Zoe: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?Praise the Lord — and pass the ammunition. A preacher who is a good fighter and who belongs to a church that isn't the Church Militant. He has the ability to literally kick arse for the Lord. Given his day job, he is likely to be a Technical Pacifist or a Martial Pacifist. If he is an Actual Pacifist, he will simply take every blow without flinching and dare you to hit harder. At most, this version will employ Deadly Dodging. He often looks like a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. Sometimes he's the Christian equivalent of Papa Wolf. He'll kick in the door and blow away anyone who dares harm his flock/congregation/head of church. It makes sense. If we are to love our neighbor and do unto others as we would have them do unto us, most would want someone to come to their rescue if they were being beaten, robbed, or worse. Proverbs 24:11 says "Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter" and so someone who is supposed to watch over their flock like a shepherd would take action. They would not only help the victims, but to help prevent the bad guys from doing something that they will possibly regret forever if and when they come to their senses. Most would want a true friend to do that for them so that they can experience a Heel–Face Turn sooner and more easily, with less guilt on their minds, though Jesus can fix that problem. They may be someone who believes that fighting is okay under certain circumstances even when those above him in the church hierarchy don't, or someone who normally never fights who is forced to take action in an extreme situation. This trope applies to modern Catholics, Anglicans, many priests of Crystal Dragon Jesus, and Quakers. You rarely see Quakers in film without this trope getting invoked—though with that religion, the definition of "preacher" gets stretched. (So does the definition of "Quaker" — they're one of the few universally pacifist denominations.) If the clergyman had been a soldier, policeman, or the like before taking orders, it may overlap with Retired Badass. This trope does not apply to preachers in certain fundamentalist churches and rarely applies to priests of medieval Catholic churches. Those are covered under Church Militant and Warrior Monk — in those tropes the whole church is, or tries to be, badass. A Badass Preacher is a minority in his church hierarchy. If a badass person does not belong to a church hierarchy and is instead a pious layman, he's the Religious Bruiser. Related to Turbulent Priest who fights with his words. Subtrope of Real Men Love Jesus. Contrast with Sinister Minister. If the Lord Himself is kicking ass, that's Kung-Fu Jesus.
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
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Anime & Manga
- Frau from 07 Ghost is a bishop and one of the most powerful magical users in the series, he also wields an awesome wicked scythe. For extra points? Undead.
- There are two ex-criminal priests in 20th Century Boys. Despite one being Japanese and one being Italian, they recognize each other through both being extensively tattooed. And badass.
- In Blue Exorcist, demons are the enemies. Several characters fall into the category of Badass Preacher, from the gunslinging Yukio to the bible-reciting Bon (certain bible verses can banish demons. He recites the entire book of John at one in order to achieve certain victory) but the most notable and straightest example of the trope is Posthumous Character Shiro, who has spent his entire life resisting Demonic Possession by Satan and still finds time to be an excellent Exorcist, father and generally badass.
- Dogs: Bullets & Carnage: Bishop, a blind priest who is revealed to be Ernst Rammsteiner, a failed Kerberos experiment who is still skilled enough to cross blades with Campenella Fruhling and survive.
- Baskerville in Et Cetera, before it was revealed that it was just a cover.
- Keyes from Fairy Tail. His clothes, staff, tendencies to speak in morbid religious phrases, and Necromancer powers make him a great example. It's no wonder he's recognized as "The Black Archbishop" of Tartaros.
- Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist was a warrior-priest of Ishvala during the war.
- Fushigi Yuugi has the Suzaku Seishi Chichiri, a monk who always gets dangerous.
- Hellsing: Everyone in the Vatican Section XIII Iscariot division. Despite working for The Church, they are a minority within the church itself. Part of their Badass Creed even states "We are heretics and we are not heretics", because they are basically assassins who hunt down and slaughter the undead. Most of them were raised by Anderson himself and are capable of cutting bloody swaths through vampire and Nazi hordes. Their ranks include:
- Father Alexander Anderson will screw you up twelve ways to Sunday if you even look at him wrongnote . He regularly goes toe-to-toe with Eldritch Abomination Alucard, regenerates hacked off limbs, and easily dwarfs every other character (except Alucard) in terms of strength and determination. AAAAAMEEEEEEENNNNNN!!
- Anderson's top protégés are both Action Girls and Yumie Takagi is even a badass nun. They fight at their mentor's side, annihilate Nazi vampires with ease, and by the series' end, Heinkel even becomes a Lightning Bruiser regenerator like Anderson before her.
- Miroku from InuYasha, an itinerant Buddhist monk with a miniature black hole in the palm of his right hand.
- Enrico Pucci from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is a powerful prison priest, and the only villain in the series who can directly give powers to his allies, is dedicated to finding a way to gain "Heaven". Even if it means using a green baby and changing earths gravity and eventually transporting a child to another dimension as a result. And what is said "Heaven"? An ability so powerful it can remake the series.
- Duo Maxwell from Gundam Wing looks like one of these, but he wears the clerical collar more as a memento of the priest and nun who took care of him and were killed during the war. Later in the Frozen Teardrop novel, he has a role in tending to a church (as does his ex-wife Hilde), but it's more of a front for his Bounty Hunter work.
- Adam Blade from NEEDLESS.
- Garterbelt of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt: The man can make a holy symbol with a dildo and a shotgun, and keeps a machine gun in his afro.
- Trigun: All Nicholas D. Wolfwood wants to make the people of their wretched world secure and happy, especially the children. He pursues this goal with preaching, fundraising, and swinging around a cross-shaped combination machinegun/rocket launcher/pistol rack and taking down anybody in need of an asskicking. He's also a part-time assassin and in the manga, a genetically-engineered killer. That cross of his is so heavy because it's full of mercy!
- One of the playable hero characters in Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is the small town of Woodinvale's priest Father Joseph; though he is a Technical Pacifist, Father Joe can still kill zombies.
- Betrayal at House on the Hill has a priest as one of its playable characters. He has the highest Sanity stat of all the characters, and is surprisingly powerful in-game.
- 2000 AD:
- Lawrence Verse in Caballistics, Inc. is an ex-Catholic priest who was forced to give up his vocation after an incident involving, as another character put it, "the novel use of a chainsaw during the Rite of Exorcism."
- Button Man: One of Harry's early opponents is a shotgun-toting button man in a vicar's robe.
- The Confessor in Astro City is a religious-themed superhero, with a cross on his chest, a sidekick named "Altar Boy", and a church hideout. In his Backstory, he actually was a priest...before he was turned into a vampire. The cross on his chest is a "mortification of the flesh" deal, as well as causing him pain so he doesn't focus on the urge to drink blood. As for the badass part, see his Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
- Then there's his most prominent enemy, the also religiously themed Deacon.
- The Crossbreed is a team of Christian-themed superheroes. They believe their powers are a gift from God, and they spend their time between fighting evil and spreading the word on street corners.
- Chaplain Action, He-Man of the Cloth, from The Authority. Has an eyepatch. Is...evil. And a television Preacher.
- Battle Pope is, as the name suggests, all about the Pope being the kicker of evil asses.
- Chumble Spuzz has Reverend Mofo; a foul-mouthed, sword-wielding monkey. It's kind of hard to tell if he's a parody or just a really, really, over the top example (considering the overall tone of the comic, he's probably somewhere in between).
- Father Merrin from the Spanish comic-book Fanhunter. He uses Bibles as throwing weapons. Bibles signed by Mike Tyson and Jet Li. Also X-tremo (Milton O'Roke) in the Fanhunter elseworld Savage Kiusap Tales.
- Jonah Hex: Jonah once took on a former bounty hunter turned preacher, who had decided it was his holy mission to rid the west of gunslingers.
- The titular character in Just a Pilgrim by Garth Ennis. Still well-steeped in badassery, he turned to the Good Book after giving cannibalism a try.
- Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler in the Marvel Universe, becomes a priest at one point, allowing for him to fall into this trope.
- Father Boris from Northlanders. A large, aging Russian preacher, he beats a Viking chieftain to death with his barehands while still nursing a serious injury.
- Jesse Custer of Preacher has it in his series's title, but he may or may not count, as he's left the ministry by the time the series begins. Then again, his Compelling Voice is explicitly the Word of God. Jesse's a badass both before and after his time as an actual preacher, but not during. He's been forced into the role by his family and is in the middle of a nervous breakdown when we meet him. Though technically he never leaves his job, his congregation just gets wiped out when he gets Cursed with Awesome.
- Father Hector Redondo from The Punisher tried to be this, calling himself "The Holy" and taking an axe to sinners in Spanish Harlem. He, along with a couple of other would-be vigilantes, ended up getting gunned down by The Punisher himself.
- Padre Ervin Tuck in Sherwood, Texas. Not surprising given he is the setting's version of Friar Tuck.
- The Italian satirical comic book Suore Ninja (that's Italian for "Ninja Nuns") has a few:
- The most important are the three title characters, as nuns with ninja training and all-around badas}es. They're the latest of a long line of ninja nuns, destroying supernatural and extraterrestrial threats to the Catholic Church (in fact they were originally created to face an alien invasion that showed up late of a few centuries) with holy weapons and regularly competing for the highest kill count.
- The Pope is usually a coward, but when the shit hits the fan he can defeat foes too powerful for the protagonists by outsmarting them. Said foes include God himself.
- When the Horsemen of the Apocalypse started stealing body parts of saints for their plan, two are confronted by pissed-off priests: Death has to deal with a pacific one who nonetheless tells off the scythe-wielding living skeletons for coming in a church on a horse, while War has to face a Sicilian priest who dual-wields sawed-off shotguns and openly threatens to kill him if he doesn't put Saint Prospero's arm and leg back (his justification for shooting in a church being that it's the House of God and he's the custodian, and if necessary they must be an Angry Guard Dog). Both are promptly killed, the pacific one pierced by Death's scythe and the Sicilian shot In the Back by Plague's crossbow;
- The Librarian Friar is the one who usually summons the Ninja Nuns, and did not exitate to risk his life to help one of them in battle by bringing her the decisive weapon;
- Friar Antoine (impled to be Antoine de Saint-Exupéry) claims his role is merely to provide transportation to the Ninja Nuns by flying them with his Cool Plane. Said plane, however, can become, among other things, a tank, he's the one to defeat the alien invasion (by sicking Skeletor and his men on them), and he flew that plane everywhere.
- Tiberium Wars: The Black Hand in general. Every one of these warrior-priests is a trained soldier, but they are also clad in heavy powered armor and typically armed with either a flame-projector or a laser rifle. Brother-Captain Allen in particular is a stand-out example, as not only will he kill you for breaking the laws of the Brotherhood, but he'll do it by yelling out your offenses while smashing your head on a wall, and then throw you out a very high window.
- "Padre," from Except It Abide In The Vine, is an alternate version of Steve Rogers who became a Catholic priest in the 21st century. He was also Captain America during World War II, serum and everything, and still moonlights as a superhero when the world needs saving. Most of the time he's a Martial Pacifist, but he makes exceptions for aliens, monsters, and HYDRA.
- Through A Diamond Sky: The epilogue indicates that Melodia became this after her Heel–Faith Turn and new orders to look out for the marginalized members of Grid society. Two of her best agents were the DJs at the End of Line.
- StarGleam from StarKitsProphcy. "ACCEPT JESUS MOTHERFUCKERS!" indeed.
- The unnamed Imperial priest from Madhouse, who gives the best rebuttal ever to Chaos.
So come on, lost children. We’ve all made our choices, and now those choices have made us. I shall bring you into His light with cleansing flame and prayers, and redeem us all in death. Come one or come all, you shall not put a foot into this hallowed ground while I still draw breath.For I have faith, and that is enough.
- The Warmistress of Equestria: Scorpan is an evil version of this, being a leader of the Traitor Legions who in his spare time preaches the glories of the Chaos Gods.
- Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox: Han, a.k.a. Kokuo the Horse of the Nine Terrors, became a church pastor and overseer of a soup kitchen as a way to atone for the bloodshed he helped cause during the Terrors' 365-day rampage two years earlier; yet he's still capable of fighting Gaara to a standstill when the latter confronts him. For perspective, in Naruto canon Han was the five-tails jinchuriki.
