|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A shepherd must tend his flock... and at times, fight off the wolves.
—Reverend Oliver, The Patriot
May be a Technical Pacifist. May be an Actual Pacifist; if so, like other Actual Pacifists, about the only thing that will goad him into violence is someone else being directly threatened with death. Even then he may simply take every blow without flinching and dare you to hit harder. Often looks like Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
Or may just be someone who believes that fighting is okay under certain circumstances—when those above him in the church hierarchy don't.
This Trope applies to 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.) Wolfwood also counts.
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—that is, the whole church is, or tries to be, Badass. A Badass Preacher is a minority in his church hierarchy.
In terms of rank, the Authority Tropes arguably equal are Corrupt Corporate Executive, Irish Priest, Landlord, Preacher Man, Pedophile Priest, Good Shepherd, Schoolteachers, Sexy Priest, Sinister Minister and The Vicar. Related to Turbulent Priest who is usually a step up in terms of authority, and fights with his words. For the next step down, see Student Council President. For the next step up, see Dean Bitterman.
- Trigun: Nicholas D. Wolfwood. All he 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 machine-gun/rocket launcher/pistol rack and taking down anybody in need of an asskicking. In the manga he's a science experiment and an assassin.
- Father Alexander Anderson from Hellsing will screw you up twelve ways to Sunday if you even look at him wrong.
- Pretty much everyone in the Vatican Section XIII Iscariot division.
- 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.
- Fushigi Yuugi has the Suzaku Seishi Chichiri, a monk who always gets dangerous.
- Miroku from Inuyasha.
- 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.
- Saiyuki: Genjo Sanzo
- Adam Blade from NEEDLESS
- Baskerville in Et Cetera, before it was revealed that it was just a cover.
- 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.
- DOGS Bullets and Carnage: Bishop, a blind priest who is revealed to be Ernest Rammsteiner, a failed Cerberus experiment who is still skilled enough to cross blades with Campenella Fruhling and survive.
- 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 straighest 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.
- Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist was a warrior-priest of Ishbala before the genocide.
- One of the playable hero characters in Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is the small town of Woodinvale's priest Father Joseph; though he is a Technical Pacifist, Father Joe can still kill zombies.
- Betrayal at House on the Hill has a priest as one of its playable characters. He has the highest Sanity stat of all the characters, and is surprisingly powerful in-game.
- Preacher: Jesse Custer 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.
- 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.
- Kurt Wagner, AKA Nightcrawler in the Marvel Universe, becomes a priest at one point, allowing for him to fall into this trope. Although most X-Men fans prefer to consign that particular storyline to the realms of Fanon Discontinuity.
- Chaplain Action, He-Man of the Cloth, from The Authority. Has an eyepatch. Is...evil. And a television Preacher.
- 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
- Battle Pope, name says it all.
- Lawrence Verse in Caballistics, Inc. from Two Thousand AD 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."
- 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.
- 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).
- The titular character in Just a Pilgrim by Garth Ennis. Still well-steeped in badassery, he turned to the Good Book after giving cannibalism a try.
- '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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Father McGruder the Kung Fu Priest in Peter Jackson's early splatter movie Braindead/Dead Alive, including the unforgettable line, "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").
- John Carpenter's Vampires
- 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.
- This does happen in Friendly Persuasion (which is about a Quaker community and is set during The 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.
- The Reverend in The Patriot who threw in with Mel Gibson's partisans telling his stunned congregation; 'A good shepherd must protect his flock - and sometimes chase away the wolves!'
- Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. That is all.
- Clint Eastwood is The Badass Preacher With No Name in Pale Rider (1985).
- The fake trailer for Machete in Grindhouse contains one, played by Cheech Marin. Contains the memorable line. "God has mercy...I don't."
- 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."
- Preacher Man Bob from the Troma film Buttcrack, who was pretty much the only good thing about the movie.
- 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.
- In Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, Friar Tuck exemplifies this when he calls out and then kills the corrupt and greedy archbishop who sided with the Sheriff.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Vicar from Lesbian Vampire Killers.
- The Street Preacher from Johnny Mnemonic.
- Priest Vallon from Gangs of New York.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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!"
- Yin from 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.
- 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.
- For as awful as it is, the second The Howling movie has Father Florin, who goes nuts on a gang of werewolves with a titanium axe alongside badasses like Christopher Lee and Reb Brown.
- Cort (Russell Crowe) in The Quick and the Dead.
- In Changeling, Reverend Gustav Briegleb (played by John Malkovich) is a firebreathing Determinator in his mission to expose the LAPD's wrongdoings.
- 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."
- The protagonist of Priest, who belongs to an order of vampire-fighting BadassPreachers (of both sexes).
- Sam Childers (Gerard Butler) in Machine Gun Preacher. Based on a real-life preacher in Pennsylvania.
- Meacham (Clancy Brown) from Cowboys and Aliens. He even teaches a fellow townie to shoot when the fellow's wife is kidnapped by aliens.
- Carl (David Wenham), a friar, from Van Helsing, who provides weapons and support.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Well, he's not a killer, but Jim Casey probably qualifies. Best scene: 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.
- One character in Gerald Durrell's Green Aesop novel The Mockery Bird is one of the few female badass preachers; let's just leave her theology as being based around the concept of "Crazy Awesome" and leave it at that.
- Monte Cassino, the WW 2 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.
- 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.
- Don Camillo, from the truly awesome short stories by Giovanni Guareschi. Camillo was truly a badass preacher; he spent the Second World War killing fascists, and is notable for being one of the two toughest men in the district; the other was the Communist mayor, Don Camillo's deadly enemy (and possibly closest friend), who in one adaptation was played by Brian Blessed. And quite right too.
- 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.
- Technically a rabbi rather than a priest, but since he was also a Christian preacher, Jesus qualifies. Whip It Good indeed. Also, the whole crucifixion thing.
- Mightily Oats in Discworld. Early in Unseen Academicals, Mr. Nutt says, "He brought...Forgiveness." Late in Unseen Academicals, it's revealed that Forgiveness, while he may have brought the concept as well, happens to be the name of his axe.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Also played with in Stationery Voyagers. Niklo DiMyral is a straight example, whereas Richard Ribando downplays his badassery. Still, Ribando manages to rescue his friends from an evil wizard—by being placed in a body modeled after that of one of their most insane enemies! He immediately proceeds to become the Eleventh Ranger. Later, he helps destroy an entire planet! Yet, he whines about how much he hates being a robot. He also longs for hibernation, as he is extremely world-weary.
- Father Forthill in The Dresden Files 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 Red Court vampires who can rip through concrete walls without much trouble and tear people apart like tissue paper, and they get progressively nastier.
- 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.
- 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' second coming.
- Relg from The Belgariad is the leader of a heretical sect of Ul worshippers, and spends most of his time wangsting about the possible sinfullness 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). Now, that's a special ability of some of those following his religion, so strictly speaking, Relg doing this isn't too impressive. Sure, it isn't common, but he isn't unique either. But after he has pushed this enemy into the rock? He leaves him there.
- 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.
- 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.
- Father James in Someone Elses War.
- An awful lot of prophet heroes from The Bible. Elijah, for example, is a prophet and preacher who survives living under a corrupt regime, kills a whole bunch of Baal-worshippers after proving their god false, and outruns a chariot. His padawan, Elisha, could command attack bears. Moses and Aaron stood up to the Egyptian Pharaoh, and would later become the chief prophet and chief priest respectively. Oh, and then there's Jesus, who when not preaching personally out-argued Satan and managed to keep enough composure while mid-crucifixion to ask the Lord to forgive the men who killed him.
- In Arthur of the Britons has Rolf the Preacher, who's part of the "turns the other cheek" badassery school. Even goes against the Mark of Cornwall (played by Brian Blessed)'s rage. This earned Rolf enough respect from Mark that the latter was invited him to his village to discuss ideas.
- Colorado: Suor Nausicaa in the Italian comic show. Though this is Played for Laughs.
- The Fades has Helen, who is an undead hunter. She's adverse to breaking into houses to steal weaponry.
- Doctor Syn. The titular character from the book series, especially from the Disney show adaption. (Of course, when your preacher is played by Patrick McGoohan, that makes him a badass by default).
- Shepherd Book of Firefly, 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 the comic book.
- Mister Eko from Lost. 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.
- It didn't show that often, but Father Mulcahy from M*A*S*H 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.
- 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.
- Father Curtis from Sharpe's Sword. 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.
- Though his first appearance is also his last, there's an argument to be made for Pastor Jim of Supernatural being one of these at some point or another.
- Father Jack, the priest in the re-imagined V. He had been an army chaplain during the Iraq war, and protecting his congregation is one main reason he joined the Fifth Column.
- The Bishop, from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
- Jamie from The Thick of It trained as a priest...
- Possible subversion in The Bishop and The Warlord, a fictional light-metal band (as opposed to heavy metal) on A Bit of Fry and Laurie where the bishop wore a single fingerless glove along with his usual vestments and spoke metal lyrics from behind a pulpit.
- Zhaan from Farscape 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."
- A rather more morally ambiguous version is Father Kellan from Sons of Anarchy, a Catholic priest and a senior figure in the IRA—and physically capable of hurling a man half his age across a room.
- In 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.
- Played for Laughs example: Suor Nausicaa in the italian comic show Colorado.
- Edward Teague in Smallville isn't that over the top an example when compared to others on this list, but he still proved himself to a physical match for Big Bad and Badass Normal Lex Luthor, despite being at least twenty years older.
- Aldous Gajic in the Babylon 5 episode "Grail". Using a Simple Staff and badassitude, he's able to take out gun-toting criminals. And he's played by David Warner.
- Delenn is a badass priestess, although the religious caste really was a Church Militant and 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.
- This trope is used many times in the show Supernatural.
- Pastor Jim was revealed to be one of these when, instead of grabbing some holy water, he ran to his secret stash of deadly weapons when he was attacked by a demon.
- 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 For A Hand.
- Helen in The Fades, an undead hunter not adverse to breaking into houses to steal weaponry.
- Dr. Syn from Disney's vastly underrated Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. (Of course, when your preacher is being played by Patrick McGoohan, that pretty much makes him badass by default.)
- 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 Long Night from Hunter: The Vigil is MADE of this trope. Devout Evangelists believing in the ever-loving 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.
- A standard character type in Deadlands.
- The Cleric class. 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 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.
- 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.
- Warhammer 40,000 has a wide variety of badass preachers, especially in the Imperium of Man
- Luthor Huss, a Darker and Edgier Expy of Martin Luther in Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
- 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".
- Exalted features as the foremost example the Zenith Caste of the Solar Exalted. They have access to Presence and Performance Charms that allow them to capture the hearts and souls of their audience, spreading the word of the Unconquered Sun and his virtues. They also have access to Integrity Charms that allow them to fend off the most intense of mental assaults, Resistance Charms that turn their bodies as hard as steel, and Survival Charms that make them capable of surviving in the desert for years. Oh, and their Anima burns the undead. There's a reason Zeniths are frequently nicknamed "Kung Fu Jesus".
- Their corrupted equivalents, the Midnights (of the Abyssals) and the Malefactors (of the Infernals), are just like them, only twisted. The Midnights have the ability to raise the dead as mindless zombies and mostly serve the cause of Oblivion, whereas the Malefactors follow Cecelyne the Endless Desert and try to establish spiritual and physical wastelands based on the rule of strong over weak.
- 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.
- Father Denis in The Saboteur
Sean: "What do you want me to do Father?"
- 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.
- The flash game Divine Intervention features a priest fighting in a Zombie Apocalypse.
- Billy Lee Black, from Xenogears, is a three gun-toting, mecha piloting, orphanage managing priest.
- Revered Ray in the western themed first person shooter Call of Juarez. One of the highlights of the game is the ability to read fiery bible passages in the middle of battle. I have very fond memories of riding a mine cart bible in one hand, burning dynamite in the other preaching damnation and eternal suffering. It wasn't a set-piece or cutscene. 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."
- 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!"
- 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.
- Xavi of Sengoku Basara is the missionary leader of a Church Militant faction who dual-wields large cannons in combat. Then again at nature he's really a giant (in more ways than one) Love Freak and can't really be called a badass.
- 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.
- NORSE WAR CLERICS!
- 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 recognizeable chunks. (As an extra bonus, his voice actor, Nolan North, managed to make him sound like Steven Jay Blum.)
- 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.
- King and King II from Tekken.
- Many RPGs can devolve to this when your healer is the last guy up... and then manages to win the boss fight.
- Father Simon Wales from BioShock (series) 2.
- And of course, who could forget about Leopold Goenitz of the Wildly-Blowing Wind? KOKO DESU KA-ing you into oblivion since 1996. Repent, for the advent of Orochi is nigh!
- 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.
- In StarCraft, practically the entire Protoss Fleet.
- 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. Badass.
- Nathan Copeland of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle 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.
- Kotomine Kirei 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.
- Clerics in Rift play rather like clerics in Dungeons and Dragons Online—which is to say, very Zenith.
- 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 a member of the elite military team, The Blades (the emperor's personal bodyguards).
- 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.
- 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.
- Clerics in general in Dark Souls. Of particular note is Oswald of Carim, the bishop of the goddes 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.
- Fr. Jose in MAG-ISA is highly skilled in martial arts. They come in handy when fighting demons.
- 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.
- Durkon in The Order of the Stick. Justified since it's based on Dungeons & Dragons and Durkon's a cleric (mentioned above)
- The best reminder of this was when he split an army of sentient attacking trees by the power of thunder and then told Julia "And when I'm done we'll be having a talk about what is and isn't appropriate attire for young ladies".
- 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.
- Larriki the hawkfolk priest in Nahast: Lands of Strife
- 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 reverend Darren England 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.
- Strongly implied in the Dramatic Reading of My Inner Life
- Alexander Anderson's Abridged counterpart in Team Fourstar's Hellsing Ultimate Abridged one-off naturally takes after his predecessor.
- 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...
- Jesus, while rarely violent, showed his righteous anger at the Temple Market sellers. He basically trashed the stalls and beat the sellers with cloth, yelling at them that they converted His Father's House in a den of thieves.
- While still studying to be a priest, Karol Wojtyla was a member of the Polish Resistance against the Nazis and kept going on as a gradually-rising clergyman in Communist Poland, which led him to become the Archbishop of Krakow and then Pope John II, a key part of the end of the Cold War (for better or worse).
- The Four Chaplains
- William Addison, Theodore Hardy, and Edward Mellish. All three were chaplains as well, in the British Army during WWI, and all received the Victoria Cross. How does a chaplain get a VC? They all went out into active combat areas to rescue the wounded, and Hardy died as a result in 1918. The other two lived to ripe old ages.
- In WWII we have John Weir Foote, a Canadian Army chaplain who went into the disastrous Dieppe raid. He brought wounded in to the first aid station under fire, and later carried wounded men to escape craft during the evacuation. When the time came to leave or be left, he decided to stay behind and continue helping the ounded and minister to the POWs he would soon be among. He got a Victoria Cross as well.
- The Dutch missionary Father Emery de Klerk. In defense of his native parishioners in the Solomon Islands he made himself something of a warlord, ambushing Japanese patrols, sending coast watching reports, and rescuing downed fliers.
- Latter-Day Saint scholar Hugh Nibley. Serving as a missionary for two years in Germany, his major temptation was not girls but studying ancient Greek. He then went home and earns a doctorate in History. During the war, even though he went through ROTC, he enlisted in the Army, became a master-sergeant in Intelligence, assigned to the elite Order of Battle and fights in the European theater with the 101st Airborne, participating the landing at Utah Beach and a number of other key battles. What did he do after the war? Research and write about theology and history, raise a family, and serve in various positions in the LDS church.
- Mormon history is full of these guys, going back all the way to Joseph Smith. Whether or not you agree with his religious teachings, it's hard not to take a look at his life and conclude that the man had a personal CMOA list big enough to fill an average-sized wiki page. For example, singlehandedly stopping a runaway carriage with several members of Congress inside, and cowing a prison guard who was boasting about the way he and his buddies tortured and abused Mormon prisoners into submission (with nothing but a good, strong dressing down and sheer force of charisma. And when they finally came to assassinate him, he jumped out a second-story window to draw the mob away from two friends who were in the room with him. (It worked; they both survived.) It goes back even farther than Joseph Smith. A lot of the most Badass guys (and some girls, too) in The Book of Mormon were prophets or otherwise "mighty men of God." Mormon, Moroni, Helaman, Teancum, the list goes on and on.
- Saint Laurence, who is said to have been put to death for his faith on an iron grill. His response to the executioner? "Turn me over, sir, I'm done on this side!" . He then prayed for Rome's conversion and died. Laurence was sentenced to death for a previous bit of badassery. He was arrested during the Valerian persecution and ordered to surrender the treasure of the church. He asked for three days to collect the treasure, and then appeared at the court with the poor, the sick, the maimed and the blind, declaring them to be "the treasure of the church" (Yes, I know it's only a legend)
- The Genius Bruisers from the Roman military who got converted to Christianity and were killed for it, whether their martyrdoms were hyperinflated or not. I.e.: Saint Sebastian, Saint Eustace, Saint Christopher, Saint George of Cappadocia, Saint Expeditus, Saint Alban...
- Saint Francis of Assisi not only used to be in the military before leaving it to become a preacher and eventually the founder of the Franciscan Order, he once travelled to the Holy Land during the Crusades to try speaking to Saladin - and earned his respect.
- Christian martyrs could get a whole subcategory to themselves under this trope. While most of them weren't quite as proactive in the administration of the wrath of God as the other examples on this page, it takes some serious intestinal fortitude to not only refuse to recant under threat of incredible torture or death, but even (in one memorable case) calmly singing hymns while being burned alive.
- Eric Liddel, winner of a gold medal in the 1924 Olympics. He refused on principle to run in a race that was scheduled for Sunday, then when he was rescheduled, he made his eccentricity look awesome when he won the medal in a race for which he had not properly trained. Later, during the war, he died of sickness while ministering to the needs of interned civilians in a Japanese prison camp. Eric could run FAST. So fast that once when he was hungry and it was far from a store, he ran down a rabbit, grabbed it and took it home to cook.
- Orde Wingate. A fanatical member of the Plymouth Brethren sect, an English soldier and a Zionist warrior who modeled himself after the Old Testament Hero, Gideon. While he was not a preacher officially, he might as well have been and he fits in this trope.
- Martin Luther King. The man utterly pwned the state of Alabama, with just dreams and sermons. He never threw a punch or fired a shot. "Not Badass" you say? He got jailed, beat up, and ultimately assassinated, and never blinked. Once. That man intentionally brought the wrath of the Segregationist Establishment down on his head in order to expose the evils of segregation (and later militarism and systemic poverty), and he had the moral superiority not to respond to his oppressors in kind.
- Badass Preachers were a major staple of the civil rights movement. Aside from Dr. King himself you had Ralph Abernathy, Jim Lawson, Kelly Miller Smith, CT Vivian, Bernard Lafayette and many others.
- Malcolm X. An Islamic minister and public speaker who was willing to go to war for his rights...well, even if you don't agree with his methodology, he WAS badass. For instance, he changed his ways and became a new man twice, first as a petty crook to a upstanding, if outspokenly racially inflammatory priest, and then after his pilgrimage to Mecca, a much mellowed crusader for justice for all people. Most people can't do that once!
- There are the white Southern preachers who would invite and/or openly welcome members of black congregations to participate in their services as equals, often times causing resentment and even anger in their own congregations and danger to themselves sin older times). Maybe a more passive example, but they still went against the grain on the principle that all Christians are brothers and sisters in God.
- Another in a Civil Rights movement, although not in America, is Desmond Tutu. He supported disinvestment of South Africa, dropping the Rand down to force the racist government to rethink their position, organized peaceful marches, and openly spoke against the position of the church on homosexuality. Awesome.
- His Holiness the Dalai Llama, holy man and Tibetan freedom fighter.
- Thich Quang Duc. He set himself on fire in the name of religious freedom.
- Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, leader of the Mexican War of Independence. When the Spanish were alerted of the separatists and started to crack them down, Miguel Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung and called mass, he addressed the people in front of his church, encouraging them to revolt and starting a war that lasted over a decade.
- John Chivington was an American Civil War-era minister known as the "Fighting Parson". He was a dedicated abolitionist, and he even tried to preach against slavery in the South, where such views were not exactly welcome. He had a Crowning Moment of Awesome during one sermon where pro-slavery agitators led a mob to his church and threatened to tar and feather him. Chivington simply whipped out a pair of revolvers and said "By the grace of God and these two revolvers, I will preach here today." When the Civil War broke out, he declined a position as a chaplain in favor of a combat role. He rose to become a colonel, but after the Civil War, did a Face Heel Turn and was forced to resign in disgrace for killing hundreds of Cheyenne women and children at the Sand Creek Massacre.
- [Fray Tormenta]. A Mexican priest who supported his Orphanage of Love by fighting in the lucha libre circuits. Kept his identity a secret for twenty three years so that people would take him seriously. He was the inspiration for King from Tekken, and the movie Nacho Libre. Now he even serves masses with his mask on.
- Andrew White, aka the Bishop of Baghdad. He's been "hijacked, kidnapped, locked up in rooms with bits of finger and toe and things," and "been held at gunpoint, been attacked – the usual thing." And he has MS. And he wears a bullet-proof vest.
- Two words: Saint [Ignatius de Loyola]. The man was cannon-proof.
- This also extended to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which he founded with fellow ex-soldiers. To this day it maintains an almost military-style discipline among its members. This same society, noted for their extra vow of loyalty to the pope, would later grow in influence in the Catholic Church — to the point that the Protestant nations in Europe derogatorily called the Superior Generals of the Jesuits "Black Popes" due to their black robes and influence. The Jesuits were also widely ackowldged to have been the de facto intelligence agency of the Catholic Church, and a highly effective one at that.
- Saint Ignatius' grand-nephew, wikipedia:Martín Ignacio de Loyola, was a Franciscan friar... and the first person to complete the world circumnavigation twice.
- Boston College has a soft-spoken but no-nonsense philosophy professor named Fr. Paul McNellis, who spent the early 1970s as a special-forces officer in Vietnam, where he won a Bronze Star with Valor device.
- Dr. James White, a gun-toting, motorcycle-riding Reformed apologist who can bench-press you.
- Little Rock, Ark: After the assailant attacked him and his son-in-law with a poker, a 64-year-old minister shot a man dead on church grounds. The attacker had engaged in a string of assaults in an apparent drug-induced frenzy.
- Martin Luther: lived through a thunderstorm in a graveyard, went on to be one of the first to stand up to the hegemony that was the Roman Catholic Church, changing the power structure of Europe forever. He was prosecuted as a heretic and before the Diet of Worms he stated : "Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen."
- Steve McGanahan aka World's Strongest Redneck. Also runs his own ministry.
- Thomas Muntzer, who lead the german peasants' war in 1525.
- Richard Wurmbrand. Was imprisoned for fourteen years in Communist Romania, was horrifically tortured in prison, and the last thing he does after his (eventual) release before leaving the country? Puts flowers on the grave of the man who arrested him.
- Martin Niemoeller. Theologian and U-Boat captain.
- Very shortly after the "Reginald Denny incident" that began the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, a group of young men took Fidel Lopez (a Latin-American immigrant) out of his vehicle, robbed and beat him. Reverend Newton (a local black minister) arrived on the scene and placed himself between the mob and Lopez, shouting, "Kill him and you have to kill me too." He succeeded in taking Lopez to safety.
- Athanasius of Alexandria. During the Arian controversy, "If the world is against Athanasius, then Athanasius is against the world". Not only that. As Bishop of Alexandria, he was exiled three times, only to come back and take the post again. As one of the leader of the anti-Arian movement in Christianity, he may have led mobs to break up and destroy the churches of the Arians, and is said to have personally destroyed one of the altars. Defied at least two emperors. Known for his fiery hair and temper.
- Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest who first was a missionary and thus went Walking the Earth for years. During World War Two was imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp for openly speaking out against the Nazi regime through noth a newspaper and a private radio station, and sheltering (among others) 2,000 jews. He willingly went into the hunger bunker in place of of another prisoner, a Polish woodworker who had a wife and kids. He continued to celebrate Holy Mass in the cell for the other prisoners, and was finally killed by a fatal injection of phenol after all the other prisoners had already died of starvation. He was made a saint in October 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and the man whose life he saved was there.
- Aside of St. Maximilian Kolbe, there were many religious workers that were either imprisoned or killed in World War Two for either: being members of persecuted minorities, speaking against the Nazi policies, or directly helping Jews / Roma / Catholics / etc. in distress:
- During the German occupation 1940-45, Norway's Lutheran bishops refused to submit to the political pressures of the collaborators running the government. Instead at Easter 1942, they distributed a defiant circular on their position that were read to the congregations by the vicars of almost all of Norway's churches. As a consequence, all bishops and 90% of the clergymen either resigned or were deposed and got interned in labour camps.
- Father Jean Bernard, portrayed in the awesome film of Volker Schlöndorff "The Ninth Day". Being taken out of the camp of Dachau, offered a Deal with the Devil, tell the Nazi Hyerarch to go screw himself, and calmly go back to martyrdom in the camp (which he knew firsthandedly it was utter hell and a certain death) definitely makes you a badass preacher. Incredibly, he survived and so did his faith, what makes him even more badass.
- Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Dutch Carmelite priest and uni professor who died in Dachau after rallying against Nazi propaganda;
- Regina Jonas, one of the first female rabbis, who kept working for the Jewish faith in Theresienstadt before dying in Auschwitz;
- Elise Rivet, a Catholic mother superior who hid people in her convent and got gassed in Ravenbruck for it;
- Nanne Zwiep, a Dutch Reformed Church preacher who used his sermons to rally against Nazis and perished in Dachau as well;
- Edith Stein, a Jewish woman who became a Catholic nun and philosopher and then died in Auschwitz. There is backdraft about her as the Anti-Defamation League says the Catholic church is appropiating her death and disminishing the memory of the Holocaust; the official response is that she died not just because of her Catholic faith, but as a victim of the Nazi revenge for the Dutch Catholic Church's denouncement of Nazism.)
- Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg, Catholic priest from Southern Poland, who prayed for the victims of Kristallnacht and openly spoke against the Nazi euthanasia programs. This got him jailed first and then he was sent to Dachau, but he collapsed and died in the way there.
- Jane Mathison Haining, schoolteacher and missionary of the Church of Scotland, captured in Budapest after refusing to abandon the girls from the school she worked on, and killed in Auschwitz.
- Blessed Sára Salkaházi, a Hungarian/Slovakian nun from the sisters of Social Service who sheltered at least 100 Jewish persons and helped them flee Budapest. After her cover was blown and some of her protegèes were captured by the local pro-Nazi group, the Arrow Cross party, she and other five women were summarily executed by the Danube river.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor, well-known theologist, and member of La Resistance against Nazi Germany. He not only broke off from the existing German Christians during World War II to oppose Nazism, but worked in Abwher as a double agent and plotted to assassinate Hitler. He was captured, imprisoned at Tegel prison and later executed summarily in the Flössenburg concentration camp with some fellow resistence fighters.
- Grigol Peradze, Georgian Orthodox priest, historian, and theologist who while imprisoned in Auschwitz, either took the blame for the murder of a German officer to spare his fellow prisoners or willingly entered a gas-chamber in the place of a Jewish prisoner who had a large family.
- and many others.
- The Right Reverend General Leonidas|Polk, C.S.A., Bishop of Louisiana who was killed at the Battle of Marietta and entombed in the University Chapel at Sewanee with his crozier in one hand and his saber in the other.
- In mid-late nineteenth century America, being a Badass Preacher for a Catholic church was often an obligation, most infamously in New York, where priests would often lead their parishioners in defense of their churches from mobs of Protestants. There's a reason why so many churches are built like they're meant to withstand siege.
- Venetians thought Saint Mark was this, so much that they accepted him as their Patron Saint. The Venetian Battle Cry was Vive San Marco, which their sailors would shout while they carved up Genoans, Turks, Pirates, and such like. The heraldric emblem of St Mark was a lion which shows what they thought of Saint Mark.
- Athanasios Nikolaos Massavetas. Born during the Ottoman occupation of Greece, he was drawn to religion from an early age, became a monk at the age of 17, and was ordained a Greek Orthodox deacon shortly afterwards. Popular tradition has it that while at the monastery, an Ottoman Pasha visited with his troops and was impressed by Athanasios's good looks, who took offence to the Turk's remarks (and subsequent proposal). The ensuing altercation resulted in the death of the Turkish official. Athanasios was forced to flee into the nearby mountains and become a klepht - a mountain bandit, like many others who resisted Ottoman rule. Soon afterwards he adopted the pseudonym "Diakos", or Deacon. His last battle established him as a national hero: with only 1500 men at his command he attempted to hold the bridge at Alamana near Thermopylae against an army of 8000 men who had been sent to crush the rebellion in southern Greece. Eventually most of Diakos's men fled; only 48 of them remained, and the managed to hold off the enemy for several hours before being overwhelmed. The heavily wounded Diakos was taken before the enemy commander, Omer Vryonis, who was so impressed by the former priest that he offered to make him an officer in the Ottoman army if he converted from Christianity to Islam. Diakos refused, and was executed by impalement - according to popular tradition he survived for three full days, laughing through his ordeal, until an irregular, out of pity and respect, shot him in the head.
- A badass of the quietly courageous variety, Father Damien (aka Saint Damien of Moloka'i) spent sixteen years ministering to and fighting for the better treatment of the residents of the leper colony on the island of Moloka'i in Hawai'i. Many clergypeople spend their lives tending the sick, but Father Damien gets a lot of extra points, because at the time, leprosy was thought to be wildly contagious, which was why people who contracted it were sent to isolated colonies and usually just left to rot (sometimes quite literally). Voluntarily going to a place that was widely believed to be certain death and hanging around the place for nearly two decades, all the while in close contact with people suffering from what was believed to be an extremely contagious, deadly disease takes some balls. And sure enough, he did eventually contract leprosy, dying of the disease in 1889.
- Saint Columba, a 6th century missionary and one of Ireland's patron saints. So badass, he scared off the Loch Ness Monster.
- Father Joe Lacy was a Chaplain in World War II who went in on D-day, and survived too. The day before landing he told the men "When you land on the beach and you get in there, I don't want to see anybody kneeling down and praying. If I do I'm gonna come up and boot you in the tail. You leave the praying to me and you do the fighting."
- Geoffrey Anketell Studdert-Kennedy; as a British Army Chaplain in WW I, he earned a Military Cross for running into "No Man's Land" to drag wounded soldiers to safety, and to give Last Rites to those who were beyond saving; after the war he became Vicar of a parish in one of the worst slums of Inner London. Although gentry by birth, he strongly identified with the working class, as this hymn shows.
- Rev. Wade Watts, who shamed a KKK leader into changing his ways. Bonus points for being a Badass Pacifist.
- The Archbishop of York, William de la Zouche, raised a company of archers against the Scots at the Curb Stomp Battle of Neville's Cross, and his quick levying on his own initiative is credited with preventing a Scottish invasion of England and capturing the Scottish King David II Bruce. Another historical tradition says that he was present at the Battle of Crecy the previous year, and led some of the King's foot. On both occasions he took to the field wearing black plate armour and carrying an enormous mace, because he couldn't carry a sword as he was forbidden "edged weapons."
- Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko was a Catholic priest in Communist Poland and a staunch ally of Lech Walesa's Solidarity trade union. As such he took part of the strikes of 1981, used his sermons to protest against the Communist goverment, and stood his ground despite all the intimidation tactics used by the Secret Police. He only "stopped" when said Police kidnapped, tortured and killed him in October of 1984.
- Saint Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez, fourth Archbishop of San Salvador and one of the staunchest opposers to the dictatorial government of El Salvador in The Seventies, who was murdered in 1980 when he was celebrating mass.
- Lutheran pastor Kevin Fast, who has broken several world records on weightlifting.
- The Irish Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, credited for saving 6,500 Allied soldiers and Jews in World War Two and nicknamed The Scarlet Pimpirnel of the Vatican for his ability to outsmart and dodge the Nazis and their traps for him. For added badassery, the 1963 movie The Scarlet and the Black (based on a novel about his deeds) had him played by Gregory Peck.