“My Smokin’ Hot Wife”: the NASCAR Prayer

Joe Nelms, the pastor of Family Baptist Church in Tennessee gave an invocation at a racing event in which he thanked God for his “smokin’ hot wife.” Apparently this is controversial.

On the one hand, I thank God for my smokin’ hot wife all the time. She is, even though she doesn’t always realize it. Thanking God for your spouse is good. Believing that your spouse is attractive and wonderful and thanking God for that is even better. There is the question of tact and taste in referring to this on natinoal television, but I don’t begrudge the man for loving his wife.

There is a problem with why he prayed it, on the other hand. It wasn’t really for God. He said, “I want to get somebody’s attention, so that’s been our desire every time we’ve been up there, to try to make an impact on the fans and give them something they’ll remember, and maybe they’ll go home on a Friday night or a Saturday night and say, ‘Maybe I ought to get up and go to church in the morning.” In other words, he prayed this for people, to get a reaction.

This is not prayer at all. It’s a sermon, at best. At worst, an advertisement, manipulation or grandstanding.