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Pastor Pilão (“Pile Driver Priest” in Portugese) is a series of remix videos based on a sermon given by the pastor Marco Feliciano at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in late 2009. In the original clip, the evangelical preacher can be seen spinning wickedly on stage, apparently possessed by the Satanic spirit. Very popular with YouTube users in Brazil, the meme requires a relatively simple task of video-editing: pick up the video from “Pastor Pilão” and put any music you think it fits in the background of the video.
On June 9th, 2009, YouTube user muclemente posted the video “Pastor Pilão(Lariat)/Guile Theme” in response to a thread on Brazilian video game forum Outer Space. A thread on Outer Space’s Vale Tudo (“Anything Goes” in Portugese) board featured a video of Father Marco Feliciano, a priest of the Universal Church, who became over-excited during his own sermon and began spinning by the stage. At the end of the clip, Father Feliciano can be heard shouting “Sai da frente Satanas!” (Get out of the way Satan!)
The spinning lariat displayed by the priest bares a striking resemblance to a special move executed by the character Zangief from the Street Fighter video game series. In the version of the video muclemente posted, the footage is mixed with the theme song for the Street Fighter character Guile. While many comments on YouTube and Outer Space pointed out that the song being played and the character being portrayed do not match, the video game reference is still well established. Soon, his ecstatic mannerisms and shouting met with huge success among Brazilian netizens, accruing more than 400,000 views in the first week of debut.
Mockery and the Universal Church in Brazil
Poking fun at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and other Protestant or evangelical churches is a common occurrence on the Brazilian internet (See Pastor Goku and Pastor Michael Jackson). The church is no stranger to various legal issues and controversy in Brazil including but not limited to fraud and tax evasion. As a result, priests are often portrayed as greedy, intolerant, or in this instance foolish.
In an interview conducted by Brazilian Know Your Meme researcher Fernando Fontanella, muclemente received a number threats on YouTube from church followers and described the comment discussion as a “holy war”. However, on the original thread over at Outer Space, muclemente reported positive responses from both Protestant and non-Protestant forum users, attributing the success to the inclusion of video game related humor.
“Pião da casa propria”
Pastor no volante (Priest Driving)