Follow TV Tropes


Badass Preacher

Go To
No weapon forged against Him shall prosper. Against you, on the other hand...I think it'll do the trick.

Zoe: Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
Book: Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.

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 the 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 who may be this man's Evil Counterpart. If the Lord Himself is kicking ass, that's Kung-Fu Jesus.


    open/close all folders 

    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.
  • Black Clover gives us Sister Theresa Rapual, currently a nun, formerly a Magic Knight of the Crimson Lions. She even helped train its current leader, Fuegoleon Vermillion.
  • 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.
  • Blue Ramun: Although Priest Randy slacks off during prayers and dresses like a bum, still he's the former Guard Captain of the Lezak District and retains all the fighting skills he had in his previous job. In Chapter 7, Randy was able to distract Garicalege leader Rowan (who has a literal dragon arm that can shoot blasts of fire) long enough for Jessie and Mirna to escape, even after getting cut up by Rowan's claws.
  • 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, the only villain in the series who can directly give powers to his allies, and is dedicated to finding a way to gain "Heaven". Even if it means using a green baby and changing Earth's 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.
  • Saiyuki has Genjo Sanzo, a Buddhist priest and a hardened gunslinger. Interestingly, he's based on Tripitaka from Journey to the West who couldn't be farther from this trope if he tried.
  • 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!
  • In Ushio and Tora, Ushio's father Aotsuki Shigure. At a first glance he's a lazy good-for-nothing bonze who's not even devoted enough to shave his head and is often away from home. Then we learn not only that he's a high-ranked member of the Kouhamei sect of buddhist who genuinely wants to spread the word of Buddha, but also one of the strongest youkai-slaying monks the sect ever had, being able to go toe to toe with Tora, an over 1000 years old Youkai who regularly eats other monsters for breakfast, like nothing. Almost all the other members of the Kohamei count, the sole exception being the manga-only Kyoura (who was excommunicated for being too much of a Blood Knight.)

    Board Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 2000 AD:
    • Button Man: One of Harry's early opponents is a shotgun-toting button man in a vicar's robe.
    • 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."
  • 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 title character in Just a Pilgrim by Garth Ennis. Still well-steeped in badassery, he turned to the Good Book after giving cannibalism a try.
  • Pastor Norman McKay from Kingdom Come manages to calm down an enraged Superman who's about to bring the U.N. building down with everyone inside, effectively making him come down to his senses. Right before this, he effectively delivered a What the Hell, Hero? speech to The Spectre, lecturing the embodiment of God's Wrath on morality.
    Spectre: Judgement has been passed. I am no longer needed. Farewell, Norman McCay.
    Norm: Farewell? Farewell?! You think you brought me all this way just to watch people die? Think again! You want to confront evil? Then get us the hell to the UN... now! You saw Superman! You saw an anger that could twist steel! If what happens next happens the only way it can... and you let it... that is evil!
  • 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 (implied 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.

