This is the beginning of an item that appeared on the Israeli website NRG on Wednesday: “A Reform rabbi and a priest enter a bar and decide to compete together as a team on the reality show The Amazing Race. That’s not the start of a joke rather the attempt by two good friends from Canada to raise awareness for interfaith relations.”
Apparently, it’s true. Rabbi Stephen Wise and his good friend Rev. Canon Darcey Lazerte entered an audition video for the upcoming Canadian version of "The Amazing Race," calling themselves “The God Squad.”
The clip opens as Darcey presents Wise with a trophy for an interfaith hockey tournament. Apparently, their houses of worship, St. Simon’s Anglican Church and Shaarei-Beth El Congregation, both in Oakville, Ontario play ice hockey against each other.
Rev. Darcey says, “Just remember you only won because we scored on our own net.”
Rabbi Wise says: “Already we’re excellent athletes. We run, we play hockey, we can bike, ski, we can do it all, but this requires more specialized training, I think.”
Decked out in professional hockey jerseys (while of course also wearing their respective religious garb: a yarmulka and white collar), the two faith leaders hit not the gym but a room that has the distinct look of a sanctuary, where Rabbi Wise bench presses not a weight rather, a very heavy book that strongly resembles a Bible. Cut to: the two dance a traditional Jewish grapevine step better known as the Hora. Cut to: an arm-wrestling match that magically transforms into a handshake.
Rev. Darcey concludes: “I think we’re ready to go. We’ve done our training. We’ve said our prayers.”
The Hebrew paper quipped that the casting agents for Israel’s version of the show Merotz La-Million ("Race for a Million") whose season premiers next week “couldn’t have found a better pair.”
Here’s their audition video:
We e-mailed both faith leaders to find out what motivated them to apply to the show. Wise tells TheBlaze, “We were pretty serious about trying to get on the show. We thought a rabbi and a reverend would make a great team.”
“Darcey and I are good friends. It began with some work between our Church and synagogue, but evolved as we have lunch often, play hockey and softball together and continue to have very warm relations between our two faith groups. We were talking one day and thought it would be fun to be on the show,” Wise says.
Darcey tells us, “I think the spirit of cooperation across cultures and faiths would make an excellent spiritual/faith message. I think also that seeing two faith leaders, of a relatively young age and not fitting the stereotype of religious leaders would send a strong message.”
Darcey says that their participation would “show the message of faith and how it can be engaging, life-giving and fun."
Wise echoes Darcey’s interfaith message: “We thought that we could promote religious harmony by having two clergy from different faith working together as a team. We wanted to show that clergy are real people to, that we like sports, can be competitive, and have fun.”
“We would also promote our faiths that we both engage in our religious beliefs but can also engage in the modern world,” Wise adds.
The Twitter account associated with the show writes “the #RaceCDA teams have been selected.” The God Squad tells us they have not heard back from show producers and thus believe they did not get in.