Jewish Journal

In Jesus’ name, boogity, boogity, boogity

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 25, 2011 | 8:08 pm

There were two big religion stories over the weekend. I’ll be getting to the Norway bombing story, and the coverage of it, tomorrow. But for now I’ll take a run at the other religion “news” getting lots of attention: Pastor Joe Nelms prayer at the Nationwide Federated Auto Parts 300.

From The Tennessean:

“Most of all, thank you for Roush and Yates partnering to give us the power that we see before us tonight,” Nelms said, referring to the engine manufacturers for some of the cars. He went on to thank the Lord for the “Sonoco racing fuel and Goodyear tires that bring performance and power to the track.”

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.’ ”

Certainly you’ve seen the prayer by now. It was on Sportscenter last night and has been mentioned by a lot of papers. My old friend and colleague Sarah Pulliam Bailey took a look at some of the coverage at GetReligion, and she wasn’t sold on the “Talladega Nights” reference.

But I was. Much as you might not expect a Southern Baptist, which Nelms is, to be watching Will Ferrell movies, it’s difficult to imagine a Southern Baptist from the South or Bible Belt missing anything concerning NASCAR.

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