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. dirk

    Who cares about twitter and who cares what anyone else thinks? Don't like what he had to say – too bad.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  2. Obama

    I don't understand what a smoking hot wife has to do with God's salvation? Scripture states that "Many come in my name, but aren't sent by me"

    July 28, 2011 at 1:09 am |
  3. chazaruni

    Really, who gives a F ord?

    July 28, 2011 at 1:07 am |
  4. phil

    Disrespectful, just as the movie was. Would not listen to any of his thoughts on Christianity. There is definitely a difference between a man, called of GOD that preaches, and a man, that decides to go to college, major in religion and preach. A vast difference.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:06 am |
  5. Muneef

    Materialistic world to him it is...!

    July 28, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  6. alfuso

    where is this guy's Church! I'm going there!

    Wonderful invocation. Full of life and fun and feeling. As he said at the beginning that the Bible tells us to thank God for everything and he sure did!

    Loved it. And I see nothing wrong with it.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  7. lyd

    Leading the sheep astray.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  8. Pat Travers

    No matter – There is no such thing as "god" and she certainly isn't "smokin hot"

    July 28, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  9. Zanny The Nanny

    We need to see a picture of the wife to see if he was right or the wife and himself need an exorcism.

    July 28, 2011 at 1:01 am |
  10. dexnew

    This "Pastor" is a disgrace.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:55 am |
  11. VnVtrn


    July 28, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  12. Steve

    Aside from my salvation through Jesus Christ, my wife is the greatest blessing that God has ever, or will ever grant me. It makes me realize how unworthy I am of His Grace

    July 28, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  13. lyd

    The Lord's prayer is Jesus' model for prayer He left us with. This 'prayer' is a mockery of God. Total and utter disrespect for the Almighty.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • 56vrar

      He also said stuff about how to treat your slaves.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • lyd

      56, no He didn't. In the Bible, all employees are referred to as 'servants.' Doesn't mean they don't get paid.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • Rob

      Please tell us more of your beliefs so that we may be just like you.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:02 am |
  14. Fredo

    If Obama would have said a prayer like this white trash snake oil selling quack he would be attacked all over faux news.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  15. PSAztec

    All you folks that complain about folks giving to churches, go google and you will see that conservatives, many of them Christians, give more money to charities, more blood to blood banks and volunteer more than liberals. Even if you take out church giving, conservatives still give more. What do the liberals give to? Museums, colleges, private high schools, etc. So much for "liberal compassion." Liberals just want to dictate compassion with other people's money. So until liberals start out giving conservatives, you can shut up about conservatives and christians donating to charities.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Fredo

      somehow I doubt that you care about the poor or the needy from around the world, after all, you are the ones who hate immigrants and are afraid of anything foreign because of your ignorant ways, now I do agree that conservatives are the first fish to bite the hook and go get blown up in iraq for false weapons of mass destruction, there you are definitely first.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:55 am |
    • Zanny The Nanny

      You are about to make me cry... I can hear the violins in the background.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:57 am |
    • Rob

      I googled it and all I found were references to you being a putz.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  16. yozhik

    Thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain. Quite blasphemous and not surprisingly hypocritical coming from a Baptist

    July 28, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • Rob

      Please share with us the real truth, since I'm sure you, unlike those nasty Baptists, know the truth.

      July 28, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Yura

      YOZHIK zolotie slova!!! AMEN!!!

      July 28, 2011 at 5:42 am |
  17. lyd

    It's the likes of him that give Christianity a bad name. I am very offended by his mockery of a 'prayer.' I'm glad God didn't hear it.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • Shachar

      How do YOU know God did not hear it? Are you one of those that think you know the God better than most? You must of have God's ear. Arrogant hypocrite.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • lyd

      Shakhar, if you knew the Word of God, you'd know what kind of prayer God hears. This was a mockery, not a prayer.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:56 am |
    • Mark

      lyd if you knew your bible, you'd know that it over and over says that God hears the prayers of the righteous. It doesn't say, God hears the prayers that are formatted in a way that lyd approves of. You're also missing the concept that prayer is just communicating with God. It isn't just respectfully asking him to do things for you and thanking him for stuff he's done for you.

      Pray without ceasing, you've heard of that too right?

      July 28, 2011 at 3:55 am |
    • Veritas

      It's all just hillarious. Presumably adult people actually seriously thinking that there is a "god" guy in the "sky" listening to people's "prayers". But only to some of them, from the right people, and if they're "formatted" correctly. I cannot think of anything more unbelievable. Obviously the earth was created by the almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster, praised be his name and his infinite wisdom.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:17 am |
  18. Paul

    I think the fact that anyone would get offended over someone having a sense of humor, and making a joke that offends no one, is really quite pathetic.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:48 am |
  19. Candace

    God is always always looking at your heart and intent in your prayers. So if it is genuine, He is pleased! That is all that matters!

    July 28, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • Veritas

      That is not what he told me. He said is fvcking tired of these disrespectful prayers, and prayers in general and want us all to be quiet from now on.

      July 28, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  20. frank

    my wife is somkin hot. she may not have the best body in tihis world but at my age and disable she is a doll to me .when she helps this 110 lb ass in and out shower and getting dressed she is the greatest

    July 28, 2011 at 12:43 am |
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