- Father Leo from the fan series Ultraman Moedari qualifies, as he can lift a fridge and throw it, stop cars, bikes, and defeat an Ultraman untransformed.
- In Errol Flynn's The Adventures of Robin Hood, Friar Tuck holds his own against Robin in a sword fight, and also joins Robin's men in the final battle with Prince John's knights.
- The Birth of a Nation (2016) tells the Real Life story of Nat Turner, a charismatic slave-turned preacher who led a rebellion against the slaveowners of the Antebellum South in 1831.
- One of Rayne's recruits in BloodRayne II: Deliverance is 'The Preacher', who is a Con Man and Gunslinger as well as a preacher. He goes out in a blaze of glory against the vampires.
- Played with in The Book of Eli. Although Eli is not a literal preacher, he is the closest thing to a religious figure in the post-apocalyptic world (having the only remaining copy of The Bible in your possession certainly helps). And he is so totally badass that only God can help you if you mess with him.
- Rev. 'J.C.' Current in Bordello of Blood becomes a badass vampire slayer for a bit, mainly because the vampire prostitutes who were previously helping him keep his church running and the town clean turned on him.
- Father McGruder the Kung Fu Priest in Peter Jackson's early splatter movie Braindead/Dead Alive, including the unforgettable line and page quote, "I kick arse for the Lord!" Unfortunately, he gets killed shortly after. He gets better, though (if becoming a passive zombie can be considered "better").
- Preacher Man Bob from the Troma film Buttcrack, who was pretty much the only good thing about the movie.
- In Changeling, Reverend Gustav Briegleb (played by John Malkovich) is a firebreathing Determinator in his mission to expose the LAPD's wrongdoings.
- Yin from A Chinese Ghost Story is a Taoist priest, and also a Master Swordsman and Kung-Fu Wizard. And a talented rapper. Let's just say that messing with clergy and monks is by any means a bad idea there.
- Meacham (Clancy Brown) from Cowboys & Aliens. He even teaches a fellow townie to shoot when the fellow's wife is kidnapped by aliens.
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. A bishop goes to bless a dying man who he discovers was responsible for killing the bishop's parents. The bishop blesses him...and blows him away with a shotgun.
- The vampire-hunting Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) in Dracula II Ascension and Dracula III Legacy.
- Played slightly with Brother Gilbert in Dragonheart. An Actual Pacifist, he finds himself drawn into war against the evil King Einon... at which point it is discovered that what he lacks in poetic ability he makes up for in skill with a bow. Listening to him quoting biblical line as he plants arrows in the enemy was a mixture of funny and awesome, topped only by the moment when he put an arrow through Einon. Einon got better, but still...
- Edge of Darkness: The town pastor urges his people not to rebel against the Nazi German occupiers, calling it "murder". At the climax of the movie, the preacher, up in the cupola of his church, watches the Germans deploying to face the citizens of the town, who are marching down to the town square to attack them. The pastor prays to God to forgive people that are fighting for their freedom. Then he whips out a previously unseen machine gun and wipes out the German skirmish line.
- Embrace of the Serpent: In the Amazon jungle in 1909, a small group of explorers come across a mission. When the priest sees them, he picks up a suspiciously handy rifle, cocks it, aims it at the party, and shouts "We have no rubber!" He does not put the gun down until the party have convinced him that they are not involved with the rubber trade. On the other hand … as well as protecting his flock's bodies from the rubber traders, he is also keen to save their souls from pagan religion. In the 21st century, we would call this eradicating native culture.
- The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow follows the close examination of a Spooky Photograph of some suspected cultists. Eventually, the camera angles and zooms to reveal a Young Priest aiming a shotgun, who, along with an Old Priest who appears to be blessing his action, is hidden behind the trees, out of the sightline of the cultists and any normal view of the photograph.
- The Spanish Civil War movie Fiesta (1995) has two such priests — one for the fascists who walks everywhere with a holstered pistol, the other for the communists who picked up a rifle and shot several dozen soldiers from his bell tower.
- A Badass Nun helped out the main character of Freejack. Shotgun under her habit, and quoted "praise the Lord and pass the ammo" after blowing away a couple threats.
"The good Lord says to turn the other cheek" (kicks assailant in the nuts) "But then, he never had to deal with dickheads like you!"
- This does happen in Friendly Persuasion (which is about a Quaker community and is set during The American Civil War). This could be considered an aversion, since the main character chastises his son for getting into a fight, and then, after being unwillingly drafted, refuses to kill an enemy soldier when he has the chance.
- Many of the soldiers in Kingdom of Heaven are also members of religious orders, the most significant to the film being the unnamed Hospitaller played by David Thewlis. A case of Truth in Television; the crusades were religious wars, so it wasn't uncommon for religious orders to take up arms in support of the cause.
- Jacob Fuller, played by Harvey Keitel, from the movie From Dusk Till Dawn. Having lost his faith, he regains it near the end of the movie, just in time to bless holy water, and kill some vampires with a cross made from a shotgun and a baseball bat.
"I'm a mean... mmm, mmm... servant of God."
- Priest Vallon from Gangs of New York.
- The fake trailer for Machete in Grindhouse contains one, played by Cheech Marin. Contains the memorable line. "God has mercy...I don't."
- Parodied in Hot Fuzz where the preacher is part of a cabal to keep the town clean of outsiders by killing them. When the new copper (Simon Pegg) figures it all out, he curses at Pegg ("Fuck off, grasshopper!") and even shoots him with two pistols he has hidden up his sleeves.
- For as awful as it is, Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch has Father Florin, who goes nuts on a gang of werewolves with a titanium axe alongside badasses like Christopher Lee and Reb Brown.
- Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter. That is all.
- The Street Preacher from Johnny Mnemonic. This comes from an overly literal reading of a line from Neuromancer in which Molly describes an assassin who came after Johnny as being so Zen that he was "like a priest." The Street Preacher dresses like a Benedictine monk and has a crucifix-shaped dagger.
- Father Palmer, the Scottish priest who serves as stretcher bearer in World War I trenches in the film Joyeux Noël in a manner similar to the chaplains in the Real Life section. He seems to lose faith at the end of the film after seeing too much of the role played by religion in warmongering.
- The Vicar from Lesbian Vampire Killers. Or, at least, he tries to be.
- Sam Childers (Gerard Butler) in Machine Gun Preacher. Based on a real-life preacher in Pennsylvania.
- The North Avenue Irregulars: Rev. Michael Hill, to a degree.
- Clint Eastwood is The Badass Preacher With No Name in Pale Rider (1985). Clint is also a preacher in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot until the men with whom he had robbed a security company a few years earlier (with a 20MM cannon, no less!) come back looking for the loot from the robbery.
- The Reverend in The Patriot who threw in with Mel Gibson's partisans telling his stunned congregation; 'A shepherd must tend his flock and at times...fight off the wolves!'
- Gene Hackman's character in The Poseidon Adventure is a priest that is getting sent overseas for his unorthodox views. Unlike many of the others here, he isn't a gun-toting priest, but no less badass. He basically gives a sermon that tells people to "stop praying" because God loves those who try for their own salvation. This doesn't seem like much, but it's the exact mindset needed to survive a zombie apocalypse... or in this case, a sinking ship.
- The protagonist of Priest (2011), who belongs to an order of vampire-fighting Badass Preachers (of both sexes).
- Cort (Russell Crowe) in The Quick and the Dead is a reformed ex-gunfighter who still has his old magic.
- Red State: Pastor Abin Cooper, also a Sinister Minister who executes 'sinners' and 'sodomites', is a trained domestic terrorist. He joins the rest of his church during their shoot-out with the ATF, firing an assault rifle at the agents to hold off the prolonged siege.
- In Kevin Costner's Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Friar Tuck exemplifies this when he calls out and then kills the corrupt and greedy archbishop who sided with the Sheriff. He was also willing to throw down against Robin and company before he joined them, and did quite well.
- Hugh O'Flaherty in The Scarlet and the Black, who walks circles around the Nazis. He also qualifies as a Bad Ass Pacifist. Pretty much this in real life, too.
- Father Barry from On the Waterfront. When the ex-prizefighter Terry Malloy is behaving in a wild and irrational fashion, Fr. Barry tries to calm him down by punching him in the face and knocking him across the room. They then sit down for a nice cold beer. He is also the only character early in the film who has the guts to stand up to Johnny Friendly, the Big Bad mobster.
- Carl (David Wenham), the friar from Van Helsing, provides weapons and support. He's something of a Badass Bookworm of the so-called coward variety.
- Fray Felipe is this in The Mark of Zorro. He taught Zorro to use a sword. At one point, he tells the villains he plans to "ask God to reward them according to their merits."
- Padre Filipe in The Legend of Zorro. A scrawny-looking, unassuming priest who punches out mooks (and who braves bullets to conceal Zorro's identity)? That approaches even Zorro's level of badass.
- Roald Jarmann, the titular Character of the Norwegian movie Reverend Jarmann comes home, is this, coupled with the Determinator and the Badass Pacifist. The most outstanding scene is when he is left alone in a train wagon with the villain of the story, who is armed. He faces the villain anyway, and when he turns away from him, he is told quite clearly that he should be afraid.
- Jarmann: I am not.
- Moments after, the villain bolts without firing a shot.
- Brigham City has Wes Clayton, a Mormon bishop and the sheriff of the titular town. He does both jobs with equal aplomb.
- Alien³ has Dillon, a former rapist and murderer who turned to god while imprisoned on Fury 161, starting up his own congregation among the convicts. In the events of the film he beats the hell out of Junior and his gang when they try to rape Ripley and manages to fight the Alien itself to a standstill, in a big Heroic Sacrifice that also serves as his own personal redemption for his past sins.
- Takuan from Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, who almost single-handedly captures the outlaw Takezo. Then when Takezo escapes, he tricks him into walking into Himeji Castle, locks him inside and forces him to change his ways.
Takuan (beating Takezo): I shall punish you with the hands of your parents!
- Friar Tuck of Robin Hood's band of thieves. In versions of the legend where he isn't just Plucky Comic Relief, he's usually depicted as a master swordsman and skilled wrestler (using his bulk to good effect), as well as a genuinely good and pious man. The badass version dates back to the medieval legends. There are even versions that have him keeping very large dogs around to do his bidding, like attack people.
- Relg from the Belgariad is the leader of a heretical sect of Ul worshippers, and spends most of his time wangsting about the possible sinfulness of his actions, or ranting against the mainstream of Ul worship. He manages to beat down severe agoraphobia to follow the hero on his quest, proves to be very skilled with the horribly mutilat-y knives his people favours, and at one point pushes a man into a rock (and that's into, not through) without breaking a sweat.
- An awful lot of prophet heroes from The Bible. Elijah, for example, is a prophet and preacher who survives living under a corrupt regime, kills a whole bunch of Baal-worshippers after proving their god false, and outruns a chariot. His padawan, Elisha, could command attack bears. Moses and Aaron stood up to the Egyptian Pharaoh, and would later become the chief prophet and chief priest respectively. Oh, and then there's Jesus, who when not preaching personally out-argued Satan and managed to keep enough composure while mid-crucifixion to ask the Lord to forgive the men who killed him.
- Technically a rabbi rather than a priest, but since he was also a Christian preacher, Jesus qualifies. Whip It Good indeed. Also, the whole crucifixion thing.
- Mightily Oats in Discworld. Early in Unseen Academicals, Mr. Nutt says, "He brought...Forgiveness." Late in Unseen Academicals, it's revealed that Forgiveness, while he may have brought the concept as well, happens to be the name of his axe. And it's implied to be the same axe from Carpe Jugulum, which was transformed from a simple, ordinary axe, into a weapon that could hurt vampires, all because of his earnest faith.
"For Mr. Oats, the crusade against evil is not a metaphor."
- Preceded by 100 years by Brutha, the last believer in his god, who becomes first an Archbishop, and soon after a Prophet and the Cenobiarch (the absolute leader of the church). He then reinvents the whole church, turning it from basically a militaristic and totalitarian society into a religious debating house, by being purely Badass Pacifist!
- Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow") stars an 18th century vicar who doubles as a badass smuggler and former pirate.
