troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Real Men Love Jesus
"I have two books at my bedside, Lieutenant: The Marine Corps Code of Conduct and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are my commanding officer, Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, and the Lord our God."
— Lieutenant John Kendrick, A Few Good Men

This character is a total Bad Ass and doesn't seem to answer to anyone. Oh, but he does. He devoutly follows none other than the Big Man Himself with much devotion. He studies the Good Book, he does what it says, won't miss services, and is often deeply conservative (or at least as conservative as someone of his ilk can possibly be). He is not necessarily Christian; his faith of choice varies widely depending on setting, and how devout he is may vary, from simply strongly to painfully religious. Basically, even the toughest badass needs to have some hope and guidance through this life.

A subtrope is Badass Preacher, when said person is himself a religious leader. See also Religious Bruiser for when this is used as for the humor/shock value of their contrast or Church Militant, when the real man fights for Jesus.

Compare and contrast Knight Templar, Well-Intentioned Extremist. After all, when you consider God to be your only authority, you're free to interpret orders however you like.

If the Lord Himself is acting like a badass, it may be Jesus Was Way Cool or Kung-Fu Jesus.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime 
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist, though he struggles with his faith later on. Take note that the main character is something of a Nay-Theist (having met "God" and discovered that he's kind of a dick).
  • Bartholomew Kuma of One Piece is very powerful and is always seen carrying a Bible.
  • Prussia in Axis Powers Hetalia was hinted as being this back in his Teutonic Knight days.
  • Zakuro Fujiwara from Tokyo Mew Mew is one of the strongest Magical Girls on her team, a fierce warrior and Noble Wolf Anti-Heroine. She's also a practicing Japanese Christian, attending church and wielding a whip with a cross-shaped handle. This gets bowdlerized out in the dub, with the sides of the crosses removed, which led to the meme that Renee venerates toothpicks.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightcrawler was a devout Catholic and the nicest guy to ever join the X-Men. He could also kick butt when called upon to do so.

    Film 
  • The Blues Brothers are on a Mission from God.
  • Eli from Hot Lead And Cold Feet. Though played as a "soft city boy", a pacifist, and a bit of a nebbish, he routinely walks headlong into, and THROUGH, danger that would make far mightier men quail, to the point of being an Implacable Man.
  • The McManus Brothers from The Boondock Saints are amazingly devout Irish-Catholics. They also assassinate drug lords, mafiosos, and other stupidly-dangerous criminals, some in broad daylight and once in a court of law that was currently in session. In the sequel, mob bosses talk about how heart-attackingly scared they are of these men, not to mention their dad.
  • Saving Private Ryan: Private Daniel Jackson was a Christian sniper who always said a quick prayer and/or kissed the cross on his necklace just before blasting some Nazi straight to hell. In the final scene, he's saying prayers while he's mowing down Nazis.
  • In The Book of Eli, Eli is most definitely a Badass for God. However he has to learn throughout the movie to properly follow the words of the book that he so desperately wants to protect, leading to him ultimately giving up the Bible he had to save Solara's life. Although it helps that he memorized the whole thing during the thirty years he had it.
  • Connor MacLeod Highlander astoundingly remains a devout Catholic four hundred and fifty years after the very ignorance of his Catholic-kinsmen drove him out of his village for the crime of being "a witch" after returning from a mortal wound in battle. The same applies for his great-grand Nephew Duncan MacLeod, also immortal and driven out by religious ignorance.
    • The series also introduced Retired Badass Darius, who's been a Catholic monk for over a thousand years.
  • Rocky: Rocky himself. Anybody else would probably also pray to Jesus if they were about to fight Apollo.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is proud to declare his love for the Virgin Mary, and his belief that anyone who fails to share that love is a damn communist heathen. He is, however, impressed by the Jewish private brave enough to stand up to him when he demands he declare this love too.
    So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps! Do you ladies understand?
  • As shown in her biographical film Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton.
  • In the Daredevil movie, Matt Murdock is shown to have a regular habit of going to Catholic confession to atone for his violence.
    • His parish priest is fully aware of his dual identity, but is forbidden to disclose it due to the right of the confessional. He does wish Matt chose a different image though.
  • This dialogue from The Avengers:
    [Captain America puts on a parachute to go follow after Thor, Loki, and Iron Man]
    Natasha Romanoff: I'd sit this one out, Cap.
    Steve Rogers: I don't see how I can.
    Natasha Romanoff: These guys come from legend, Captain. They're basically gods.
    Steve Rogers: There's only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that. [jumps out]
  • Hans from Seven Psychopaths is a very devout old-fashioned Christian. His faith is specifically named as the source of his confidence and tranquility, allowing him to stare death in the face without ever flinching.
  • In one particularly important scene of Man of Steel, Clark goes to a church and makes a confession to a priest. Clark's actual religious leanings are never made clear aside from vaguely asking if "God" is responsible for his powers when he didn't know about his alien heritage, so it's just ambiguous enough that the audience can assume what they want to assume. Writer David Goyer suggested that Clark was raised Lutheran.
  • Nightcrawler from X2: X-Men United is a devout Catholic who questions if his demonic appearance is a curse from God for some misdeeds that he must atone for, to the point of tattooing crosses and such.
  • Sam Childers from the biopic Machine Gun Preacher. He's a hard-hitting, Harley-riding manly man who's been forgiven of his past sins by the blood of Christ and now is not afraid to grab an RPG-7 stand up to the thugs that are threatening the orphanage he built.
  • Pain and Gain: Paul sure does and tries to get the half-Jewish Victor Kershaw to do so as well.
  • Howie from the original The Wicker Man believes in life eternal, as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ, and he gets a chance to throw his faith in Lord Summerisle's face when he's about to be sacrificed. Even Summerisle compliments his faith, and tells him that he'll sit with the saints in Heaven after his death.
  • Gangs of New York opens with the conflict between the fiercely Catholic (and utterly badass) Priest Vallon and the resolutely Protestant (and utterly badass) "Butcher" Bill Cutting. Amsterdam's discovery of his inner badass is coupled with his rediscovery of his Catholic faith; the final confrontation between Bill and Amsterdam is prefaced by intercut scenes of the two of them praying.

