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Real Men Love Jesus

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“If nothing else, I’m living proof of the power of God. Anything you think you see, anything you think I’ve done, understand where it comes from. I’m up here to say thank you to God for giving me this ability, for blessing me, for shaping me, for chastising me, for teaching me, for punishing me, for allowing me to be a vessel and touch people around the world.”
Denzel Washington, American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award speech

This character is a total badass and doesn't seem to answer to anyone. Oh, but he does. He devoutly follows none other than God Himself with much devotion. He studies the Good Book, he does what it says (unlike fanatical extremists, who often don't actually follow their own religious teachings despite claiming that they do), won't miss services, and is often deeply conservative. He is not necessarily Christian; his faith of choice varies widely depending on the setting, and how devout he is may vary — from strongly to painfully religious. Basically, even the toughest badass needs to have some hope and guidance through this life.

A subtrope is Badass Preacher, when said person is a religious leader. See also Religious Bruiser for when this is used as for the humor/shock value of their contrast, or Church Militant, when the real man fights for Jesus. Conversely, the Holy Hitman will quote As the Good Book Says... while he guns people down.

Compare and contrast Knight Templar, Well-Intentioned Extremist. After all, when you consider God to be your only authority, you're free to interpret orders however you like. Also has been known to overlap with Churchgoing Villain.

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


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist, though he struggles with his faith later on.
  • Bartholomew Kuma of One Piece is very powerful and is always seen carrying a Bible.
  • Prussia in Hetalia: Axis Powers was hinted as being this back in his Teutonic Knight days.
  • Zakuro Fujiwara from Tokyo Mew Mew is one of the strongest Magical Girls on her team, a fierce warrior and Noble Wolf Anti-Heroine. She's also a practicing Japanese Christian, attending church and wielding a whip with a cross-shaped handle. This gets Bowdlerised out in the dub, with the sides of the crosses removed, which led to the meme that Renee venerates toothpicks.
  • The Progenitor from Farming Life In Another World is a 4000-year old Vampire who due to his long memory had forgotten many things; with the sole exception being his first meeting with God shortly before he was born. After hearing that two of his granddaughters had recently taken up residence in Great Tree Village, he discovers the shrine that Hiraku made to commemorate both God and the God of Agriculture for his new life and starts to bow before it. Hiraku then makes a similar wooden statue of God and gives it to Progenitor as a gift; who then donates the wooden statue to the Church since it truly captures Gods' likeness from Progenitors' memory.
  • Hellsing: Father Alexander Anderson is a man of God through and through, and second only to Alucard in badassery.
  • Possibly Mello from Death Note, in a Byronic Hero sorta way.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightcrawler was a devout Catholic and the nicest guy to ever join the X-Men. He could also kick butt when called upon to do so.
  • Gender-flipped example: Wolfsbane of the New Mutants was a mutant lycanthrope, but was also a devout Presbyterian, and often prayed in church in her civilian identity.
  • Daredevil is often presented as a devout Catholic; in fact, his faith and how he deals with it while being a vigilante is a main source of drama in his comics.
  • The Chick Tract The Sissy discusses this trope: two tough guys rib on a trucker's "Jesus Saves" bumper sticker until they get a good look at him and find that he's twice their size. Rather than give them a beating, the trucker treats them to dinner and explains that being a Christian doesn't make you a sissy and that Jesus Was Way Cool. It would have had a surprisingly insightful moral about not judging people by appearances and respecting others' religious beliefs if the trucker didn't abandon that topic halfway through to explain how everyone who doesn't accept his particular brand of Christianity is destined for hell.
  • Red Sonja is an unparalleled Action Girl and fiercely devoted to the goddess Scathatch, which makes sense since said deity is the source of her fighting prowess and Sonja is regarded as her human champion.
  • The Ultimates: Ultimate Captain America is much more religiously fervent than the Mainstream to the point of mentioning his faith in the Christian God during battle.
  • Nexus: The titular character is explicitly Christian (probably Eastern Orthodox, since his family is Russian), though the events of the "GodCon One" story arc severely test his faith.
  • Astro City has the Confessor, a vampire super-hero who is a devout Christian and wears a cross on his chest so the pain will distract him from his blood-thirst so he won't prey on anyone. After the Confessor's death, his sidekick is surprised to learn that the local Christian-themed superteam, the Crossbreed, had always known his dark secret and didn't hold it against him.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The McManus Brothers from The Boondock Saints are amazingly devout Irish-Catholics. They also assassinate drug lords, mafiosos, and other stupidly-dangerous criminals, some in broad daylight and once in a court of law that was currently in session. In the sequel, mob bosses talk about how heart-attackingly scared they are of these men, not to mention their dad.
  • The Blues Brothers are on a Mission from God.
  • In The Book of Eli, Eli is most definitely a badass for God. However, he has to learn throughout the movie to properly follow the words of the book that he so desperately wants to protect, leading to him ultimately giving up the Bible he had to save Solara's life. Although it helps that he memorized the whole thing during the thirty years he had it.
  • In the Daredevil movie, Matt Murdock is shown to have a regular habit of going to Catholic confession to atone for his violence. His parish priest is fully aware of his dual identity but is forbidden to disclose it due to the right of the confessional. He does wish Matt chose a different image though.
  • Vlad in Dracula Untold is still a Christian after becoming a vampire, as seen when he prays in a church for the necessary strength to resist. The fact the cross has no effect on him due to not having drunk any blood also counts.
