Snake-handling preacher, who believed god protects against snake bites, dies of snake bite.

It is not generally good form to report on a person’s death with amusement, and so I do not do so here.  I do, however, report on it with a tremendous sigh at the needlessness of it, with the hope that it can be a lesson for those who still live.

Some people in this world unfortunately take the bible at it’s word, such as with Mark 16:18 where the protections afforded true believers are described.  These include immunity to poison and being impervious to poisonous snakes.  Pastor Jamie Coots was one of the few people who treated the god of the bible as though he meant what he said.  Coots chose to follow the bible to the letter rather than invent ways for passages to mean the opposite of what they say.  It cost him his life.

A Kentucky pastor who co-starred in the TV showSnake Salvation has died of a snakebite.

Emergency personnel received a call Saturday night that someone at a church, Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name, had suffered a snakebite, Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe said in a statement. He said an ambulance crew went to the church, but the Rev. Jamie Coots had left. The crew went to Coots’ home and found him suffering from a bite to the hand.

“After a brief examination and discussion of the possible dangers if the wound was not treated, treatment — and transport to the hospital — was refused,” Sharpe said.

He trusted bible instead of the knowledge uncovered by human minds, and he got the very predictable result.  It’s sad because he didn’t have to die.  He didn’t have to be picking up poisonous snakes, something a low amount of secular thought would have prevented.  But in a mind polluted by faith, doing something so obviously dangerous seemed like a swell idea.

Even then he didn’t have to die.  All he had to do was doubt the bible a little bit and trust his fellow humans a little bit.

And the saddest thing is that those in his congregation won’t learn the lesson.  They’ll go on believing a god exists who protects the truest believers from snake bites , even as they bury the evidence that it isn’t so.  And they’ll continue to love this god and the religion based on him, while always being skeptical of the works of humankind – the very works that would’ve done what god did not and saved their friend’s life.  That, I think, is the saddest thing of all.

Perhaps it can stand as an example for others in the future of just how much faith can twist the human mind.


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