    Literature 
  • The Dresden Files: Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross. Known as "The Fist of God" to his friends. We don't know what his enemies call him.
  • Father Callahan of The Dark Tower series and 'Salem's Lot.
  • Don Blas Vivar in Sharpe's Rifles. With just five hundred men — only one third of them actual soldiers — he attacks a city held by 2,000 French soldiers, and wins. Why? So he can pray in the cathedral there.
  • Gordon McSweeny in Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 story line (specifically the Great War series) is the most fierce soldier on either side during the Great War, willingly leads any raid that he is ordered to make, and won the Medal of Honor at least once, possibly twice. He is also a fanatical Presbyterian, constantly scolds his men for the slightest of offences (once putting himself on report for failing to clean his mess kit, then chewing out his CO for ignoring the complaint), never fails to lambast anyone who has theological differences with his church, and prefers to use a flamethrower to "give [the Confederates and Mormons] a nice foretaste of hell before they get there."
  • Trapped on Draconica: In this case, Real Women Love Dronor. Daniar regularly reminds her group that Dronor is watching over them, guiding them, etc. In her book 'pray to Dronor' is a legitimate plan.
  • Arthur Merriman from The Last Dragon Chronicles.
  • In Monster Hunter International, any strong religious faith can be used against certain monsters such as vampires and demons. Milo Anderson, who shares the author's Mormon beliefs, uses this to pray a Holy Hand Grenade into existence against a Master Vampire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played straight and then subverted with Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly. The first scene in the pilot episode shows us that he once was a devout believer, but the Independents' defeat at the Battle of Serenity Valley breaks his faith completely.
    • Also Shepherd Book, who is an itinerant pastor with a special ops background. He follows the Ten Commandments and doesn't kill until his town is destroyed by an Alliance patrol ship in the movie, though the Good Book is a mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
  • Mr. Eko and Sayid are both shown to be religious in LOST. Mr. Eko is a Catholic priest and has a 'Jesus Stick' covered in scripture, which he also uses to beat the bad guys to death with. He's a deeply spiritual badass. Sayid is a Muslim and former Iraqi soldier and indisputable badass, but is also shown praying on at least one occasion on the island, and in his flashbacks prays in mosques.
  • Seeley Booth in Bones is very much a devout Catholic. He's also a former Army Ranger and still a crack sniper. And if you mess with his son Parker, his partner Temperance "Bones" Brennan or his daughter (with Bones) Christine, he will dedicate himself to ending you.
    • Arastoo, one of the Jeffersonian workers, is a devout Muslim, and once delivered a very powerful speech when someone questioned his working on a 9/11 victim's remains.
  • The Reagan family on Blue Bloods are similarly devout Catholics. And all the men are cops (retired, in Henry and Frank's case), and Erin Reagan is a district attorney.
  • Major Dick Winters of Band of Brothers - a brave, stoic, competent leader - is shown to be very religious.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Carlito gives thanks to Jesus, among other such as "everyone's favorite place Puerto Rico", team Jacob , and himself, after he steals Jeff Hardy's slammy award.
  • Mercedes Martinez states her faith in God as her reasoning for returning to WSU after she was paralyzed by the Midwest Militia, whose leader, Jessicka Havok, was about ready to kill her afterwards. She goes on to advise Havok to find something to pray if she hasn't already before she gets back.

