You shall know them by THEIR FRUITS!

    And the fruit of this man is NOT of the Spirit of God!

    July 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
  18. SmartPotato

    He forgot to thank "god" for his sh***y eyesight, fried cheese balls, and the fact he didn't keel over from a heart attack after this speech. What a fat pig!

    July 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • look

      potatoes have become 'smarter' and can 'talk'

      July 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  19. Jumper

    There's a right time and a right place for everything. . . a point evidently missed here.

    July 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • right

      ...and you are at the right place at the right time

      July 27, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  20. TEE-BIRD

    It's scary what passes for a "pastor" these days..............

    July 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "It's scary what passes for a "pastor" these days.............."

      You ain't kidding!

      I would just replace "scary" with "DISGUSTING"!

      July 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Phyl

      you got that right honey...FAKES!!!!

      July 27, 2011 at 10:02 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.