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. Margarita

    Laide Oladepo Yekeen Posted on I have LLM.,in 2001, I like further study i Mphl./Phd. in Law of Energy and Natural Resouces and Corporate Management and Finance. Which University and How do I sercue scholarship to pursue this idea?Laide

    August 1, 2012 at 6:21 am |
  2. Fitri

    A friend of mine, Daunna, who also ptseod here sent me this article at a time when my niece/daughter is going to terrible times of bullying at her middle school. So it has become very handy. today I attended the site council meeting at her school and told them about your story and how you and your mom turn the bullying into something good. Hope the principal thinks about it and adopts something like this in the school. I have decided to take Jasmin out of the school because the staff do not believe Jasmin, and she has got into depression at this point she wants to take her life. I am sure you know some of these feelings. I am waiting and hoping the the administrators will let her go to another school where Jasmin can feel safe, and forget the nightmare she has lived from the beginning of the school year to this day. Kids call her awful names like retarded, stupid, cucus, gross, punched her and pushed her back, and tell other not to hangout with her because she is different. Jasmin a a beautiful child, she is 12 years old. It is very alarming that she is already feeling like ending her life because of the bullying, and the worst thing is that I have had many meetings with the administrators but they do not do something effective and the bullying kept going.You are an inspiration for us parents and students of special ed.Glad you are doing better. We admired you, and I am sending your article to other organizations that work in benefit of students with special needs.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  3. Fernanda

    that Jesus (peace be upon him) is a man and a prophet not a God. (( And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mnanikd: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I had ever said it, then Thou wouldst have known it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden? (116))) (05: 155)and also in Quran in surat Mariam (Mary)Allah says ((Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing. (27) O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. (28) Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy? (29) He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet, (30) And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive, (31))) (19 : 27 31)and if you're talking that he should be God because his birth was a miracle i'd say then even Adam and Eve would be Gods as well btw.. Jesus (peace be upon him) was God because of a VOTE !!!please for more info read those two surahs from the source link i posted surah number 5 and 19 . u might find ur answerpeace !

    July 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
  4. Miguel

    Hi Emma like you i am waiting to be a donor I did kowred as a marrow recruiter in Fla, now i am in Puerto Rico back home waiting for the call I will be ready the best thing is wheen you get to meet the patient and the donor nothing in this word compares to that joy. Bless you and your family.Minorities dont understand how important is this programRene Ortiz

    March 2, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  5. Tom Leykis

    Gotta love the south. It leads the nation in teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, divorce, domestic violence, unemployment, obesity and general stupidity.

    August 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Glen

      Tom – but apparently not in prejudice.

      March 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  6. Tim

    "I like the baby version the best!"

    August 26, 2011 at 9:49 am |
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About this blog

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.