    Religion 
  • The Bible: King David. Except, y'know, he was actually Jesus' ancestor (and also the ancestor of his stepdad).
  • In The Four Gospels, Jesus' twelve disciples/apostles mainly worked blue-collar jobs such as fishing and carpentry, so it's fair to assume they were manly men. At least one was implied to be a terrorist (the Zealots believed in violent revolution, and one disciple had that descriptor attached to his name) and another was a tax collector. Jesus himself worked as a carpenter for most of his life before starting the Messiah gig.
    • Peter, in particular, was badass enough to pull out his sword and take on a large crowd armed with swords and clubs sent to arrest Jesus, all by himself, until Jesus stopped him, told him off, and put a guard's severed ear back into place.
  • Saints who were soldiers or warlords in life, with St. George as the most iconic example.
  • In The Book of Mormon, Mormon himself, and both seriously hardcore capitains known as Moroni kill a bunch of people, in order to protect the people of God, defend their countries, families, liberty and their right to worship God as they see fit.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Diablo II: The Paladins of The Church of Light. At least until the entire church was corrupted by evil, anyway.
  • Captain Bible from Captain Bible In Dome Of Darkness is a great example of this trope. He's a muscle-bound super hero who kills giant robots with just a sword... to save the inhabitants of a city from the anti-Christian lies that these robots tell them and is trying to restore Christianity to the city. Yeah, it's a pretty weird game.
  • A few Mass Effect characters tend to fit this trope.
    • Thane Krios, a badass assassin who before and after every mission prays to his Gods to aid him in the mission, forgive him for killing and forgive the person he killed and should he die bring him to the Afterlife. (The spiritual one, not the club in Omega.)
    • Matriarch Benezia, who is a religious philosopher and teacher and a incredibly powerful space magician. (Also known as a biotic ingame.)
    • Shepard, pretty much the ultimate badass, can also be religious if the player chooses that option in a conversation.
    • More to the point: Ashley. In terms of pure combat ability, she's the number one companion in the first game.
  • In Dragon Age, there are the templars, a military faction of the Chantry, the game's major religion. On a more personal level, several companions in both games are faithful Andrasteians. In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden first meets Leliana while she's serving as a lay sister at the Lothering Chantry and ably helps fight off a group of armed men; she later claims to have been inspired to join the party by a vision from the Maker. In Dragon Age II there's Sebastian, a brother in the Chantry and badass archer.
  • Legacy of Kain: Janos Audron is both physically imposing (tall, well-muscled, with giant black wings) and a powerful warrior-sorcerer. He's also completely, unflinchingly devoted to his God.
  • Joshua Graham, from the second Fallout: New Vegas add-on, Honest Hearts. In his youth, he was trained as a missionary for the (post-apocalyptic) Church of Latter-day Saints. He was one of the co-founders of Caesar's Legion until he was disgraced and found his faith again. He also happens to be one of the strongest beings in the Fallout universe, gameplay-wise.
    Joshua Graham: I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion. But we can't expect God to do all the work.
  • The civil war conflict in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim started because the Stormcloaks believe that Real Nords Love Talos (who was a man that became a god), and are outraged that The Empire has caved to the demands of the Thalmor and outlawed worship of the god-man.
  • In Tin Star (Choice of Games), this comes up frequently. Nearly all of the Latter-Day Saints are both religiously-devout and master riflemen. Also, the PC can take the Religious trait, and being a U.S. Marshal, is a badass by default.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park did this once in a Dog The Bounty Hunter parody.
  • The Simpsons: Ned Flanders, considering the length of the censor bar when Homer tapes him in the shower. Also muscular build and incredible physical strength, as shown in several episodes.
    • In one episode Flanders is revealed to be a senior citizen, i.e. over 65, and attributes his remarkably youthful appearance to clean living, avoiding temptation, and a daily dose of vitamin Church.
  • Wolverine becomes a Christian in the 90s X-Men cartoon.