- Don Camillo, from the short stories and novels by Giovanni Guareschi, is the quintessential example in European fiction. He has no problems clobbering a dozen comrades or throwing a table at them for mocking him, nor does he have any problem threatening the communist mayor and his gang with a submachine gun to obtain funding for his kindergarten project.
- The Dresden Files:
- Father Forthill may not seem terribly tough now, but in his youth as a seminarian, he and a few others heard of a vampire that had killed two people in their town, manned up, and put the bloodsucker back in its grave. Then they all got drunk and got tattoos. Note that these are Dresden vampires, the weakest of which are White Court vampires who can rip through concrete walls and tear people apart like tissue paper, and they get progressively nastier.
- Harry also has to contend with a retired Army Chaplain going postal over Harry's stewardship of the Swords of the Cross.
- Invoked by the Derethi priests in Elantris, who have an official uniform of 24-Hour Armor. However, since real armor is heavy, hot, and kind of uncomfortable, most of them go with fake, ceremonial armor instead. Except Hrathen. Turns out he's the real deal, much to the Big Bad's surprise.
- The Elenium gives us Patriarch Bergstern, a high ranking member of the Church who carries a battle ax, wears a helmet made from Ogre horns, and can intimidate Sparhawk into backing down from a fight. Granted, he's the head of an order of monks in a Church Militant, but as Patriarch, he's expected to be more a politician and administrator than a fighter.
- The Grapes of Wrath: Jim Casey. A corrupt cop tries to shoot a rabble-rouser, and Casey kicks him in the head, knocking him out, then takes the blame for the rabble-rouser's actions when more cops show up.
- Several of The Icelandic Sagas remember Thangbrand, a Saxon priest and "a passionate, ungovernable man, and a great manslayer" (Heimskringla) who was sent as a missionary to Iceland c. 997 AD, where he killed several men for insulting or challenging him. His violent (but entertaining) methods of evangelization are told at length in Njál's Saga.
- Played with in Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews. Most of the time, Parson Adams is a Cloudcuckoolander Wide-Eyed Idealist who never hesitates to put Honor Before Reason. However, he is more than able to hold his ground in a fistfight, and becomes a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass when his protege Joseph is threatened.
- Tsion Ben-Judah in the Left Behind book Armageddon, when he turns over leadership of Petra to Chaim Rosenzweig so he can preach Jesus Christ to the Jews remaining in Jerusalem while helping them to defend their city against the Global Community Unity Army on the day of Jesus's second coming.
- One character in Gerald Durrell's Green Aesop novel The Mockery Bird is one of the few female badass preachers; let's just leave her theology as being based around the concept of "Crazy Awesome" and leave it at that.
- Monte Cassino, the WW2 novel by Sven Hassel. Father Emanuel isn't above getting the members of the 27th Penal Regiment to hold mass in a bunker which is being carpet-bombed, enforcing discipline with his fists, and taking part in hand-to-hand combat wielding a spade. One time when he's storming at them from a makeshift pulpit, one of them mutters that it's a pity he's a priest, because he would have made a great general.
- The North Avenue Irregulars: Rev. Albert Fay Hill, to a degree.
- Pan Tadeusz brings us father Robak, whose scars tell of his Hot-Blooded youth. Nowadays he's more of an Agent Provocateur against The Empire, but still takes a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Sterling E. Lanier's Per Hiero Desteen is essentially a post-apocalyptic paladin.
- Stephen King has one: while Father Callahan was less-than-awesome in his original appearance in 'Salem's Lot, his consequent reappearance in The Dark Tower made him considerably more badass.
- Father William in Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future is a giant of a man, largely because the only sin he allows himself is gluttony (he claims that he needs the calories to preach). He's also a Bounty Hunter who at one point kills a target while standing in the pulpit. It puts quite the tag on his sermon.
- Father Pyrlig in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories. A fat, middle-aged priest who used to be a soldier and defeats a Viking warlord in single combat.
- Father James in Someone Else's War.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Thoros of Myr is a Red Priest who is not particularly interested in his own religion and has become a Boisterous Bruiser. He's won a few melees and distinguished himself on the battlefield while swinging a flaming sword. Later he regains his faith and becomes even more badass.
- Aeron Damphair is a priest of the Drowned God and accompanies reaving parties. His fellow priests, the drowned men, wield driftwood cudgels as part of their get-up. He and the rest are all initiated by being voluntarily drowned and brought back to life.
- Melisandre is a Red Priestess of R'hllor and wields fire-and-shadow related powers along with Blood Magic. Although she tends to stick to the role of adviser, you'd have to be insane to try taking her on directly: if she can BBQ an eagle mid-air and create magical, ninja-shadow-baby-things that can cut flesh, you don't want to find out what else she can do.
- Subverted by Septon Utt, a Sinister Minister who is part of a bloodthirsty mercenary company and wears chainmail over his septon robes. He's captured while cowering under a staircase and is never seen fighting.
- Archbishop Turpin from the medieval epic The Song of Roland is incredibly badass; he accumulates a higher body count than any other character. He's the one to give the army the order to strike, not the titular Roland. The best part? Turpin orders the strike as the army's penance for their sins.
- In the novel version of Starship Troopers, everyone drops, including the chaplain. There's even conversation about how strange it is that there were some armies where the chaplains didn't fight. The protagonist wonders why, if they were okay with soldiers fighting, they wouldn't be willing to do it themselves.
- The Traitor Son Cycle has Sister Amicia, a nun of an explicitly non-militant order, who's nevertheless one of the most powerful warrior-mages in the series and saves the day more than once.
- Victoria has Father Dimitri, the Russian priest who joins the heroes in their crusade against urban crime. Before he became a missionary for the Orthodox Church and moved to America, he was in the Russian Naval Infantry.
- The whole combined benefice (Church of England) in the Village Tales series is served by these. Father – now Canon – Noel Paddick, the Rector, All-Loving Hero that he is, is a boxer, and, being a Good Shepherd, is hell on wolves: even in a Bar Brawl. His youngest but longest-serving curate Fr Campion is a mass of hunky muscle who rowed for Keble, and will, to defend the innocent, row (in the other sense) with you. The next senior-most curate, Fr (Sir) Gilbert Bohun (Bt M.C.) came late to Orders … after being a Majorly Awesome officer in the Blues and Royals and winning the Military Cross, who will reform a drunken wife-beater by parade-ground shouting. Even the newest curate, a retired, middle-aged, fubsy Cambridge Fellow, the Revd Professor Harry Gasceyn Levett, is a Friar Tuck sort; as is their RC counterpart Mgr Folan. And, unexpectedly enough, even the mild, museli-munching Guardian-reading Bishop in Salisbury … is an ex-chaplain Royal Navy.
- World War Z offers at least two examples:
- The first, and most detailed, is an interview with an army chaplain who took it upon himself during the war to kill all infected soldiers (who were previously expected to kill themselves) as a holy mission. This leads to priests assuming positions of some power in Russia, which ends up as theocratic state after the war.
- The second is Sister Montoya, a hundred-pound, fifty-something nun who was apparently mid-lesson in a Sunday school class when zombies attack. The sister grabs a metal candle holder taller than she is and defends her young students by bashing some zombie heads in. She holds off the undead hordes for nine days before they are rescued by the army, in which she later enlists. This is an anecdote mentioned in passing, which should tell you a good bit about the badassery that happens in the rest of the book.
- Father Edsel in The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten. He's the first member of the town to kill a zombie, blowing off its head with his shotgun. He singlehandedly organizes the town's defense force, and, at the finale, uses a herd of pigs to lure all of the zombies into a baseball field full of explosives that he then sets off, destroying them all.
- The man called "The Preacher" in David Gemmell's Stones of Power novels.
- In Quazi, Protopresbyter Pyotr turns out to be the legendary Army Captain Pyotr Melenkov, who repelled the Risen attack on Moscow during the days of the Zombie Apocalypse by positioning his tanks along the Ring Road. His fame nearly made him President, but he left the public eye in remorse over killing so many people, even if they were undead, and joined the Church. He volunteers to join Denis and Mikhail to enter the Temple that holds over a thousand hungry Risen. When asked by Denis whether Pyotr believes in God (considering the undead situation), Pyotr answers that it doesn't matter, all that matter is that God believe in him. He ends up making a Heroic Sacrifice to keep the undead horde from being unleashed on Moscow and is torn to pieces, leaving nothing to Rise.
Live Action TV
- Arthur of the Britons had Rolf the Preacher who was very much of the "turn the other cheek" school of badassery. His willingness to do so against the rage of Mark of Cornwall (played by Brian BLESSED) earned him enough respect that Mark was willing to invite him in to his village to discuss his ideas.
- The A-Team: The episode Pure-Dee Poison starts with a reverend strolling into a moonshine roadhouse and shotgunning the stock. The very next scene, he knocks a pistol out of a thug's hand and takes him down. Turns out he's a former paratrooper and knows the Team from Vietnam.
- Babylon 5:
- Aldous Gajic in the episode "Grail". Using a Simple Staff and badassitude, he's able to take out gun-toting criminals. And he's played by David Warner.
- Delenn is a badass priestess although the religious caste really was a Church Militant. Though her occupation is more as a stateswoman then a cleric. Her personality, though, is fitting for a cleric.
- Brother Theo from Season 3. He is a wise, articulate speaking man who can truly practice what he preaches by forgiving the man who murdered one of his monks and even accepts him into the Order after he was Mind Wiped. He even is able to make Captain Sheridan forgive as well, despite his anger towards the man. He also sets up an underground information network to help the resistance after Earth is taken over by a dictator. And through it all, he remains a simple, humble man.
- Band of Brothers: Father John Maloney, the regimental chaplain, is shown administering last rites to dying soldiers in the middle of a firefight, walking about with no cover while bullets hit the ground around his feet.
- A Bit of Fry and Laurie: Possible subversion in The Bishop and The Warlord, a fictional light-metal band (as opposed to heavy metal) where the bishop wore a single fingerless glove along with his usual vestments and spoke metal lyrics from behind a pulpit.
- The Borgias: Cardinal della Rovere, of all people, personally slaying an assassin sent after him and two highwaymen trying to rob him. Not to mention Cesare Borgia, himself a Cardinal, and notorious fighter.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Caleb, though he was part of a Religion of Evil.
- Colorado: Played for Laughs example. Suor Nausicaa in the Italian comic show.
- On Damnation, protagonist Rev. Seth Davenport is a radical socialist who uses the pulpit to agitate for labor strikes and is not afraid to kill or steal in order to help the poor.
- Deadwood: Andy Cramed, former dice cheat and henchman of Sy Tolliver, undergoes a Heel–Faith Turn after being abandoned by his boss to die of smallpox in the wilderness. Surviving, he later returns to camp as a preacher, turning the other cheek to the physical and verbal abuse of his former boss until Sy makes the mistake of mocking the Bible itself, prompting Andy to stab him: "God is not mocked, you son of a bitch!”.
- DoctorSyn: Scarecrow of Romney Marsh: Dr. Syn from Disney's show. (Of course, when your preacher is being played by Patrick McGoohan, that pretty much makes him badass by default.)
- The Fades: Helen, an undead hunter not adverse to breaking into houses to steal weaponry.
- Farscape: Zhaan is a peace-loving Delvian priestess when we meet her. However, she was imprisoned on Moya for a reason ( for killing her lover) and, as she says to Chiana, "My dear, I've kicked more ass than you've sat on."
- Firefly: Shepherd Book, a quiet, unassuming preacher who either beats someone up or displays an alarming level of criminal knowledge roughly every other episode. The one time he does take up a weapon, he acknowledges that the Bible does say "Thou shalt not kill," but "it's a mite fuzzy on the subject of kneecaps."note Much of his backstory is explained in the comic book.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Hell" has Father Theo Berdette, who talks down a gun-waving parishioner while having a heart attack.
- Not to mention a seriously badass nun in recurring character Sister Peg, who is seriously injured by suspects more than once and keeps coming back to do the work she feels called to do. Sadly, she is killed in Season 12 by what was supposed to be a warning shot from a murder victim's daughter.
- Game of Thrones: Thoros of Myr mixes combat with spreading the good news about the Lord of Light.
- Lost: Mister Eko. He took the place of his brother as a local village preacher, and ended up standing up to the militia who was stealing medicine from his people armed only with his big stick. Later, on the island, Still armed only with his big stick, he stood up to the smoke monster a few times.
- M*A*S*H: It didn't show that often, but Father Mulcahy had his moments, such as helping a wounded soldier relax and wait for treatment by punching him (the patient did throw the first punch), or convincing Greek and Turkish soldiers to stop arguing with a speech from "the book of Threats" as the clerk put it. He also disarmed a soldier who threatened him with a rifle at point-blank range once and once performed an emergency tracheotomy under enemy fire. He also routinely carried out potentially dangerous dealings with the black marketeers and in the series finale braved enemy shelling to bring a group of POW's into shelter at the cost of his hearing.
- He once rode in one stretcher pod of a helicopter to balance the single, badly wounded man in the other pod. He was so frightened, he was completely unaware that they had landed even after Col. Potter started talking to him, and had gripped the pod so tightly he was unable to release his own grip.
It takes a brave man to be that scared and still do the job.
- When Frank Burns is accusing orphans of stealing in the OR, Potter asks Mulcahy to "help Major Burns scrub up." Mulcahy does this by twisting Frank's arm, bending it behind his back, and marching him out forcibly, causing Frank to yell "What are you DOING? Priests aren't supposed to hurt people!"
- He talks Klinger into handing him a live grenade with which he planned to blow up Frank, and later finds and re-inserts a pin into a grenade wielded by a patient in OR, saving everyone's bacon.
- "Ahh, there's nothing so relaxing as whomping the living daylights out of something!"
- "I do believe people are essentially good...but sometimes you gotta put 'em in a half-nelson to get 'em to cough up."
- He once rode in one stretcher pod of a helicopter to balance the single, badly wounded man in the other pod. He was so frightened, he was completely unaware that they had landed even after Col. Potter started talking to him, and had gripped the pod so tightly he was unable to release his own grip.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Bishop.
- Oz has its fair share. Not surprising given the setting.
- Father Ray Mukada, Catholic priest and the prison's chaplain
- Sister Peter Marie Reimondo, a nun and the resident psychiatrist
- Jeremiah Cloutier, an inmate who was a televangelist on the outside
- Kareem Said, leader of the prison's Muslim inmates
- Revolution: In episode 3, Rebel Leader Nicholas is a Catholic priest. Doesn't stop him from fighting for what he believes in:
Miles: I thought you were all about forgiveness.Nicholas: Christ forgives. I'm not Christ.
- Sharpe's Sword: Father Curtis. In addition to his being an expert swordsman, as El Mirador, he also acts as the center of the British spy network in the region. Excellent singer, too.
- Smallville: Edward Teague isn't that over the top an example when compared to others on this list, but he still proved himself a physical match for Big Bad and Badass Normal Lex Luthor, despite being at least twenty years older.
- Sons of Anarchy: A rather more morally ambiguous version is Father Kellan, a Catholic priest and a senior figure in the IRA — and physically capable of hurling a man half his age across a room. Made even more impressive when you consider that the man he threw is a total Badass in his own right. One who had never lost an onscreen fight before that scene.
- Strange: John Strange is a defrocked priest turned demon hunter.
- Though his first appearance is also his last, there's an argument to be made for Pastor Jim being one of these at some point or another.
- Pastor Gideon in the episode "99 Problems". Living in the early stages of the Apocalypse can make people quite paranoid, which is why Pastor Gideon takes a shotgun with him everywhere he goes. He even agrees to attempt to slay the Whore of Babylon, who can only be defeated by a servant of God.
- Jacob Karns after he killed 13 prostitutes using his Hook Hand.
- The title character of Doctor Syn ("The Scarecrow"). "Scarecrow" is the frightening costume he wears to lead his gang of smugglers in Romney Marsh, evading and outwitting the British army. Syn avoids violence as much as possible (he even saves the life of a traitor by deliberately giving him dud cargo to be exposed in court and then faking a hanging to satisfy his gang) and acts as a Guile Hero, but he does resort to non-lethal means a few times, such as when he mugs a press-gang for their uniforms.
- The Thick of It: Jamie trained as a priest....
- Tokyo Ghost Trip: Kai Inui is more than capable of kicking the Devil's ass. And he does, only to wed someone in the next scene.
- V: Father Jack, the priest in the re-imagined series. He had been an army chaplain during the Iraq war, and protecting his congregation is one main reason he joined the Fifth Column.
- Father Gabriel from The Walking Dead was a total Dirty Coward before enduring the zombie apocalypse. After he Took a Level in Badass, he became a full-fledged zombie killer like his friends and will protect his followers and his community from outside threats. By late Season 6, Gabriel even starts to channel Jules Winnfield and recites Bible passages right before finishing off one of the Saviors.
- When Calls the Heart gives us Frank Hogan.
- Jesse Custer from AMC's "Preacher" certainly qualifies. Unlike in the comic the television show is based on, Jesse still has an active ministry when he performs many acts of uber badassery: beating up the town bully and making him squeak like a bunny, taking on a superhumanly powerful angel, and singlehandedly fighting off (for awhile, anyway) a siege of his church by a virtual army of armed men.
- Don't mess with a missionary man...
- Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition, a popular song during World War II about a Navy chaplain who manned an antiaircraft gun during the Pearl Harbor raid. In reality, this was Memetic Mutation at work, as a Navy chaplain, Lieutenant (j.g.) Forgy, had said this, but he was encouraging sailors who were having to haul ammunition up from the magazine by hand, due to a power outage on the USS New Orleans.
- The Lawman Reverend Brown is both a preacher and a sheriff, keeping the land peaceful with the bible and his gun.
"The Reverend had a special way for healin' wicked sinners
He only had to shoot a few to save a whole lot more"
- David Draiman is a hazzan (Jewish cantor) and a heavy metal singer. Also fights antisemitism, even from rock legends.
- Caprice Coleman was a preacher before he got to this Ring of Honor! You that he was just gonna stop?
- Bray Wyatt. Although what he's preaching is anyone's guess.
- In Progress Wrestling there's Pastor William Eaver, a wrestling priest who's Finishing Move is a Lariat called The Clothesline From Heaven.
- The Zombie Apocalypse TRPG All Flesh Must Be Eaten contains a priest as one of the sample characters. His appearance is reminiscent of Jesse Custer, and he's Inspired, meaning he draws on the powers of God. One of them? "Holy Fire".
- Drawing heavily from Space Western as well as Space Opera tropes, BattleTech naturally has some badass religious leaders—for instance, Camacho's Caballeros lay claim to having a priest, a rabbi, and a preacher in their ranks, and the first two are respectable Mechwarriors and officers besides. There's also a monastery whose order comprises of nothing but current and former Mechwarriors.
- A standard character type in Deadlands, with actual magical powers being optional, but also valid.
- Every player in Dogsinthe Vineyard is a gunslinger/paladin who wanders the wild west protecting towns from demons.
- The Cleric class in Dungeons & Dragons:
- Clerics are usually relegated to being the team Healer and general diplomatic representatives, (being preachers and all). Take the right domains, and you're filled with more Divine Wrath than a party of Paladins, even if your god is Olidamarra (god of trickery and general non-combatant). It helps that they have the 2nd best attack progression in the game and can cast Sodom-&-Gomorrah-style spells while stomping around in full-plate suits of Adamantine armor!
- And those who choose to worship someone like St. Cuthbert (the god of retribution) Heironeous (god of valor) to name just two, can kick some serious ass; clerics of both gods tend to be potent fighters. Clerics who worship Pelor (the god of the sun) aren't slouches either, and seeing as they can also have potent healing abilities, he's a popular choice.
- And if you decide to take a little feat called Divine Metamagic (Persist Spell) and start casting Divine Power,, you get the best attack progression in the game as well as casting the said death-from-on-high magic.
- Fourth Edition features the build known as the "Zap Cleric". Clerics who go around, as the article puts it, "Shooting People in the Face With Lasers."
- Exalted features as the foremost example the Zenith Caste of the Solar Exalted. They have access to Presence and Performance Charms that allow them to capture the hearts and souls of their audience, spreading the word of the Unconquered Sun and his virtues. They also have access to Integrity Charms that allow them to fend off the most intense of mental assaults, Resistance Charms that turn their bodies as hard as steel, and Survival Charms that make them capable of surviving in the desert for years. Oh, and their Anima burns the undead. There's a reason Zeniths are frequently nicknamed "Kung-Fu Jesus". Their corrupted equivalents, the Midnights (of the Abyssals) and the Malefactors (of the Infernals), are just like them, only twisted. The Midnights have the ability to raise the dead as mindless zombies and mostly serve the cause of Oblivion, whereas the Malefactors follow Cecelyne the Endless Desert and try to establish spiritual and physical wastelands based on the rule of strong over weak.
- While the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun in Fading Suns has subsects that certainly form a Church Militant, there is also the Sanctuary Aeon (Amaltheans), a healer sect, and the mainline Orthodoxy, which is not particularly martial in itself (mostly relying on the other sects to be their muscle). An Orthodox priest could certainly be an ex-special ops veteran or somesuch, and both willing and quite able to kick a blasphemer's sorry behind into orbit. And while the stereotypical Amalthean is an Actual Pacifist, it's entirely permissible for one to be a Martial Pacifist Combat Medic who focuses as much on defending the weak as on healing them.
- The Long Night from Hunter: The Vigil is MADE of this trope. Devout Evangelists believing in the everloving God? Check. Calm, unassuming men whose faithful speeches are able to hold an audience for hours? Check. Will grab holy water and a shotgun without thinking if a member of their flock is threatened by a monster? Check, check, check. On top of that, they only break out the firepower if they need to — they believe most monsters are capable of redemption, and try to help convince them of the proper path. Then there are members of the Knights of the Brotherhood of St. George, who are an order within the Anglican Church devoted to fighting sorcerers. At least, until you find out what they really serve.
- In Last Night on Earth, the priest class is not allowed to use guns, which normally would be pretty crippling. However, unlike other characters, he does not have to discard the "Faith" card which gives him an extra die for melee and the cards stack, which can potentially make a priest the best melee fighter in the game. He also can also sacrifice one HP to stop an event card played by zombies, which can potentially save the day.
- Pathfinder has this effect as well, as it is based on 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons. With the Advanced Players Guide, you can do some interesting spell destruction with divine casters.
- Lorgar Aurelian , Primarch of the Word Bearers from Warhammer 40,000. A fanatical believer and preacher of the divine, and a super-human murder machine like his Primarch brothers.
- Many RPGs can devolve to this when your healer is the last guy up... and then manages to win the boss fight.
- Batman: Arkham Knight gives us a villainous example through Deacon Blackfire, a Badass Grandpa attempting to fight Batman after declaring him a non-believer of his religion.
- Father Simon Wales from BioShock 2. First he built cathedrals on the surface. Then he designed much of the underwater city of Rapture. Then he found his faith again, and built a chapel and a devoted church membership in an Objectivist dystopia. Then he led them in a victorious crusade against his brother's crime syndicate, after realizing his brother had crossed the Moral Event Horizon and was irredeemably corrupted by Rapture. Afterwards, he and his flock took control of one of the primary pumping stations of said underwater city, and used it to hold a large chunk of the rest hostage. Whether you see him as a Knight Templar or a Well-Intentioned Extremist Driven to Villainy, his status as a Genius Bruiser of a Badass Preacher is inarguable.
- Revered Ray in Call of Juarez. One of the highlights of the game is the ability to read fiery bible passages in the middle of battle. For example riding a mine cart bible in one hand, burning dynamite in the other preaching damnation and eternal suffering. He was a former bandit, who slaughtered his way across the West before finding God, and can be summed up with this quote from the Eurogamer review:
"Our religious fella Reverend Ray is like Lee Marvin got Brokeback Mountain with Clint Eastwood, somehow managed to get him pregnant and gave birth to the hardest son of a bitch who ever walked the Earth. Who then became a preacher to repent for being the hardest son of a bitch who ever walked the Earth. And then decided, actually, God wanted him to use being the hardest son of a bitch who ever walked the Earth for a Higher Purpose."