    Fan Works 
  • The Pope from Brewdening Love, who is approached by Joan and Jenny in the "Vaticat" for help. At first he seems to be a kindly old Pope but then it's quickly revealed that he has a Popemobile that is like the Batmobile (it's explicitly described as such), can use his Popestick to brainwash, fight, and revive vampires, and pulls two near-literal Deus ex Machina to save the protagonists (one of them with Kung-Fu Jesus as if he were his sidekick).
  • Abbot Durval from Dungeon Keeper Ami, an abbot with nothing to lose after his abbey became the opening point of Keeper Arachne's invasion. He would then take arms against the keeper in revenge, become the right hand to the heroic but violent Baron Leopold and eventually work for the King himself when dealing with Keeper Sailor Mercury.
  • "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.
  • In the The Game of Thrones fanfic A Ballad of the Dragon and She-Wolf, Most Holy Moishe is the head of the Faith in the North but was once a notorious outlaw. He wears chainmail under his robes and still a very capable fighter.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, Back on Earth: The vigilante Violence Breaker after he repents his old human supremacist and anti-magic ways becomes this. Hell, it is even stated as such in his own Case File:
    "Violent Breaker changed his name, going from one who broke others violently to one who would shatter the violence with his own two hands."
  • StarGleam from StarKitsProphcy. "ACCEPT JESUS MOTHERFUCKERS!" indeed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Self evangelicalised after watching Homura pull off the impossible, Kyouko becomes this in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica fanfic To the Stars. Not only is she a general and a padre, she fights on the frontlines, quite often in special operations.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, there is Canon Clement N'Effibl. Known as "Black Mass" to his pupils at the Assassins' Guild School, where he teaches Religious Education, Clement is a priest with a theological bent. And a fully trained and licenced Assassin. At home in the Zulu Empire, he has seen pitched battle against the bad neighbours in the country next door. Well-founded School rumour is that he is very good at administering Extreme Unction and the Last Rites.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: Once the Wolf officially invades Westeros, Red Priests arrive to help defend against him, being more knowledgeable about the ways of Chaos than the other characters. They're also quite useful in a fight, as their leader manages to take down a Chaos warrior in a single strike of his Flaming Sword while preaching vigorously enough to make a Warrior-Priest of Sigmar proud.

    Films — Animated 
  • 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 Judge Claude Frollo in check, shaming him multiple times in the movie. At least until the end, when Frollo has gone completely off his rocker.
  • Robin Hood (1973): 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.
  • Abbot Cellach in The Secret of Kells. He leads the defences of the abbey, and kills three people in the prequel comic.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 5 Card Stud, Reverend Johnathan Rudd is a gun-toting preacher not above using his six-shooters to fill his church.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 former 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").
  • Brigham City has Wes Clayton, a Mormon bishop and the sheriff of the titular town. He does both jobs with equal aplomb.
  • 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.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (2002): Abbe Faria is revealed to have been a soldier before he was a priest, and teaches Dantes all he knows of swordfighting while in prison with him.
  • Meacham (Clancy Brown) from Cowboys & Aliens. He even teaches a fellow townie to shoot when the fellow's wife is kidnapped by aliens.
  • In Curse of the Undead, Preacher Dan Young who is willing to strap on a gun and go up against the undead gunslinger Drake Robey.
  • The Deserter has Chaplain Reynolds. Kaleb recruits him because he is the best dynamite man in the army.
  • 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.
  • In Headless Horseman, Calvin Montgomery (the man who would later be resurrected as the Headless Horseman) was child murdering Satan worshiper. He was finally taken down by priest who took Calvin's sword, doused it in holy water, and used it to kill him.
  • 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."
  • Played with in God's Gun where Lee Van Cleef plays the Father John a small town's pacifist preacher. When a gang comes through, he ambushes them in the night taking their weapons and temporarily driving them off, until they return to kill him. It turns out he has an identical twin who was also a gunslinger, who comes back to play the vengeful ghost of his brother.
  • The Preacher in Hannie Caulder, appropriately enough, a skillful gunslinger. (Although whether he is a real preacher is up for debate.)
  • 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.
  • John Carpenter's Vampires features a hit squad of Vatican-sponsored vampire killers. However, the only one of them who actually fits the bill is Fr. Adam Giteau, who is technically just the team chaplain, but sure is handy with a shotgun.
  • 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.
  • In Karate a Muerte en Torremolinos, Brother Fernando learns martial arts and uses shuriken.
  • The Vicar from Lesbian Vampire Killers. Or, at least, he tries to be. He certainly knows how to make a Big Entrance.
  • Sam Childers (Gerard Butler) in Machine Gun Preacher. Based on a real-life preacher in Pennsylvania.
  • In The Man from Kangaroo, John Harland is a former middleweight boxing champion turned pastor who can still lay down the law with his fists when he needs to.
  • The North Avenue Irregulars: Rev. Michael Hill, to a degree.
  • 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.
  • 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 (2000) who threw in with Martin'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 The Replacements (2000), Replacement running back Walter Cochran became an ordained minister after his professional football career was cut short by a knee injury. This doesn't stop him from kicking just as much ass as the other replacement players.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 Bobby from Sleepers. According to the narrator, he's just as comfortable sitting on a bar-stool as standing at an altar. He also states that Father Bobby lived a life of petty crime before his calling, which implies the priest knows his way among the scoundrels and is as tough as everybody else in Hell's Kitchen. He also has no issue threatening a boy's abusive stepfather after he puts the kid in the hospital due to a punctured lung.
    Stepfather: The little punk. He got out of line, so I put him back on line. No big deal.
    Father Bobby: You put him in hospital.
    Stepfather: He's alive, ain't he? Look, if he's smart, he learned himself a lesson.
    Father Bobby: What are you, about 220, 230 [pounds]? You're a big guy. How much do you think Jonny Reilly weights? 80, 85? That's not even a featherweight. If this were a fight, you'd be way out of your division.
    Stepfather: Look, it was a slap. It was nothing.
    Father Bobby: Next time, you'll be meeting me. And I may not be in your division, but I do weigh more than 85 pounds. And you won't need a doctor when I'm done. You'll need a priest to pray over your body. [after a brief pause and smiling] See you in church.
  • 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.
  • Zorro:
    • 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.

