I am so proud of my home state -- really! Especially after this prayer by the Tennessee (Lebanon-near Nashville) Baptist pastor Joe Nelms at a NASCAR race. You may have heard about it -- he thanked God for, among other things, his "smokin' hot wife," racecars and other things he loves in life. . . .
Now, this has raised a lot of interest -- both praise and criticism. My take? High praise. Why? Here is why: In all this hot, tacky, desert summer of a news cycle with nuts out there shooting kids, others in court defending parents who (probably) did their kids in, a bunch of DC elites who refuse to admit the seriousness of America's debt problems, and some New Yorkers (and even more media) celebrating and going wild about that state's declaration that some sort of union is now "marriage," I am just overjoyed to see one simple man stand up and praise God for a "smokin' hot wife" and for REAL marriage! It IS something to cheer about. It doesn't surprise me that many in the media and other more sophisticated collegia are hooting and laughing at the simple proclamation. But think about it. If the pastor had been at a rowing meet in Connecticut and thanked God for a "smokin' hot spouse" who happened to be another man, what would have the reaction been from the press corps? I have a pretty good idea and it makes me shudder.
Now, for those Christians who think he still went too far, we need to remind ourselves of the Bible. Song of Solomon, to be exact. Was not Solomon's public ode to his beautiful Shulamite spouse basically a more poetic version of "Thank you, God, for my smokin' hot wife?" Really! Could you read the whole book out loud up in front of your church, not skipping A WORD? If you have read it, you know what I mean. I once dared a man to do that (he was complaining about some being too literal talking about the joys of married life in church). He refused to do it. He knew if he did read it in public, there would be smoke, no matter what version he read it from.
Life, and marriage, as God made them, are wonderful and to be celebrated. And God gets graphic. I just believe in my heart that God smiles when we get real and celebrate His real gifts. Jesus spoke like a real person about real life, and the "sinners heard Him gladly." (The righteous Pharisees had very furrowed brows, however).
They say the people at the race loved it. The ESPN reviewer (above) did not love it. He thought it made NASCAR look "hillbilly." Well, my friend, it IS hillbilly. Where do you think the sport started? And sometimes hillbillies are smart. And usually very honest. God love 'em.