  • Free State of Jones: Newt and Moses both appear to be devout Christians, invoking God at numerous points (not unexpected for the time and region). Both of them are also badass resistance fighters against the CSA who lead the revolt in Jones County.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is proud to declare his love for the Virgin Mary, and his belief that anyone who fails to share that love is a goddamn communist heathen. He is, however, impressed by the Jewish private brave enough to stand up to him when he demands he declare this love too.
    "So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps! Do you ladies understand?"
  • Gangs of New York opens with the conflict between the fiercely Catholic (and utterly badass) Priest Vallon and the resolutely Protestant (and utterly badass) "Butcher" Bill Cutting. Amsterdam's discovery of his inner badass is coupled with his rediscovery of his Catholic faith; the final confrontation between Bill and Amsterdam is prefaced by intercut scenes of the two of them praying.
  • A Hidden Life: Franz is pious, going to the church, asking a priest then a bishop for counsel, invoking God and praying. He also studiously refuses to fight for Nazi Germany, resisting even at the cost of his life.
  • Connor MacLeod Highlander astoundingly remains a devout Catholic four hundred and fifty years after the very ignorance of his Catholic-kinsmen drove him out of his village for the crime of being "a witch" after returning from a mortal wound in battle. The same applies to his great-grand Nephew Duncan MacLeod, also immortal and driven out by religious ignorance. The series also introduced Retired Badass Darius, who's been a Catholic monk for over a thousand years.
  • Eli from Hot Lead and Cold Feet. Though played as a "soft city boy", a pacifist, and a bit of a nebbish, he routinely walks headlong into, and THROUGH, danger that would make far mightier men quail, to the point of being an Implacable Man.
  • Though the Big Bad of Ladyhawke is a Sinister Minister who has corrupted the Church of Aquila, the movie avoids the implicit Take That! qualities of evil and hypocritical religious figures because, by contrast, the heroic characters are genuinely faithful, devout and God-fearing.
  • Sam Childers from the biopic Machine Gun Preacher. He's a hard-hitting, Harley-riding manly man who's been forgiven of his past sins by the blood of Christ and now is not afraid to grab an RPG-7 stand up to the thugs that are threatening the orphanage he built.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Like his comics counterpart, Captain America is also shown to be a Christian. See this quote from The Avengers:
    Cap: [about Thor & Loki] There is only one God, ma'am, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't dress like that.
  • Master and Commander: Jack Aubrey, Captain of HMS Surprise, twice acts as chaplain to his crew when presiding over the Burial at Sea of dead crew members (including one who was Driven to Suicide).
  • Pain & Gain: Paul sure does and tries to get the half-Jewish Victor Kershaw to do so as well.
  • Patton has a firm belief in the supernatural, and reads his Bible "every g**d*** day". Truth in Television when Psalm 63 is read in voiceover. This was the historical Patton's favorite Psalm.
    O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land
    Those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
    They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
  • Pulp Fiction features Villain Protagonist Jules Winnfield, a Scary Black Man who works as a hitman for Marcellus Wallace, intimidates his marks by chomping their burgers right in front of them, and recites a passage from Ezekiel 25:17 right before shooting the poor sucker who tried cheating Marcellus. Jules' religion is actually a key reason for his Heel–Face Turn: after somehow surviving a man shooting at him and his partner Vincent at point blank range and somehow missing them with every. Single. Bullet, he decides it was Divine Intervention and decides to quit the criminal life and travel the world. A bold and noble decision, which ultimately earns him a much kinder fate than that of Too Dumb to Live Vincent, who gets killed on the toilet by the boxer he was hired to kill.
  • The Raid is a Muslim version. Officer Rama spends most of the film beating the crap out of gangsters who have taken over a tower block, but the first thing we see him do is saying his morning prayers.
  • Alex Murphy was a devout Irish Catholic before he was killed and resurrected as RoboCop. In fact, in RoboCop 2, it's stated that this is one of the reasons why he didn't snap and kill himself unlike the RoboCop 2 subjects.
  • Rocky: Rocky himself. Anybody else would probably also pray to Jesus if they were about to fight Apollo.
  • Saving Private Ryan: Private Daniel Jackson was a Christian sniper who always said a quick prayer and/or kissed the cross on his necklace just before blasting some Nazi straight to hell. In the final scene, he's saying prayers while he's mowing down Nazis.
  • Seven Psychopaths: Hans is a very devout old-fashioned Christian. His faith is specifically named as the source of his confidence and tranquility, allowing him to stare death in the face without even flinching.
  • Man of Steel: In one scene, Clark goes to a church and makes a confession to a priest. Clark's actual religious leanings are never made clear aside from vaguely asking if "God" is responsible for his powers when he didn't know about his alien heritage, so it's just ambiguous enough that the audience can assume what they want to assume. Writer David Goyer suggested that Clark was raised Lutheran.
  • As shown in her biographical film Soul Surfer, Bethany Hamilton.
  • Howie from the original The Wicker Man (1973) believes in life eternal, as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ, and he gets a chance to throw his faith in Lord Summerisle's face when he's about to be sacrificed. Even Summerisle compliments his faith and tells him that he'll sit with the saints in Heaven after his death.
    That is good; for believing what you do, we bestow upon you a rare gift these days: a martyr's death.
  • Nightcrawler from X2: X-Men United is a devout Catholic who questions if his demonic appearance is a curse from God for some misdeeds that he must atone for, to the point of tattooing "angelic symbols" on his body for each of his sins. This is in contrast to his usual depiction in the comics, where he's a much more upbeat and fun-loving kinda guy, though still quite religious.
  • Zulu: Sergeant Rock Colour Sergeant Bourne quotes Psalm 46 before the battle.

  • The Black Arrow: Richard "Dick" Shelton is a good soldier, a competente archer, a faithful lover, a reasonable lord when he regains his inheritance, and a devout Christian.