  • 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.
  • According to Spanish tradition, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles, James the Great, was the one responsible for spreading Christianity to the Iberian penisula and was summoned by Ramiro I to save the Spaniards during the mythical Battle of Clavijo against the Emirate of Córdoba. It's because of this battle that James is also known as "Santiago Matamoros" (Saint James the Moor-slayer).

  • 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, singlehandedly managed to separate a courtyard full of Jews from their money with a whip, and managed to keep enough composure while mid-crucifixion to ask the Lord to forgive the men who killed Him.
  • Father Ioann in The Big Sister and Little Sister. When he is captured by Ledinella, a formerly human ice creature who can also turn others to ice, he refuses to wed her to a prince she has frozen to death, strictly advises her to repent before it's late, and just walks away, the sheer strength of his faith and piety preventing her magic from harming him. When she tells her parents about the whole episode, it's the only time she actually shows hints of Heel Realization and remorse.
  • 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.
  • Eurico the Presbyter is about a Catholic priest who takes a secret identity as the Black Knight to fight a invading horde. To be fair, he was established to be a very talented and experienced knight and became a priest to alleviate the pain after being refused to marry his girlfriend by her father.
  • Many examples in Everyday Saints. Justified, since in Soviet Russia, priests usually had to literally fight for their churches and parishes. To name a few:
    • Abbot Alipiy once threatened a KGB group he’ll chop off their heads with an axe if they dare to demand the monastery’s closure. And it worked.
    • At another moment, the same abbot in response to the same demands said that half his brothers were former soldiers (which was true) and they had enough weapons to fight for the monastery to the last (which was, the narrator says, a bluff – probably).
    • Brother Alexander beat up – all by himself – an entire group of delinquents who shouted out blasphemies.
  • Gatling: In Border War, the metis forces include a fighting priest nicknamed Pere Mulet ('Father Mule') because he is as stubborn and as tough as a mule.
  • 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.
  • Les Misérables: When Jean Valjean meets the Bishop of Digne, the Bishop is visiting a remote church in his see. The police were too scared of the highwaymen in the area, so he went alone, unarmed and on foot, and not only got where he was going, but also managed to talk convince a band who tried to mug him to leave him alone. Oh, and he was well over 70 at this point.
  • One character in Gerald Durrell's Green Aesop novel The Mockery Bird is one of the few female badass preachers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Lois McMaster Bujold's Historical Fantasy novel The Spirit Ring, Abbot-and-Bishop Monreale (two offices—the Abbot of Saint Jerome and the Bishop of Montefoglia—one man) had been a a soldier in his youth, before making a vow to dedicate his life to God after being severely wounded. Monreale is still quite prepared to lead the men of Montefoglia in a night assault, and is also a capable mage (albeit overmatched by a slain dark mage, turned into a demon and armed with the power of a very powerful spirit ring).
  • 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 man called "The Preacher" in David Gemmell's Stones of Power novels.
  • 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.
  • True Grit: Unseen Hero of Another Story LT Quinn is both a lay preacher and a U.S. marshal. He believes Thou Shall Not Kill and brings his prisoners back alive while managing to avoid being killed by anyone who tries to take advantage of his unwillingness to kill them. The occasional fugitive escapes him by running, but there's no indication that he's ever lost a fight.
  • 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.

