A pastor was arrested for his handling of snakes.
More than 100 snakes, many of them deadly, were confiscated in the undercover sting after Thursday’s arrests, said Col. Bob Milligan, director of law enforcement for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.
Most were taken from the Middlesboro home of Gregory James Coots, including 42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, three cottonmouth water moccasins, a western diamondback rattlesnake, two cobras and a puff adder.
Why so many snakes?
Handling snakes is practiced in a handful of fundamentalist churches across Appalachia, based on the interpretation of Bible verses saying true believers can take up serpents without being harmed…
The verse in question is Mark 16:18:
[The saved and baptized] will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
You remember that Stephen Colbert line about George W. Bush? “He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man’s beliefs never will.”
Yeah… sadly, even the death of one of Pastor Coots’ parishioners in 1995 — in his church at the hands (mouth?) of a snake — didn’t convince him to stop doing the snake services. It didn’t stop her husband from attending them, either — he died three years later at a different church after (wait for it…) being bitten by a snake.
Zoo director Jim Harrison had the money quotation:
“… A venomous snake isn’t a pet. You don’t play with it. If you do, you’re an idiot.”
Robert Paul Reyes of NewsBlaze amused me with this thought:
I wonder if any parishioner has ever exclaimed: I am M***** F******* tired of all these M***** F***** snakes in this church!
(Thanks to Jason for the link!)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian[/tags]