  • The Dresden Files: Michael Carpenter, Knight of the Cross. Known as "The Fist of God" to his friends. We don't know what his enemies call him.
  • The Dark Tower: Father Callahan in this series and 'Salem's Lot.
  • The Lord of Bembibre: Being a knight of the Order of the Temple who has taken part in several war campaigns and survived, Don Álvaro is a seasoned warrior, an actually decent lord, and a very devout Christian.
  • Sharpe's Rifles: Don Blas Vivar. With just five hundred men — only one third of them actual soldiers — he attacks a city held by 2,000 French soldiers and wins. Why? So he can pray in the cathedral there.
  • Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191: In the Great War series, Gordon McSweeny is the most fierce soldier on either side during the Great War, willingly leads any raid that he is ordered to make, and won the Medal of Honor at least once, possibly twice. He is also a fanatical Presbyterian, constantly scolds his men for the slightest of offences (once putting himself on report for failing to clean his mess kit, then chewing out his CO for ignoring the complaint), never fails to lambast anyone who has theological differences with his church, and prefers to use a flamethrower to "give [the Confederates and Mormons] a nice foretaste of hell before they get there."
  • Trapped on Draconica: In this case, Real Women Love Dronor. Daniar regularly reminds her group that Dronor is watching over them, guiding them, etc. In her book 'pray to Dronor' is a legitimate plan.
  • Monster Hunter International:
    • Any strong religious faith can be used against certain monsters such as vampires and demons. Milo Anderson, who shares the author's Mormon beliefs, uses this to pray a Holy Hand Grenade into existence against a Master Vampire.
    • Earl Harbinger isn't very religious himself, but he does pray and makes it clear that he thinks if there's a God, he's just doing His work protecting people from monsters. Part of his training to master his werewolf side was achieved by reading the Bible from cover to cover and mediating on it while on a deserted island, and the fact the man who helped him master that side was a devout Catholic probably helped in that respect.
  • Solomon Kane, Robert E. Howard's Puritan swordsman who wanders the world with no goal other than to vanquish evil in all its forms. He undergoes some angst on whether to use an African magic staff that has an undeniable effect on supernatural creatures but is clearly not of the Judeo-Christian tradition.
  • In Victoria, this is generally held to be true in the Confederation, where atheism is seen as an opium for weak and immature characters. Military protagonist John Rumford is a strong Christian believer, who derives great strength from his faith and his complete conviction that he has Providence on his side and is fighting for righteousness and truth, and this is also true of several other characters.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a few religions, with some anticidents who apply from each.
    • The institution of knighthood is heavily tied to the Faith of the Seven, thus knights are meant to be religious, though in practice it varies from knight to knight. Ser Bonifer Hasty is one such knight, and the Warrior's son is a whole order of them. There are also the king's men, followers of Stannis Baratheon who have refused to joined him in the faith of R'hollor, and who keep worshipping the
    • In the North, the Faith of the Seven isn't widely practiced, and they follow the old gods instead. Northern nobles tend to be pretty religious, and fairly hardy and formidable in battle. Jon Snow, one of the series protagonists, is a Young and in Charge bastard son of the warden of the North (who himself was an example), leads the first of line of defense against the Zombie Apocalypse, and refuses offer of legitimization and lordship out of his loyalty to the old gods.
  • The Martian: Major Martinez is an Ace Pilot USAF veteran who's repeatedly stated to be one of the best pilots at NASA. He's the first one to volunteer for the plan to go back and rescue Mark even though it means doubling the time away from his family. He's also a devout Catholic and was able to persuade NASA to let him bring a wooden crucifix in his personal effects in spite of the extremely strict regulations about flammable items.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Firefly:
    • Played straight and then subverted with Malcolm Reynolds. The first scene in "Serenity" shows us that he once was a devout believer, kissing a crucifix before he went into a battle, but the Independents' defeat at the Battle of Serenity Valley breaks his faith completely.
    • Also Shepherd Book, who is an itinerant pastor with a special ops background. He follows the Ten Commandments and doesn't kill until his town is destroyed by an Alliance patrol ship in the movie, though the Good Book is a mite fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
  • Game of Thrones: Ned is a devout follower of the Gods of the First Men and Children of the Forest, though he is religiously tolerant. His wife Catelyn is a devotee of the Faith of the Seven, and their children were raised in both faiths, with Robb marrying Talisa before a Septon despite being King in the North, and Sansa being initially strong in the Faith of the Seven.
  • Mr. Eko and Sayid are both shown to be religious in Lost. Mr. Eko is a Catholic priest and has a 'Jesus Stick' covered in scripture, which he also uses to beat the bad guys to death with. He's a deeply spiritual badass. Sayid is a Muslim and former Iraqi soldier and indisputable badass but is also shown praying on at least one occasion on the island, and in his flashbacks prays in mosques.
  • Bones:
    • Seeley Booth in is very much a devout Catholic. He's also a former Army Ranger and still a crack sniper. And if you mess with his son Parker, his partner (later wife) Temperance "Bones" Brennan or their children, he will dedicate himself to ending you.
    • Arastoo, one of the Jeffersonian workers, is a devout Muslim, and once delivered a very powerful speech when someone questioned his working on a 9/11 victim's remains.
  • The Reagan family on Blue Bloods are devout Catholics. And all the men are cops (retired, in Henry and Frank's case), and Erin Reagan is a district attorney.
  • Major Dick Winters of Band of Brothers - a brave, stoic, competent leader - is shown to be very religious.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Slayer turns up at a church where vampires have taken the congregation hostage, and finds her boyfriend Riley Finn already taking charge of the crisis.