    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 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.
  • Cobra Kai: One of Johnny's Cobra Kai buddies grew up to be a pastor (not a priest!), but he's still got plenty of his old moves. He can hold his own in a barfight, and when Johnny drunkenly interrupts his church service, he says a quick prayer and leg-sweeps Johnny right to the floor.
  • 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!”.
  • 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 Fades: Helen, an undead hunter not averse 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." Much of his backstory is explained in the comic book.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Thoros of Myr mixes combat with spreading the good news about the Lord of Light.
    • Aeron Greyjoy. It's not very clear, but back in Season 1, Tyrion says Theon's uncles were responsible for the destruction of the Lannister fleet and the burning of Lannisport, the absolute high mark of the First Greyjoy Rebellion. Euron and Aeron are Theon's only uncles, so it stands to reason Aeron is (or was) one Hell of a reaver. In the books, Euron came up with the plan to burn Tywin's fleet at anchor, but Balon's other brother Victarion carried it out. Victarion was cut from the TV show. Aeron did take part in the battle in the novels, but only as the commander of his own ship. The line that "your uncles were responsible" was intentionally ambiguous, so the TV show could later say that Tyrion meant that both Euron and Aeron were involved in some fashion, without needing to introduce Victarion.
  • Hell on Wheels: Reverend Cole, who was a dab hand at handling a saber - one that a flashback revealed he had used in/before the Civil War to liberate slaves by beheading their owners.
  • The Invisible Man: as a result of some experimental counteragent, Darien goes into Stage 5 Quicksilver Madness and the Quicksilver he leaves behind causes Infectious Insanity for anyone that touches it. One of those people happens to be Father Moore (Darien and Kevin's childhood priest). He remains in control and no one notices anything unusual, until one of his Sunday School students confesses that his father (Joe) regularly beats him. Moore decides to go pay Joe a visit. After confronting him with this knowledge and talking about the pressure of knowing so many ghastly secrets that he could previously do nothing about, he nearly beats Joe to death. Moore is only stopped by Darien's intervention.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • The 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.
  • 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."
  • 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
  • TheMusketeers features Pastor Ferrand, a Huguenot priest who used to be a soldier of fortune, before he found God (or, rather, God found him). Has absolutely no problems with confronting four of the King's finest with only a sword. They are, after all, at a disadvantage, since the Pastor has God on his side.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • Supernatural:
    • 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 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.
  • Top Gear (UK) has a variant with the "Fastest Faith" competition in Series 1, where a group of religious leaders, including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, and even Druid and Rastafarian, competed to see which of them was fastest around the track. Some of them even had experience in motorsports already.
  • 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.
  • Van Helsing (2016): The episode "Graveyard Smash" features a shotgun-toting priest who is part of an Ancient Tradition that has been guarding the church crypt containing the time-displaced Jack's slumbering form since the late 1700s.
  • Father Gabriel from The Walking Dead (2010) 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. And after the Season 9 Time Skip, he's now a stone-cold badass when it comes to facing both zombies and human enemies.


  • 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.
  • Prester John of The Feast of Three Arms is a preacher with a criminal past that may include multiple murders.
  • In Dean Brody's "Cattleman's Gun":
    Well, the church doors opened with that black cloak flowin'
    behind the preacher's fiery eyes
    He said, "Your ticket to Hell is a comin' to you
    and I got a hollow-point to give you the ride."
  • The Kingston Trio's song The Reverend Mr. Black tells the story of a badass Western preacher who manages to subdue a violent would-be killer by the power of the Lord.

