Stop the presses. A pastor has prayed for his "smokin' hot wife." Truly this is a story made for YouTube, Twitter, blogs, Google+, Facebook, you name it.
Before a NASCAR race on Saturday, Pastor Joe Nelms delivered "quite a memorable invocation," The Tennessean reports, naming very specific race cars.
Later in the prayer, Nelms channeled his inner Ricky Bobby when he delved into gratitude for his family.
“Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin’ hot wife tonight, Lisa, and my two childre, Eli and Emma, or as we like to call the, ‘The Little E’s.’ ”
Perhaps the most unforgettable line of the prayer came when Nelms quoted NASCAR Hall of Famer and Franklin resident Darrell Waltrip at the end of his prayer.
“In Jesus’ name, Boogity Boogity Boogity, amen,” Nelms said.
Over at the Orlando Sentinel sports blog, Shannon Owens writes, "It’s clear the prayer was meant to be taken as a joke, but it is unusual for a pastor to joke about prayer." Then you're invited to take a poll:
What do you think about Pastor Joe Nelms' NASCAR prayer?
Outrageously funny. A pastor has a right to make jokes during prayer.
Out-of-bounds. A pastor should have more reverence for prayer.
You get to have two reactions, that's it. I know it's shocking, I tell you, that a pastor might have a little fun.
The Sentinel suggests that the prayer was inspired by Talladega Nights, starring Will Ferrell. Maybe that's true. If you run in some Christian circles, however, you might already know that this smokin' hot phrase has sort of been a cliche in recent years for some reason. For some perspective on Christian cliches, I invite you to head on over to this delightful post on Christianity Today's women's blog (yes, for disclosure purposes, I am employed at CT). Karen Swallow Prior, who is the chair of the department of English and modern languages at Liberty University (Jerry Falwell anyone?) wrote the following about the smokin' hot phrase just last week:
To me, calling one’s wife bride on any day after the honeymoon betrays a rather silly insistence that she is into perpetuity that sweet, young, virginal thing once greeted at the altar — or worse, a tacit acknowledgement that she's not (wink, wink), so let's just make like she is. Smokin’ hot, on the other hand, just sounds like someone trying a bit too hard to convince himself.
So there's one reaction to the phrase.
Back to the coverage, my favorite line in the Reuters' report is at the end: "Nelms was unavailable for comment Monday." What were they planning to ask him? Pastor, what do you think about the reactions to your crazy prayer? If we're going to dig a little deeper, why not include what kind of Baptist church is Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee?
Boogity, boogity, boogity!