    "How'd you get here so fast?"
    "I didn't, I'm just late for church."
  • Walker, Texas Ranger:
    "Y'know, there's a lot of people out there that really need the martial arts."
    "That's not the only thing they need..." (pulls out a Bible)
  • Black Lightning: Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning is a devout Christian who honestly believes that his powers are a gift from God. Turns out they're due to the ASA's experiment with an illegal vaccine. However, he is the only one given that vaccine who didn't die, so perhaps it was a gift from God after all.
  • Shaka Zulu: Zigzagged. Shaka shows a fascination with Jesus, though primarily because he wonders how someone touted to be the "King of Kings" could die such an ignominious death by being crucified. He sees parallels in Jesus being betrayed by those closest to him, but he eventually concludes that Jesus died so that Shaka could inherit the powers given to him from the heavens, and that there can only be one "Kosi amaKosi" note , which must be him.
  • Star Trek tends to espouse secular humanism (if not state-sponsored atheism), but there are exceptions.

    • Captain Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series says in the episode Who Mourns for Adonais that “mankind has outgrown its need for gods. We find the one quite sufficient.” and in the episode Bread and Circus is pleasantly surprised by the existence of Space Jesus on the Roman planet commenting “Caesar and Christ. They had them both”.
    • Captain Picard, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, when asked by Data to explain the concept of death reveals he believes in the existence of the afterlife but that he doesn’t believe it’s in precisely the same mold as traditional depictions of the Garden of Eden.
    • Worf, son of Mogh in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine devoutly follows a version of Klingon warrior philosophies, especially those from the legends of Kahless. Amusingly, though, he also once mentions a legend that ancient Klingon warriors slew their actual gods for being "more trouble than they were worth". (There's another version discussed in the Klingon marriage rite where the first Klingon man and woman destroyed the gods by the beating of their joined hearts.)
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • In "Emissary", station commander Captain Benjamin Sisko is made the "Emissary" of a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens viewed as deities by the native Bajorans. He's initially uncomfortable with this role but becomes a deeply spiritual man by the end of the series and finally ascends.
      • His first officer, Major/Colonel Kira Nerys, fought in the Bajoran Resistance against the Cardassian occupation forces for over a decade. Like most of her people, she too is deeply religious.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Afterlife", Stiles is a former soldier who steadfastly refused to go through with an assassination, accept death, or kill people even when they're trying to murder him. This all seems to be based on his Catholic beliefs.
  • The Good Lord Bird: Brown is a hugely badass anti-slavery crusader who's also a fervent Christian. The same applies to many of his followers on a lesser scale, plus Harriet Tubman for a female example.
  • S.W.A.T. (2017): Deacon's a loving family man who's also a Christian. He hates anyone who tries to justify bad things by using Christianity as a basis. Of course, he's also a highly competent SWAT officer.
  • Creepshow: In "Public Television Of The Dead" Norm is a soft-spoken, gentle man most of the time (although he'd served in Vietnam) who calmly trusts that God will care for him when his show's canceled. However, when the Deadites attack we quickly learn he was trained very well while in Vietnam, taking them down either with his bare hands or improvised weapons. He ends every show by telling people "God bless", seamlessly going back to his painting after the threat passes.
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland: Alice's father says grace before eating, no matter how small the meal. Though his heroic credentials are severely in question at the beginning given that he was responsible for Alice being locked in the asylum in the first place, he does manage to stand strong against Jafar's magical torture and while his own experience in Wonderland leaves him quite shaken it also makes him a better father to Alice. He's seen helping to perform her wedding to Cyrus in the finale.

  • "Real Men Love Jesus" by Country Music singer Michael Ray has it right there in the title. The song is a List Song about things that in the narrator's eyes make for a "real man", including well, loving Jesus.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • King David, killer of giants. Except, y'know, he was actually Jesus' ancestor (and also the ancestor of his stepdad).
    • Samson, powerful enough to kill hundreds of his enemies at once, was devoutly religious (which was the source of his strength). His major difficulty was following the rules of his faith, which was ultimately his downfall
  • In The Four Gospels, Jesus' twelve disciples/apostles mainly worked blue-collar jobs such as fishing and carpentry, so it's fair to assume they were manly men. At least one was implied to be a terrorist (the Zealots believed in violent revolution, and one disciple had that descriptor attached to his name) and another was a tax collector. Jesus himself worked as a carpenter for most of his life before starting his ministry.
    • Peter, in particular, was badass enough to pull out his sword and take on a large crowd armed with swords and clubs sent to arrest Jesus, all by himself, until Jesus stopped him, told him off, and put a guard's severed ear back into place. Peter would go on to be a very courageous preacher and eventual martyr for the cause.
  • Saints who were soldiers or warlords in life, with St. George as the most iconic example.
  • In The Book of Mormon, Mormon himself, and both seriously hardcore captains known as Moroni kill a bunch of people, in order to protect the people of God, defend their countries, families, liberty and their right to worship God as they see fit.
  • Arthurian Legend: King Arthur's first appearances have him bearing an icon of the Virgin Mary in his eighth battle against the Saxons and the cross itself on his shield (or shoulder) in the climactic Battle of Badon Hill. Later developments would add nuance to his role as a holy warrior, as he's frequently cast in an antagonistic role against churchmen who would go on to become saints.
  • Robin Hood has a variation; he's deeply devoted to Mary Magdalene.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Intelligent wrestling fans know the The Iron Sheik has nothing but good to say about the God and the Jesus.