  • Merle of The Adventure Zone: Balance is a cleric who repeatedly tries to convert non-player characters... but can be pretty badass when needed.
  • Jylliana from Jemjammer is the group's cleric and operates out of a temple, but she's also the only party member wearing plate armour and wields massive hammer. She also has spells that can, and have, completely disintegrate opponents.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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. Also, the Pope of New Avalon (long story) is a highly skilled Mechwarrior and has his very own assault Omnimech.
  • A standard character type in Deadlands, with actual magical powers being optional, but also valid.
  • Every player in Dogs in the 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."
    • Clerics in Fifth Edition is considered one of, if not the most versatile class. Because they gain power from the god they worship, they have the highest number of subclasses, and a fair number of those (such as War, Forge and Tempest) are excellent physical fighters. Even Life-domain clerics can use heavy armor and deal good damage in physical combat. And that's only the physical stuff. The Light-domain turns a cleric into a fire-and-laser-spewing war machine.
  • 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. 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. That being said he was a better preacher and statesman than warlord.
    • Space Marine Chaplains and Chaos Marine Dark Apostles rally their fellow battle brothers by their chants, prayers, and cries to send them into even more faithful fury against their foes.
    • Uriah Olathaire, the last caretaker of the last Christian church on Terra before its destruction at the hands of the Emperor's Thunder Warriors. Not only was he a mercenary before his Heel–Face Turn, but he stood up against the Emperor even after he dropped his disguise, predicting (with frightening accuracy) that his Imperium of Man would see him worshipped as a god. His final act of badassery was denying the Emperor's offer for him to join the Great Crusade, choosing instead to pray one last time in his church as it burned to the ground.
  • From the sadly now defunct fantasy Warhammer game, any Warrior Priest of the Cult of Sigmar. Luthor Huss the wandering Prophet of Sigmar is everything cool about Warrior Priests dialed up - he takes his job very seriously. Likewise Volkmar von Hindenstern, known by his sobriquet "the Grim", the Grand Theogonist (i.e. the Pope equivalent of the Sigmarite Church), who has nerves and will of solid steel and is more than capable of kicking ass either solo or at the head of an army.

  • Brother Wolf, Beowulf IN 1800s APPALACHIA, reimagines the title character as a demon fighting preacher armed with a revolver, a knife and a rabbit-skin covered bible.
  • Zaccaria, the Jewish High Priest from Nabucco, who is openly defiant of his Babylonian captors.