    Real Life 
  • Charles XII of the Swedish Empire
  • Chuck Norris. Once, when writing about the then-new phenomenon of Chuck Norris Facts, he maintained that Jesus is the real Memetic Badass.
  • Starting fairly recently, Sylvester Stallone has taken up his childhood Catholic faith once more. The missionary plot of the recent Rambo movie was partly influenced by it.
  • Mr. T; this man averted the Blasphemous Boast with his celebrity bodyguard service's motto, and it makes him all the more Bad Ass for it ("The best protection short of God Himself").
  • Pervasive in works dealing with The Crusades.
  • George S. Patton. A hard-charging, immensely profane general who prayed and read the Bible every damn day.
    • He also ordered his Chaplain to write a prayer that would be distributed to the troops during the Battle of Bastogne: "Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations."
    • And also believed in reincarnation, including that he was personally present in many famous past campaigns such as that of Julies Caesar, Alexander, etc.
  • Dave Mustaine of Megadeth.
  • Orde Wingate, an eccentric British officer who helped organize Zionist militia forces and later became known as a Commando during the war (highly controversial for many say he was wasteful in lives). Wingate modeled himself after the great Hebrew warrior heroes of the Bible and his career was rather uncannily similar. He was intensely fond of rather grim Old Testament-style speech.
    • "God give it to us to slay the enemies of the Jews for the enemies of the Jews are the enemies of all mankind."
  • Jesus Christ arguably counts, though He was more religious to His Dad than Himself.
  • Johnny Cash. "I've been down on bended knee, talking to the Man from Galilee..."
  • Robin Lee Graham the boy who sailed round the world wasn't this when he set out but became an enthusiastic Christian on his return.
  • Alfred the Great was a Warrior Prince , a scholar , a codifier of laws and customs, and was nominated for Sainthood.
  • Don't mess with these guys.
    • The Jewish population of Israel is mostly secular, even if they follow some traditional Jewish cultural practices.
  • The whole Muscular Christianity movement was built on this idea
  • Pilgrims would hold Church service in the same building where the militia's powder was kept. Which means they could not light the stove in the middle of a New England winter. It was considered a point of honor to stand straight and upright through the entire long service. When they started chattering the preacher would shout out something like, Stand! And hear the word of God! Apparently Pilgrims thought that the way of the Lord was similar to The Spartan Way.
    • Not surprising, given the hardships the Pilgrims had to endure their first winter after landing.
  • Many professional wrestlers, from the Born Again Shawn Michaels and Sting to the lifelong devout Chris Jericho (really!)
  • Promise Keepers runs on this trope.
  • Salah-ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub the Great was the Muslim version of this, as were many Muslim commanders during the era of the Crusades and onwards.
    • Most, if not all, Muslim military personnel are the Islamic version of this trope.
    • Khalid ibn Al-Walid is the king of the trope (the Muslim king, at least). A fiercely devout and zealous Muslim, a companion of the Muslim Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH); under his military leadership, the entire Arabian peninsula was united under the Muslim Khalifat. He is likely one of the most brilliant generals in history, being one of the three to have never suffered a defeat. He was a terrifying warrior as well; a tale states that during the Battle of Muta he shattered nine swords. For his faithfulness and skill, he was named Saif-ul-Allah, meaning the 'Sword of God'. Upon his deathbed, he lamented only that he would not die a martyr for Islam.
  • Filipino boxer Manny Paquiao. A devout Catholic who is currently considered as one of the best boxers, pound-for-pound wise.
  • St. Ladislaus of Hungary, has ascended to Memetic Badass status even during his rule. Among other things, he is said to have cleaved a mountain in two, thus creating the Gorge of Torda, and coming back from the dead for one last battle.
  • Russian Mixed Martial Arts champion Fedor Emelianenko is very outspoken in his faith.
  • Tim Tebow and Troy Polamalu are both devout Christians (Tebow is Evangelical, Polamalu is Greek Orthodox) and pray constantly on the field.
  • British Prime Minister William Gladstone.
  • Famous film actor Toshiro Mifune, a Japanese Christian of the Methodist church.
  • Bethany Hamilton of Soul Surfer, while she isn't a man, obviously, but she is a Badass. Nothing will stop her from the sport she loves, not even the shark that ripped off her left arm at the shoulder.
  • A significant amount of military personnel from all places and eras qualify - as the saying goes, "there are no atheists in foxholes". War has as much a tendency to make believers out of men as it does to make men out of boys, but this is not always the case, as seen here: [1].
  • Elvis Presley hated being called "The King": as far as he was concerned, the only true King was the King of Kings.
  • The Robertsons of Duck Dynasty are all rough-and-tumble rednecks who enjoy manly pursuits like hunting, fishing, and Stuff Blowing Up. Many of them are also ordained pastors and/or have ministry degrees. There's a reason every episode ends with the group praying around the dinner table.
  • Samurai were often quite strongly Buddhist, and Zen Buddhism in particular is often associated with them.
  • Buzz Aldrin, third in his class at West Point, fighter pilot, MIT Doctor of Science in Astronautics, and NASA astronaut who was the second man on The Moon, was/is also a devout Presbyterian. He was the first person to perform a religious ritual on any celestial body other than the Earth, as he took communion while on the Moon using a kit he had smuggled onto the Eagle.
  • Ironically, many Hell's Angels and other bikers.
  • Devout preacher and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr..


Raised CatholicReligion TropesSaintly Church
Pals with JesusJesusAll-Loving Hero

alternative title(s): Real Men Love God
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
53193
4