  • When not wrestling Mark Briscoe is sometimes seen wearing an "I love Jesus" hat, only with a Heart Symbol in place of love. And he and Jay don't care if Kevin Steen is the antichrist of pro wrestling, dem God-fearing country boys are gonna beat the hell out his faction.
  • Carlito gives thanks to Jesus, among other such as "everyone's favorite place Puerto Rico", team Jacob, and himself, after he steals Jeff Hardy's slammy award.
  • Mercedes Martinez states her faith in God as her reasoning for returning to WSU after she was paralyzed by the Midwest Militia, whose leader, Jessicka Havok, was about ready to kill her afterwards. She goes on to advise Havok to find something to pray to if she hasn't already before she gets back.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Diablo II: The Paladins of The Church of Light. At least until the entire church was corrupted by evil, anyway. The playable Paladin, however, is still devoted to his faith and remained uncorrupted to the end.
  • Captain Bible from Captain Bible in Dome of Darkness is a great example of this trope. He's a muscle-bound super hero who kills giant robots with just a sword... to save the inhabitants of a city from the anti-Christian lies that these robots tell them and is trying to restore Christianity to the city. Yeah, it's a pretty weird game.
  • A few Mass Effect characters tend to fit this trope.
    • Ashley Williams, one of Commander Shepard's human teammates, is not only the best weapons specialist on the team but firmly believes in God.
    • Matriarch Benezia, who is a religious Asari philosopher and teacher and an incredibly powerful space magician (also known as a biotic in-game).
    • In the sequel, badass Drell assassin Thane Krios, who, before and after every mission, prays to his polytheistic gods to aid him in his objectives, forgive him for killing, forgive the person he killed and should he die, bring him to the afterlife.
    • Shepard him/herself is able to profess belief in God during one side conversation with Ashley in the first game. (S/he also has the option to say that Ashley should keep her belief to herself, or simply say she has the constitutional right to believe as she likes.)
  • In Dragon Age, there are the templars, a military faction of the Chantry, the game's major religion. On a more personal level, several companions in both games are faithful Andrastians. In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden first meets Leliana while she's serving as a lay sister at the Lothering Chantry and ably helps fight off a group of armed men; she later claims to have been inspired to join the party by a vision from the Maker. In Dragon Age II there's Sebastian, a brother in the Chantry and badass archer.
  • Legacy of Kain: Janos Audron is both physically imposing (tall, well-muscled, with giant black wings) and a powerful warrior-sorcerer. He's also completely, unflinchingly devoted to his God.
  • Joshua Graham, from the second Fallout: New Vegas add-on, Honest Hearts. In his youth, he was trained as a missionary for the (post-apocalyptic) Church of Latter-day Saints. He was one of the co-founders of Caesar's Legion until he was disgraced and found his faith again. He also happens to be one of the strongest beings in the Fallout universe, gameplay-wise.
    Joshua Graham: I pray for the safety of all good people who come to Zion. But we can't expect God to do all the work.
  • In The Elder Scrolls, with Nirn being such a World of Badass, there are plenty of "manly men" (at least from the point of view of their culture) warrior-types around and nearly all are devoutly religious to at least one deity (or set of deities). To note:
    • The Imperials of Cyrodiil have created no fewer than four empires, with two spanning most-or-all of Tamriel, on the backs of their elite Imperial Legions. While they do allow for native religious practices to continue in conquered lands, they also require their provinces to allow free worship in the Church of the Nine Divines. Of them, Akatosh, the chief deity and God of Time is held in the highest regard, but Stendarr (the God of Justice and Mercy) is also held in quite a high regard. With the apotheosis of Tiber Septim, founder of the Third Cyrodiilic Empire, into the Ninth Divine Talos (the God of War and Good Governance), Talos has also become a prominent deity in their faith.
    • The Nords of Skyrim are perhaps the proudest of Proud Warrior Races, and are still quite religious. While they have a long history as some of the greatest supporters of the Empire, they still practice elements of their old religion in which the chief deity is Shor (aka Lorkhan, Shezarr, Shep, etc.), the "dead" creator god of the ES universe. Any Nord worth their salt hopes to die in glorious battle so their soul can spend eternity in Shor's hall in Sovngarde. When Tiber Septim, who was (in Imperial dogma) a Nord originally named Talos Stormcrown, ascended (possibly with others) as Talos, he immediately shot to the top of the Nordic pantheon. In Skyrim, the Civil War conflict began when the Empire, as a result of the treaty with the Aldmeri Dominion to end the Great War, accepted terms which included a ban on Talos worship that also allows Thalmor agents to patrol the Empire's lands to enforce it. As any "true" Nord would rather die than stop worshipping Talos, this led the Stormcloak faction into seceding from the Empire and fighting to become an independent nation. Many other Nords, while they dislike the ban, believe that no "true" Nord would abandon a long-time ally like the Empire.
  • In Tin Star (Choice of Games), this comes up frequently. Nearly all of the Latter-Day Saints are both religiously-devout and master riflemen. Also, the PC can take the Religious trait, and being a U.S. Marshal, is a badass by default.
  • Bayek, the main protagonist in Assassin's Creed Origins is a Medjei warrior and fiercely devout to the Egyptian gods, in stark contrast to previous games' protagonists, who tended to be atheistic due to learning about the Apples of Eden and the Ones That Came Before.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: Jesus can be summoned on the battlefield to spray the enemies with a hail of machinegun fire. Pay attention to the New Kid while he does that. He'll be crossing himself, and when Jesus is about to leave, NK will put his palms together in a pious gesture.