    Video Games 
  • Arknights:
    • Pope Yvangelista XI is the head of Laterano, and a very kind and compassionate old man. He's also implied to be physically strong enough to defeat his nation's top knights in a contest of strength, and doesn't hesitate to pull out a revolver to defend himself when he's threatened.
    • Andoain, the leader of the Pathfinders and a former member of the Laterano Notarial Hall. An idealistic Sankta priest that seeks to help the downtrodden by forcing Laterano to open its borders, he is fought as the main boss in the event "Guide Ahead".
    • Saint Federico Giallo - or as he is known in Rhodes Island, operator Executor - who is already plenty badass himself as one of the Notarial Hall's top executors prior to becoming the Saint.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight gives us a villainous example through Deacon Blackfire, an tough old man attempting to fight Batman after declaring him a non-believer of his religion. Subverted, however, because Batman's battle with Deacon Blackfire is a Curb-Stomp Battle in Batman's favour, due to Blackfire being an Adaptational Wimp.
  • 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.
  • As delicate as she looks, Acolyte Aria of Bug Fables is capable of kicking some serious ass. She successfully keeps the Wasp King's imposing troops out of the Golden Hills, and is a fierce combatant during her miniboss battle.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • In the game Serious Sam 4, the first level had Sam "Serious" Stone and his crew rendezvous with a priest named Father Mikhail for his information on an alien artifact; who turns out to be a shotgun-wielding badass.
  • The Priesthood of Rathma in the Diablo setting regularly sends out their priests to combat evil, as they believe in the Balance Between Good and Evil. They are also absolutely incorruptible against demonic influences, and they are more than capable of holding their own against the demonic legion. Ans oh, you may know them better as Necromancers. Dark Is Not Evil indeed.
  • The flash game Divine Intervention features a priest fighting in a Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Dragon Age:
  • 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.
  • Though this may also be said of the main character, the priest, Father Garcia, (from FAITH: The Unholy Trinity) is a prime example of this trope in action. He even carries a shotgun with him, and isn't afraid to use it.
  • 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.
  • In the Game Mod for Skyrim, Falskaar, both Brother Arnand and Brother Thorlogh are monks at the Bailun Priory, and fully capable combatants despite Thorlogh's insistence to the contrary. They had initially remained neutral in the war against Yngvarr, but his attacking the priory and killing a monk forced their hand, which he comes to regret.
  • Longinus in Far Cry 4 is an African priest(possibly from the same fictional African country in Far Cry 2), who also works as an Arms Dealer for the Golden Path. He used to be a warlord before receiving a bullet to the head. After surgery saved his life, Longinus underwent a Heel–Faith Turn, and now works as The Atoner for past atrocities. Longinus has some pretty skewed views on religion, as shown when he asks "What gun would Jesus use?" despite Jesus being an advocate for peace, and he gives his guns nicknames based on Biblical passages and sometimes uses them to point at Ajay without checking if the safety catch is on, but there's no denying, he has a deep, confident voice and he's dedicated to his mission of atoning. As for "Badass", while we never see Longinus fighting anyone, he at one point goes stalking after a smuggler who obtained a box of blood diamonds that Longinus sold back when he was a warlord, and what does he take with him as ammunition? A literal RPG.
  • Pastor Jerome Jeffries in Far Cry 5 is a Marine Corps veteran and one of the leaders of the resistance against the Project at Eden's Gate. He wears a bulletproof vest over his vestments, carries a pistol in his Bible, and quotes verses while leading attacks against the cultists.
  • 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. Kirei himself also returns as Grigori Rasputin, an Alter Ego servant that uses Kirei as the base.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Since a good part of the 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 Genealogy; and the well-raised Safy, Tina, and Sleuf in Thracia (And in the backstory, Bragi and Saint Maera). The Elibe games give us Saul (though he's also a Handsome Lech until it's time to get serious), Elen and Yoder in Binding Blade; and Lucius, Renault and potentially Serra in Blazing Blade (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.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses gives us Rhea, the Archbishop of the Church of Seiros. She's a powerful Lady of War who wields swords and magic with equally strong proficiency, and is also shown to have skill with her fists. She's also Saint Seiros herself, who fought and defeated Nemesis with her fists.
  • 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.
  • League of Legends has Illaoi, the Kraken Priestess, a badass preacher for an equally badass god: a tentacled Eldritch Abomination called Nagakabouros. Her religion is based on "motion," encouraging all people, regardless of morality, to actively satisfy and fight for their desires rather than remain stagnant and submissive, and her method of preaching her wisdom is beating the crap out of you until you learn to fight for your life. Nagakabouros is not a gentle god.
    "I'm not big on sermons. Broken bones teach better lessons."
  • 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.
  • Momiji from the Ninja Gaiden games is both a Miko and a Kunoichi. Though she starts out as a Faux Action Girl, she quickly grows out of it and by III she is fighting by her master Hayabusa's side as an almost equal, which speaks volumes about her potential.
  • Reverend Jim Maynard from Nocturne (1999) 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.
  • Vicar Max from The Outer Worlds. He was formerly assigned to a penitentiary, where he acquired a questionable set of skills. His special ability, Trickshot, involves him delivering a religious one-liner before blessing his opponent with his shotgun.
    "Never anger a man of the cloth!"
  • 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.
  • Rage of the Dragons. Father Elias Patrick is an ordained minister who is fully capable of using his fists to beat the living daylights out of people. He fights seeking a cure for his ward Alice Carroll's case of Demonic Possession, ala The Exorcist.
  • 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!
  • 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 Catholicism 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.
  • Praetor Amalthus from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of the most refined villainous examples. He was the first person to climb the World Tree on his own and returned with the Core Crystals of Logos and Pneuma as proof, assassinated Praetor Rhadallis via poisoning to usurp his title as Praetor, kickstarted the Flesh-Eater and Blade-Eater projects whilst becoming a Blade-Eater himself, and is revealed to be the game's Greater-Scope Villain responsible for corrupting Malos and causing destruction on Alrest in his wake. And all this, while he leads the Indoline Praetorium and preaches the gospel of the Architect.
  • Billy Lee Black, from Xenogears, is a three gun-toting, mecha piloting, orphanage managing priest.
  • Dragon Quest IV: Party member Kiryl is a cleric. While he's primarily a healer, his physical attacks are better than those of Sage Borya, who attacks via magic.

  • 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.
  • Dead Winter has Reverend Phillip Murphy, a man who debuted in the comic's intermission strips and can definitely leave a good impression. Sniping the head of a zombie from afar that was accosting a mother and their baby. While delivering a religious Badass Boast. He also becomes good friends with the local Husky Russkie.
  • 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 monk in Nahast: Lands of Strife. Who at one point handily defeated several thugs without a scratch while by himself and on the ground.
  • With the comic taking place in an RPG Mechanicsverse based around Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, several of these are naturally present in The Order of the Stick. Durkon and Redcloak are the most prominent examples, but secondary characters like Malack and Minrah have also gotten their moments of divinely-empowered badassitude.
  • 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.
  • In Steeple, part of the Fantasy Kitchen Sink Bobbinsverse, the Cornish village of Tredregyn has some unusual problems — and the Reverend David Penrose is a grumpy, muscled Hunter of Monsters and borderline Blood Knight, who leaves his flock's spiritual needs to his curate.
  • Duane Adelier, one of the main protagonists of Unsounded is a shining example. He is one of, if not the, strongest characters in the story due to a combination of his great prowess at pymary, the setting's magic, and his physical combat skills that came from his time in the military. Combine that with his supernatural strength and immunity to pain due to being undead, and you have an almost unstoppable warrior. He is also one of the most devout characters in the story and was a high ranking priest before he died. Even in death he remains very devout despite his continued existence as a (sentient) zombie being considered an abomination to his religion.
  • Unholy Blood: Father Michael is revealed to be an ex-militant who served in a war that resulted in where is now in order to find redemption. That doesn't mean he is out of shape as he fends off himself from the vampires that are searching for Hayan by tricking them into his traps and using weapons he hid inside of his closet for who knows how long.

    Web Original 
  • 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. He very much is Book Safe, and is a pretty good shot to boot. It doesn't save him though.
  • Caduceus Clay from Critical Role. His family was chosen by the Wildmother to maintain the Blooming Grove, one of her most sacred sites, and Caduceus calls upon her for help or guidance very frequently. He doesn't get violent often as he's usually more focused on healing and buffing the rest of the Mighty Nein, but when it comes down to it he can still pack a massive wallop with necrotic spells and his personal swarm of flesh-eating insects.
    • His sister Calliope Clay plays this trope much more straight. She's easily the strongest and fastest of the Clay family, is armed with a large mace, and has dedicated herself entirely to protecting her family and her home.
  • The Fire Never Dies: General Preston Taylor, the leader of the Army of Memphis, is a prominent African-American preacher.
  • 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 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Reverend Sturdy Harris in The Boondocks was a physically imposing Suicidal Pacifist who led a group of Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement. When he's assaulted by an angry mob, he gently subdues his attackers using Charles Atlas Superpower and a self-made martial art he calls "hard chin, soft hand".
  • 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?"
  • 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!

HALLELUJAH! Praise the Lord! *chk* *chk* ... BANG!


Video Example(s):


Warrior Priest Saltzpyre

One of the four classes available to Victor Saltzpyre in Vermintide II. Taking on the mantle of a Warrior Priest of Sigmar, he fights heresy with his physical might and the holy light of the Empire's founder.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChurchMilitant

Media sources: