Snake-Handling Preachers Are Getting Their Own Reality Show

I thought “Preachers of L.A.” was going to be the strangest religion-based reality TV show this year…

I was wrong. It turns out there’s another show that makes Christians look even weirder:

‘Snake Salvation’ case (via National Geographic)

“Snake Salvation” is set to debut Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. Central time on the National Geographic Channel.

Coots said the series will feature scenes from church services where worshipers handle snakes as well as the day-to-day struggle to live out their faith. “The main thing is for people to see that there is more to us than wanting to handle snakes,” said [Pastor Jamie] Coots [of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church].

According to the show’s official website, the preachers believe that if they don’t handle snakes, they’ll go to hell. I guess they’re right. It’s like when Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And this ugly, slithery thing.”

In any case, I’m shocked: A show about handling snakes and it’s not airing on EWTN.

(via Bob Smietana)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Borax

    Hey, lay off of the snakes, They are not ugly, slithery things.Its not their fault a few dumb-ass humans feel obligated to pick them up and dance around with them.

  • Len

    Unreal.

    • mayqueen

      I know. I give up.

      • Len

        Especially because it’s a reality show ;-)

  • SecularPatriot

    I suddenly find myself wanting to get cable for the first time in over a decade.

    Nope. Wait. No.

  • Goape

    I find myself, for the first time in my life, wishing PETA would step in and do something.

    It should be illegal to publicise idiotic and potentially dangerous behaviour. Think of all the stupid people who have, up to now, been safely insulated from snake handling.

    • Ross Thompson

      And all the snakes that have been insulated from being handled by stupid people.

      (And I’d far rather the ASPCA or the Humane Society step in than PeTA. Those guys would actually do something useful rather than just use it as an opportunity to beg for attention.)

      • Goape

        Of course I agree; my point was that, just maybe, even PETA would be better than this madness.

        • RowanVT

          PETA would kill all the snakes. :/

      • RowanVT

        Actually, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) should not be confused with your local humane society. The HSUS is predominantly a lobbying body and while they take on a few high-profile puppy mill or hoarding cases a year, they then dump those animals on the local shelters, often without helping them financially. Donations to the HSUS do NOT help local shelters.

        So, YaY for the ASPCA.

  • LesterBallard

    Morons doing moronic things; it’s a hit.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Be careful with your language or someone will come along and complain about your use of the word ‘moron’ in 3… 2… 1…

      Besides, it’s morons doing moron things because they are morons.

      Edit 1: Five hours later…

      • Michael W Busch

        Alternatively, you could simply call people on their bigoted speech rather than continuing to perpetuate it. Then we would have saved five hours.

        • The Other Weirdo

          That’s where we differ. I don’t consider it “bigoted” to call someone a moron for doing stupid things, like being a snake-handling preacher. I have never in my life applied that word to people who are mentally handicapped(in either of the two languages I’m fluent in), and I would certainly call out people who call them morons, or other such derogatory words. When those words are used against people of average intelligence and no mental handicap of any sort who engage in this sort of activity without any protection because they’ve been convinced by a verse in a book written almost 2000 years ago about a dead Jewish zombie, the only thing I know to call them is morons and a few other terms.

          Having written that, however, I suddenly find myself wondering if these people are, in fact, mentally retarded and we shouldn’t therefore call them morons. How’s that for irony?

          • Michael W Busch

            Your intent is not magic.

            You are contributing to patterns of speech that wrongly equate being wrong and exhibiting spectacularly bad judgement with a lack of intelligence, or – far worse – with mental disorders. That is wrong. It can also be a way of dismissing a person and/or not holding them responsible for their words and actions (e.g. “he’s too stupid to know better”). Don’t do that.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Actually, one of the definitions of the word moron is a person lacking in good judgement. And boy, if being a snake-handling preacher isn’t lacking in good judgement, I don’t know what is.

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                Is “twit” still okay?

            • smrnda

              Just to know – what would be an acceptable term to use for a person who is both ignorant, shows bad judgment, but who also seems immune to the effects of exposure to new, better information?

              • Michael W Busch

                Depends entirely on the particular forms of ignorance and bad judgement.

                Also, “seems immune” is not the same as being entirely unaffected by new information – it can take a long time (years) to overcome achoring bias and all of the other ways human brains are normally irrational. As most atheistic Americans are examples of.

          • Kathy Cooper

            no just simple and undereducated or better un educated

            • The Other Weirdo

              Holy thread resurrection, Batman.

              That said, I make no judgements as to their level of education.

      • Carmelita Spats

        You’ve made my church lady day! Thanks!

        • The Other Weirdo

          (Curtseys) You’re welcome.

    • Michael W Busch

      No. Not morons. Just persuaded to exhibit spectacularly bad judgement by a wrong belief, and encouraged to keep on doing so by the show’s providing them with a certain amount of attention and money.

      • kpatterson

        In other words, they’re morons.

    • Carmelita Spats

      A faith-based Johnny Knoxville? Lordy, it’s Come-to-Jesus time! FWIW, I have no problem with your language. I have a neighbor who needs another wit in order to become a half-wit. He has a habit of doing “moronic” things involving jumper cables and a rake but since I’m not allowed to call him a “moron”, I will just say that he couldn’t hit the side of the barn from the inside with all the doors shut nor could he organize a piss up in a brewery. Of course, someone will come along and complain that I’m using “ableist” language. Thus, I could just simply state that my neighbor doesn’t know if he should scratch his watch or wind his ass and I certainly can’t call his girlfriend a “douche” (sexist language) so I have to content myself with peeking behind the bushes and hollerin’, “You feminine wash!”, at her. I don’t know if insults involving “Brut Deodorant” are sexist but I will check. My first language is not English but DAMN I love your English language!!!

      • Tainda

        I snort laughed at “You feminine wash!”

  • Brian Westley

    I want one of them to have an eyepatch, so he can be the “ol’ one-eyed snake handler”

  • Tainda

    That was a good X-Files episode!

    Oh wait, for real?

  • GubbaBumpkin

    It would be interesting to see the contracts involved, especially all the liability disclaimers.

  • Ross Thompson

    Mark 16:17-18:

    And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    But the real question is: What’s up with that guy’s hand in the photo?

    • Stev84

      The real question is: why don’t they drink poison?

      • Ross Thompson

        Some snake-handling churches do. But for some reason, they’re not as successful as the ones that don’t…

        • The Other Weirdo

          What kind of a moron does one have to be to see someone purposely drink poison and lift one’s hand to say, “Dude, I don’t think you should be doing that.”?

    • ufo42

      All the visible hands in the photo are pretty gnarly. Maybe that’s what happens when you get bitten on the hand by a non-poisonous snake. Even if the snake doesn’t have venom, most of them have salmonella and other pathogens on their skin which probably aren’t good to get into your bloodstream. Then again, maybe the “people” in the photo are reptilians and their makeup department didn’t do a very good job with their hands. :)

      • RowanVT

        Having been bitten by my corn snakes multiple times…. No, this typically isn’t a problem. My scars are all from the cats and dogs I work with, not my scaly critters.

    • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

      There has been continuing questions about these verses at the end of the Gospel labeled “Mark.” Many scholars believe the work was unfinished and that other authors put the ending on it long after. Not that that would make the rest of it any more valid, but it does put a light on human nature and gullibility that people would end up dead over the ages from snake bites and poisons entirely because of a scribe’s attempts at a flashy ending.

  • Stev84
    • Spuddie

      I bet they use “stunt snakes”

      • ufo42

        rubber chickens don’t look very realistic, but rubber snakes kinda do, so you may be onto something… although if someone really died on the show, it would do wonders for ratings. So as long as they have lawyer-tight disclaimers from the goofball snake-handlers, the show’s producers have a huge incentive to maximize the chance of someone dying on the show. Given that they are prepared to put on this kind of spectacle in the first place, I wouldn’t put it past them to at least enhance the probability of such a ratings-enhancing incident.

        • http://an-expatriate-in-cambridge.blogspot.com The Expatriate

          Not necessarily. MTV canceled its West Virginia reality show after one of the main participants died.

    • Michael W Busch

      Let’s stop short of wishing death on people – especially death-by-24-hours-of-progressive-tissue-necrosis.

      • The Other Weirdo

        I am not sure that horrible death in any way invalidates Stev84′s point. He even linked to an article that used the phrase “keep alive such expression of faith” describing an article about a man killed by his faith. People who make their living handling animals–Steve Irvin–or the pest control people who may die from their jobs I have respect for. They know their jobs are dangerous and they do them anyway.

        These people, on the other hand, I have no respect for. They don’t even realize the danger they are in because the purported words of a 2,000 year old Jewish zombie translated and mistranslated from long-dead languages tell them they’ll be a-okay. Besides, True Christians™ are supposed to enjoy persecution and willingly into the lions’ den.

        • The Other Weirdo

          P.S. This is why we do it:

          The festivities came to a halt shortly thereafter, and Wolford was taken back to a relative’s house in Bluefield to recover, as he always had when suffering from previous snake bites. By late afternoon, it was clear that this time was different, and desperate messages began flying about on Facebook, asking for prayer.

        • Michael W Busch

          I merely observe that it is never lucky for anyone to die from rattlesnake venom.

          • The Other Weirdo

            You say that, but if you were being chased through a creepy wood with tall, random shadows by a machete-wielding maniac with a hockey mask who no matter how fast you ran or how slow he walked was inexorably getting closer while terrifying music played in the background that seemed to batch your heart with every beat, and he irritated a snake which bit him and he died, I bet you’d immediately say, “Thank God, I was so lucky he got bit by a snake and died.”

            Or, as we learnt from James Bond, never say never.

  • Gus Snarp

    If I thought this was going to be a decent bit of popular cultural anthropology showing us how these people live in an even handed manner, warts and all, then it might be worth while. Instead, given the state of cable television, I expect it will manage to at once glorify them and make them look like inbred stereotypes, done not as a matter of balance and education, but to show the most exciting and entertaining moments possible to maximize ratings.

    Oh well, it will be awful television that numbs people’s minds, but it can be any worse than falsely claiming that mermaids and extinct mega-sharks are swimming in our oceans, and I doubt it will cause many conversions to snake handling.

    • The Other Weirdo

      So what, really? Anybody who goes on these shows without expecting that sort of treatment deserves to be mocked for their appalling lack of genre savvy.

      • ufo42

        yes

      • Gus Snarp

        So what? So it’s awful behavior that ought not be engaged in by supposedly educational television channels. I would like to be able to expect better from National Geographic. There’s enough garbage on television, if I turn to an educational channel I expect to be informed, not pandered to.

        I don’t give two fucks about the snake handlers. I do care about the collective drain on America’s intelligence level.

        • The Other Weirdo

          National Geographic? I must have missed that part. Then I fully agree with you.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

    Somehow, I don’t think “reality” and “snake handler” belong in the same sentence.

  • Gary Hill

    “the preachers believe that if they don’t handle snakes, they’ll go to hell.”

    So what was St Patrick up to in Ireland? He supposedly rid the place of snakes. Perhaps he was an agent of Satan? We should be told.

    • Intelligent Donkey

      Ireland is Hell, because there are no snakes.

      • Gus Snarp

        Once again, a point in favor of going to hell: it is entirely without snake handling wackos and it has Guinness and great music.

  • Gus Snarp

    Did you just call snakes ugly? How dare you! ;-)

    • Paula M Smolik

      Nobody I saw.

      • Gus Snarp

        Yeah, Hemant did. Try a Ctrl + F on “ugly”. Not that it’s exactly a big deal. Note the winky face. I find snakes rather beautiful, but I’m not the least offended by someone calling them ugly, especially as part of joke.

        But maybe he was referring to the snake handlers when he said: “this ugly, slithery thing”. ;-)

    • ufo42

      Good point, the snakes look a lot better than the idiots handling them!

  • Art_Vandelay

    Is that Dillahunty front and center?

    • ufo42

      It does look like Matt, but I suspect he’s gotten over whatever proclivities he ever had in that direction. :)

    • Greg G.

      Good thing I checked to see if somebody beat me to it.

  • Paula M Smolik

    I…..don’t….miss….cable. I can’t believe the depths to which these channels have gone.

  • A3Kr0n

    They drink strychnine, too. Please say they drink strychnine.

    • Darren

      Some do, or at least did (anecdotal-ly from my childhood in Appalachia). The same verse commanding the handling of snakes also mandates the ‘drinking of any deadly thing’.

      • ufo42

        In Appalachia, wouldn’t moonshine qualify as a “deadly thing” ? :)

        • The Other Weirdo

          Blasphemer! How dare you disrespect the Waters of Life™? No moonshine for you!

    • The Other Weirdo

      Having watched–and read–a lot of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, I find that strychnine was shockingly common back in the good old days. Is it even available today?

      Or was Christie overstating things?

      • A3Kr0n

        I’m not sure if you can buy it today, but I remember watching a show on TV many years ago where a preacher was handling snakes and drinking strychnine from a canning jar because Jesus protected him from harm.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Does it make me a bad person to realize that the only way I’d ever watch this nonsense is if it was guaranteed that at least one person would be bitten every episode? Nothing fatal, you understand, just painful enough to be a rolled up newspaper tap to the nose.

    • ufo42

      Yes it does make you a bad person…. me too! :)

  • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

    I have this picture in my mind of realty TV producers all sitting In a high-rise office somewhere and asking each other, “what kind of tasteless, dumbass nonsense can we come up with next to allow the slack-jawed, Neanderthal couch potatoes who watch our shows to feel superior to the people they see onscreen?”
    And voila, we get “Snake Salvation.”

    • The Other Weirdo

      Don’t compare people to Neanderthals or someone on this thread will come along and complain that it’s wrong in 3… 2… 1…

      • http://www.examiner.com/atheism-in-los-angeles/hugh-kramer Hugh Kramer

        LOL.

      • Mario Strada

        I am a neanderthal and I was very offended by your post.

    • Aoc Crow

      You insult Neanderthals comparing them to homosapiens who watch reality TV.

  • Miss_Beara

    I see the National Geographic Channel as gone the way of TLC, A&E, History, Discovery, etc. And cable companies wonder why people are getting rid of cable.

    • Mario Strada

      I have been in mourning for some time about the deterioration of these channels. THC is the saddest. They aren’t even pretending anymore that their reality shows have any connection with “history”.

      • The Other Weirdo

        That channel jumped the shark for me the moment they aired, in full seriousness, Stargate the Movie.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          I’m not sayin’ it was aliens… but it was aliens.

  • Gus Snarp

    Interesting that National Geographic Channels says:

    If they don’t practice the ritual of snake handling, they believe they are destined for hell.

    But the actual snake handler in the video says:

    You don’t have to do it to go to heaven, I’m not saying that.

    With all the strangeness of snake handlers, and the absurdity of their beliefs, do they really have to be dishonest about them? One more data point suggesting the quality of NatGeo Channel is similar to the rest of cable “educational” television.

  • C Peterson

    Makes Christians look weirder than what? Other Christians? That’s not hard, and there’s nothing very illuminating here.

    Mainly what this news tells me is that the National Geographic Channel is getting weirder, and continues to deteriorate.

    • anniewhoo

      I haven’t looked at the website, but from the video provided it seems more like an anthropological examination of a cult. It may be interesting.

  • Bender

    Are those snakes even poisonous? I’m no expert, but those in the video look like boas to me.

    • RowanVT

      They are non-venomous indeed. Some “test of faith”, hunh?

    • RowanVT

      Watching the clip through, larger, they do appear to be using a mix of rattlesnakes and copperheads. The likelihood of them being cooled to make them calmer, or being venomoids are probably quite high, plus copperheads are actually fairly placid animals.

      That said, I’ve seen plenty of pictures from other “snake holding” congregations that have been using ball pythons and corn snakes, which are about as harmless as you can get.

  • the moother

    They all look like inbreds to me.

    • Michael W Busch

      Direct your ridicule at their ideas and their behavior, not their appearance.

      • Mario Strada

        I have to be honest, that’s the very first thing that popped in my mind too. The second thing was something along the lines of your post.
        Still.
        Can I at least make fun of the young lady’s hairdo?

      • the moother

        It’s not their appearance I’m ridiculing…, It’s the fact that there is a lack of genetic variation in their gene pool probably that leads to their lack of intelligence… It’s a vicious circle of course…, the dumber they are the more they tend to inbreed the dumber they get…

        • Michael W Busch

          Cut out the bigotry. People believing outrageously wrong things and doing incredibly dangerous things has nothing to do with who there ancestors were, and also does not indicate any particular lack of intelligence (although it may indicate a failure of education).

          It’s not their appearance I’m ridiculing

          Funny that you used the phrase “they all look like”, then.

          • the moother

            If I said a crowd of suits all looked like lawyers, would that be ridiculing their appearance or their profession? Same thing here.

            I’m also tired of the “believing in god doesn’t mean you’re stupid but only shows cognitive dissonance” because if you think evolution is “just a theory” then you’re just dumb…

            I’m talking to you, half of Murca.

            • Michael W Busch

              @First:

              That is still judging people by their appearance. Stop trying to defend your mistake.

              @Second:

              Your “because” is neither causal nor accurate by itself.

              People not accepting evolutionary biology indicates failures of education (e.g. what the word “theory” means in science, and all of the evidence of evolution) and of culture (e.g. the attitude “if you don’t say Adam and Eve were real individuals who lived 6000 years ago, you can’t be in our club”), and not failures of intelligence.

              Likewise for people holding religious belief. Very smart people can and do believe incredibly wrong things.

              • the moother

                Cognitive dissonance is very real…, but if people fail to pick up a Dawkins tome and then fail to understand it when they do, they are pretty thick indeed.

                • Michael W Busch

                  Someone does not need to be “pretty thick” to not have read Dawkins’ books. Nor do they need to be lacking in intelligence to not accept the facts presented in those books. Most people over-value the first information about a topic that they are exposed to, so it takes more time and more information for us to accept true statements that we have been previously taught to reject than it otherwise would.

                  And you are misusing the phrase “cognitive dissonance”. Please go and read up on its actual meaning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance .

                • the moother

                  They’re pretty thick when they “fail to understand it”… Those were my words.

                  Evolution is easy to understand… there is no reason to “believe in evolution”… you either understand it or you don’t… And if you don’t understand it you’re grade-school level intelligence.

                • the moother

                  I’ll just point everyone else to a reply you got in another thread on your continued denial that stupid people are, well, stupid.

                  C Peterson to Michael W Busch
                  • 9 hours ago−

                  Stupid, yes. The word doesn’t simply mean lacking intelligence. It also means given to unintelligent decisions or acts, and marked by unreasoned thinking or acting.

                  There’s really nothing wrong with the word in this context. Even intelligent people can be stupid.

                  My sentiments exactly (or just a nice piece of confirmation bias). And I find people like yourself really boring and terribly annoying. Instead of defending stupidity, why don’t you go out and try to cure it?

                  And, if you ask me why I’m not doing the same then I’ll simply say that I don’t live in a god-bothering, evolution-denying country so I’ll simply keep pointing out the obvious to any passers by here and on other blogs.

                  And, trust me, I’m no coward when it comes to schooling fools on reality. I do it to friends and family all the time which doesn’t always get me a very good name but ALWAYS gets me kudos from fellow smart people who are not really willing to stick their necks out.

                  I wasn’t put on this earth to make friends… I was put on this earth to point out the blindingly obvious.

                • RowanVT

                  Am I “thick” because I didn’t pick up a Dawkins book until I was 29?

                • the moother

                  Well, If you decried evolution until that moment, then yes.

                  It took me longer than you to read Dawkins (about 6 or 7 books so far) but I never “believed” that evolution was a myth because, you know, I understood it.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  39 this month and I haven’t read Dawkins yet. Or Harris, or Hitch, or…

                • the moother

                  The implication is not that if you don’t read Dawkins that you are dumb… only a moron would think that… But if you even call him Hitch (and not Chris) then you have done enough eliminate yourself from the stupid list.

  • Art_Vandelay

    Alternative title: “The 2013 Darwin Awards”

    • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

      I was just going to suggest a direct line to the Darwin Awards committee.

  • Tony Jiang

    how dare you call a snake an “ugly slithering thing!”

    • Ida Know

      I believe Hemant was putting words in Jesus’ mouth for the sake of humor, not actually saying that he (Hemant, that is) thinks snakes are ugly.

  • ufo42

    I’m rooting for the snakes! :)

  • Hat Stealer

    I think they should combine this concept with another very popular documentery-esque show, and have it be called ‘Shark Salvation.’

    Is your faith in Jesus strong enough to walk with him on the deadly waters of the Indian Ocean? Or will you sink like Satan into the mouth of a Great White? Premiers tonight!

    • Mario Strada

      I am trying to imagine a Great White on stage with these people, jumping and hollering with a mouthful of teeth while eyeing the plumper members with gluttony in his heart.

      I have to say though, that the beats is pretty good. A bit monotone maybe, but better than your average ‘gospely’ song in a white church.

      In watching the video, it’s pretty clear that what drives them, or at least what floats their boat the most, is the idea of being so close to death. That’s actually very understandable, as we are never so alive as when we cheat death.

      I have a number of other activities I would do before this one if I wanted to cheat death: Race car driving, wingsuit flying, BASE jumping, skydiving.

      I no longer race cars or motorcycles, sadly, but I still race virtually on my computer and with the modern driving games it’s very easy to get fooled in thinking you are actually racing for real and risking your life (especially if you have done it IRL at one point. Whenever I race virtually in the rain, I get cold and damp feet, it’s that realistic).

      There is a beauty in it that is difficult to explain, which is similar to what I suppose they get handling snakes. For the time you have the snake in your hands or race your car at the limit, nothing else exists around you.
      It’s a unique single mindedness that is very difficult to achieve.

      I think I’ll keep racing though. I love snakes, but not in my lap.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Waitasecond… name of Mario, used to race, banana icon… holy crap, you’re Dave Chappelle! So THIS is the World of Warcraft server you play on!

    • JonEric

      yep and the Shark would be the only one with a full set of teeth

  • Mitch

    There’s something to be said about handling (during church) the animal that apparently convinced humans to first sin, but I can’t come up with the right words at the moment.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      the animal that was actually a metaphor for a penis in that story about adolescence and burgeoning sexual knowledge, no less.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Funny how you never see Joe Klein handling snakes to demonstrate his faith.

    • Dave The Sandman

      love it mate

      its the gift that just keeps on giving ;-)

  • Rationalist1

    Never doubt the power of the pen (or the quill). A phrase 2000 years ago is still killing injuring people today. The author never knew what harm he caused.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Or perhaps didn’t care.

  • RowanVT

    I wonder if those snakes are venomoids.

  • Mick

    The thing that makes me laugh is that the snake handlers base their faith on words that were never written by Mark in the first place. Hundreds of years after the death of Jesus the codex Sinaiticus and codex Vaticanus still had Mark’s gospel ending at verse eight. Christians of that period had never heard the bullshit stories included in verses 9 – 20.

    Some apologists have tried to push the idea that verses 9-20 were already known in 160AD but they are grasping at straws. They notice that Justin Martyr (chapter 45 in his First Apology) used some words that may have possibly (if you bend down and squint a little bit) also appeared in what we now call Mark 16:20. And that’s it! That’s all they’ve got. And by that time Mark had probably been dead for nearly a hundred years anyway.

    I love watching 21st century human beings jumping around with an armful of snakes, dancing to a country band, uttering nonsensical grunts and snorts, and declaring to all the world, “Look at me, I’m holier than thou.” It’s like watching an oil tanker heading towards a reef. I know it’s going to be a disaster, but I’m glad I was there to see it.

  • Matt

    “Ugly slithery thing.” Boo! snakes are awesome. Bad Hement!

  • Lew C Furr

    I think snakes are beautiful…
    This show looks like fun, I wonder if it’ll be available in Britain?

  • Ryan Hite

    At least the pairing with the National Geographic Channel is not as bad as “The Bible” on the “History” Channel…

  • wombat

    The only thing I could think while watching that was ‘those poor snakes’. Being waved around like a baby’s rattle is just cruel. I’d imagined some sort of gentle respectful handling of the animals, not using them as a dance partner in a vigorous rock-a-billy competition.

  • Will

    The Anaconda Faith Handlers passed out of existence shortly after getting started a few years ago….

  • Stephen Wilson

    I predict there will be banjos!

  • CultOfReason

    These cable channels that were originally intended to be educational (NG, TLC, History, etc…) have become real embarrassments. What does this say about our society that the only way they can survive is to air these crappy shows?

    • JonEric

      Lets not forget A&E…it aired “Growing up Gotti” and so true, CultofReason.

  • Justin Miyundees

    This is just what television needs – more animal abuse at the hands of idiots. Not.

    The one good thing to come out of this is the continuation of pointing out the absurdity of religions. When ideas garner enough ridicule, then and only then, will apologists stop buttressing the enterprise – so went the Roman gods and countless others. I guess people just gotta learn the hard way.

  • Tobias2772

    Just one more way to diminish the number of christians – good job.

  • Matt D

    Hm, is this “Jackass” for Xtians?

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      I used to be a member of a church that was downright proud of being a tongues-talkin’, holy-rollin’ church, and even we knew snake handling was nuttier than a fruitcake. It’d be almost funny to see fundies self-selecting themselves like this if it weren’t for knowing they’re leaving behind families who are going to suffer when (not if) they finally run across a snake that can defend itself.

      Incidentally, the other half of the verse about snake handling involves drinking poison. But you never see these delusional twits drinking Drano. That’d just be *silly*.

  • pagansister

    Just another “reality” show I won’t be watching. Ranks right up there with “Swamp People”!

  • Turandot29

    The heck with the snakes (who have probably been “milked” of their poison beforehand or been de-fanged). I want to see these Christers drink strychnine.

  • JonEric

    I guess its a good thing this church doesn’t have a following in South Africa or Australia or the opportunities to “test the faithful” would be boundless; puff adders, mambas, cobras, browns, taipans, boomslangs, etc I predict most of the congregation would be talking to Jesus face to face before filming the first season concluded.

  • Kathy Cooper

    Perhaps NGC should do there homework for this program as they do for other documents ….. sorry , but most of the time I always felt you did a backgrown serch on your material

  • Kathy Cooper

    to find out the truth look up ;the problem with snake/handling ;GOOGLE

  • Crystal Moquin

    I live in Middlesboro KY and we have a hard enough time convincing people that we are not stupid. This is just unreal and scares me. All I can think about is the possibility of a child getting bit and not receiving medical treatment.


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