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence: After whipping Death into submission, Leon Belmont basically states that "Death" is only a psychopomp (which is why he could), and that as a good, God-fearing Christian, he'll be going to Heaven anyway in the end, so Death's threats about dragging Leon's soul to Hell after his natural death don't matter. This is especially significant if you consider Mathias's conviction that God Is Evil and attempts to make Leon feel similarly— Leon is betting his immortal soul on the exact opposite being true, even after everything that's happened to him. There is no shaking this man's faith.
  • EarthBound Beginnings: Ana, a young girl from Snowman and Ninten's love interest, is the strongest PSI user in the game who can decimate enemies with various elemental attacks and strives to save the world from Giygas' influence. She's also a devout Christian, with her favorite item being her Bible, her father being a priest, and living in a church on the far end of Snowman.

    Web Comics 
  • Unholy Blood: Hayan's adoptive father, Father Michael, is a war veteran who became a priest in the hopes of atoning for the lives he took in war. He's still completely shredded and keeps a stockpile of weapons in case of a vampire attack.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park did this once in a Dog The Bounty Hunter parody.
  • The Simpsons: Ned Flanders, considering the length of the censor bar when Homer tapes him in the shower. Also, muscular build and incredible physical strength, as shown in several episodes.
  • Wolverine becomes a Christian in X-Men: The Animated Series, being influenced by Nightcrawler, not only a devout Catholic as normal, but a monk in a religious order in the Alps.
  • American Dad!:
    • Stan Smith is a CIA agent, super buff, manly, and is a devout Episcopalian.
    • The Christian Weightlifters from "Escape From Pearl Bailey" can count as this.
  • Parodied in The Boondocks when Huey describes the typical plot of a Tyler Perry expy's films. A woman is attracted to a handsome, light skinned gardener who loves Jesus. Her abusive dark-skinned husband, on the other hand, hates Jesus.

    Real Life 
  • Generally, this was the mainstream view in Western culture for much of post-Christianization history (as well as in Islam, as elaborated below, where it is still very much in effect). For centuries, serving God and living according to His standards was one of the parts that made up a real man and defined what the baseline of masculinity was, with a common accusation lobbed against heretics being being (supposedly) effeminate by virtue of their godlessness. In many more conservative cultures, this is still very much the case.
  • Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers and former Kansas City Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney are both devout Catholics who are open about their faith.
  • Fred Rogers, of the Badass Pacifist type of real man. He's best known as a TV presenter, but he was trained as a theologian and was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He was also in excellent shape — he was an avid distance swimmer — and not afraid to tackle difficult issues like segregation and the assassination of senator Robert F. Kennedy to an audience of children.
  • Charles XII of the Swedish Empire.
  • Charlemagne was a great warrior king who made it his business to deepen the spiritual life of Europe by working with the Pope. One of his favorite books was St Augustine's City of God. He also forcibly stamped out pagan religions in northern Germany during the Saxon Wars.
  • Starting fairly recently, Sylvester Stallone has taken up his childhood Catholic faith once more. The missionary plot of Rambo IV was partly influenced by it.
  • Mr. T; this man averted the Blasphemous Boast with his celebrity bodyguard service's motto, and it makes him all the more badass for it ("The best protection short of God Himself"). He also fills his personal Twitter account with positive quotes from The Bible.
  • Denzel Washington is the son of a Pentecostal preacher and makes it a point to regularly read his Bible and pray. Appropriate, for the star of The Book of Eli. He had actually seriously considered ministry as his true calling but was convinced by another minister that he was destined to be a great actor.
  • Pervasive in works dealing with The Crusades.
  • George S. Patton. A hard-charging, immensely profane general who prayed and read the Bible every damn day. He also ordered his Chaplain to write a prayer that would be distributed to the troops during the Battle of Bastogne: "Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations."
  • Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. He began his heavy metal career as an occult-inspired songwriter, but became a born again Christian after his experiences in recovery from his alcoholism. That being the case, some of his older songs make him uncomfortable, and he refuses to play them unless the lyrics are toned down.
    • Some heavy metal bands give this feel as well, Powerwolf and Sabaton being chief among them, glorifying Crusades and Holy Knights, but the former also includes things like vampire and occult stuff. When the lead guitarist of Powerwolf, Benjamin Buss was asked if he was a Christian or a Satanist, he replied that he's a "mentalist", but was raised Catholic. Kristen Brill's on-stage character is seen as being a mix of both demonic/evil/brutal and religious/holy/righteous warriors.
    • Ozzy Osbourne, of all people. While his on-stage persona both as a Black Sabbath member and during his solo career has the trappings of being vampiric, occult or just plain off-the-wall crazy, he is shown in the Rockumentary God Bless Ozzy Osbourne as kneeling in prayer prior to his concert performancenote , was shown in an episode of their reality show listening to biblical teaching, and gave a little boy who was a member of a children's percussion orchestra a hearty "God Bless you".
    • Fellow Sab Tommy Iommi also wrote and performed a chroal piece for the Birmingham Cathedral, inspired by Psalm 133. For a band who was a prime target of the Satanic Panic they are far more pious Christians than people give them credit for.
    • And yet again, another Sab, Geezer Butler, note  who was the main lyricist for the Sabs, was a devout Catholic in his youth, and, in his own words, "I've slowly come back to the faith over time, not that I ever lost it, really." Maybe it's time to re-classify Black Sabbath as Christian Metal?
  • Orde Wingate, an eccentric British officer who helped organize Zionist militia forces and later became known as a Commando during the war (highly controversial for many say he was wasteful in lives). Wingate modelled himself after the great Hebrew warrior heroes of the Bible and his career was rather uncannily similar. He was intensely fond of rather grim Old Testament-style speech.
    "God give it to us to slay the enemies of the Jews for the enemies of the Jews are the enemies of all mankind."
  • Jesus Christ arguably counts, though He was more religious to His Dad than Himself.
  • Johnny Cash. "I've been down on bended knee, talking to the Man from Galilee..."
  • Robin Lee Graham the boy who sailed round the world wasn't this when he set out but became an enthusiastic Christian on his return.
  • King Alfred the Great was a Warrior Prince, a scholar, a codifier of laws and customs, and was nominated for Sainthood.
  • The whole Muscular Christianity movement was built on this idea, preaching the spiritual value of physical fitness. The original YMCA organizations were birthed from this movement, though they have since rebranded to represent a more secular approach to fitness.
  • Pilgrims would hold Church service in the same building where the militia's powder was kept. Which means they could not light the stove in the middle of a New England winter. It was considered a point of honor to stand straight and upright through the entire long service. When they started chattering the preacher would shout out something like, Stand! And hear the word of God! Apparently Pilgrims thought that the way of the Lord was similar to The Spartan Way. Not surprising, given the hardships the Pilgrims had to endure their first winter after landing.
  • Many professional wrestlers, from the Born Again Shawn Michaels and Sting to the lifelong devout Chris Jericho (really!) And of course the late, great Eddie Guerrero.
  • Promise Keepers — an Evangelical Christian group dedicated to extolling the virtues of manliness — runs on this trope.
  • Most, if not all, Muslim military personnel are the Islamic version of this trope. Partly because Jesus Himself is considered the penultimate prophet in Islam, and the Qu'ran speaks of Him in high regard.
    • Salah-ad-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub the Great was the Muslim version of this, as were many Muslim commanders during the era of the Crusades and onwards.
    • Khalid ibn Al-Walid is the king of the trope (the Muslim king, at least). A fiercely devout and zealous Muslim, a companion of the Muslim Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH); under his military leadership, the entire Arabian peninsula was united under the Muslim Khalifat. He is likely one of the most brilliant generals in history, being one of the three to have never suffered a defeat. He was a terrifying warrior as well; a tale states that during the Battle of Muta he shattered nine swords. For his faithfulness and skill, he was named Saif-ul-Allah, meaning the 'Sword of God'. Upon his deathbed, he lamented only that he would not die a martyr for Islam.
  • Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao. A devout Evangelical who is currently considered as one of the best boxers, pound-for-pound.
  • St. Ladislaus of Hungary, has ascended to Memetic Badass status even during his rule. Among other things, he is said to have cleaved a mountain in two, thus creating the Gorge of Torda, and coming back from the dead for one last battle.
  • Russian Mixed Martial Arts champion Fedor Emelianenko is very outspoken in his faith.
  • American football players Tim Tebow and Troy Polamalu are both devout Christians (Tebow is Evangelical, Polamalu is Greek Orthodox) and pray constantly on the field.
  • Four-time British Prime Minister, and arch-enemy of Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone. His devout faith led him to bring many London prostitutes off the street over the decades, give them shelter and necessities, and protect them from pimps.
  • Bethany Hamilton isn't a man, obviously, but she is a badass. Nothing will stop her from the sport she loves, not even the shark that ripped off her left arm at the shoulder.
  • Confederate general Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was a very devout believer in Christianity.
  • Elvis Presley hated being called "The King": as far as he was concerned, the only true King was the King of Kings.note 
  • Bob Dylan became a born-again Christian in the late 1970s, after which (for a period) his concerts included mini-sermons such as this one:
  • The Robertsons of Duck Dynasty are all rough-and-tumble rednecks who enjoy manly pursuits like hunting, fishing, and Stuff Blowing Up. Many of them are also ordained pastors and/or have ministry degrees. There's a reason every episode ends with the group praying around the dinner table.
  • Alvin York, who left the ravaged French countryside as the most decorated American soldier of World War I, was a devout Christian. Originally a drinker and hell-raiser, he experienced a religious conversion and 1915 swore off drinking and fighting and became a pacifist. Though he at first tried to claim conscientious objector status, he was drafted anyway and his commanding officers reassured him of the morality of his participation in the War. After a 10 day leave and period of intense prayer, he became convinced of his mission and believed God would keep him safe. He used the royalties from the biopic based on his life to open a Bible college.
    • This also ties in to the Catholic Church's concept of a "just war" where not fighting a war would do more harm than good. The concept states sometimes it's necessary to fight an enemy to protect friends, family, and the innocent. The actual tenets must be it's a last resort, for a just cause, from a valid authority, with probable success, proportional (as in not being complete overkill), and a have a good exit strategy. The reason WWI ended up being so unpopular is because it started to fail these objectives especially the "probable success" part where men were thrown away for no reason. Meanwhile, in WWII, the discovery of the death camps made the Allies even more determined to end the war quickly and, in the Russians' case, even more brutally. Though lashing out against the people was common for both fronts and many suspected Nazis or collaborators were killed by what amounted to as frontier justice.
  • Samurai were often quite strongly Buddhist, and Zen Buddhism, in particular, is often associated with them. There were also Christian Samurai, like Dom Justo Takayama Ukon, who may soon become the first Samurai Saint.
  • Buzz Aldrin, third in his class at West Point, fighter pilot, MIT Doctor of Science in Astronautics, and NASA astronaut who was the second man on The Moon, was/is also a devout Presbyterian. He was the first person to perform a religious ritual on another celestial body; before exiting the Eagle he took Holy Communion using a kit he had packed in his Personal Preference Kit.
  • Ironically, many Hells Angels and other bikers.
  • Devout preacher and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., one of the Trope Codifiers for Badass Pacifist. The actor who portrayed him in Selma, David Oyelowo, is a Christian as well and in fact, has said God called him to play Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Terry Crews, best known for playing the Scary Black Man in his work, is a Christian in real life.