- Captain Bible from Captain Bible In Dome Of Darkness is a good example. He's a huge, muscular superhero who kills robots with a sword and bible verses in order to save the people of a city from the anti-Christian lies that they have been told.
- While a lot of characters from Castlevania can fit the bill on this trope, the first place prize must go to the reboot's protagonist, Gabriel Belmont. His Weapon of Choice is a whip in shape of a crucifix, he is affiliated with the Brotherhood of Light, crosses himself to honor his dead brethren, delivers nigh-aesopic sermons of forgiveness to non other than Lucifer the Fallen, and knocks the stuffing out of his enemies no matter their power, stature or hauteur. Oh, and he's also God's Chosen One and an Angel. He falls.
- The bishops in the battle videos of Chess Wars: A Medieval Fantasy are unabashedly lethal; e.g., stabbing with a sharpened crucifix or hanging opponents on the church bell's rope.
- Many clerics in Dark Souls are not just preachers but holy warriors who are extremely dangerous in combat:
- Of particular note is Oswald of Carim, the bishop of the goddess of sin. The Flavor Text of his items go out of his way to point out that he is an inhuman swordsman. If you attack him, you'll know it is perfectly accurate.
- Havel the Rock, famously one of the strongest and toughest fighters ever known, is also a bishop of the Way of White. He is credited with inventing the Magic Barrier and Great Magic Barrier miracles, which block magic attacks (Havel was highly opposed to sorcery, as his sworn enemy Seath the Scaleless invented it).
- Dawn of War: Dark Crusade had Eliphas the Inheritor, Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers Legion. Although most space marines are Warrior Monks of a Church Militant by default, Eliphas is extraordinary religious even by their standards and rejected the normal imperial dogma for a Religion of Evil. Most of his banters with the other commanders involves either talking about the power of the dark gods, or mocking his opponents' faiths or lack thereof.
- The flash game Divine Intervention features a priest fighting in a Zombie Apocalypse.
- From Dragon Age;
- Dragon Age: Origins has Leliana, a former Bard who had a Heel–Faith Turn and became a sister in the Chantry, who joins the Warden's party after (supposedly) having a vision from the Maker to help stop the Blight. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, she moves on to become the Spymaster of the Inquisition and depending on your actions can even become the Divine (the setting's equivalent of the Pope).
- In Dragon Age II, Sebastian is a Prince of Starkhaven and Former Teen Rebel who found faith after being sent to the Chantry, becoming a brother. Should Hawke decide to spare Anders during the endgame however, he turns into a Church Militant and leaves the party, planning to return to Starkhaven and raise an army, so he can raze Kirkwall to the ground (a threat that he makes good on in Dragon Age: Inquisition).
- The Priest from Dungeon Fighter Online. Rather then using some wussy sword or gun as his main method of attacks he mans it up and goes in with his bare fists. When things get hairy, he'll take a giant cross off his back and start unleashing the wrath of God on any poor sap who dares intend to harm the weak.
- The Elder Scrolls
- In general throughout the series, badass priests and other religious leaders appear quite frequently, even outside of the more Church Militant organizations. Priests and the like are usually quite able to defend themselves, and many come with offensive spells to blast the non-believers and other threats. (Tamriel's Adventure Friendly and extremely dangerous nature largely justify the need for even servants of the gods to be able to defend themselves.)
- Martin and Jauffre in Oblivion. Both are priests who are clearly competent in combat, with the former being the heir to the throne and the latter the former leader of the Blades, the emperor's personal bodyguards and spies. Since the Order of Talos often overlaps with the Blades, it's to be expected that any Cyrodiilic Talos preacher could be a secret badass.
- In Skyrim, Erandur is a priest of Mara (and former worshiper of the Daedric Prince Vaermina). Equally dangerous with his fire spells and mace, he is one of the most heavily used followers in the game.
- Fallen London preachers (and nuns, especially in one of the Ambitions) are almost always this, due to living in a city where devils and serial killers roam the streets. Particular preachers can be found plotting to invade hell, taking part in ring fighting or even fighting the many monsters found in darkness of London.
- Joshua Graham in Fallout: New Vegas. A Mormon Missionary and the co-founder/former Legate of Caesar's Legion, after surviving being set on fire and tossed into the Grand Canyon by Caesar for losing the First Battle of Hoover Dam, he rekindled his faith and rejoined the Mormon Church. He now defends the Dead Horses tribe against the White Legs, still holding onto his fury and General Ripper tendencies. He remains entirely willing and able to murder the hell out of anyone who makes the mistake of threatening his fellow Mormons or the tribals in their care. Although depending on your actions he can be persuaded to show mercy and become less bloodthirsty, and he avoids the usual trappings of this trope by being very aware of his flaws and weaknesses. In terms of game mechanics, it seems his faith is a very good shield, because he can shrug off anything short of an anti-tank rifle (his DT is 50, the Courier has to wear Powered Armor to even reach 30) despite only wearing a bulletproof vest and some bandages. He's also a very good with that pistol of his, and can utterly murder the final boss of the DLC without your intervention.
- Evidently this is something of a commonality with the New Canaanites, as Joshua mentions that learning how to use a handgun is a rite of passage. His counterpart Daniel, while much more peaceful is armed with a Tommy gun and is fully prepared to use it to protect the tribals under his care.
- Kirei Kotomine manages to be probably the most badass character in Fate/stay night, which is pretty impressive considering he has basically no superpowers not granted by Charles Atlas.
- Kirei is also this in Fate/Zero. In terms of physical ability, he’s probably the most dangerous Master of all. Even ten years later and out of practice he can still fight with the best of them.
- Any member of the Church who is an Executor, especially members of the Burial Agency, of whom Kirei himself was once a part of.
- Except Mr. Dawn, who is famous within the Church for being both a Burial Agent and a pacifistic coward, and the quote-unquote "absolute number one person we never want to be with on a mission". It's his unparalleled skill with exorcism and engineering that got him in, not combat, and even then he's technically only a Burial Agent when working alongside his partner.
- In terms of Heroic Spirits, there are plenty of them who were pious individuals in life, such as Saint George and Saint Martha, with the earliest and most well-known examples being Jeanne d'Arc and Shirou Kotomine.
- Since a good part of the Fire Emblem backstories are rooted in the local myths and religions, we meet many badass preachers of both genders who join the groups either as healers or as fighters/offensive magic users. Sacred Stones gives us L'Arachel, Natasha and Father Moulder. The Jugdral games give us Edain, Claude, Edain's daughter Lana (and Mana) and a well-raised Corpul (and Sharlow) in Seisen; and the well-raised Safy, Tina, and Sleuf in Thracia (And in the backstory, Blaggi and Saint Maira). The Elibe games give us Saul (though he's also a Handsome Lech until it's time to get serious), Ellen and Yodel in Sword of Seals; and Lucius, Renault and potentially Serra in Blazing Sword (and Saint Elimine in the whole backstory).
- Fire Emblem Awakening gives us Libra, the axe wielding war monk of Naga. He is a genuinely humble, faithful and devoted man of the cloth, and when he first appears as an NPC ally character during Chapter 9, he's likely to maul his way single-handedly through a significant chunk of the enemy units if the player doesn't hurry to recruit him. Really, the War Monk/Cleric class, which is Libra's default class is made out of this trope (and Combat Medic), even spawning the "NUNS WITH AXES!" meme in the fandom. By default, clerics and priests are non-combatants who can only heal their allies, at least until they get promoted. The War Monk/Cleric promotion allows healers to wield huge two-handed axes in combat against their enemies. Brady is one as well, except that he isn't as much into the preacher part.
- Father Grigori from Half-Life 2. After everyone else in his hometown was turned into headcrab zombies, he made it his personal mission to "free them from their torment" ... by killing them all with death traps and his rifle Annabelle (to his credit, he tried to remove the headcrabs first, but went with the "kill em'all" idea since removing the headcrab kills his host). So well liked, he appears in a Half-Life 2 fan-made prequel.
- Father Esteban Cortez from the Hunter: The Reckoning video games. He carries a longsword in the shape of the Cross and an automatic crossbow, with which he can kill vampire mooks with the least amount of fuss. His main Edge is a beam of holy power that can kill every mook it hits and does significant damage to boss monsters.
- Paul Rawlings from Clive Barker's Jericho, a priest of multiple religions, who has supernatural powers, wields two pistols, has the ability to put curses on his enemies, acts very casually in the face of extreme evil and acts like he's seen it all before, kicks some major ass, and comes out with things like "It is so much easier to spread the Gospel with a full clip!" and "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"
- Leopold Goenitz of the Wildly-Blowing Wind. KOKO DESU KA-ing you into oblivion since 1996. Repent, for the advent of Orochi is nigh!
- Medieval II: Total War NORSE WAR CLERICS!
- Ninety-Nine Nights gives us Klaaran. Despite seeming unfinished due to his only having three missions and no new combos past level six, he can kick goblin ass like no other. Wielding a giant, totem-esque holy symbol, he can plow through enemy ranks, summon great bolts of divine justice, and turn his weapon into a giant, ethereal scythe or hammer. He's also the only character that can't jump. Instead, tapping the jump button calls down a lightning bolt.
- Reverend Jim Maynard from Nocturne is one of the few people left alive in his little Texas town after a small-scale Zombie Apocalypse wiped out most of the population. Despite being an ordinary Preacher Man with no combat experience and losing the Spookhouse agent who'd come to help out, he greets the Stranger at the train station and protects the other survivors in his church armed with nothing but a shovel and a bottle of scotch.
"I'm sure the Lord's got nothing against me knockin' their heads off. It seems about the only way to put 'em down for good."
- Nathan Copeland of No More Heroes 2 is a bizarre cross of this and Jive Turkey. He struts around the stage firing rockets at you from his boombox-slash-twin gauntlet to the sound of hip-hop, but he speaks with a chest-thumping Irish brogue about the corruption and pointlessness of modern life.
- A good amount of the Olacion Order in Radiata Stories are part of this trope. The members of the Order can be classified as either your standard healer priests or bare-handed martial artists. However, some of the stronger members of the Order are able to do both in combat. Miranda, Fernando, Godwin, Achilles, and Kain best exemplify this trope.
- Clerics in Rift play rather like clerics in Dungeons & Dragons Online, which is to say, very Zenith.
- Gordon, from Rune Factory 2, has a scar over his right eye, which he apparently got from fighting a dragon. With his bare hands. He's a pacifist now, but he still gets very excited over the idea of punching things.
- Gerard from Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny qualifies as well. He was a former captain of an unspecified army known and was known as the "Silver-Eyed Demon," but he made a Heel–Face Turn after looking through a town that his troops raided, and found the newly orphaned Quinn and Kelsey. Upon realizing the consequences of his actions, he adopted Quinn and Kelsey, left the army, and became a priest. In one of his friendship events, a soldier from his former army tries to convince him to join back up, and he scares the soldier stiff before explaining to him his reasons for leaving. Even Pandora is terrified of him.
Gerard: Pick me up? Don't you mean lock me up? Desertion is a serious crime, after all. That is, if you can catch me.
Traveler: Y-you're mistaken, sir! There isn't a man living who could best the Silver-Eyed Demon!
- Gerard from Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny qualifies as well. He was a former captain of an unspecified army known and was known as the "Silver-Eyed Demon," but he made a Heel–Face Turn after looking through a town that his troops raided, and found the newly orphaned Quinn and Kelsey. Upon realizing the consequences of his actions, he adopted Quinn and Kelsey, left the army, and became a priest. In one of his friendship events, a soldier from his former army tries to convince him to join back up, and he scares the soldier stiff before explaining to him his reasons for leaving. Even Pandora is terrified of him.
- Father Denis in The Saboteur.
Sean: "What do you want me to do Father?"
Father Denis: "Isn't it obvious? In the name of all that is holy, blow his f*cking head off!"
- Pontiff Xavi of Sengoku Basara is the head of his own self-created religion of "Xavism" (portrayed as a Parody Religion of Catholism with elements of Scam Religion) who dual-wields large cannons in combat. While he might be both a bit of a Love Freak and a scam artist, he's also willing to lead his faction to battle though in later games, Otomo Sorin is the de facto head of Xavism due to the Pontiff being Put on a Bus. While Sorin himself is also willing to fight for his faith upon a miniature tank made in Xavi's image, he's more of a Sissy Villain.
- Expected for Chaplains in Space Station 13 when it's a Vampire or Cult around. They have access to items such as holy water which can help combat any supernatural threats they face.
- In StarCraft, practically the entire Protoss Fleet.
- In Tales of the Drunken Paladin, Palmer is physically the strongest character in the game, and he's a Cardinal in the Church. Due to the nature of the game, he's not exactly a pacifist.
- King and King II from Tekken.
- Jebediah from Twisted Metal: Black, driver of Brimstone, is just called "Preacher" in his profile; the demon possessing him gives his name in his intro. He's not an actual preacher (he claims the church rejected him), but in this universe, close enough. His purpose in the tournament is to get the demon out of his head. His reward? Calypso reveals Jebediah's just schizophrenic. Jebediah does not take it well.
- Unreal Tournament III has Bishop, who is described in-game as "a mercenary by day and an exceedingly unpopular army chaplain by night." He spends his time in every match quoting the Bible as he blows his enemies into barely recognizable chunks. (As an extra bonus, his voice actor, Nolan North, managed to make him sound like Steve Blum.)
- Archbishop Alonsus Faol of Warcraft. Not only did the Archbishop lead his church into battle during the First War, he later founded the paladin Order of the Silver Hand.
- Paladins are not treated as specifically clergy in World of Warcraft, but Uther Lightbringer began as a priest.
- Shadow priests. What they lack in healing and buffs compared to other priests, they easily make up in damage.
- Billy Lee Black, from Xenogears, is a three gun-toting, mecha piloting, orphanage managing priest.
- The entire order of Corbettites from Girl Genius. Corbettite trains can, will, and on many occasions have shot their way through a wide variety of horrific constructs and clanks wandering the Wastelands that threatened their railways. The monks are so well regarded for their toughness that when the Old Heterodynes accidentally made something so dangerous that it scared them, they entrusted it to the Corbettites for safekeeping. And the monks were able to successfully extract concessions from them (which the Heterodynes actually honored for centuries) in return for doing so.
- S13 (where S stands for Seraph) in Gunnerkrigg Court became a sort of Parkour Missionary Bot. After losing his old body and being given new one by the student he consistently refers to as an angel from the first sight on.
- Father Jackey in Lovecraft Is Missing. Crazy-Prepared for any possible encounters with evil cults and Eldritch Abominations.
- MAG ISA. Fr. Jose is highly skilled in martial arts. They come in handy when fighting demons.
- Larriki the hawkfolk priest in Nahast: Lands of Strife
- Goblin high priest Redcloak, from Order of the Stick.
- In Schlock Mercenary, Reverend Theo Fobius, the chaplain for Tagon's Toughs was practicing fencing — while somewhat outdated, it's good not only for showing off.
Theo: The grace of God knows no bounds, but my mercy has some practical limitations.
- Offeiriad in ARCHON is introduced holding two bloody swords after having slaughtered almost the entirety of his hometown after they turned feral and began to attack each other.
- The Minister of The Backwater Gospel turns out to be a competent fighter when the town starts slaughtering each other. H He very much is Book Safe, and is a pretty good shot to boot. It doesn't save him though.
- Alexander Anderson in Hellsing Ultimate Abridged naturally takes after his canon counterpart:
Father O'Malley'O'Connel'O'Carrol'O'Reilly'O'Brian'O'Sullivan (who is also Italian): Tell-a me, Anderson, what is your favorite thing to do?Anderson: Spreadin' the word and love of Jesus Christ to the many people of the world, teachin' peace and love for all.Father: And-a killing vam-pires?Father: And what about... Protestants?Anderson: Second verse, same as the first! Now put me on a plane, so I can put 'em in a hearse!
- Strongly implied in the Dramatic Reading of My Inner Life
- The reverend Darren Englund of the Whateley Universe. Not a mutant, maybe eighty or ninety, but still fights the forces of darkness, including being willing to tackle Eldritch Abominations all by himself. At this point, he's pretty much a Knight Templar, though.
- Gabriel from A World Beyond is a walking Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- One of these is seen among the San Angel townsfolk in The Book of Life. He's also a luchador.
- The Archdeacon from The Hunchback of Notre Dame may not do any fighting, but he is the only one capable of holding Frollo in check, shaming him multiple times in the movie. At least until the end, when Frollo has gone completely off his rocker.
- Monsignor Martinez, the title character of a Show Within a Show in King of the Hill. "Vaya con Dios." In the words of Hank Hill "How did such a good cop become such a bad priest?"
- Robin Hood. Disney's version of Friar Tuck throws the sheriff out of the chapel when he takes the single coin in the poor box with a badass "GET OUT OF MY CHURCH!" and proceeds to wipe the floor with him in a staff vs. sword fight.
- Reverend Lovejoy of The Simpsons of all people: when Flanders is attacked by baboons, Lovejoy fights off the baboons, one of them while on top of a train, and rescues him. He had an interesting sermon that week:
Lovejoy: Baboons to the left of me, baboons to the right of me, the speeding locomotive tore through a sea of inhuman fangs. A pair of great apes rose up at me, but biff! Bam! I sent them flying like two hairy footballs. A third came screaming at me, and that's when I got mad...Homer: Now that's religion!
- Elijah in Testament: The Bible in Animation.
- Cesare Lodeserto resques sex-trafficed women and putting his life at stake.
- The Four Chaplains
- William Addison, Theodore Hardy, and Edward Mellish. All three were chaplains as well, in the British Army during WWI, and all received the Victoria Cross. How does a chaplain get a VC? They all went out into active combat areas to rescue the wounded, and Hardy died as a result in 1918. The other two lived to ripe old ages.
- In WWII we have John Weir Foote, a Canadian Army chaplain who went into the disastrous Dieppe raid. He brought wounded in to the first aid station under fire, and later carried wounded men to escape craft during the evacuation. When the time came to leave or be left, he decided to stay behind and continue helping the wounded and minister to the POWs he would soon be among. He got a Victoria Cross as well.
- Who can forget , chaplain of the Fighting 69th, whose bravery and leadership skills were so impressive, that Douglas Macarthur told him he was briefly considered for a regiment command. He is still the most heavily decorated priest in American military history,
- The Dutch missionary Father Emery de Klerk. In defense of his native parishioners in the Solomon Islands he made himself something of a warlord, ambushing Japanese patrols, sending coast watching reports, and rescuing downed fliers.
- Latter-Day Saint scholar Hugh Nibley. Serving as a missionary for two years in Germany, his major temptation was not girls but studying ancient Greek. He then went home and earns a doctorate in History. During the war, even though he went through ROTC, he enlisted in the Army, became a master-sergeant in Intelligence, assigned to the elite Order of Battle and fights in the European theater with the 101st Airborne, participating the landing at Utah Beach and a number of other key battles. What did he do after the war? Research and write about theology and history, raise a family, and serve in various positions in the LDS church.
- Mormon history is full of these guys, going back all the way to Joseph Smith. Whether or not you agree with his religious teachings, it's hard not to take a look at his life and conclude that the man had a personal CMOA list big enough to fill an average-sized wiki page. For example, singlehandedly stopping a runaway carriage with several members of Congress inside, and cowing a prison guard who was boasting about the way he and his buddies tortured and abused Mormon prisoners into submission with nothing but a good, strong dressing down and sheer force of charisma. And when they finally came to assassinate him, he jumped out a second-story window to draw the mob away from two friends who were in the room with him. (It worked; they both survived, one escaping completely unharmed.) It goes back even farther than Joseph Smith. A lot of the most badass guys (and some girls, too) in The Book of Mormon were prophets or otherwise "mighty men of God." Mormon, Moroni, Helaman, Teancum, the list goes on and on.
- Special mention goes to Porter Rockwell, who was given the nickname "The Destroying Angel of Mormondom." Read up on his life and you'll see that he earned it. When accused of attempting to assassinate Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs, Porter supposedly said "I never shot at anybody, if I shoot they get shot! ... He's still alive, ain't he?"
- Saint Laurence, who is said to have been put to death for his faith on an iron grill. His response to the executioner? "Turn me over, sir, I'm done on this side!" note . He then prayed for Rome's conversion and died. Laurence was sentenced to death for a previous bit of badassery. He was arrested during the Valerian persecution and ordered to surrender the treasure of the church. He asked for three days to collect the treasure, and then appeared at the court with the poor, the sick, the maimed and the blind, declaring them to be "the treasure of the church" (Yes, I know it's only a legend)
- Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand. During the 30 Years War, the Swedish Army in Germany was considered one of the finest war machines in the world, and historians have since lauded their King Gustavus Adolphus's methods of war as truly revolutionary against the old techniques employed by the Spanish, previously the dominant military power. Although never ordained as a priest, the Cardinal-Infante received minor orders before being assigned to govern the Spanish Netherlands, then an active warzone. Rather than setting sail from Spain, and risking attack by the fearsome Dutch navy, he led his army along the Spanish Road, through Italy and Germany. Along the way, he happened upon the Swedish army; this was the only clash of Spanish and Swedish arms in history, the old ways squared off against revolutionary new methods that would lay the foundation for tactics for the next two hundred years. His seasoned general advised the cardinal-infante not to give battle after Wallenstein refused to reinforce the army, and detached units had been depleted in prior battles. Ignoring his advisor, Ferdinand drew up his 'obsolete' tercios for battle, and utterly thrashed the Swedes in his very first battle. The Blue and Yellow regiments mounted fifteen assaults on the tercios, and were driven back each time; when the Spanish advanced, the Swedes scattered to the four winds; half the army was killed, wounded, or captured, and their general was captured. Continuing on his way to the Spanish Netherlands, Ferdinand inflicted stinging defeats on the Dutch armies, who'd also instituted revolutionary changes, and became successful enough that rumors abounded in court that he would make himself king in the Netherlands. Ultimately, it was disease, or perhaps poisoning, that defeated him last.
- The Genius Bruisers from the Roman military who got converted to Christianity and were killed for it, whether their martyrdoms were hyperinflated or not. I.e.: Saint Sebastian, Saint Eustace, Saint Christopher, Saint George of Cappadocia, Saint Expeditus, Saint Alban...
- The Catholic Church refers to several of these guys as the "Military Saints". Curiously this includes St. Francis of Assisi, likely on the grounds of him being a member of the military before becoming a preacher, even spending some time as a captive.
- St Francis went to the Holy Land on his own to negotiate with Saladin in the middle of the Crusades. Saladin was so impressed that he invited the Franciscans back to Jerusalem. The Franciscan order is, to this day, the official custodians of the Holy Land in the Catholic Church.
- Christian martyrs could get a whole subcategory to themselves under this trope. While most of them weren't quite as proactive in the administration of the wrath of God as the other examples on this page, it takes some serious intestinal fortitude to not only refuse to recant under threat of incredible torture or death, but even (in one memorable case) calmly singing hymns while being burned alive.
- The above applies to all but two of the original Twelve Apostles. note St. Peter even demanded that he be crucified upside-down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ. Bear in mind that crucifixion was already considered the most shameful form of execution in Rome.
- Eric Liddel, winner of a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics. He refused on principle to run in a race that was scheduled for Sunday, then when he was rescheduled, he made his eccentricity look awesome when he won the medal in a race for which he had not properly trained. Later, during the war, he died of sickness while ministering to the needs of interned civilians in a Japanese prison camp. Eric could run FAST. So fast that once when he was hungry and it was far from a store, he ran down a rabbit, grabbed it and took it home to cook.
- Orde Wingate. A fanatical member of the Plymouth Brethren sect, an English soldier and a Zionist warrior who modeled himself after the Old Testament Hero, Gideon. While he was not a preacher officially, he might as well have been and he fits in this trope.
- Martin Luther King. The man utterly pwned the state of Alabama, with just dreams and sermons. He never threw a punch or fired a shot. "Not badass" you say? He got jailed, beat up, and ultimately assassinated, and never blinked. Once. That man intentionally brought the wrath of the Segregationist Establishment down on his head in order to expose the evils of segregation (and later militarism and systemic poverty), and he had the moral superiority not to respond to his oppressors in kind.
- Badass Preachers were a major staple of the Civil Rights Movement. Aside from Dr. King himself you had Ralph Abernathy, Jim Lawson, Kelly Miller Smith, CT Vivian, Bernard Lafayette and many others.
- The Rev. Moses Wright◊. That gesture, identifying one of the men who murdered his nephew Emmett Till, and snapped illicitly by a reporter, "signified intimidation of Delta blacks was no longer as effective as the past". Wright had "crossed a line that no one could remember a black man ever crossing in Mississippi". Many historians date the Civil Rights Movement as beginning at this moment.
- Malcolm X. An Islamic minister and public speaker who was willing to go to war for his rights, best known for raising himself from a petty criminal and drug addict to one of the most influential voices in the Civil Rights Movement. Physically imposing, tough enough to survive in the criminal underbelly of Harlem for several years, and enough presence and willpower to make local cops, the FBI, and his own corrupt former minster terrified by his mere existence. And contrary to his reputation, all of the accomplishments came without throwing a punch, firing a shot, or using anything more violent than harsh words. Badass, indeed.
- Earl Little, Malcolm X's father, also fits the bill. Like his son, he was a minister and black nationalist activist, but a Baptist and a member of Marcus Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association. When a group of racist farmers tried to run him out of his home when Malcolm was a kid, he intentionally delayed his plans to leave the state for a year just to spite them and show that he wasn't scared.
- There are the white Southern preachers who would invite and/or openly welcome members of black congregations to participate in their services as equals, often times causing resentment and even anger in their own congregations (and danger to themselves sin older times). Maybe a more passive example, but they still went against the grain on the principle that all Christians are brothers and sisters in God.
- Another in a Civil Rights movement, although not in America, is Desmond Tutu. He supported disinvestment of South Africa, dropping the Rand down to force the racist government to rethink their position, organized peaceful marches, and openly spoke against the position of the church on homosexuality. Awesome.
- His Holiness the Dalai Llama, holy man and Tibetan freedom fighter.
- Thich Quang Duc. He set himself on fire in the name of religious freedom.
- Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican War of Independence. When the Spanish were alerted of the separatists and started to crack them down, Miguel Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung and called mass, he addressed the people in front of his church, encouraging them to revolt and starting a war that lasted over a decade.
- John Chivington was an American Civil War-era minister known as the "Fighting Parson". He was a dedicated abolitionist, and he even tried to preach against slavery in the South, where such views were not exactly welcome. He had a Crowning Moment of Awesome during one sermon where pro-slavery agitators led a mob to his church and threatened to tar and feather him. Chivington simply whipped out a pair of revolvers and said "By the grace of God and these two revolvers, I will preach here today." When the Civil War broke out, he declined a position as a chaplain in favor of a combat role. He rose to become a colonel, but after the Civil War, did a Face–Heel Turn and was forced to resign in disgrace for killing hundreds of Cheyenne women and children at the Sand Creek Massacre.
- Fray Tormenta. A Mexican priest who supported his Orphanage of Love by fighting in the lucha libre circuits. Kept his identity a secret for twenty three years so that people would take him seriously. He was the inspiration for King from Tekken, and the movie Nacho Libre. Now he even serves masses with his mask on.
- Andrew White, aka the Bishop of Baghdad. He's been "hijacked, kidnapped, locked up in rooms with bits of finger and toe and things," and "been held at gunpoint, been attacked – the usual thing." And he has MS. And he wears a bullet-proof vest.
- Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The man was cannon-proof. This also extended to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which he founded with fellow ex-soldiers. To this day it maintains an almost military-style discipline among its members. This same society, noted for their extra vow of loyalty to the pope, would later grow in influence in the Catholic Church — to the point that the Protestant nations in Europe derogatorily called the Superior Generals of the Jesuits "Black Popes" due to their black robes and influence. The Jesuits were also widely acknowledged to have been the de facto intelligence agency of the Catholic Church, and a highly effective one at that.
- Twelve Jesuit priests have been recognized by Yad Vashem for risking their lives to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. 152 Jesuits were killed by the Nazis, who considered the order one of its most dangerous enemies (the order was specifically targeted by the Gestapo).
- Ignatius' grand-nephew, Martin Ignacio de Loyola, was a Franciscan friar... and the first person to complete the world circumnavigation twice.
- Also one of the Yad Vashem, Archbishop Damaskinos of Athens of the Greek Orthodox Church openly defied the local Schutzstaffel commander of the region by writing a letter to the people of Greece to unify and protect the Jews because they are all Greeks in the end, and several other reasons (The other wiki's page has a part of his famous letter). Quietly, he ordered the churches under his control to issue false baptism certificates to Jewish Greeks trying to escape. Thousands of Jews escaped because of his help. When the local Schutzstaffel commander threatened to execute him by firing squad in response to the letter, Damaskinos gave this sarcastic reply:
Archbishop Damaskinos: According to the traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church, our prelates are hanged, not shot. Please respect our traditions!note
- Boston College has a soft-spoken but no-nonsense philosophy professor named Fr. Paul McNellis, who spent the early 1970s as a special-forces officer in Vietnam, where he won a Bronze Star with Valor device.
- Dr. James White, a gun-toting, motorcycle-riding Reformed Baptist apologist who can bench-press you. He used to primarily do weight-lifting, but has since become a prolific cyclist, runner, and indoor rower. His Twitter feed is a combination of Calvinistic theology and exercise logs.
- During the German occupation 1940-45, Norway's Lutheran bishops refused to submit to the political pressures of the collaborators running the government. Instead at Easter 1942, they distributed a defiant circular on their position that were read to the congregations by the vicars of almost all of Norway's churches. As a consequence, all bishops and 90% of the clergymen either resigned or were deposed and got interned in labour camps.
- Little Rock, Ark: After the assailant attacked him and his son-in-law with a poker, a 64-year-old minister shot a man dead on church grounds. The attacker had engaged in a string of assaults in an apparent drug-induced frenzy. -http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,107274,00.html
- Martin Luther: lived through a thunderstorm in a graveyard, went on to be one of the first to stand up to the hegemony that was the Roman Catholic Church, changing the power structure of Europe forever. He was prosecuted as a heretic and before the Diet of Worms he stated : "Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." There's an apocryphal story that he woke up one night to see a demon standing next to his bed. He said, "Good night," rolled over, and went back to sleep. He even helped carry out an elaborate plot to rescue a group of nuns who wished to flee their harsh, restrictive monastery in favor of the Reformist movement, by smuggling them out in herring barrels. Luther then went on to marry one of them and have several children with her.
- Steve McGanahan aka World's Strongest Redneck. Also runs his own ministry.
- Thomas Muntzer, who lead the german peasants' war in 1525.
- Richard Wurmbrand. Was imprisoned for fourteen years in Communist Romania, was horrifically tortured in prison, and the last thing he does after his (eventual) release before leaving the country? Puts flowers on the grave of the man who arrested him.
- Martin Niemoeller. Theologian and U-Boat captain.
- Very shortly after the "Reginald Denny incident" that began the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, a group of young men took Fidel Lopez (a Latin-American immigrant) out of his vehicle, robbed and beat him. Reverend Newton (a local black minister) arrived on the scene and placed himself between the mob and Lopez, shouting, "Kill him and you have to kill me too." He succeeded in taking Lopez to safety.
- Athanasius of Alexandria. During the Arian controversy, "If the world is against Athanasius, then Athanasius is against the world". Not only that. As Bishop of Alexandria, he was exiled three times, only to come back and take the post again. As one of the leader of the anti-Arian movement in Christianity, he may have led mobs to break up and destroy the churches of the Arians, and is said to have personally destroyed one of the altars. Defied at least two emperors. Known for his fiery hair and temper.
- Father Jean Bernard, of Luxembourg, portrayed in the awesome film of Volker Schlöndorff "The Ninth Day". Being taken out of the camp of Dachau, offered a Deal with the Devil, tell the Nazi Hyerarch to go screw himself, and calmly go back to martyrdom in the camp (which he knew firsthandedly it was utter hell and a certain death) definitely makes you a badass preacher. Incredibly, he survived and so did his faith, what makes him even more badass.
- Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest who first was a missionary and thus went Walking the Earth for years. During World War II he was imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp for openly speaking out against the Nazi regime through a newspaper and a private radio station, and sheltering (among others) 2,000 Jews, in a time where kangaroo courts and hanging judges summarily handed death sentences. He willingly went into the hunger bunker in place of of another prisoner, a Polish woodworker who had a wife and kids outside. He continued to celebrate Holy Mass in the cell for the other prisoners, and was finally killed by a fatal injection of phenol after all the other prisoners had already died of starvation. He was made a saint in October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and the man whose life he saved was there.
- Aside of St. Maximilian Kolbe, there were many religious workers that were either imprisoned or killed in World War II for either: being members of persecuted minorities, speaking against the Nazi policies, or directly helping Jews/Roma/Catholics/etc. in distress:
- Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite priest and uni professor who died in Dachau after rallying against Nazi propaganda;
- Regina Jonas, one of the first female rabbis, who kept working for the Jewish faith in Theresienstadt before dying in Auschwitz;
- Mother Elise Rivet, a Catholic mother superior who hid people in her convent and got gassed in Ravenbruck for it, in an Heroic Sacrifice to try sparing a prisoner who had kids;
- Nanne Zwiep, a Dutch Reformed Church preacher who used his sermons to rally against Nazis and perished in Dachau as well;
- Saint Edith Stein, a Jewish woman who became a Catholic nun and philosopher and then died in Auschwitz, alongside her sister Rose. There is backdraft about her as the Anti-Defamation League says the Catholic church is appropriating her death and diminishing the memory of the Holocaust; the official response is that she died not just because of her Catholic faith, but as a victim of the Nazi revenge for the Dutch Catholic Church's denouncement of Nazism.)
- Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg, Catholic priest from Silesia, who prayed for the victims of Kristallnacht and openly spoke against the Nazi euthanasia programs. This got him jailed first and then he was sent to Dachau, but he collapsed and died in the way there.
- Jane Hanning, schoolteacher and missionary of the Church of Scotland, captured in Budapest after refusing to abandon the girls from the school she worked on, and killed in Auschwitz.
- Blessed Sara Salkahazi, Hungarian/Slovakian nun who sheltered at least 100 Jewish persons and helped them flee Budapest. After her cover was blown and some of her protegèes were captured by a local pro-Nazi group, the Arrow Cross party, she and other five women were summarily executed by the Danube river.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor, well-known theologist, and member of La Résistance against Nazi Germany. He not only broke off from the existing German Christians during World War II to oppose Nazism, but worked in Abwher as a double agent and plotted to assassinate Hitler. He was captured, imprisoned at Tegel prison and later executed summarily in the Flössenburg concentration camp with some fellow resistence fighters.
- Blessed Omelyan Koch, Ukranian Greek-Catholic priest who was murdered in Majdanek for providing Jews with more than 600 baptismal certificates that helped them escape from the Nazis.
- Saint Grigol Peradze, Georgian Orthodox priest, historian, and theologist who while imprisoned in Auschwitz, either took the blame for the murder of a German officer to spare his fellow prisoners or willingly entered a gas-chamber in the place of a Jewish prisoner who had a large family.
- The Martyrs of Lübeck: three Catholic priests (Johannes Prassek, Eduard Müller and Hermann Lange) and a Lutheran pastor (Karl-Friedrich Stellbrink) who were True Companions and publically spoke against Nazism. They were imprisoned in 1942 and executed in 1943 for their work, and guillotined the same day and one after the other. Eyewitnesses reported that the blood of the four clergymen literally ran together on the guillotine and on the floor.
- and many others.
- The Right Reverend General Leonidas Polk, C.S.A., Bishop of Louisiana who was killed at the Battle of Marietta and entombed in the University Chapel at Sewanee with his crozier in one hand and his saber in the other.
- In mid-late nineteenth century America, being a Badass Preacher for a Catholic church was often an obligation, most infamously in New York, where priests would often lead their parishioners in defense of their churches from mobs of Protestants. There's a reason why so many churches are built like they're meant to withstand siege.
- Venetians thought Saint Mark was this, so much that they accepted him as their Patron Saint. The Venetian Battle Cry was Vive San Marco, which their sailors would shout while they carved up Genoans, Turks, Pirates, and such like. The heraldric emblem of St Mark was ''a lion'' which shows what they thought of Saint Mark.
- Athanasios Nikolaos Massavetas. Born during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, he was drawn to religion from an early age, became a monk at the age of 17, and was ordained a Greek Orthodox deacon shortly afterwards. Popular tradition has it that while at the monastery, an Ottoman Pasha visited with his troops and was impressed by Athanasios's good looks, who took offence to the Turk's remarks (and subsequent proposal). The ensuing altercation resulted in the death of the Turkish official. Athanasios was forced to flee into the nearby mountains and become a klepht - a mountain bandit, like many others who resisted Ottoman rule. Soon afterwards he adopted the pseudonym "Diakos", or Deacon. His last battle established him as a national hero: with only 1500 men at his command he attempted to hold the bridge at Alamana near Thermopylae against an army of 8000 men who had been sent to crush the rebellion in southern Greece. Eventually most of Diakos's men fled; only 48 of them remained, and the managed to hold off the enemy for several hours before being overwhelmed. The heavily wounded Diakos was taken before the enemy commander, Omer Vryonis, who was so impressed by the former priest that he offered to make him an officer in the Ottoman army if he converted from Christianity to Islam. Diakos refused, and was executed by impalement - according to popular tradition he survived for three full days, laughing through his ordeal, until an irregular, out of pity and respect, shot him in the head.
- A badass of the quietly courageous variety, Father Damien (aka Saint Damien of Moloka'i) spent sixteen years ministering to and fighting for the better treatment of the residents of the leper colony on the island of Moloka'i in Hawai'i. Many clergypeople spend their lives tending the sick, but Father Damien gets a lot of extra points, because at the time, leprosy was thought to be wildly contagious, which was why people who contracted it were sent to isolated colonies and usually just left to rot (sometimes quite literally). Voluntarily going to a place that was widely believed to be certain death and hanging around the place for nearly two decades, all the while in close contact with people suffering from what was believed to be an extremely contagious, deadly disease takes some balls. And sure enough, he did eventually contract leprosy, dying of the disease in 1889.
- Saint Columba, a 6th century missionary and one of Ireland's patron saints. So badass, he scared off the Loch Ness Monster.
- Jesus, while rarely violent, showed his righteous anger at the Temple Market sellers. He basically trashed the stalls and beat the sellers with cloth.
- you have turned my father's house into a den of thieves!
- Father Joe Lacy was a Chaplain in World War II who went in on D-day, and survived too. The day before landing he told the men "When you land on the beach and you get in there, I don't want to see anybody kneeling down and praying. If I do I'm gonna come up and boot you in the tail. You leave the praying to me and you do the fighting."
- Geoffrey Anketell Studdert-Kennedy; as a British Army Chaplain in WW I, he earned a Military Cross for running into "No Man's Land" to drag wounded soldiers to safety, and to give Last Rites to those who were beyond saving; after the war he became Vicar of a parish in one of the worst slums of Inner London. Although gentry by birth, he strongly identified with the working class, as this hymn shows.
- Rev. Wade Watts, who shamed a KKK leader into changing his ways. Bonus points for being a Badass Pacifist.
- The Archbishop of York, William de la Zouche, raised a company of archers against the Scots at the Curb-Stomp Battle of Neville's Cross, and his quick levying on his own initiative is credited with preventing a Scottish invasion of England and capturing the Scottish King David II Bruce. Another historical tradition says that he was present at the Battle of Crecy the previous year, and led some of the King's foot. On both occasions he took to the field wearing black plate armour and carrying an enormous mace, because he couldn't carry a sword as he was forbidden "edged weapons."
- Pope John Paul II during his studies for the priesthood worked with the Polish Resistance and is credited by B'nai B'rith for saving the lives of several Polish Jews from the Nazis. He then continued fighting when the Communists supplanted the Nazis, and is now remembered along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as part of the coalition of Western leaders who finally brought the Soviet Union to its knees and ended the Cold War.
Julius II: Nay, give me a sword, for I am a warrior, not a scholar.
- Another Pope to fall in that category was Pope Julius II, known as "The Warrior Pope" who actually leaded his troops in the battlefield, masterminded battles and sieges, and wore armor. When Michelangelo was preparing to paint his picture, he said Julius needed to hold something in his hand, like a book for instance. Julius answered:
- To a lesser extent, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (better known as the current Pope Francis) was a bar bouncer in Buenos Aires before becoming a Jesuit priest.
- These guys.
- Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, the "Scarlet Pimpernel" of the Vatican.
- Father De Klerk, Missionary to the Solomons who remained behind when Westerners were evacuated to be with the Polynesian Christians he preached to, and then led them into battle to protect their homes.
- Blessed Óscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, staunch defender of human rights in El Salvador... killed in 1980 while celebrating mass.
- St. Moses the Black, while celebrated now as a pacifist, was an imposing figure with quite the checkered past. Once, as a monk, he was attacked by four bandits whom he subdued and dragged to the church, where they instantly converted.
- In Italy, a man in a church who "claimed to hear voices" suddenly gouged his own eyes in front of the whole church. Thankfully, paramedics arrived quickly. Although many of the congregation left out of horror, the priest continued mass for those remaining.
- St. Nicholas of Myra (yes, that Saint Nicholas) supposedly got into a fight with the heretic Arius that ended when Nicholas clobbered Arius in the face, to the shock of the rest of the Council of Nicaea. While the story is likely somewhat apocryphal, forensic evidence shows that Nicholas did have a healed fracture in his cheekbone. This may also make him the original Badass Santa!
- When the King of Naples was overthrown by a French-inspired Jacobin faction in 1799, he fled to the safety of Palermo. Meanwhile, his advisor Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo landed at La Cortona with just eight companions and a royalist flag, and no guns or money. Within a month, Ruffo had raised an army of 17,000 men, largely peasants (known as the Sanfedisti), and waged a surprisingly effective campaign against the Parthenopaean Republic, retaking the city of Naples itself within a few months (with some assistance from a British fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson). There are a number of paintings of Cardinal Ruffo wearing what appears to be a military uniform as opposed to his cardinal's vestments, leading the Sanfedisti into battle. By all accounts, his army also contained a fair number of clergymen.
- Because of difficult and unaccessible parishes, Norway had a good lot of Badass Preachers over the years:
- Christian Kjeldstrup, who singlehandedly threw a bully through a door, during the wedding of said bully.
- Peder Bjørnson, who had to take a parish nobody dared to handle because of the wild west mentality there. Bjørnson solved the problem when he manhandled the strongest man in the village and threw him down a staircase. Nobody messed with him again.
- When Kjeldstrup and Bjørnson were students, there was a brawl among the theology students resulting in the three strongest successively throwing each other out: Kjeldstrup threw out Henrik Wergeland, and was in turn thrown out by Bjørnson.
- Petter Dass, doubling as a memetic badass, for having a harsh parish on the coast of northern Norway, and writing hymns still in use. Constantly out sailing to reach his fellow men. He was said to have whipped the devil`s ass and rode on his back all the way to Copenhagen Christmas morning.
- Mister Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister who basically singlehandedly pioneered educational television out of concern that existing programming would rot brains. Mister Rogers once spoke up against the US Senate's threat to cut funding for public television, and in six minutes of quietly explaining his show, persuaded them to double it instead. His show, meanwhile, approached children on a level that demonstrated and encouraged integrity and respect, as well as curiosity and imagination, and was known to deal with themes such as divorce, violence, and even death (Rogers refused to employ a Replacement Goldfish when his died, and he had a special episode after the assassination of John F. Kennedy to explain the situation to children).
- During the Carlists wars, some Navarran villages organized themselves in army led by their Vicar.
- Reggie White was an ordained Baptist minister. He was also one of the most ferocious and feared defensive lineman in his 15-year NFL career during the 1980s and 1990s, granting him the nickname "The Minister of Defense."
- Johan Lundby is a Church of Sweden pastor, who primarily works with the LGBTQ community. He is also a two-time world champion Military Sabre fencer and holds outdoor sparring sessions once a week all year. In Sweden. He also carved a fish symbol into his own chest with a knife because getting tattoos of Christian symbols is for wimps.
- Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was more or less thrust into this role. Essentially run out of his home for preaching against the patron gods of his hometown of Mecca, he led his followers to the city of Yathrib (today's Medina), negotiated a peace treaty so that they could start a new life there, and eventually converted the entire city. He then raised an army from practically nothing once his enemies in Mecca could no longer tolerate the spread of his religion, leading them in battle himself. Despite being outnumbered and out-gunned, defeated them and conquered the city.
- Fr. José Reyes Vega was a general who fought and died in the Cristero War against the Calles Regime in Mexico in the 1920s. He took up arms among rebels in response to the socialist revolutionary government's pogrom of religious persecution - vandalism, theft, mass arrests, and killing priests by summary execution or outright assassination. He lead his army to victory in the Battle of Tepatitlán at the cost of his own life.
- Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko was a Catholic priest in Communist Poland, who became a staunch ally of Lech Walesa's Solidarity trade union. As such he took part of the strikes of 1981, used his sermons to protest against the Communist goverment, and stood his ground despite all the intimidation tactics used by the Secret Police. He only "stopped" when said Police kidnapped, tortured and killed him in October of 1984.
- Charles J. Watters, Chaplin (Major) U.S. Army Was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery exhibited while rescuing wounded men in the Vietnam War, specifically the Battle of Dak To.
- Mychal Judge, O.F.M. a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest who served as a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. He was killed on 9/11 when the North Tower collapsed after he had entered it to administor aid to the rescuers, injured, and dead.
- Francis L. Sampson Major General U.S. Army Catholic Priest who serveed as regimental chaplin for the501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division and parachuted into France with them on D-Day and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions in France aiding the wounded. He was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge. His camp was liberated by Russian forces 4 months later. He went on to serve as Chaplin in the Korean War and was eventually promoted to Chief of Chaplins and served in Vietnam. After his retirement he went on to be the President of the USO.
- Said Nursi was a Kurdish preacher in the Ottoman Empire, and the author of one of the most comprehensive commentaries on the Qu'ran in existence. He was not only a theologian, but also a scientist, and said to have had a memory so exceptional that he could recall the exact page and paragraph of any sentence he studied just once. He became famous for his open defiance of the Ottoman government, which felt threatened by his push for education reforms and religious freedom. He also fought in WWI, during which he was captured and interned in a Siberian POW camp, but broke out and made his way back to Istanbul. On foot.
- Father Joseph O'Callahan, Jesuit priest and a United States Navy chaplain. He was awarded the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during and after an attack on the aircraft carrier aboard which he was serving, the USS Franklin (CV-13). USS Franklin had been hit by two bombs by a Japanese bomber in 1945, as was furiously in fire. His prompt actions saved lives of more than 700 men on the hangar deck and lower decks, earning him the Congressional Medal of Honor. The actions of the skipper on the ship, Captain Leslie E. Gehres, fit better on another trope.
- Branse Burbridge, the highest scoring RAF night fighter pilot in WWII. He had a fellow theologician as his radar operator onboard his Mosquito, and he became an ordained priest after WWII. He considered shooting down three V1 flying bombs being his most worthy deed in WWII.
- St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was a French priest and mystic who is extremely influential in the Catholic Church; no less than seven popes and three religious orders were shaped by his spirituality. He was also hell-on-wheels in a fight. Most famously, he put an end to a bar brawl that was disturbing one of his sermons by beating the tar out of the offenders. They were so impressed by his toughness that they followed him back to the church and listened as he finished his sermon.
- Muhammad Ali, in addition to being a championship boxer, was also a member of the paramilitary arm of the Nation of Islam, the Fruits of Islam, which had preaching responsibilities in addition to security. When he wasn't boxing, he would also sometimes go on preaching tours to share his vision of Islam with audiences. He once said that his goal was to be the "Muslim Billy Graham" when he retired from boxing, but unfortunately his development of Parkinson's Disease prevented that dream from becoming a reality.
HALLELUJAH! Praise the Lord! *chk* *chk* ... BANG!