  • Tyrant (2014) and The Kingdom (2007) star Ashraf Barhom is a Christian.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Jason David Frank was heavily open about his Christian faith and even founded the Jesus Didn't Tap MMA clothesline.
    • Jessica Rey, AKA the white Wild Force Ranger, has an MBA, is an author, has her own clothing and swimsuit lines, and is proud of her Christian faith.
    • Johnny Yong Bosch is himself devoutly religious, calling God a personal influence and Jesus one of his heroes.
  • Kenneth Branagh, probably one of the greatest Shakespeare directors out there, is a Christian and became so after hearing one of his childhood heroes Laurence Olivier reading the Bible.
  • Scott Derrickson, acclaimed horror movie director and director of the Doctor Strange film, is a Christian and says his faith very much influences how he does his films.
  • Henry Flagler, the man who helped Florida become civilized and built the railroad that goes from St. Augustine to Key West, was a born-again Christian and deliberately put architectural mistakes in the tilings and other parts of the building as he felt God was the only perfect thing in existence.
  • David Livingstone, who explored much of Africa on behalf of The British Empire and who opposed chattel slavery his entire life.
  • Despite playing a number of sinister characters like Dracula, Christopher Lee was Anglo-Catholic and spoke out against the occult. Fittingly, one of his few heroic roles, Nicolas in The Devil Rides Out, was a devout man of God.
  • Hugh Jackman, badass both on and off-screen, is a devout Christian in real life.
  • Daran Norris, the voice of Timmy's dad on The Fairly OddParents!.
  • In contrast to the abrasive and alcoholic characters he plays in many of his roles, Bradley Cooper is a Catholic and hasn't touched alcohol in years.
  • Dwayne Johnson is a Christian and has said his faith has played a role in his success. D'aww...
  • Richard Kiel was a devout Christian and concluded his autobiography with an invitation to pray and join the faith.
  • Russell Crowe. He even has expressed hope in being baptized.
  • Director David Ayer is a Christian and created the character of Boyd Swan in Fury (2014) to give a realistic depiction of faith in World War II.
  • Martin Freeman, despite being known for swearing like a sailor, is a devout Roman Catholic.
  • A surprising amount of web reviewers, most notably Lewis Lovhaug, Allison Pregler and MarzGurl. The creator of Infamous Animation is Christian as well, which he mentions in his review of the 2007 The Ten Commandments animated film.
  • Chris Pratt is a Christian and said the birth of his son Jack restored his faith in God.
  • Andrei Tarkovsky was a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, with his diaries being filled with prayers. The spiritual contents of his diaries clashed with the Soviet Union's atheistic ideology, leading the KGB to open a file on him.
  • Ricardo Montalbán was a devout Catholic who described faith and family as the most important aspects of his life. One gag in The Naked Gun was changed at his polite request, as he found naming a hospital "Our Lady Who Never Got The Pickle" disrespectful.
  • Todd Beamer was one of the passengers on Flight 93 who formulated the plan to take control of the plane from the hijackers. Moments before rushing the cockpit, he led the other passengers in reciting the Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23.
  • Alice Cooper, the king of shock rock, is a devout born-again Christian.
    "Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion."
  • Fray Tormenta, a champions Lucha Libre wrestler, unbeatable street brawler, and former drug addict, was also a fiercely devoted Catholic priest and former friar of the Dominican order.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder is a 6'7 beast of a fighter with quite possibly the hardest punch in the history of the sport, having KO'd 42 of his 43 opponentsnote  despite nearly all of them weighing over 240 pounds. He's also devoutly religious, thanking God for his success in several post-fight interviews. He even went to Rome to meet The Pope and get his gloves signed.
    Deontay Wilder: [Before I fight] I always tell people that I have two prayers. I have a team prayer, and I have an individual prayer. The team prayer is always about victory, and even in my personal prayer, that’s there about winning. But in my personal prayer, I also express to God that I want to knock out my opponent, but I don’t want to hurt them to the point where they can’t go back to their job, or they can’t do what they love to do anymore where they can’t provide for their families.
  • Ennio Morricone was a devout Catholic, something he discussed in this interview. A friend also described him as a man “comforted by faith.”
  • Defied with a vengeance by Aron Ra, who fits the "manly" bill almost to a T, and is often compared to The Undertaker, but is an outspoken atheist and harsh critic of Christianity, and considers Christian faith to be a sign of personal weakness.
  • Russian Greco-Roman wrestling superstar Aleksandr Karelin gained fame for his feats of strength on and off the mat (including lifting opponents weighing 285+ and throwing them onto the mat), going 13 years without a loss, three Olympic gold medals, and his intense training regimen of running through the Siberian wilderness. Karelin is also a practicing Russian Orthodox Christian.
  • Rulon Gardner, who snapped the aforementioned Karelin's winning streak in the 2000 Sydney Olympics gold medal match, comes from a devout Mormon family in Wyoming and attended Ricks College in Idaho before transferring to the University of Nebraska.
  • Chance the Rapper turned to faith in Christ when his daughter was born with an atrial flutter; since then he has even performed Christian Rap songs on a global stage at the Grammy Awards.
  • TBJZL is known for being the most openly Christian member of his group the Sidemen, claiming that he is nothing without God. He's also known to thank God on a number of occasions such as his birthday and frequently wears a cross necklace as well.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Real Men Love God


The Progenitor

Ru and Floras' Grandfather having lived for around 4000 years still remembers God from the day he was born, and greatly admires the wooden statue that Hiraku made in His likeness.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealMenLoveJesus

Media sources: